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London Book Fair 2024: A Roundup

This year London Book Fair felt bigger and better (and busier!) than ever.

Tuesday 12 March

With the first day of the three-day fair including beginning with a Welcome Address from journalist and Royal Television Society Midlands awards nominee, Geeta Pendse, and a opening keynote address from President and Chief Executive Officer at Simon Schuster, Jonathan Karp.

There were also seminar panels and discussions on AI & Copyright featuring Claire Harper from Sage, Sarah Fricker from IOP Publishing and Christopher Kenneally from Copyright Clearance Center and Preparing for Publication featuring Jasmine Richards from Storymix, Vicky Palmer from Hodder and Stoughton, Ken Wilson-Max from HarperCollins and Hannah McMillan from Midas.

The Author of the Day, Taylor Jenkins Reid garnered a very long queue as fans lined-up to meet her and the sustainability hub of the fair was opened as speakers shared thoughts and initiatives. Jaclyn Swope, Senior Account Manager at Nielsen BookData, provided an insightful talk of the local and global factors driving varied book markets in 2023, through the combined data of Nielsen BookScan and GfK.

2024 BookBrunch Selfie Awards

The 2024 BookBrunch Selfie Awards winners were also announced with Julia Boggio, taking home Best Adult Fiction for Shooters, Jill Michelle Smith and Jennifer Watson taking Best Children’s Book for Extraordinary Extinct Prehistoric Minibeasts: A First Guide to Fossils, and J F Penn winning Best Memoir/Autobiography for Pilgrimage: Lessons Learned from Solo Walking.

Wednesday 13 March

Dr Julie Smith opened with a keynote chaired by journalist and mental health author, Kat Brown, which dove into the state of mental health for authors, as well as Dr Julie’s meteoric rise on TikTok. Later, Stephen Bartlett, held a special in-conversation event with Joel Rickett, Managing Director of Ebury. He outlined the unique opportunity that the industry faces right now to innovate and harness potential, sharing tips on how to make a book accessible and engaging for all audiences.

Meanwhile, the Illustrator of the Fair, Flavia Z Drago held a spark-provoking in-conversation with Mathew Tobin, Senior Lecturer in Primary English and Children’s Literature, Oxford Brookes

Michele Cobb, Executive Director, Audio Publishers Association, Amanda D’Acierno, President & Publisher, PRH Audio Publishing Group, Aurelie de Troyer, SVP, Head of UK & Europe, Content at Audible, and more delved into the rise of audio content consumption and the impact of AI alongside global trends.

The Trailblazer Awards

These awards recognise some of the most exciting talent within their first ten years in the book industry and named the following people as this years' winners.

  • Cassie Rocks, Marketing Manager, HarperCollins & Co-director, The FLIP (Female Leadership in Publishing)

  • Humairaa Dudhwala, Assistant Editor, Manchester University Press

  • Molly Powell, Publishing Director, Hodderscape

  • Niamh Anderson, Senior Publicity Manager, Little Brown Book Group

  • Renae Prince, Online Manager, Fane

  • Rory Codd, Press Officer at Farshore, HarperCollins Publishers

Thursday 14 March

On the third and final day of the fair, English PEN sponsored a panel which focussed on Positive Interventions in Publishing. Prof Sunny Singh, Irenosen Okojie and Erica Hesketh discussed the reasons for launching their respective projects and how they've benefitted as writers and readers.

At Author HQ there was a panel event discussing resilience for writers, meanwhile Springer Nature hosted a discussion on Equity in Publishing, from representation to content. Later on at the Tech Theatre there was a deep dive into Romantasy and its rise in popularity, and an exploration of Audible's market share.



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