The London Book Fair 12-14 March 2024 News

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The annual London Book Fair kicks off next week with book publishing professionals from all around the world crowding into Olympia to sell and buy, display and demonstrate, give seminars sharing knowledge and experience, or to just meet and chat and network — in person. Once again this year, all the press and PR is being handled by Midas PR.

LBF is essentially a B2B event like speed dating for book publishing professionals, although some writers venture into the Victorian grandiosity of Olympia. To many the eye-watering price of the tickets can be disconcerting, and the sea of books on display is overwhelming. According to the Publishers Association 669 million physical books were sold last year, the highest overall level ever recorded — debunking the myth that books are dying.

In the run up there are the usual publishing parties, with Faber leading the pack this year, and the launch of new imprints such as HarperCollins celebrating its Young Adult imprint Harper Fire with a party for 200 guests at City Arts Bar in London as well as for Rachel Greenlaw’s debut novel Compass and Blade.

Meantime Literary Agents sharpen up their hustling skills as they reveal their lead titles they’re taking to the market next week.

My interest as always mostly lies in what books are being sold to commissioning UK and US editors from all languages — with French heading up the list as it is my second language from which I translate — as well as attending some of the talks with a focus on translation being held at the Literary Translation Centre and English PEN Literary Salon.  An example of one worth checking out is Mara Faye Lethem, Dr Olivia Hellewell, Nashwa Nasreldin and Sophie Lewis discussing working with less-translated languages on 13 March.

What caught my eye this week as an avid reader, is the longlisted titles for the 2024 Women’s Prize for Fiction:
In Defence of the Act by Effie Black (époque press)
And Then She Fell by Alicia Elliott (Allen & Unwin)
The Wren, The Wren by Anne Enright (Jonathan Cape)
The Maiden by Kate Foster (Mantle)
Brotherless Night by V.V. Ganeshananthan (Viking)
Restless Dolly Maunder by Kate Grenville (Canongate Books)
Enter Ghost by Isabella Hammad (Jonathan Cape)
Soldier Sailor by Claire Kilroy (Faber)
8 Lives of a Century-Old Trickster by Mirinae Lee (Virago)
The Blue, Beautiful World by Karen Lord (Gollancz)
Western Lane by Chetna Maroo (Picador)
Nightbloom by Peace Adzo Medie (Oneworld)
Ordinary Human Failings by Megan Nolan (Jonathan Cape)
River East, River West by Aube Rey Lescure (Duckworth)
A Trace of Sun by Pam Williams (Legend Press)
Hangman by Maya Binyam (One)

Although it is the announcement of The International Booker Prize 2024 on 11 March for which I am waiting with immense anticipation . . .

Read Spotlight A Tale of Two Cities: London & Paris Book Fairs 2023

BUY Compass and Blade

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About Georgia de Chamberet 372 Articles
Bilingual editor, rewriter, anthologist, French-to-English translator. Has written for 3am magazine, words without borders, The Independent, The Lady, Banipal, Prospect Magazine, Times Literary Supplement. Currently writes for The BookBlast Diary. Founder (1997) of London-based writing agency BookBlast.

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