I’m currently busy with my minor Books and More and together my fellow students, I got the opportunity to attend the London Book Fair. Our lecturers had arranged a couple of appointments with professionals from the publishing field for us students and an individual appointment for each of us.
When we arrived at the fair – around 9.00 in the morning – we had an appointment with a German woman who was in the printing business. She told us about her work and showed us examples of covers she’d created. (There were some awesome covers: glow in the dark, cold foil and covers with odors as well) She was very enthusiastic and we became enthusiastic as well. We spent the entire appointment touching and sniffing book covers and laughing at her antics and jokes.
After that we were let loose for a while, to explore the stands on our own for a while. China was in the spotlights this year and I picked up an awesome brochure for books which was made with Japanese binding.
Then we returned to our ‘spot’ and had an appointment with a scout. She told us about the things she does and how busy she is when everyone in the publishing field is preparing for the London Book Fair. She was a really kind lady and she had brought along two other scouts working for her company, who were close to us in age. They said the best part of the job was that their opinion was highly appreciated and respected.
We were again let loose and wandered the fair even more. Around half past two, I had an individual appointment in the agent center (which you can’t enter if you’re not in the business, so I give props to our lecturers) with a Dutch publisher who took me to her meeting with a Swedish publisher. They were looking through the Swedish brochure and talking about the books and the writers. They asked me for my opinions some times and I concentrated on following the conversation while taking notes. The Swedish woman gave me her card. At the end of the meeting, the Dutch publisher – of Querido – asked me if I had done an internship yet and offered to send me the finished (Dutch translated) book which they’d been talking about for a while. I kindly accepted her offer and she gave me her email address.
I went back to the other students afterwards. Two of my friends and I were planning to attend a lecture on book design but it was full already, so we went outside for a bit to get some fresh air. When we went back in, we took a picture with some pirates and got the business card of a woman who self-published her own books.
At the end of the fair, we got some cake and went to dinner at an Italian restaurant with the entire group. It was a fun day and a fun evening. But it was very intimidating at the same time, to be in a place with that many professionals. I learned a lot that day.