I was at the London Book Fair 2019 as a Rebellion editor last week, and I’ve just about recovered…
David, Michael and I went as a free-range gang (although not corn-fed, as Ed Wilson joked) and essentially had back-to-back meetings for the three days; I think we had five official breaks in the whole time! It was hard and my feet hurt and I seriously hate people; the decision to put a bunch of people who have meetings in with a bunch of people who are Only Looking and then make the walkways narrow was not a great one, although not something that could really be avoided.
However, it was also really exciting; there were loads of good stalls and people, and apparently some really interesting events (although I missed them all!) It was so good to meet people that I’d either heard of or only briefly corresponded with, and also meet so many new faces. There are so many lovely agents, all of whom were really interested in what we do, and all of whom want to send us books! Yes, I know that’s their job, but still. They were all very enthusiastic.
The downside is that there were so many interesting-sounding manuscripts that we said “Ooh! Send it over!” to that I am probably going to be spending the next two months reading…
Things I learned:
- Genre matters. It might be the best sci-fi book ever but if I’ve got enough sci-fi on my list at the moment, it’s not likely to make it to my pile…
- Your agent uses your elevator pitch too!
- It’s very interesting to see how many people dismiss the Junior Editor, and how many took the time to talk to me; it definitely made a difference.
- Being a speed-reader is both a blessing and a curse when it comes to manuscript piles!
- I have the best colleagues, who are all ridiculously supportive. It’s wonderful.
I have spent this weekend recovering (aka. sitting on the sofa playing Civ in between formatting jobs – the work never stops around here…) and now have a busy week that possibly involves reading manuscripts. I have the best job!