News from LBF16

It’s fair to say that the London Book Fair 2016 is huge (both literally and in terms of being a big deal for someone interested in books)! You’ve probably gathered it was ‘write’/right up our street and worth going to, so we did just that and we even managed to get ourselves a stand (1F50C) in the “Writers’ Block”.

In all seriousness, it was an absolutely amazing event to be a part of. I’d like to think I worked my socks off and learnt lots about the industry and how it all relates. As a team, we met some amazing writers and companies which I don’t think we would have had the chance to meet if we hadn’t attended.

We found out about the London Book Fair 2016 through a music event called Midem (another biggie; the equivalent of London Book Fair for the music industry) which we attend each year (and thoroughly enjoy!) on behalf of our sister company Horus Music, a music distribution company. Both events are hosted by Reed Exhibitions, so we were aware of the London Book Fair 2016 and foresaw the potential of attending. I think industry events are an excellent way to get out there and meet the right people.

This was my first London Book Fair experience and I thoroughly enjoyed the buzzing atmosphere. There are so many opportunities for anyone interested in reading and writing! For example, being able to create a network of contacts which improves the range of services we as a company can offer to our clients. We had the chance to share knowledge with lots of people at our stand. We also visited other stands and took part in a panel discussion about ‘How to Prepare for Self-Publishing’. One of my personal favourite things about the event was meeting passionate authors who were inspiring and courageous; I look forward to keeping in contact with them. Most of all it was a great opportunity to make friends in the industry.

My general thought about the overall event was: busy multiplied by three!

Day 1: There was a lot of hustle and bustle. I think this was down to the adrenaline rush of being at London Book Fair 2016. I met so many people and had brief and efficient chats with them. We attended networking drinks and that was good fun. It was an extremely productive day out of the office!

Day 2: This was similar to day 1 except that we were participating in the ‘How to Prepare for Self-Publishing’ panel discussion. This was a great way to get our name out there and help writers by giving them some pointers to consider when going down the self-publishing route.

Day 3: I would say that this was the quietest day of the three; however, this didn’t mean that it wasn’t productive. In fact, I had the opportunity speak to people in more depth and got an opportunity to ask more questions. A plus point is that some stands sell or give away their stock, so if you love a physical book it’s worth sticking around!

London Book Fair 2016 is an important event for us at Help for Writers due to the endless opportunities from across the world that we can get access to in three snappy days. Our team hopes to use the experience to grow Help for Writers! We hope to gain some new clients and we plan to build strong working relationships. We intend to continue our ethos, which is to help writers by offering plenty of options, providing honest advice and lightening their workload in any way we possibly can.

I would recommend writers to go along. It’s a great opportunity for you to learn about where you could go with your passion. Even if you’re not a writer, if you’re interested in the industry it’s a great event packed with some fantastic opportunities that you didn’t even know existed!

panelA few things to bear in mind if you decide to go in 2017:

  1. Prepare for the event:
    • Check out who will be there and create a list of stands you would like to visit.
    • Find stands that are offering the things that you’re after, as it’s so big and you want to visit stands that relate to you.
    • Put together a list of questions to ask companies and/or authors.
  2. Arrange meetings before you get there if you can, and schedule time for the ‘must dos’ such as talks. That way you are guaranteed to not miss out.
  3. Go along to discussions and seminars – they are free and really useful.
  4. Take lots of dosh for food and drink.
  5. If you buy a ticket for all the days pace yourself so you can get to day 3!
  6. Remember to plan fun things to do in your evenings and enjoy yourself – you’re in London after all!

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