On Friday the 28th of February I took the long, grey, and drizzly journey to Covent Garden in London. After falling on top of a man on the tube (he didn’t seen to mind) I arrived at the hospital club, poised and ready to learn.
Who did I feel the fair was aimed at?
LAF was pitched as being aimed at every author. I would say that the primary focus was new authors. Manuscript ink still wet and no idea what to do with it. That isn’t to say that the majority of attending authors fell into that category. The people I met seemed to be in the same situation as myself. A book or books already out there. They were mostly self-published as well.
Luckily, I only went to meet people and get marketing ideas. If you’re a new author and didn’t attend you almost certainly missed out on your chance to pitch to a literary agent as well garner lots of information about other routes.
I went to meet other people, network and basically have a weekend off from endless streams of washing, ironing and housework. Shush, don’t tell my husband.
That isn’t to say that I didn’t learn anything though!
What did I learn?
I learnt that there are some lovely and talented people in this industry. I was pleasantly greeted first thing in the morning by a long time Facebook follower and author, James Minter. It’s great to meet the people you interact with on-line in real life. Well….some of them anyway. I’m happy to say he was one of them.
I learnt about a completely alien concept to me. Crowd funding. The lovely ladies at Pubslush pitched the idea to a small group at a workshop. They talked about their company and the success stories they’ve had and relevant ideas. I’m pleased to say my campaign is set up and live. Please take a look at my rewards, there’s something for everyone.
There were things I didn’t learn from, but I had fun anyway. Like attending a workshop about social media. For one, I got to watch the very handsome and gifted Ben Galley talking about tweeting as I tweeted, whilst standing next to someone tweeting.
Did I get my say?
Absolutely. I got my chance to express my annoyance towards the shipping costs for UK authors purchasing copies of there own books. I was assured that Amazon had received much of the same feedback all day.
Apparently they are looking into it.
The author sitting next to me, the very lovely Luke Talbot also expressed his annoyance that US authors can gift copies of their book whist UK authors remain powerless to gift specific titles. I agreed wholeheartedly due to the fact it leaves us open to piracy.
How did it all end?
The day was rounded off with a panel including literary agents, founders of self-publishing platforms, independent author Polly Courtney, and traditionally published author Adele Parks.
They came up with some worrying comments, well worrying for me anyway. They agreed that the ratio of writers will be the same as the amount of readers. This inspired a comment from Adele that the reader will go back to traditionally published books due to the lack of quality in the indie book world.
If I’m honest I took offence to that. There are authors out there, such as myself who realise the importance having full structural edits and great cover design. I was glad that Polly also seemed to take offence. She pointed out that whilst, of course, there is some crap out there by way of independent authors, there are also some amazing books and writers.
The After Party.
Possibly the best part of the day. Pubslush provided my lovely and much needed wine following the day’s events.
Luke Talbot and James Minter asked me to dinner, for want of a better offer, I accepted. (Just kidding guy’s it was a pleasure, except when you took pictures of yourselves with my phone…I trusted you.)
We had some great chats with Polly Courtney and Ben Galley (did I mention he is easy on the eye?)
More lessons learnt…
I have to admit I caused a marital dispute for a work colleague of mine that one -hundred per cent believed that her colleague would never dupe her.
I posted a picture on my FB page with Luke Talbot and a Russian author called Grigory Ryzhakov. He has an uncanny resemblance to the actor that plays spider man. I can vouch he’s a great guy! But sorry folks, the guy in the picture is not Tobey Maguire.
Contact the people I’ve spoken about: