A week at The London Book Fair [REPORT]

Tom Chalmers

Tom Chalmers is Managing Director at IPR License.

If I’m honest the London Book Fair almost broke me (in a good way). 60 meetings in three days whilst battling the potentially deadly man-flu virus has left me a shadow of my former self but pull myself together I will. In fact have to in order to close a number of the deals as a result of these meetings.

A typical day at the Fair would see me arriving around 8.30, grabbing a coffee, popping a couple of paracetamol then quickly reading the latest fair news before dashing off for a mountain of meetings that had been lined up beforehand. If there was time to grab a sandwich at some point during the day then that would be a bonus, with copious amounts of coffee offering a helping hand along the way.

If I didn’t have such a hectic schedule I would have liked to attend some of the great talks that are on during the fair. This year however, the only talk I managed was the one in which I was contributing to – the BICS Supply Chain Seminar – to help stress the importance of rights licensing and the potential opportunities, which seemed to go well with the bonus being that I didn’t lose my voice.

It has to be said that the overall highlight for me personally was the overwhelming interest and enthusiasm that people showed towards IPR License. It’s all well and good thinking that you have a great product but to hear so many people believe as strongly as you in your ideas and vision can’t help but to provide a great boost to morale.

So deals were struck with traditional publishers for memberships, self-publishing companies to roll out the IPR License service to their authors, international literary scouts to join the platform to search for rights for their publisher clients and rights agents to facilitate rights deals on the platform. As I say, very busy times.

Events such as the London Book Fair form an integral part of the publishing calendar and provide a great platform for the industry to network and make deals happen. And if embraced in the right way it can certainly herald the start of many new relationships as well as strengthening existing ones. With a target of 250 publisher members in 25 countries by the end of the year it has certainly helped in propelling us towards these lofty targets.

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