Last week I visited London Book Fair and helped running the Russian stand called ReadRussia. This year Moscow was a guest city at the fair, and a big part of the exhibition at the stand were books about Moscow.
There was a strong interest amongst visitors in the Russian illustrated and children book industry. International publishers were asking for contact details of their Russian colleagues. Some wanted to distribute Russian books outside Russia (like Ingram), others wanted to get their books translated and published in Russia. With the population size of UK and Germany put together Russia is a lucrative book market. While in the UK the market share of international (non-US and non-UK) books is tiny, in Russia it is about half of the market, yeah, it is nothing to sneeze at.
I was lucky to present my new novel Made in Bionia at the stand and I have even met my lovely editor Stephanie for the first time in person.
My time at the ReadRussia stand was well spent: several publishers, including Mongolian and Chinese, expressed their interests in my books. I have a pocket-full of business cards and am now busy following things up. Bear with me.
The greatest highlight of the stand this year was a huge number of Russian books coming out in English translation, thanks to the Institute of Translation for its enormous support of writers and translators and the publishing house Glagoslav.
Several Russian writers arrived at the fair to present their books. I was honoured to interpret the interview of Pavel Basinsky with Viv Groskop on his new book Leo Tolstoy. Flight from Paradise at the PEN literary salon, which was based next to the Russian stand.
If you are one of the visitors whom I met and I somehow forgot to follow up your request, please remind me about that. I’m still a little overwhelmed with the possibilities at the fair. Too little time to deal with all that.
Aside from ReadRussia, I have attended talks at the AuthorHQ pavilion where tradpub and indie authors gathered to get filled in on the zeitgeist of the publishing industry.
There I have met indie author-celebrities who were very generous to share their methods of publishing and marketing. With so much knowledge and passion they’ve shown I can understand why they are so successful.
Yet again I was likened to a comic superhero alter ego. I must practice wall-climbing from now on.
— Polly Courtney (@PollyCourtney) April 9, 2014
Amazon KDP kindly sponsored the
annual piss-up author networking event at the King’s Head pub, where Orna Ross and other authors celebrated ALLI’s second birthday by reading excerpts from their books. I didn’t know Orna wrote such brilliant poems.
So, London Book Fair was a smashing success for me. I have launched my satirical techno-thriller, Made In Bionia, and now you can get it on Amazon both in print and digital. Please spread the word about it: even if you are not a fan of this genre, your friends could well be.