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The London Book Fair

April 24th, 2015

PuzzlebookblogLast week the London Book Fair was held at Olympia from Tuesday 14th to Thursday 16th April. I made several contacts at the LBF last year (the first time I’d ever attended), resulting in me getting contracts for five picture books. This year I attended on the Tuesday and one of my first meetings was with Ms Mudit Mohini, the director of Vishv Publishing, who have just published my picture book ‘Where’s the Puzzle’. Here she is giving me my author gratis copies. I had meetings with several other publishers too and found it a very useful day.

Even if you are a new writer, with no publishing contacts, I’d recommend that you attend next year, if only for a day. It’s a really interesting place for authors, writers or anyone interested in publishing or books. There’s so much to see and learn. 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. Remember to take a notebook and pencil with you, to wear shoes you’re comfortable walking in and take a bottle of water. Refreshments are available if you want them, but the queues can be long.

There’s a variety of interesting talks and discussions to attend, whatever your writing genre. Over at the Author HQ the talks included the roles of publishers and agents, contracts, marketing and Kindle Direct Publishing. Anthony Browne, Deborah Moggach, Elena Poniatowska, Valeria Luiselli and other well-known authors talked in the English PEN Literary Salon. Publishers of children’s books gathered together in the Children’s Hub, apart from the Independents who were in the IDP section. Talks here discussed the relationship between children’s authors and publishers, diversity and exclusion and the power of reading, to name but a few topics.

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.

I came back with a bag load of catalogues and a head full of ideas. An inspiring and exhausting day but well worth it.


Karen King writes books for both children and adults. She is co-author of the Writers Bureau ‘Writing for Children’ course and also tutors students on it.

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