London Book Fair

Agent Manners will return tomorrow to continue answering the most recent set of questions collected, but in the meantime, it’s London Book Fair time. My associate Cameron McClure, who occasionally blogs at Book Cannibal, is representing the agency there this year. I went two years ago and I remember it being quite the madhouse. Of course, that was also the year it was out at the docks, next to nothing.

So, what do agents do at the London Book Fair? Meet with other agents and publishers in the rights center. I crammed my schedule full the year I went and Cameron has done the same. For weeks leading up to the Fair, the agency collaborated on putting together the rights list (a catalog of what subsidiary rights are available on our backlist) and a special splash page with this year’s featured titles. Every minute we’re not in meetings pushing those books, we’re out on the floor, touring the booths and grabbing catalogs (and swag). I walked miles and miles and miles, it seemed.

This year I’m keeping up virtually…

…. LBF Daily
…. coverage at the Bookseller
…. Publishing News Online

Plus I’m reading blogs of other attendees (and being reminded what a rush the Book Fair can be):

Loving Miss Daisy’s Survival Guide: (hey, she was at the same Book Fair in the middle of nowhere somewhere next to London that I was).

Of course, there will be much more work after the Book Fair with requests from foreign publishers and agents for copies of the books they want to consider for subsidiary rights as well as sending follow-up information on authors in which they express interest. I say: Bring it.

6 responses to “London Book Fair

  1. I attended Book Expo a few years ago, so I can kind of imagine the crush. The booths. The walking walking walking. You reach the point where you just give up and sit on the floor along a wall, like an airline refugee on standby, but you don’t care because your feet they hurt and the handles from the swag bags are cutting into your palms.
    And I didn’t even have any business to do.

  2. Wow – that’s just down the road from my office. Kinda. So you’re not actually in London, eh?

    I wish I were keeping up with the fair virtually – being here in person is a total nightmare. I even saw an author here today – they must have missed all the signs saying THIS IS FOR PROFESSIONALS ONLY and they even had the audacity to try and pitch me a book. Well I think that was what they were trying to do but as soon as they got the manuscript out I started running and running and running. How many times do I have to tell authors that a book fair is no place for them? They are about as much use as the inventor of a condom at an orgy – a novelty yes but ultimately completely irrelevant.
    Thanks for the nice comments and do keep checking back as I have gone DAILY for the course of the fair.
    Love Miss Daisy Fx

  4. Interesting. Cool, I’ll have to read this.
    Plus, I cannot wait for Agent Manners to return! ;*)

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