London Book Fair (LBF) is one of the highlights of the traditional publishing industry calendar.
Along with Book Expo America and Frankfurt Book Fair, it is one of the places that agents and publishers go to do business, to sell rights … and to make lots of money with books!
So why would an author attend the Book Fair?
I've been attending LBF for the last four years, and here's why I keep going back, some of what happened this year and how my own feelings have changed.
But first of all, here's a little video so you can get a taste of the fair.
In the video, I'm holding the new Amazon Kindle Oasis (which is super light!), chatting to James from the Self Publishing Formula podcast, and speaking on the Author HQ panel about selling more books with Orna Ross, Mark Dawson and Toby Mundy.
Why LBF is worth attending and how to survive it
- It's overwhelming, exhilarating chaos and your senses are bombarded by huge posters of book covers and uber-mega-author-superstars. It can make you feel inadequate and insignificant … but it can also inspire you with what's possible. Every day the Fair is filled with news of author success and the place is filled with book lovers. If you
can crush the feeling of comparisonitis and let inspiration take over, it's a great place to be!
- There are sessions for authors, but as you build a business, it's the sessions designed for publishers that can be really useful. In previous years, I've attended sessions on how to sell different rights, how to sell a screenplay and how to expand the branding of a book, as well as meeting creatives in the VR space.
- In-person meetings can exponentially increase the possibility of success. It makes you memorable and you stand out from the crowd of thousands of faceless authors. You hear about things behind the scenes that wouldn't make it onto a public podcast or blog. You can ask specific questions about how your books can do better on the various platforms. Basically, in this age of introvert authors behind screens doing everything digitally, it can help to be a real person sometimes. Shake people's hands. Give them a hug. Have a drink and a laugh together. This is the true value of LBF or any in-person event. This is why I keep going back.
There were a few good sessions for authors at LBF, but you had to be there, and the program was very mixed in its targeting.
Fortunately, you didn't have to attend the Fair to get the very best author education!
The Indie Author Fringe, a FREE online summit, run by the Alliance of Independent Authors, launched this year with a ton of amazing recorded presentations by authors, for authors of all different levels. Click here to view all the sessions.
Here are some of the highlights:
- Sell more books in more formats in more territories. A live recording of the LBF panel with me, Orna Ross, Mark Dawson and Toby Mundy
- Spotting Trends in Children's Publishing
- Are print books more trouble than they're worth?
- Authors, don't waste your money. Book Fair bewares with David Gaughran
The Indie Author Fringe will also be running another online day for BEA and Frankfurt, so you don't have to fly around the world to attend industry events to get the best education for authors! More info here.
Do you think in-person events are worth it? If you attended LBF16, what did you think of it? Do you have any questions about LBF or the Indie Author Fringe? Please do leave a comment below and join the conversation.