London Book Fair Recap, 2016
The largely crisp and clear sunshine that illuminated the vast windowed ceilings of the London Book Fair at Olympia rather summed up the atmosphere of cautious optimism pervading the vast halls. Coming on the back of confirmation that there had been a rise in print book sales in the first quarter of 2016, it was time for confidence and in many cases, champagne.
Traditionally, the London Book Fair has been very much a trade event, with the focus on traditional publishers doing the deals which will become the big books over the next couple of years. Several of these were prominently reported, with the most talked-out being Chloé Esposito’s Mad, Bad and Dangerous to Know trilogy – about an identical twin who takes over her sister’s more exciting life – which was sold to 12 territories for a reported £2million.
However, the fair remains home to all kinds of publishers and publishing, meaning that there were lots of informative and interesting seminars on all aspects of the writing life, as well as authors such as Julian Fellows, Judith Kerr, Howard Jacobson and Jeanette Winterson talking about their work. Independent authors were well catered for, and one enterprising publisher even had talent scouts wandering the halls on the lookout for authors who might just be the next big thing.
For NetGalley, it was similarly busy, with the highlight being the launch of NetGalley Global, celebrating our sites in English, French and German. It was great to meet with our existing clients and members alike, and as the fair wrapped up on Thursday we were all a little tired, but all very upbeat. We look forward to doing it all over again at BEA in Chicago (May 11-13, booth #DZ759). Hopefully we will see you there!