My busy book week started on Tuesday at the London Book Fair where I bumped into lots of author friends and attended several organised talks at Author Central and the Tech HQ. While I had a fun day, overall I was disappointed with LBF2015 and didn't bother going back for the other days. The progress made recently on being more author-friendly was reversed this year - doubtless reflecting the new regime organising it. A lot of the presentations were quite basic and made me realise that the independent publishing community has made greater strides in many respects and has a better understanding of some of the issues than the traditional sector.
I was interviewed there by journalist Nick Rippington and his piece was in the Sunday Express online today. I made the point that: "Some of the LBF stuff can be very patronising to indies and, in many respects, I think the best of the indies know a hell of a lot more now about publishing than some of the trad sector - especially understanding digital. The traditional publishers were late and reluctant to the party and many still view things through their old world lens.”
My impressions were comfirmed on Friday when, before the Indie Author Fair, about 150 of us met at Foyles for the Indie Author Fringe Festival organised by the Alliance of Independent Authors (ALLi) and IndieReCon - a day of engaging, informative and inspiring presentations and lively panel discussions which were live-streamed across the world as part of the 3-day Indie ReCon event. With first class speakers, including several multi-million book, New York Times best-seller listed authors, we were treated to some fascinating insights on a wide range of topics and the place was buzzing all day. A packed programme included ALLi's Debbie Young announcing the new initiative Authors4Bookstores - a programme for independent authors to support independent bookstores, an impassioned defence of literary fiction from Rohan Quine and (in verse) from Dan Holloway and tons more. I was tweeting soundbites all day.
Most important take out from the week is what an amazing and supportive bunch Indie authors are - super friendly, helpful and good fun!