Gearing Up for the London Book Fair

Gearing Up for the London Book Fair

Marleen will be attending this year’s London Book Fair on behalf of the 2 Seas Team. Feel free to go up to her for a stop-and-chat! She’ll be mainly strolling around the International Rights Center, with a couple of meetings at the French stand (G505). If you don’t know how to recognize her, click here for a photo!

By guest contributor Allison Scott – first posted in March 2013.

The London Book Fair is just around the corner, and as tens of thousands of publishers, authors, agents, librarians, and bibliophiles descend on Earl’s Court, we again get to experience one of the world’s largest and most influential rights negotiation opportunities. Second only to the Frankfurt Book Fair in size and influence, the London Book Fair provides the global publishing market a venue not only to buy and sell rights across countries and platforms, but also serves as an important forum for discussing crucial topics in the swiftly changing publishing industry. With over 250 seminars and events, LBF offers education and a chance for interaction and innovation.

The Digital Minds Conference, now in its fifth year, again has compiled a robust offering of digital publishing seminars to investigate the maturing digital market. A day-long assortment of sessions–featuring noteworthy speakers (from authors like Neil Gaiman to key industry professionals like Perseus’s CMO Rich Joyce)–and a smattering of networking opportunities ensures that this conference will have something useful and engaging for everyone. For me, sessions of note include “Copyright: What’s Next?” and “The Importance of New Markets: Focus of Korea, Brazil, China & Turkey.” As charted in previous articles featured here on the 2 Seas website 1, and as often discussed on industry news sites, the digital age and globalization have created new opportunities in untapped markets, but they have also shown that the current international copyright system may be ill-suited for the media realities of today and certainly of tomorrow. It will be interesting to see what insights and possible answers these sessions will have about how the industry can adapt to this brave new world of publishing.

The LBF’s Literary Translation Centre also provides a particularly rich opportunity for agents, publishers, authors, and translators to mix and mingle while discussing my favorite topic: literature in translation. With a program of 18 dedicated seminars on rights and translation held in the Literary Translation Centre (EC2), attendees will have access to top minds in the field on opportunities for translation, what is being translated in today’s global market, and even how translators can play a role in increasing the visibility of their work. There’s also going to be a Turkish Translation Slam, which, let’s face it, sounds awesome. With Turkey being featured as this year’s Market Focus country, the fair will no doubt be a prime opportunity for publishers and agents to get better acquainted with this growing market (to brush up on your knowledge of Turkish publishing, check out our article here).

If, after sifting through the myriad of information on the LBF website and locking in your fair schedule, you find that your thirst for international publishing information is still unsatisfied, I would direct you to The London Book Fair’s YouTube Channel, which houses a catalog of excellent and informative interviews with industry professionals from every aspect of the publishing world.


  1. You can view a full listing of 2 Seas Agency’s articles and advice here, which includes discussions of innovative business models, spotlights on burgeoning international markets like Brazil, and also unraveling the tangled web of international copyright law.
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