London Book Fair Announces Insights Seminar Programming at Author HQ

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Again this year, London Book Fair has special ‘Author HQ’ programming and events for aspirational and self-publishing writers at Olympia London.

At London Book Fair 2019, Image: Porter Anderson

By Porter Anderson, Editor-in-Chief | @Porter_Anderson

12 Insight Seminars for Authors
Among the key publishing industry trade shows, London Book Fair (March 10-12) does more in the way of training and networking for self-publishing authors in the English language than others.

Today (February 7), the show is announcing its roster of Insight Seminar programs for the large Author HQ setting that’s dedicated to writers at Olympia London.

Reed Exhibitions’ show in London under Jacks Thomas’ direction has been the most aggressive and successful in addressing issues of independent and aspirational authors, providing extensive programming for hundreds of writerly attendees annually, while many other industry-facing events have struggled to integrate the interests and needs of authors not presented by publishers.

Beginning with its “Author Lounge” programming in 2013 at the Earls Court location, London Book Fair’s programming for authors has steadily been refined and expanded, and has been strongly supported by many of the UK’s extensive self-publishing community members.

As Publishing Perspectives announced in December, the program this year again features a Writers’ Summit conference format on Tuesday afternoon (March 10), as well as on Wednesday and Thursday of fair week.

On the fair’s site now, you’ll find a full listing of the 12 Author HQ seminar programs as they appear, three on March 10, six on March 11, and three on March 12.

In media messaging today, organizers are highlighting a series of sessions. The titles and descriptive copy are the fair’s:

  • “Playing with Prose: Plot, Character, Setting”: Learn how to structure a novel through three keys stages of the writing process
  • “The Art of Crime Writing”: Crime fiction and thriller authors discuss how to keep readers engaged through the twists and turns of a crime story
  • “How to Get Published”: A seminar for aspiring writers on getting their work noticed, building an online brand, and amplifying their literary voice
  • “YA Spotlight: How to Get Noticed in a Crowded Market”: Authors of young adult content explore innovative ways to reach new audiences
  • “Novel Competitions in Association with Good Housekeeping”: A seminar about writing competitions, featuring experts from Good Housekeeping, publishers, literary agents, and previous winners
  • “What is The Empowered Author?”: A session discussing how authors are owning areas of the marketing, publicity, and publishing of their books
  • “Book to Screen”: Screenwriter Kate O’Riordan, producer Jonathan Fisher, and The Agency’s TV and film agent Emily Smith share glimpses behind the scenes in adapting books for the screen
  • “Writing for Audio”: Author, Kirsty Logan, in discussion with Audible’s Sean McManus, discuss the growing demand for audio-exclusive content

During the course of the week, the winner of the British Selfies Awards for non-aligned authors will be announced in the Author HQ area. That competition is sponsored by Bookbrunch. Submissions for the prize program are open and will close February 29. More information is here.

And on LBF Thursday, March 12, the afternoon will include the fair’s traditional “The Write Stuff” competition, in which six authors pitch their books to a panel of literary agents, and the Author HQ audience. This year’s judges include representatives from London’s Curtis Brown agency.

Events in the Author HQ series and area are free once the attendee has paid for a three-day visitor’s pass. Something that the canniest authors will do is take advantage of some of the Insight Seminar overall program’s more-than 200 events that are aimed at industry players. London Book Fair is a great place in which authors can become acquainted not only with issues in their own part of the business but also with concerns and trends for publishers.

This year, sponsors of the Author HQ program include Amazon’s Audible and Kindle Direct Publishing, HarperCollins, Head of Zeus, Headline, The Bookseller, Cornerstones, PLS, IngramSpark, BookBub, and the Combined Exhibit author services.


More from Publishing Perspectives on London Book Fair is here, more on authors is here, and more from us on publishing and book awards is here.

About the Author

Porter Anderson

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Porter Anderson has been named International Trade Press Journalist of the Year in London Book Fair's 2019 International Excellence Awards. He is Editor-in-Chief of Publishing Perspectives. He co-founded The Hot Sheet, a newsletter for trade and indie authors, which now is owned and operated by Jane Friedman. He formerly was Associate Editor for The FutureBook at London's The Bookseller. Anderson also has worked as a senior producer, editor, and anchor with CNN.com, CNN International, and CNN USA, and as an arts critic (National Critics Institute) with The Village Voice and Dallas Times Herald.

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