Not the London Book Fair (I)
Why? For years now I’ve been attending mainly to show that (a) I haven’t died and (b) we haven’t gone bust or ben taken over. Now it’s dawned on me that I can use social media to get those messages across, the raison d’être has gone. I must say, I feel a sense of relief.
Even better, I took the decision this year to attend Publishing & Media Expo instead. I hadn’t been before: the ‘Publishing’ in the title refers primarily to magazine publishing. If there were other book publishers there, I didn’t meet them.
My experience was very positive. In particular:
- there was a good rhythm to the day, with lots of 40 minute sessions and gaps in between;
- the scale of the event was manageable;
- the speakers I heard were markedly well informed;
- the presentations tended to be both forthright and informative;
- the more upfront, sales-y, feel of the floor (rather than people standing defensively behind tables) meant one tended to obtain required information rapidly.
As a book publisher I was treated with polite interest as a visitor from a neighbouring country, rather than from another planet.
Some of the specific information that I learnt could be applied to book publishing — mostly concerning potential suppliers. But the most useful stuff was more general. On which, more tomorrow.