This was the first time that I have ever attended the London Book Fair. It is a three-day event, but I am not going back for the next two days anymore. I found out that the name London Book Fair is a misnomer. It should be named London Business Fair. This book fair is not for readers, it's for business people. It caters specifically for people who are in the "book profit" business. With emphasis on the "profit" bit. So if you are like me, just a reader, they don't really want you there. In fact some of the stands/booths were distinctly unfriendly. Take for example the Chapter 2000 stand (pic on the right). They didn't even want me to look at their display! WTF! So... did they display their wares so that people will not look at them?! It boggles the mind! Not everybody there are assholes though. Take the IndePENPRESS for example (pic on the top left). I approached their stand and their people greet you with a smile even though they got plenty of other people to play host to. That is a 5 out of 5 people skills. That is what I thought having a booth is for. You invite people to look at your wares and publicize your product. And the gentleman their talked about their company with a passion and like he knows what he is talking about. Gives one the impression that if you do business with them, you would be in capable hands. It gives a customer confidence in the reliability of the company.
The book fair is so big though and I did not have time to go around all of them. There were Australian, American, Russian and middle east publishers there that I never knew existed! And of course the big players were there too. Penguin, Harlequin, etc. So as a reader, there are some things that you could pick up, but rare and few. So if you are a reader, the London Book Fair is not for you. If you are an author or a publisher, you might want to attend this event.