London Book Fair 2018

English Pen Literary Cafe

London Book Fair 2018 runs at Olympia, London, from 10th-12th April, so don’t expect any in-depth response from agents or publishers for a while! I attended some years ago with a publisher I was working with, and it was one of the most exhausting, intriguing, chaotic, exhausting, extraordinary events I’ve ever attended. Sorry, did I say exhausting twice?

It’s a vast, sprawling space filled with people who haven’t slept in days and aren’t quite sure where they’re going – a bit like an international airport but with the added requirement of being ready to schmooze at a moment’s notice.

Previously I’ve urged aspiring authors not to attend with the aim of pitching unpublished novels, but last year for the first time there was a special Author Club area at the fair which is returning in 2018 and will be well worth investigating. Plus there’s the London Book Fair Insights Seminar Programme covering everything from the impacts of Brexit on the book publishing industry, to how to publish books about mental health.

On the whole though, this is very much a trade show, where the emphasis is on publishers pushing titles, discussing international rights and new markets, seeking out new business collaborators, stifling yawns and drinking rather a lot of coffee.

If you’re going along, good luck!


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