The last time I went to Olympia it was for the great British Beer Festival, but this was the first time for the London Book Fair, and it was an experience, and very different from the Beer Festival!
There are hundreds of stands there, right from the tinies publishers with one self of books right up to the behemoths of publishing Penguin Random House with their huge stand. It is set over two floors with the smaller companies and organisations around the balconies looking down on the main event.
I arrived shortly after 10, and promptly got lost, even though it wasn't that busy at the time. I had made a list of publishers that I wanted to visit, and after I had oriented myself, I started wandering up and down trying to find them. The main reason for going though was to meet up with the lovely people from nb magazine and Nudge
. More on that in another post.
You are not able to get on the large publishers stands unless you have a prior appointment. The smaller publishers though were great, they were welcoming, interested in why I was there and managed to get my details in front of a few PR types. Also managed to meet a number of people I have only known in the virtual bookworld up until now including Marc from Angry Robot
. Great guy.
Wasn't sure what to expect with regards to book samples. Did manage to get three though:
Drake by Peter McLean
Rain Dogs by Adrian McKinty
I also collected a number of bookmarks and the owner of Little Toller
gave me a fantastic tote bag. One for the library books. I also have a substantial number of new catalogues from numerous publishers; my already out of control TBR is not going to get any lower...
Would I go again? Yes, well worth the trip, and as my name gets out there it would be good to meet more people next time.