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!

  • Ah, I wish I’d been there, but I guess this ‘Colonial’ can’t complain having had such a wonderful time at my own book launch which Choc Lit did such a wonderful job of organising in London the week before last.

    A great blog, Liz, which has me wanting to know and see more.

    • Liz:

      Many thanks for the comment, Beverley. I had a superb day, and I shall certainly go again next year. Isn’t it typical, though – having just got used to the Earls Court structure, with the two great halls EC1 and EC2, I shall have to find my way around all over again next year as the venue is changing!

  • ki pha:

    How fun!!!!

  • Good post, Liz, and thank you for the mention!
    The whole fair was energising, but exhausting – a great occasion to catch up with friends.

    • Liz:

      It was great to meet up with you, Alison, albeit it was for far too short a time. Re the final seminar, I intend to write a separate blog with the points made by Barbara Freethy and Bella Andre, as I thought they were excellent and they gave me a lot to think about.

  • Thanks for helping me share in the fair via your post, Liz. I’m also looking forward to your blog about the talk by Barbara Freethy and Bella Andre as I enjoy their books.

    On a less serious note, I have to say you coordinated beautifully with the pink Choc Lit stand and how fun you also met a Canadian! We do turn up everywhere!

    • Liz:

      Many thanks for your comment, Jen. I shall definitely be blogging about the content of the final seminar as I think it could be of interest to a number of people. When I’ve written it (which will probably be next weekend), I’ll post the link on twitter and Facebook.

      There’ll be a certain irony about blogging about the seminar – Barbara and Bella don’t think it worth blogging, so don’t!! There are too many blogs these days, they said, for there to be any point in using your time that way. They do a newsletter, though.

  • It’s the first time in many years that I’ve missed the LBF, so thank you Liz for sharing your day and your photos with us. It all looks amazing.

    The Choc Lit stand looked fabulous too! Congratulations to everyone.


    • Liz:

      Hopefully, you’ll be able to make it next year, Berni, and I will, too, and we’ll be able to hook up. 🙂

  • Christina Courtenay:

    Great post Liz and lots of lovely photos! Look forward to your next post about the seminar. Xx

    • Liz:

      Many thanks for sending me the photo you took of me, Christina. I haven’t mastered the art of the selfie yet!

      I’ll let you know as soon as I’ve done the blog. I hope I haven’t trailed it so much that you’re disappointed when you read it 🙁

  • Barbara Alderton:

    Sounds (and looks) like a fabulous day, Liz. ^_^ x

    • Liz:

      Thank you for commenting, Barbara. Perhaps you’ll be free to come with me next year. A happy thought!

  • You obviously had a wonderful day and thanks for sharing (and making me envious!).

    • Liz:

      Many thanks, Angela. Indeed, it was a lovely day. Such a shame you’re a bit too far to pop over for events like that. It’s a pretty long way from Tennessee!

  • Thanks, Liz – lovely to read about your day at the LBF.

    • Liz:

      You’d have loved the Choc Lit stand, Chris. All of our books out on display, looking great. The fab covers make them look really striking. It’ll be interesting to see the set-up in Olympia next year.

  • This is a great post, Liz. I’ll share it.

  • Carol McGrath:

    What a great post. Ah well maybe next year. Lovely pics.

    • Liz:

      Many thanks for commenting, Carol. I shall definitely go next year, when the venue will b4 Olympia. I felt it was author-friendly this year, and I think it’ll be even more so next year.

  • Brilliant Liz, wish I’d been there now. The seminars and sessions sound fascinating.

    • Liz:

      I’d have loved to have seen you there, too, Jules! It was a fabulous day. I think there were things said in the final seminar that would be of interest to others, and I intend to write that up at the weekend. Edits and a new book prevent me from writing all of them up, otherwise I’d have done so.

  • Jan Brigden:

    Great post & pics, Liz. I’d so love to have been able to go. What a brilliant event. Choc Lit’s stand looked fabulous. Thanks so much for sharing with us Xx

    • Liz:

      Thank you for your comment, Jan.

      Choc Lit’s stand looked terrific. It really stood out with all the pinkness. I was so pleased that I was colour co-ordinated with them! Yes, little things please minds… Unfortunately, not little behinds after the chocolate I consumed!

      My photo of the books didn’t do justice to book display – the covers are really eye-catching.

  • Henriette Gyland:

    Thanks for reminding me of the genuine buzz at the London Book Fair! I went last year and wish I could have gone this year too. Love the photos.

Leave a Message