Monday, April 19, 2010

London Book Fair opens in subdued mood

Flights to the UK remain grounded, as the international book community gathered at Earls Court for the 39th London Book Fair on what was described by one exhibitor as a "subdued" opening morning (19th April).

Many early attendees thought that at least half of their meetings would be cancelled, with attendance from some areas of the world down by as much as 90%. The agents centre was described in one of the numerous tweets about the fair as "very thin on the ground". Some suggested that BEA or the Frankfurt Book Fair would now have to "take up the slack" of lost business, though others remained optimistic about meetings that could come from freed-up diaries.

One high profile casualty was former prime minister Tony Blair. Random House, which publishes Blair's memoirs this autumn, had organised for the former PM to meet all his international publishers at an event this evening at Kensington Roof Gardens, followed by a dinner with customers. But Blair is in the Middle East and unable to get a flight back to the UK. Cornerstone publicity director Charlotte Bush said: "It is very unfortunate and disappointing. We have a couple of new dates and are looking to reschedule."

Full report here

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