Archive for April 2014

The London Book Fair 2014 (or, more accurately, one day of it)

This week, from 8th – 10th April, the Earls Court Exhibition Centre, of the cavernous interior and art deco-style exterior, played host to the London Book Fair 2014, a magnet for people involved in every aspect of the world of publishing, from both at home and abroad.

In what was my first visit ever to the London Book Fair, I spent the Wednesday at the Book Fair. It was an absolutely fabulous day, and if I hadn’t had edits waiting for me at home, I would have been back at 9am the following day for more.

Since I had my camera with me – of course – I thought I’d show you a few pictorial highlights of a day filled with chatting to friends old and new, with interesting and informative seminars, and with the opportunity to peek at the promotions on the various publishers’ stands, not to mention the highlight of the day – spending time on the brilliant Choc Lit stand.

Arriving at the Earls Court venue…

… it took some minutes to orientate myself inside the vast hall. Well, that’s not totally true. To be honest, I don’t think I’d orientated myself even by the end of the day. To the very last minute of my visit, the building remained a glorious, bewildering mass of books and people, and I loved every single minute of wandering hopelessly around, seeking one destination after another.

Which way to go?The first of my many decisions.

A birds-eye image of the London Book Fair










A map in my hand, my first destination was, of course, the Choc Lit stand.

It’s all happening on the Choc Lit stand

Lyn Vernham, MD of Choc Lit, and Choc Lit’s Lusana Taylor prepare for the day

Me, in front of the Choc Lit display, courtesy of Christina Courtenay


And this is what it’s all about – BOOKS and MORE BOOKS


Minutes after I arrived at the Choc Lit stand, I bumped into my good friend, Alison Morton. I was delighted to see Alison again, and we promptly headed for coffee, stopping en route to say hello to the Silverwood Books stand, on which Alison was spending some time each day, and then to the Kobo stand, where we had a delightful talk with the charming René d’Entremont from Canada, the P.R. Manager of Kobo.


Alison in front of the Silverwood Books stand

Rene d’Entremont, PR Manager of Kobo













After a most enjoyable coffee with Alison and friends Jenny Haddon and Evelyn Ryle, I headed with Alison to the first of the four seminars I’d booked, which was Darren Hardy in conversation with best-selling authors Mel Sherrat and Tim Ellis. The discussion included the use of Kindle Direct Publishing and CreateSpace to fuel readership growth, and gave plenty of food for thought.

Waiting to start their seminar, Mel Sherrat and Tim Ellis, with Darren Hardy

My second seminar was called Development Hell. An excellent panel comprising screenwriter and novelist, John Niven, Jamie Wolpert, whose work for the National

Rhodri Thomas, Jamie Wolpert, John Niven, and Sheila Crowley

Lottery Fund involves making films and scripts better, and Rhodri Thomas of The Ink Factory, chaired by literary agent Sheila Crowley, answered questions put to them by the audience about the route from book to film in a way that was both greatly entertaining and informative.

After lunch, I went to the only workshop I’d booked in the day. Paul Andrews a led a discussion that ranged over the many aspects of marketing one’s novel. I was fortunate in my companions on either side, and came away with two new friends – writers Ahyiana Angel and Nikki Okoroma. I was delighted to learn that Nikki was a member of the RNA and look forward to seeing her again at the RNA Summer Party on 22nd May.

The final seminar of the day was Ten Top Tips for Self-Publishing from NY Bestselling Indie Authors, Bella Andre and Barbara Freethy. The points made by Bella and Barbara were so interesting that I shall be writing a blog about the advice that they gave.

The London Book Fair closes down for the night

Waiting for the Top Ten Tops seminar to begin

Barbara Freethy and Bella Andre

When I left at the end of my first day ever at the London Book Fair, I was inspired. It may have been my first visit, bit it certainly won’t have been my last!