The London Book Fair
Okay, so this was my first visit. I had a meeting arranged and thought I'd pop along to see what it was all about. I spent the first half-hour wandering aimlessly around the place (it's huge) feeling slightly bemused and then realised a better strategy was required so armed with my directory I grabbed a coffee and a table and set about organising myself. I sat for about 90 minutes working my way through the directory listings, selecting companies I wanted to check out and then a further 30 minutes locating these on my map. After that I set out with a clearer head and managed to visit just about all the places I intended.
The thing about this event though is it's all business. If ever an author wanted a better understanding of the industry then I'd recommend they visit. It puts things in perspective. I think new authors would benefit the most, particularly those that have yet to realise that publishing is about making money. I met Vanessa Robertson from Fidra books and commented on how as an author in my jeans and boots I had felt a little insignificant and out of place amongst the thousands of power dressing suits and how this was ironic as without authors the industry could not operate but she set me straight with a very sobering thought, that without the industry there would really be no avenue through which authors could ever hope to make a living or truly 'get their work out there'.