Back in April I spent 2 days in London with the lovely Kirsty (from The Overflowing Library) so that we could visit The London Book Fair. When Kirsty first mentioned the idea of going I was put off by the ticket prices but we both managed to get free press passes (How cool is that! I would never in a million years of thought that they would give those out to bloggers!) so I couldn't resist going. Kirsty had got us invites to a couple of publisher events so we decided to stay overnight in a hotel and go to the Book Fair on two days. I've never actually stayed in London before so it was quite a fun experience.
Kirsty & I met up at about lunch time on the Monday and made our way straight to Earls Court to have a look around the stands. I have to admit I was quite intimidated when I saw the number of people and the number of different publishers who were there - I've never been anywhere like it! I didn't think to take pictures as we were walking around but this one shows from the LBF website shows just part of the conference, it really was massive.
We decided to just make our way up and down the aisles and stop whenever we saw a publisher we wanted to chat to but we still ended up getting confused and I'm sure we missed some. It was great to see all of the different displays though and we got to introduce ourselves to quite a few publishers, it was a shame we didn't spot any of the publicists we already knew though.
That afternoon we had been invited by Usborne to the launch of The Truth About Celia Frost by debut author Paula Rawsthorne. The book doesn't come out in the UK until July but it sounds amazing and I was very excited that we were able to get our hands on a proof copy. We got to meet Paula and she was absolutely lovely, she spent time chatting to us all and we were able to get our books signed. It was really great to meet her and the staff from Usborne who I've chatted to on Twitter for ages. We also go to meet Casey from Dark Readers - it's always lovely to meet another blogger.
Here are some of the pictures I took at the event:
After the Usborne event Kirsty and I were both feeling quite tired so we decided to head back to our hotel and rest. We did manage to sneak in a trip to Foyles on the way though (how could we resist!). The hotel was a Travelodge so it was quite basic (& cheap which was why we booked it!) but our room was nice enough and they had food so we didn't need to go back out again (my feet were ready to fall off by that point - I had not picked the most sensible shoes to wear lol). It was great to spend the evening chatting and we were both quite excited about the few books we'd managed to pick up. I was given copies of Revolution by Jennifer Donnelly thanks to Bloomsbury, Dreaming Anastasia by Joy Preble from Sourcebooks and of course The Truth about Celia Frost by Paula Rawsthorne from Usborne.
The following morning we were up nice and early ready to head back to LBF. We had been invited to meet up with Non and Pip from Catnip & Bounce publishers and were joined there by Becky (The Bookette) and Essjay (My Favourite Books). Non had brought some lovely homemade cakes for us to nibble on along with a flask of tea, the second picture in the slide show below shows the look on her face when she first tasted the tea - I think you can tell she wasn't impressed but I actually thought it was quite nice!
Non and Pip were both very excited to tell us about a couple of their new releases debut Clash by Colin Mulhern and The Deeping Secrets by Victor Watson. They both sound fantastic and we were very lucky to be given copies, I'm looking forward to reading them. We chatted a bit about possible upcoming trends in YA fiction. I still love anything paranormal - I don't think I'll ever get bored of that lol but Becky had some great ideas for crime fiction books that she would like to see. It's hard to guess what trends will come next but it will be interesting to see what happens. We were given some super exciting news but at the moment it is still top secret so I'm afraid I can't say any more yet. It was lovely chatting to everyone and while we were there we spotted Phillip Pullman at a nearby table - very exciting but unfortunately I wasn't brave enough to go over and say hi.
Kirsty and I had to head home after the event with Catnip so we didn't miss our trains home but we had a fantastic couple of days & I'd like to say a massive thanks to everyone at Usborne and Catnip for a great couple of events. Thanks also to Kirsty because I wouldn't have even thought about going to LBF if she hadn't suggested it!
Who was there:
Amy, Sally & Rebecca - Usborne
Paula Rawsthorne - website
Becky - The Bookette
Casey - Dark Readers
Essjay - My Favourite Books
Kirsty - The Overflowing Library