I attended the London Book Fair at London Olympia for only one day this year, Tuesday, but, as usual, I thoroughly enjoyed it. There have been a few conversations on Facebook about what there is at the Fair for authors so I thought I’d share my thoughts.
Would an author’s time be better spent writing? I suppose it depends how much time you have to write. I write full-time and welcome a chance to widen my knowledge. And meet my mates.
Speaking for myself, even if I go for all three days, as I have for several years, I consider it time well spent. I find many of the talks interesting, even if they’re not aimed at authors, because I like to know what I can about publishing (and I like to hear good talks). Sessions on what Brexit might mean for publishing or how to build writing communities catch my eye and I go on in. At Author HQ I listen to the occasional speaker, too, although I feel as if many of these slots are aimed at self-published authors.
My favourite talks by far are those from authors. On Tuesday, it was possible to hear Joanna Trollope, Kit de Waal and David Baldacci, amongst others. Last year’s stand-out author-speakers for me were Jeffrey Archer, Marian Keyes, Michael Morpurgo and Meg Rossof. I don’t think it’s time badly spent to listen to them! They’re entertaining and informative.
I like to tour the stands, particularly of the big publishers, to see what they’re pushing and what the latest covers look like.
I do a lot of networking with other writers or bloggers too. This year, naughtily, I spent more time socialising than listening to the illustrious guests! But I had been working hard … and somebody said ‘wine’. It may have been me!
Here are a few of my pics from the London Book Fair 2018: