News from this year’s London Book Fair is that the Author Lounge is changing. It’s to be geared towards unpublished and self-published writers and curated by Authoright with Kindle Direct Publishing as a main sponsor. Such a radical shift is a welcome change in the book industry’s attitude.
The LBF is normally a no-go area for unpublished writers. In the not-too-recent past it was frowned on to turn up, let along expect anyone in the trade to have time for you – that was your agent’s job, not yours. Then, the only reason for unpublished writers to attend LBF was to hear a writer’s keynote speech, sit in on a seminar, or mingle in the café area.
LBF was [and still is] where traditional publishing deals and negotiations over rights are sealed, where big announcements from agent deals and ‘six figure’ acquisitions circulate with the coffee.
But publishing has changed and LBF are taking notice. Authoright told the Bookseller that
The Author Lounge has an emphasis towards unpublished authors this year to recognise “the shift in publishing towards author services” and because the Fair sees a large number of unpublished authors attend every year.
It’s safe to assume that there will be a hard sell on publishing services for budding authors from companies like Authoright, Matador, KDP and other self-publishing service providers. As well as blunt marketing there’s also an opportunity to gain some face-to-face attention from an agent and to network with industry insiders.
The programme of events, seminars and networking opportunities is designed to provide authors with a space to “learn, create, have fun and most significantly of all, take control,” according to LBF.
Keep the final phrase in mind – ‘take control’ of your writing and keep firmly in charge of every stage of your writing career. The new Author Lounge is a great opportunity but be aware not naïve, be excited about your writing with clarity. Focus on what you want to achieve and take a lot of advice on the different kinds of strategies you could employ to get published.
The London Book Fair is at Earls Court from Monday 15th to Wednesday 17th April 2013.
I’ve got my ticket – hope to see you there!