London Book Fair 2022

With a new publishing business underway a visit to London Book Fair seemed like a necessity and for me it did not disappoint.   Having been an art book author for over a decade with Laurence King Publishing, I realized I had never been to a book fair and didn’t have a clue what it was all about.  So it had to be done. After a quick chat with the lovely Turnaround team who are handling our new releases, they sorted me out a pass and I was in. 

I hadn’t been to this part of London for years and to walk in and see Olympia heaving was a great feeling. I caught up old publishing colleagues, met a bunch of new ones, geek out with some of my favourite publishers and even managed to get some work done - which was to get talking about Stickerbomb Press and our series of Soi Books.

With so many face to face meetings, every art book publisher I’ve ever rated were there to answer questions, London Book Fair really helped me understand the different sides of the business that I wasn’t privy to being an author. From data and marketing to foreign rights sales to the huge scope of children’s publishing. Being able to see what publishers I admire are doing and actually speak to commissioners, sales reps, marketing people was fascinating and the cherry on top was the international vibe with teams from Indonesia (where I used to live), the Middle East and all across Europe.

The only criticism I had was the lack of a central illustration hub. There was an illustrators gallery but the install and curation wasn’t great and speaking with freelance illustrators who were hanging about the consensus was the same. I felt a more considered illustration element to the book fair would have made the event even better.  

I sadly missed the keynote speakers and did not take advantage of all the talks mainly because I was running around soaking it all in and chatting with as many people as possible. But I got a lot out of it and I know we’ll be at the next one and for sure we’ll make a point to visit other book fairs around the world.  

Thanks so much to the Turnaround team for bringing me in and representing us so well. Thanks to Gerard at The Bookseller for giving me a crash course on how it all works and big thanks to everyone at the London Book Fair for a great event. 

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