I wasn't going to go to the London Book Fair this year as I didn't have anything to look for. But then the British SCBWI's London Social was organised to meet there during the day and I changed my mind. I was just going to meet the others for lumch but then had an idea for a book aimed at 6-9s and started writing it. I now had a reason to go. My plan was to find publishers who did series fiction, look at their books and work out the word count for each book. It didn't quite work out that way. I managed to do it for one publisher, their word count is 10,000 words for each book, but the others I had in mind weren't there. I found others who did series fiction, but their tables were packed and I didn't want to disturb them by walking around them and standing by them. So it went to plan b. Instead I walked up and down, up and down, and finding publishers and picking up their catalogues. I had done most of what I wanted to do and see by 12 noon. So I went to the meeting area for the social. I found a table and started to read my catalogues. Another woman (not from SCBWI) came and sat with me and ate her lunch. I took my IBS tablets, then thought, I am getting hungry (even though I'd eaten half a packet of crisps during the morning) and ate my lunch. I then perused some of the catalogues, and heard my name being called. At the table to my left was Anita from SCBWI and the social organsier. I picked up my catalogues and joined her, whilst she ate her lunch. We got chatting about what we were up to, and I enjoyed talking about my contract with the epublisher. Someone else from SCBWI then joined us, and then another person. Anita then mentioned that she had planned to meet Miriam there, but couldn't see her. She mentioned it again a few mins later and I said, that looks like Miriam sitting behind you. It was. Ha ha. We all joined tables and sat and chatted for a while. They were going to a talk and I wanted to visit one more stand before heading home - I was tired after a bad night sleep the night before. So I left them to it, saying see you next week (there's a SCBWI talk this coming Tuesday) and went to the stand. I was told they did fiction for 6-9s but when I asked they said no. So I went to the loo then went home. My bag was full of catalogues. Which I will look at again once I have finished my book called Boring Billy and the Odd Socks, and am ready to send it out.
Here are my tips if you want to go to the LBF next year:
1. Have a plan.
2 Have a plan a and plan b
3. It's good to have someone to meet up otherwise it can be a lonely thing to do.
4. Get as many catalogues as you can.
5. Take your own food, esp crisps. My packet cost me £1.80, which I couldn't believe.
6 Enjoy your time there.
So, did you go to the LBF? If so, what was your plan? Let me know.