The London Book Fair at Earls Court, an important date in the book industry calendar, has just finished and provides and interesting in site into current trends.
I read a beautiful piece written by Mick Rooney of The Independent Publishing Magazine on his initial thoughts from attending the show.
To quote one part –
From my perceptive, this was a ‘trade show’ when many authors decided to attended, where once the idea of attendance by authors was accepted but considered ‘awkward’ unless there was an agreed ‘meeting’ arranged between agent and publisher. This year, many authors took it upon themselves to take the bull by the horns and tackle publishers. I haven’t seen that happen before. To be fair to the trade publishers there, and to many of the people I talked to, this was one of the first times I’ve seen trade publishers openly recognize that they were sharing an exhibition with more than an industry perspective.
What seemed to blow most away was the strength of the Digital Zone and its vibrancy which I actually felt was missing from the trade stands. The Earls Court 2 almost seemed like a doffing of the cap to the Digital Zone as if it was something happening outside of the industry and needed to be placed at arm length. Random House were…well, Random House, two walls of their large 8th foot stand keeping out anyone, as if to to say, as always, we’re doing it our own way, so don’t get too close. They were busy, always, with authors and business of the like, but then, there are always busy doing their own thing and making their own statements. Perhaps, next year, we will see bouncers deployed for their stand. No need for riff-raff!
I think this embraces the widening gulf between the established publishing industry and the developing tide of authors who will get their book to market – publisher or no publisher. Well done Mick.