London Book Fair Tips

March 31st, 2010 by Claire_Squires | Posted in Blog | Comments Off on London Book Fair Tips
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London Book FairGoing to the London Book Fair for the first time? Want to make a good impression? Helena Markou, Publishing Innovation Associate at Blackwell, offers some advice:

10 Dos and Don’ts for Wannabe Publishers at London Book Fair

Let me begin by saying if you want a job in publishing then you want to be at London Book Fair. Registration is free. Just sign up as a visitor and select student from the drop down menu.

It’s all about the sales of rights, so people are there to have important meetings (which are often scheduled months in advance). Many publishers have back-to-back appointments all day long, but there are usually people floating around the stands, manning reception and answering ad hoc questions.

On the hour and on the half-hour is a good time to catch people between their scheduled appointments, but try to develop a ninja-like awareness of “the unoccupied” and be ready to pounce with a disarming opener at all times.


1. Do make a wishlist of the publishers you want to talk to and get their stand numbers in advance.

2. Do check the seminar listings for talks worth attending, but avoid software and “solutions” providers because they are often big sales pitches.

3. Do be brave and talk to people especially if they look like a Director or CEO, you might get lucky and impress the right person.

4. Do prepare introductions & openers in advance, for example…

“Hi my name is HELENA” – Seems obvious but they are unlikely to remember your name unless you communicate it verbally to them.

“I review children’s books on my blog, who does your children’s marketing? Can I take their email address?”

“Who heads up your children’s list in editorial? Can I take their contact details?” – You should note editorial are unlikely to be at , because it is…? That’s correct, an event for SELLING RIGHTS

“Do you have any internships? Who should I email? What advice could you give someone like me trying to get into the industry?”

5. Do take business cards and/or copies of your CV (ERROR FREE) to hand out.

6. Do take a packed lunch or exit to eat. £10 for a bottle of water and a sandwich is ridiculous (there’s a Tesco about 10mins walk if you know where you’re going).

7. Do visit Alice Ryan at The Bookseller stand and give her something to tweet about.

8. Do find out the hashtag and tweet about whilst you’re there.

9. Do wear something smart but BRIGHT. You want to stick out from the sea of gray suits, and remain memorable to the people you’ve spoken to.

10. Do bring comfortable shoes & lip balm as the concrete floors & book dust will, literally, try to suck the life out of you.


1. Don’t expect there to be anywhere to sit down and if you do see a vacant seat be prepared to fight for it.

2. Don’t take it to heart if some people are a bit unhelpful and curt, they are just busy doing their jobs.

3. Don’t waste your time trying to speak with people who are clearly too busy to talk to you, move on to the next on the list.

4. Don’t make yourself sick on freebie sweeties.

5. Don’t waltz through publishers’ stands like you would a bookshop, they are often considered semi-private spaces by their occupants.

6. Don’t ignore small & independent publishers, they work very hard to survive in the publishing industry and have wisdom, wit and savvy in spades. And you never know they might have jobs going as well.

7. Don’t walk off with books unless you are 100% certain they are free proof/review copies.

8. Don’t ask to purchase a book from a stand, it’s not a retail orientated book fair, you’ll look silly.

9. Don’t pass up an opportunity to do competitor analysis and collect ideas, intelligence for new product development projects.

10. Don’t leave London without heading to Lucky Voice in Soho for Karaoke.

Ok the last one isn’t LBF specific but always valid as a general rule of life.

Thanks to Helena for her great advice! Has anyone got any other tips?

Allison Higgins, MLitt in Publishing Studies, 2010

March 29th, 2010 by SCIPC | Posted in Student Profiles | Comments Off on Allison Higgins, MLitt in Publishing Studies, 2010

AllisonHI am an international student from America with an undergraduate degree in Communication Studies. Books have always been an important part of my life, so the decision to pursue a career in the field of publishing seemed quite natural. I chose the MLitt in Publishing Studies program at Stirling because of its wonderful reputation and a strong desire to gain a broader world view. The course is a terrific mix of UK and international students which creates a unique learning environment. The professors all have professional publishing experience and thus are well able to prepare us for what awaits after graduation. I am enjoying the structure and pace of the course and am finding the content extremely beneficial; particularly, learning how to operate publishing software. We frequently have guest speakers who come from many different areas of the publishing industry, such as bookstore owners, editors, and literary agents. So far, this program has lived up to my expectations and I am eager to see what more is to come.

Shanghai: City of Books

March 26th, 2010 by Claire_Squires | Posted in Blog | Comments Off on Shanghai: City of Books
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099Shanghai is known for its skyscrapers, the Bund and the financial district, its Art Deco buildings, some delicious food, and the forthcoming Expo 2010. But in a recent trip to the city, it became clear that Shanghai is also a City of Books.

On Fuzhou Road, the ‘book street’ of Shanghai (rather a different feel to London’s Charing Cross Road), shops include the Shanghai Ancient Bookstore, the Shanghai Foreign Language Bookstore (currently with a very enticing display of English-language books on Shanghai and China), and the piece-de-resistance, the multi-storey Shanghai City of Books, which was buzzing with readers and book-buyers at the end of the working day.

 112In-store promotions included book covers printed onto the escalator hand rail, something I’d never seen before, and which made me stop to look at the big pile of books it was promoting. I hope no-one noticed me going up and down the escalator several times to examine this point of sale. Never surprised by my capacity to acquire books in languages I can’t actually read, I amused myself by buying a copy of The Blue Lotus, the Tintin adventure set in China.

Intersection: Publishing 2010

March 22nd, 2010 by SCIPC | Posted in Blog | Comments Off on Intersection: Publishing 2010
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Intersection_medDr Padmini Ray Murray is co-organising an event called Intersection: Publishing 2010 on the 17th of April in London, on the eve of the London Book Fair. This event is unique in that it’s an ‘unconference’ which will bring together leaders and practitioners from the disciplines of publishing, journalism, and technology. Designed to be a day-long brainstorm, it will encourage open and honest debate about the future of content consumption, application and business models. At a time when both content producers and media owners are undergoing fundamental transformations – driven by consumers and technology – the event will be timely.

The ‘unconference’ format avoids formal Powerpoint presentations, instead offering informal discussions based in small groups, interspersed with brainstormed presentations and discussions. This more relaxed format will allow delegates from different disciplines to meet, network and to deeply understand and challenge each other’s views. The future of e-books (and readers) in the light of the imminent launch of iBooks; how publishers can use digital developments to their advantage; the role of DRM in e-bookselling; the Google Book Settlement and other digitisation initiatives such as the Open Content Alliance–are just some of the topics which will inspire and stimulate lively discussion and debate. The informal nature of the event means that participants are encouraged to register their interest at the website, and suggestions for topics to be discussed on the day can be listed here. The conversation will continue after the event over on Intersection: Publishing’s blog and on Twitter.

– Padmini Ray Murray

Penguin launches the Helen Fraser Publishing Fellowship

March 3rd, 2010 by prm | Posted in Blog | Comments Off on Penguin launches the Helen Fraser Publishing Fellowship
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From the Penguin Books website:

Penguin Books, the world’s best known publishing company, is delighted to launch a newly established diversity traineeship for 2010. The Fellowship has been founded to honour the work that Helen Fraser, recently retired Managing Director of Penguin Books, has done to address the issue of diversity within the company. The Fellowship aims to identify, encourage, and train editorial talent within Britain’s black and ethnic minority community.

Details on how to apply can be found here. Closing date for applications: 12th of March, 2010.