Is The London Book Fair for Indies?

In the back of my mind I’ve been looking to go to a book fair in 2019 and I saw a KDP advert for the London Book Fair in March. It got me thinking about whether an event of that scale, probably one of the largest in the UK, would have anything to offer the likes of a lowly Indie Author like me. So I put some feelers out and did a bit of research and here’s what I came up with.

March 2019

The event starts on 12th March 2019 and runs for three days at Olympia, which is about an hour on public transport for me. The tickets, which give you access to the fair for the three days, are currently priced at £45, which includes and early bird discount. On the door they are £55.

Who attends?

According to their website, the Fair welcomes over 25,000 attendees who can be anyone who is involved with the creation, distribution, sale or treatment of content. This includes authors, talent scouts, editors and designers.

What’s on Offer

Exhibition

There are three halls arranged by sector, with most of the stands taken by publishing houses of all sizes, from the big guys like F&F and PRH, through to some smaller presses.

Writer’s Block

An area dedicated to the author services companies aimed at taking your manuscript to the next level.

Author HQ

As the name suggests, this is the home for writers at the show. There are agent one-to-ones, a Dragon’s Den style panel and a comprehensive seminar programme. The programme for this year’s show has yet to be released but looking at last year’s programme it ranges across such a wide line up of subjects aimed at the author, from publishing with KDP, to talks from headline authors, audiobooks, PR, marketing and finding an agent.

Other Stuff

There’s an award for book bloggers, bookstagrammers (it’s the first time I’ve heard of one of those!) and booktubers, plus much more I just haven’t seen yet.

What other people say?

In my attempt to find out if it was worth an Indie attending, I contacted a few people I’ve interviewed in the past to get their opinion. At time of going to print I’ve only hear back from Adam Croft, but as one of the most successful indie authors, his opinion matters. In reply to my question, what’s in it for indies? he said:

Everything, especially at Author HQ. You can’t go wrong for the money. Other festivals and conferences charge 20x the cost and give back less.

Adam Croft, via Twitter

Mind Made Up

Adam’s words made up my mind and I’ve purchased a ticket and booked the three days off work. I’ll go on the first day and see if I think it worth returning for the following days.

My main objectives will be:

  1. Network with others at the event with the aim of getting prospects for more interviews and blog posts. I’ll get some special blogging business cards produced.
  2. Soak up as much information as I can from the seminars.
  3. Find some new ways to promote my own work and maybe see if anyone is interested in what I’ve written. However I feel a Fair saturated with authors would be the worst place for anyone to pick up sales as every other person will be trying to sell their own writing.

I’ll be going on my own, as I don’t know anyone who would be interested in accompanying me, plus it will force me to talk to other people, which is much less likely if I take along a friend.

What do you think?

Have you been to the LBF? Are you going this year? Or if you have any other opinion please let me know in the comments.

GJ Stevens

I am a Writer. I am many other things too, but I love to write. On 30th November 2018 I released my debut novel, In The End, a compelling apocalyptic thriller that will leave you breathless, immersing you in a fight for survival. Available to buy now from Amazon and receiving rave reviews!

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