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London calling

The London Book Fair has opened its door to writers in recent years. Simon Whaley considers the business case for going.

The London Book Fair is the trade show for publishers, agents and booksellers. Now in its 47th year, anyone in the book business anywhere around the world finds themselves heading for London in April. During the three-day event at London’s Olympia, held this year between 10 and 12 April, over 25,000 people connected with the publishing industry will pass through its doors. The question is: should you be going? Is there a business case for writers making the trip?

Until relatively recently the answer was not really, unless you were a big-brand author and your agent wanted you there to sweet-talk new, prospective publishers. Historically, the fair targeted trade professionals – publishers, agents, booksellers, book packagers, and even those connected with the television and film industry. It was, and still is, an opportunity for the publishing businesses to show off their latest wares, and it’s also a key time for agents and publishers to agree contracts and sign new deals.

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BUMPER ISSUE including your 2018 Competition Supplement with details of writing prizes worth over £450,000 Inside, read our writer's survival guide to discover how to beat writer's block, learn what you need to do to make your writing dreams come true, and how to make the most of London Book Fair. Discover what made Michael Bond's beloved bear Paddington such a popular character, and keep up to date with all the opportunities to get published in Writers' News. If you want to know how to take readers on an rollercoaster ride, read our star interview with Dorothy Koomson, the bestselling author of unputdownable emotional thrillers.

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