Tag Archives: London Book Fair

Publishing metaphors

The Bookseller alongside its FutureBook blog recently posted about the Digital Minds conference which took place earlier today, starting this year’s London Book Fair.

Philip Jones reported that numerous metaphors were used to describe the current status of the publishing industry during the conference with the digital transformation of the industry being compared to climate change. Pan Macmillan’s digital director, Sara Lloyd, stated that while digital will pose a threat to certain parts of the business, others will survive and thrive.

I think my favourite was Neil Gaiman voicing that people within the book business need to be like dandelions, ‘spreading seeds and accepting that some will fall on stony ground’. He further reiterated that publishers need to try everything and accept that some things will fail and ‘fail better’. Keeping an open mind in this day and age is key and Gaiman stated that for the ‘dinosaurs’ in the industry, digital could end up making them extinct if they don’t adapt to survive. One of the positives that Gaiman highlighted was the fact that whatever was made would most likely be right, as publishers can make or break rules which are yet to be thought of.

Will Atkinson added that the digital age had slowed down in recent months stating ‘we are in the changing rooms at half time’. The recent articles in The Bookseller reporting the vast rise in print sales, shows that indeed the digital age is slowing down. I feel that the hype of Amazon’s Kindle Fire HD release at Christmas has died down somewhat. Whilst digital is still very active, I do not feel that ebooks are mentioned as much as they were a few months ago. I feel that it has reached a stage in its growth where most publishers have acknowledged what is happening in the industry and are adapting accordingly. Sara Lloyd also observed that particularly for self-publishers, they have adapted to the changes, and also voiced three Rs: Recognition of change in the industry, respect for one another and recycling of skills/resources as the world evolved. Certainly I believe that publishers have more respect for one another as they are ‘all in the same boat’. There has been an influx of mergers over the past few months as many publishers/other related companies are joining forces to get through this ‘climate change’ in order to stay afloat.

I also feel that publishing houses across the Trade and Academic sphere have definitely recognised that they need to change. In addition, booksellers have also embraced the change, with obvious examples of Amazon’s Kindle creation and the fact that Waterstones are also selling its competitors’ devices in their stores.

The publishing sector is definitely an interesting place to be at the moment. Who knows what else 2013 could bring…

Mixed Metaphors – FutureBook, digital blog from The Bookseller

Digital Minds: Industry must try more, fail betterThe Bookseller

Non-fiction predicted to rule at London Book Fair 2013

The publishing world is anticipating one of the industry’s biggest annual events: The London Book Fair 2013 which will be taking place next week…


The LBF is known for the place in which to ‘scout out’ the competition and to predict what is going to be the next big bestseller. Last year (2012) saw publishers try finding the ‘undiscovered’ as companies left, right and centre were focusing on self-published authors. With the massive success of E L James’s Fifty Shades of Grey – an author who had only come to be through writing fan fiction – publishers were trying to find the new E L James.

This year, however, is predicted to be the year for ‘non-fiction projects with an international reach‘. Karolina Sutton, an agent at Curtis Brown, has said that books with the ‘broad’ appeal are on every publisher’s list this year with the ‘booming Asian and Brazilian markets’ being the ones to watch. According to¬†The Bookseller‘s article, LBF has reported that 586 tables in the International Rights Centre have been sold with 27 countries being represented.

As someone who will be attending the LBF for the first time, it will be extremely interesting to see the workings behind the predictions…