Archive for the ‘London Book Fair’ Tag
Was even quieter than I expected, given that I was expecting it to be quiet what with the volcanic ash. Only about one in fifteen tables in the International Rights Centre actually had any people at them, while downstairs it was about as quiet as it was last year towards the end of the day on the last day before the last folks go home. Relaxed is a good word to describe the general atmosphere although I had a stressful start to this morning having been hit on the head by a suitcase falling off the top of my wardrobe, and at exactly the moment I was trying to decide what to wear. “Has it cured the baby brain?” one publisher asked me. In jest. (I hope).
This is all relevent because with the relaxed-ness there’s been time for small talk. International meetings have been a write off but the silver lining is that I’ve had some informal chats with people I probably wouldn’t have had time to otherwise.
As it’s nearly the end of the tax year I’m working today on annual statements for my clients. I am not a natural admin person but am a fan of having straightforward documentation so me, my authors and the tax man, should he come knocking, can all see what’s going on. Apart from this I’m busy with preparations for the London Book Fair – and the York Festival of Writing – I realised last night I haven’t written my workshop yet as I’ve been so tied up with the organisation of the Festival as a whole. That might be bank holiday Monday’s job…
Today there are certainly fewer visitors at the Fair – i.e. it is pleasantly busy rather than crowded – but the Rights Centre remains mostly buzzing and I’ve been busy with meetings today and this is my first chance to blog. Boris Johnson gave the keynote address this morning at 10am and I would have be interested to pop into the conference centre to see it but I had a meeting. I have had a chance for a sit down lunch though today so it has not been completely mad.
What I’m most pleased about with the Fair so far is the mostly friendly and positive response I’ve had from editors. In many cases I have predicted which title(s) on my list they would be most interested in, but I’ve shown everyone the complete list and there have been a few surprises where editors have asked to see three chapters of something I wouldn’t have predicted. It was certainly a good move to have a summary of all the titles available from my clients and I’m really glad I prepared this list and had this to share with editors.
Times are clearly tough, however. Publishers are still acquiring, but the mood, with a few exceptions, is cautious.
Yesterday I had a lovely sit down lunch in the Leith’s bar. Today I’ve just had a quick sandwich at my desk and now we’re half-way through the day it occurs to me the Fair is half over. So, all these meetings: who am I actually meeting? Editors at publishers mostly, but this morning I’ve had two interesting meetings with European sub-agents who told me a few things about their particular markets I didn’t know. I also had a great meeting with a UK editor who is keen to see a couple of things from my list. I am keeping detailed notes in my notebook. Book Fairs are not just about preparation and then the actual Fair, there is also all the follow-up.
I have a bit of free time this afternoon so I’m hoping to catch up with an editor in the Main Hall. She wasn’t able to be here yesterday so fingers crossed, as no doubt if she’s come today she will be great demand. Then later there is a networking reception in the Champagne Bar… (so yes, I’ll be there, Linda!) My last meeting today is at 5pm and then I have to leave straight away to get to my evening appointment, so I probably won’t be able to blog again until tomorrow.
After the quiet opening of the Fair things started to get busy very quickly and the IRC is in full swing with back-to-back meetings happening at nearly all the tables. I just left my table for half an hour to meet a publisher at their table but I’m back now and have a few minutes before my next meeting so thought I would check out the Book Fair news and update my blog. According to The Bookseller UK publishers and agents are making the most of the Book Fair as they forecast fewer people may be going to Frankfurt in the autumn.
I managed to nip down to Earls Court Two this morning before my meetings started and caught up with a publisher at their stand. We grabbed a coffee and on my way out I noticed that James Patterson was speaking in the English PEN Cafe in front of a healthy audience. (Link to Book Brunch which has a photo.) Tomorrow morning I should have a bit more time in the morning to walk around the Fair and visit some publisher stands and hopefully check out some publishers from parts of the world I’m much less familiar with.
Having sat down at my table in the IRC (International Rights Centre) and managed to get the wi fi working within 30 seconds I thought I’d blog from the Book Fair. I will try and post a couple of times a day during the Fair.
The Fair officially opens today (in about 5 minutes time according to the tannoy) but yesterday I along with a very international audience of around 100 people attended the pre-Fair Rights Workshop at the Earls Court Conference Centre. There was lots of useful tips, especially I think for those new to selling rights. Additionally, a very interesting opening session from Hugh Jones, Copyright Counsel at The Publishers Association outlined the different types of rights that authors and publishers have.
- Copyright, which in the UK lasts for life + 70 years and is automatic
- Moral rights, which includes the right of paternity (to be identified as the author) and integrity (the right to object to derogatory treatment of material). Moral rights are not automatic, however, and have to be asserted.
- Human rights, for example the right to privacy
- Typographical copyright, which lasts for 25 years
- Database rights, a new right which lasts for 15 years
- Publication rights, granted by the author
- Human rights, for example freedom of expression
The tannoy has just declared the Book Fair open but it is very quiet on the edge of the IRC where I am sitting (not too far from the Champagne bar so perhaps it will get busier later). In my part of the hall there are only about one in ten tables occupied.
As we draw towards the end of January, it seems like a good time to look back and review where I’m up to in getting the agency up and running.
I have three clients and have had the chance to meet up with them and discuss and agree immediate and longer term plans. (I’m waiting until my client list numbers five or six before making an announcement to the trade about whom I am representing.) I’ve started to work with two writers on revisions that I think will get their scripts to the stage that they are ready to be sent out. I also got back to two other writers whom I have not offered representation to with revision suggestions. I’d be delighted to have the chance to consider again their revised or new work.
I have started to meet and introduce myself to several editors at different publishers and have started to find out what they are currently looking to buy. I have negotiated a new contract for one of my clients. I have prepared outlines and approaches to several publishers with two scripts I have that are ready to market.
I have spent a lot of time considering submissions. I have considered about thirty queries, of which I have requested to see eight full scripts. Five fulls I have made decisions on, and there are three still sitting on The Pile.
I have started to work with a couple of readers, although I have also read all the submissions myself.
I’ve given an interview to a writing magazine and have been invited to give two talks to writers later in the year.
I have also been sorting out initial plans for the London Book Fair in April. This is the major UK publishing trade fair and the best opportunity to meet with international publishers face to face.