We spent the first half of our week in London for the London Book Fair! The main industry event for publishing in Britain, the three-day fair always proves very educational, entertaining, and productive!
Luath Press share a stand at the fair with a number of other Publishing Scotland members. As always, the stand looked great and was fantastically organised, so our thanks go to the team at Publishing Scotland for organising it all!
The fair is a hive of activity. Last year over 25,000 people visited the event, with over 1,500 exhibiting companies. It felt every bit as packed this year as it did last year. And the sandwiches were as expensive too.
In addition to the many meetings attended, I was also able to break free for a bit to make it along to some really interesting seminars, where I learnt a little about things as wide-ranging as search engine optimisation, online community building, how social media is affecting book marketing, and copyright and piracy. As you can probably tell, I am a bit of a computer geek… There were loads more workshops and seminars available, but I just didn’t have time to do it all!
Having attended the fair last year, it was interesting to compare the mood of the wider publishing industry. This is especially true when you consider digital publishing. Last year it felt almost frantic, where people just didn’t know what the future looked like for the book. There was confusion about marketing, social media, eBooks and their formats, metadata, and how the industry could survive in a digital age. This year the general mood was one of confidence, and acceptance of digital publishing. Yes, there was still a bit of confusion, and nobody knows what the future actually holds – but the industry has grown to accept digital as a thing that is happening, and something that they can only work through by experimenting and being innovative. And that has to be a much more healthy position.
I particularly liked the new Books are My Bag campaign launched by M&C Saatchi, in conjunction with the Booksellers Association, Publishers Association and The Society of Authors. The campaign has received significant support from a number of publishers and booksellers, and is an unprecedented cross-trade promotion of books and bookshops. The campaign claims to be the biggest ever promotional campaign for bookshops, and I am looking forward to seeing it in action when it launches to consumers in September. I’m also really disappointed I didn’t arrive in London early enough on Monday to nab myself one of the bags…
Although I can’t go into much detail yet, there were also a number of exciting developments for Luath Press as a result of the fair. So expect to hear some more news soon.
Overall, the fair was enlightening as always – and I think one really important message that can be taken away from it, was summed up by this poster at the Springer stand. The book will never die.