Tag Archives: London

London Book Fair 2012

By Vix Southgate

This is my 4th visit to the London Book Fair and (with the exception of the year of the ash cloud, which worked in my favour as it meant the heads of companies were free because their clients were unable to fly in) this year has been the best in terms of meetings, networking and general uplifting conversation.
Everyone has been so positive. The shift into digital seems to be a less painful process for a lot of publishers and agents, and the emerging companies, as a result of the embrace of digital formats, has made this a very innovative and encouraging experience.

Now is an exciting time to be in the publishing industry and the next year will be crucial to deciding the most successful directions for the industry as a whole.

It has been an epic 4 days at London’s Earl’s Court exhibition centre.
My Book Fair began with the Introduction to Rights Workshop on Sunday 15th. I was torn between this and the digital conference at the QEII conference centre but I think I made the right choice for superb value for money and with twitterers tweeting from the digi conference, I was able to follow the sessions there too!
The rights workshop was a very informative session and one that I would highly recommend for anyone going to the London Book Fair to attend. I found that it gave me a better understanding of how to better use my time, as I had in insight into the purpose of the fair.

The next 3 days were full on with meetings, general ambling and stopping by and talking to as many people that I could, as well as reconnecting with everyone I have met over the past 4 years.

The highlights of my show were the unexpected invites to various events, which were through contacts and networking over the previous 3 years. I found that 2 hours with a drink in my hand, one evening, was probably more productive than many of the meetings at the fair itself! BUT I would not have had that opportunity if I hadn’t been talking and networking at the fair!

I cannot emphasise more, how important networking is!

The VixenUK business model has been confirmed as an asset to the industry and now I just need you to join me in my quest to develop a community for the publishing industry.

For more information on how you can do this:

Follow me on twitter @VixenBooksUK (business account) or @Victrix75.

Flickr group: VixenUK

Facebook page: VixenUK

And of course, you can subscribe to this blog, which will be updated more often as the excitement builds!

I look forward to connecting with you.

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Filed under children, General publishing, Uncategorized

The Fun of the Fairs…

…Book fairs that is! 🙂 It’s that time of the year again, every publisher is gearing up for two major book fairs. Bologna and London.

I recall going to my first book fair. I was so very green. A new writer and illustrator, fresh faced, confident and hungry to get published. I had been preparing for this day for months. Trawling through the Writers and Artists Yearbook to familiarise myself with the companies and potential contact names. Fighting with the online booking system to try to make appointments (and failing). I had left it all a bit too late. So many companies had booked their time with their clients months in advance. There was no hope for me to get even a few minutes of their time, but I had registered and paid my entrance fee, I was going anyway!

I prepared all my work for presenting to potential publishers, packed my bags, traveled to the fair, logged in, a very nice gent scanned me into the building, I checked my surplus into the cloakroom and then stopped.

I was there! A joy, an anticipation filled me… Then I thought… What now?

I found myself becoming overwhelmed by the sheer size of the place. The endless aisles, crammed with stand after stand.It doesn’t matter how much preparation you do, it never seems enough! I had no idea what to do next. So I stood and watched what everyone else was doing. Everyone seemed to have a purpose, they seemed to know where they were going and I realised that very few people were alone, as I was.  I must have looked daft as I stood there motionless. My mind reeling with advice for myself. ‘take a deep breath’ ‘let’s find the children’s publishers’ ‘don’t panic!’

That last one was the one that brought me out of my stupor, then I took a deep breath and went to find a map and an adviser to help me understand how to best use my time and where would be good to go first. The map was doable, but the adviser was not. So I took my first step…The hall was immense, so many aisles with stands of differing sizes, each one full of people. Some in meetings, some browsing the bookshelves, but all of them busy and with purpose.

I wandered around for the first hour, I found the stands of the companies I had researched. I even managed to talk to a receptionist on one and got a contact name. This is it, I thought, this is what I am here to do. Get names, meet people, talk talk talk!

And that is exactly what I did. My first fair didn’t get me the big publishing deal I was hoping for, instead it started me on an even more exciting  journey -not that I realised it at the time- I started my journey of discovery, discovering the highs and lows of publishing and the imminent changes that faced the industry as a whole. I started to learn the inner workings of the industry machine and I realised I could provide support for the huge machine and help to maintain its efficiency in the future.

My advice if you are attending a book fair for the first time:

Prepare prepare prepare, but be flexible once there!

Know why you are going and set yourself goals for each day you attend. Start small and build up but most of all – talk to as many people as you possibly can.

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LAST DAY!! Gagarin Exhibition at Pushkin House

A very good friend of mine, Oleg Tyrkin has got a fantastic exhibition of his “Gagarin” works of digital art on canvas at Pushkin House in Bloomsbury, London.

‘Fourteen digital works on canvas shown in the exhibition “Gagarin” are on display at the Pushkin House in London, 5a Bloomsbury Square.

Oleg Tyrkin is a renowned contemporary Russian Artist. He was born in Vladimir, Central Russia, in 1965. He primarily trained as a military helicopter pilot. His art work has been shown at the Moscow Museum of Modern Art, the Russian Museum in St. Petersburg, The Science Museum in London, the Moscow Biennale of Contemporary art, and many other internationally acclaimed venues and projects.

In this project, Yuri Gagarin is viewed as a phenomenon in the making of history of the relations between the UK and the Soviet Union. The exhibition explores juxtapositions of national interests and eternity, communism and freedom, science and propaganda, simplicity and sophistication.

Earlier this year works by Oleg Tyrkin dedicated to Yuri Gagarin were shown at the Science Museum in London, as part of The UK-Russia Year of Space 2011.’

For more information please see: http://www.pushkinhouse.org/en/events/gagarin

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Filed under Gagarin, Space Exploration, Uncategorized