Our day one roundup

Joining the queue on this sunny spring day, it was clear that The London Book is as popular ever. This is the place to be, whether you’re an author, publisher, editor, PR exec, or tech provider like ourselves. The rush was on to get into the Grand Hall from first thing in the morning, with delegates keen to meet and mingle with the major players in the book business. Here’s our quick roundup of some bits and bobs from day one.

Meeting Global Demand for Vocational Education With Digital Content

First up, we saw Helen’s presentation on behalf of Global Vocational Skills. She talked about how learners are now immersed in a digital world, and are expecting to experience the same in the classroom. There’s a new learner in the world, and publishers must accommodate their needs to survive and thrive. Helen talked about ‘blended learning’, including virtual workshops, engaging apps, and more. This is the new education, for academic and vocational courses alike.

Jeffrey Archer Talks

And he talks well, that’s for sure. Ever confident and self-assured, Baron Archer of Weston-Super-Mare spoke in detail about his life as an author, and was particularly keen to separate the world of a writer with that of a storyteller. According to his own view, he is a storyteller. His book sales would suggest that he’s a good one, having shifted around 330 million books worldwide. His anecdotes were entertaining and his interaction with questions at the end was a good watch, but it was all a bit self-indulgent if we’re honest.

Industry spotlight: independent publishing – Is the future hybrid?

After a quick chat with Matthew Smith of Urbane Publications (featured in our Publishing Focus series) we also bumped into Justine Solomons, who had enjoyed a glass of champagne before chairing a panel debate over at Author HQ. Not to be distracted by the lure of more bubbly, she went on to facilitate some brilliant discussions about the route to being published. Also on the stage was Diana Morgan-Hill, Stephanie Zia, Jodi Taylor, and Hazel Cushion – all of whom highlighted that the path to publication is rocky, and you never quite know how a break will come. Top tips included separating oneself from the book to become a better objective businessperson, setting up social profiles before works are published, and using Facebook ads as a cost-effective way of promoting books.

Making Books Trend: From the news headlines to the Twittersphere, how can books set the agenda?

Our Digital Media Coordinator Rosie Adds attended this after-lunch discussion in the Olympia Room, which was chaired by Cathy Rentzenbrink. She welcomed Alan Staton, Nikesh Shukla, Charlotte Bush, Emma Finnigan, and Daniel Dalton to a packed-out room. A favourite quote from Buzzfeed’s Daniel Dalton was “books don’t go viral, stories do.” Panellists talked about how to take books beyond the traditional established platforms, utilising social media and other channels to reach the next level.
Bring on tomorrow, when we’ll be joined by Ribbonfish Managing Director Marc Defosse. We’ll also be hitting the after-show party hosted by Fahrenheit Press, but there’s lots of mingling to do first.
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