London Book Fair 2012

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What did I expect from The London Book Fair? Books and publicists were the only things I was certain of, apart from that, I wasn't really sure.

After travelling from all over the UK, by plane, train, swimming and bus (there may be one exaggeration) an excited group of booksellers met the lovely Peter Saxton for our day of book indulgence. Due to the fact that the last time I was at Earls Court it was for a emo/punk festival, I really hadn't realised how massive it was. There were also less teenagers insisting the band 30 Seconds to Mars had changed their lives. As Mr Saxton lead us through the crowds and what felt like hundreds of stalls, we then realised there was a whole other section, mainly showcasing Chinese publishing both past and present. A quick visual snippet of ancient traditional bindings to the most modern techniques.

Then we had a little bit of time to wander, gather our bearings (although after seeing the same stands numerous time I am not sure that I achieved that at any point) and get to know each other.

Later we all met at the One World stand for lunch and a chat with Daniel Scott, the Managing Director. He gave some information about their most popular titles and some intriguing sounding popular thinking books that will be hitting out shelves in the next few months. From there we were were whisked off to meet lovely representatives from Quercus, Granta, Canongate and Faber. Never before I have met so many contagiously passionate publishers. We were plied with proofs galore and descriptions of exciting future releases (plus the occasional tote bag) that have made my wishlist pretty much double in length. One's that really grabbed my attention were forthcoming titles from the best comedian ever (fact!) Stewart Lee towards Christmas from Faber and Faber, Tigers in Red Weather by Liza Klaussmann through Picador and The Antidote by Oliver Burkeman through Canongate. The latter caught my eye with the great tag line 'Happiness for People Who Can't Stand Positive Thinking.'

All in all, a few glasses of wine (or orange juice) later, weighed down with numerous books, I don't think any of us could have wished for more. Thank you to Mr Saxton for being the best guide we could have possibly wished for and I really hope Waterstones run the same competition next year. If they do, seriously, enter, you'll meet some truly lovely people and have an amazing day!










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