On Tuesday I went with my friend and fellow author, Ann Evans, to the London Book Fair. We travelled down from Coventry on the Metrobus so it was an early start for us both.
This year the LBF was held in Olympia rather than Earls Court. A wise choice I think, as Olympia didn’t feel as claustrophobia. Ann and I still managed to get lost as we walked around though. There were four halls over two floors and hundreds of stalls. Here's Ann standing by the rail on the first floor.
The LBF is a great place for authors, writers, anyone interested in publishing or books. There's so much to see. Most of the major publishing companies have a stall there, so you can see their latest books and pick up a catalogue to browse through. The International area is fascinating with publishers from many overseas countries taking part. The focus this year was on Mexico so there were several talks about this in the Gallery Suite Room. The Children's Hub was where we spent most of our time, although we did look around the other sections too.
One of the first people I meet was Ms Mudit Mohini, the director of Vishv Books, an Indian publisher I work with. They’ve just published my picture book ‘Where’s the Puzzle?’ and she had my author’s gratis copies ready for me. Vishy Book were just one of the publishers I met at the LBF last year and have since worked with. I have four other picture books in the process of being published by Indian Publishers - the LBF is a great place for networking. Then Ann and I met up with several editors we'd worked with in the past - one who published my first activity books and Ann's first children's novel many years ago. And it was very welcome to have a cup of coffee and catch up chat with a publisher we hope to work with in the future.
We had fun colouring in the giant poster on the wall at one of the publisher's stalls.
And met lots of interesting people, like the fab Body Buddies, who I'll be blogging about in my next post.
We were so busy chatting to everyone and looking at the different stalls that we didn't have time to go to any of the talks at the Author Hub or various other rooms. These range from talks about all aspects of writing and from Developing Reading for Pleasure in School to Knowing your Rights and there were variety of speakers. We just missed seeing Mary Berry when we popped over to the Body Buddies stall. Shame.
We both came back with a bag load of catalogues and other goodies and a head full of ideas. An inspiring and exhausting day but well worth it. I look forward to the LBF next year. Maybe I should go for the three days then and I might have time to go to some of the talks too!