London Book Fair Recap, 2017
The sun shone brightly through the glass domes of Olympia last week, as the London Book Fair came to town. The weather was for once fresh and clear, but the general atmosphere seemed more changeable. While some publishers and agents were reporting enthusiastic offers and exciting auctions; others seemed more cautious, perhaps in light of Brexit and other market conditions. Overall it felt slightly less busy around the halls, but the buzz was still palpable.
London Book Fair is conducted in seven sections, each notionally devoted to different aspects of the publishing industry– trade, academic, tech support, remaindered books, etc – and seeing the sheer breadth of what is available is staggering. Whether you’re a new digital start up, an author wandering the halls trying to get publishers to buy his book, an auction being conducted for a hot debut, or a business meeting about meta-data provision, all publishing life seems to be there. It’s no wonder that everyone looks exhausted by Thursday afternoon.
At NetGalley, we love attending LBF – we’re lucky that we interact with so many publishers from so many different territories, and it was great to be able to catch up with so many of them. We also met with some new publishers, who hopefully will be joining us soon. But the Fair is more than just a series of meetings.
We also had some time to attend some of the many, many seminars and lectures that took place over the three days. Particularly of interest was the panel on the visual language of publishing. We learned a lot, especially from literary agent and former Marketing Manager of Foyle’s Bookshop, Julia Kingsford. Her top tips for social media were very instructive – you can read them here – but our favourite was this: always post your images and photos in landscape not portrait. That way everyone can see the full image, and there is less awkward cropping of the image!
As ever though, the best thing about the fair was hearing about all the books that will in around eighteen months (or even sooner) be finding their way on to NetGalley. We were most excited to hear that there’ll be a new Eleanor Catton novel, the first non-fiction book from Jarvis Cocker, and we’re already intrigued about the new Swedish crime sensation In The Mire by Susanne Jansson. We can’t wait for you to read them!
P.S. We look forward to doing it all over again at BookExpo & BookCon in NYC (June 1-4, booth #2015). Hopefully we will see you there!