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Pauline Rowson looks back at her visits to the London Book Fair

Pauline RowsonI was trying to recall how many times I have visited the London Book Fair and have to admit that I can't. I do however remember that the first time I visited  the London Book Fair was in 1998. It's hard for me to believe it was that long ago.  My first impressions were that it was like no other exhibition I had ever attended and that impression remains, although I have witnessed the changes over the years.

In 1998 I was running my own Marketing and PR Agency and had branched into writing a series of marketing, sales and assertiveness books (published by Crimson and Matrix Media) so I thought the London Book Fair would be a good place to eye up the competition and find new contacts.  What struck me was that whereas in every other exhibition  I have attended people on the stands try to sell me something, at the London Book Fair no one wanted to sell me anything! In fact nobody even wanted to speak to me. I have since learnt over the years that the London Book Fair,  like the much larger Frankfurt Book Fair, which I have also attended, is a place where you meet up by prior arrangement with your contacts from around the World. You go there with appointments already made.

Pauline Rowson at the London Book Fair I thought this year's book fair less vibrant than in previous years, with the exception of when the ash cloud from the volcano in Iceland prevented  the overseas visitors flying in, but there was still nevertheless a sizebale crowd there on Monday.

So what are the changes?  Well for a start the digital arena didn't exist in 1998 and neither did the stands dedicated to self publishing and e books. There weren't as many seminars as there are now, across a whole range of subjects of interest not only to the publishers and agents but also to authors both published and self published. And in the past whereas authors were positively frowned upon or ignored they are now welcomed.  

Pauline Rowson with her Publisher Severn House at the London Book Fair 2013I enjoy visiting the London Book Fair. I have made some great friends there and it's nice to meet up with my publishers, including the great team at Severn House, the publisher of my DI Andy Horton crime novels and to catch up with my overseas literary agents.

Undercurrent - DI Andy Horton
Undercurrent is the ninth in the DI Andy Horton crime series published by Severn House in the UK, Commonwealth and the USA. Available in hardcover and as an ebook in all formats including Kindle, Kobo and Nook.

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APRIL 17TH, 2013 @ 8:12:28 BST

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