It is late Saturday afternoon and I am saying my farewells to my wife and children as I head off to the airport for another exciting week in London for the annual spring Book Fair. Make sure to eat a good meal at the airport to avoid the upset stomach I experience from the plane food. Who eats dinner at 10:00pm on a plane and then is served breakfast three hours later? I have never figured that one out! Get a couple hours of sleep, if possible, on the red-eye and then try to power through the day to adjust to the time change as quickly as possible. And then there’s the hour-plus wait time at customs—it seems like the entire world is arriving at London at the same time as I am! At least I won’t need to wait long at the baggage claim, as it should (cross your fingers) have been sorted by now. Phew! There is it is waiting for me. Off to a good start, and things will only get better from here.
This is the way the week typically begins for the London Book Fair, and although the travel can be wearying, this is truly an event we very much enjoy each year. It is where we are able to meet some of our customers for the one and only time every year and, like us, they faithfully return year after year to place their order. This fair, more so than any other we participate in, is a melting pot of countries and cultures from around the world with the common goal of getting good books into people’s hands and spreading the written word around the globe.
One of the things I like about the show is the pace. This year, aside from a couple of lulls throughout the second and third day, we were able to do pretty brisk business over the entire three days. We still had customer appointments right up to the last hour or two of the show on Thursday afternoon, and that is the mark of a good event. We continue to see new potential customers here and relish the opportunity to catch up with old friends. And what better backdrop can you have for an event than historic London? There are no shortages of things to see or great places to eat.
So after another successful show, we say goodbye to London for another year and look forward to our return again next year. The show has been moved back into early March next year, which gives it more separation from Book Expo America, and if you have never been, it might be a good time to give it a try.
For everyone we met at the London Book Fair, thanks again for stopping by and we wish you continued success in your bookselling ventures!
Senior Sales Representative