Friday 17 April saw London Book Fair’s first Fringe Festival.
Foyles, London’s biggest independent bookstore, opened its doors to the Alliance of Independent Authors, IndieReCon and IAF15, organised by Triskele Books. A thrilling, vibrant and educational day, not to mention a lot of fun. So what happened?
Bestseller CJ Lyons
CJ Lyons opened the event by using the analogy of a blacksmith.
Forge your first book with love and care, then keep honing your craft.
Engage with readers.
Don’t try to sell a million.
Write something a million people want to buy.
L-R: Peter Urpeth, John Prebble, Nicola Solomon and Debbie Young
Debbie Young of the Alliance of Independent Authors chaired a discussion with panellists Peter Urpeth of Scottish based Creative Agency, Emergents; John Prebble of Arts Council of England Literature Relationship Manager and Nicola Solomon of the Society of Authors.
The theme was how to keep the cash coming in while you write. Grants, prizes, Public Lending Rights, mentoring schemes, partnerships with business development organisations and sponsorship are all potential sources of support for authors.
Dan and Rohan
Dan Holloway and Rohan Quine fired up the audience by speaking eloquently and poetically on diversity in literature.
Read Dan’s poem ‘Because’ here.
L-R: Sharmain Lovegrove, Scott Beatty, Katie Donelan and Toby Mundy
ALLi’s literary agent, Toby Mundy of TMA chaired a panel including Scott Beatty of Trajectory, book-scout Sharmaine Lovegrove of Dialogue Berlin & Fremantle Media, and Katie Donelan of BookBub to discuss how authors can sell more rights.
Porter Anderson introduced SELF-e. Authors everywhere can sign up to get their ebooks into US libraries.
L-R: Dr Alison Baverstock, Robert Caskie, Porter Anderson and Robin Cutler
Much talk centres on what self-publishing should learn from trade publishing. Rarely vice versa. Porter Anderson explored this key question with panellists Robert Caskie, Senior Agent at Peter Frazer Dunlop; Dr Alison Baverstock, Associate Professor, Department of Journalism and Publishing, Kingston University and Robin Cutler of Ingram Spark: how does self-publishing affect trade publishers, editors, agents and bookshops?
Debbie Young and Piers Alexander introduced the new #Authors4Bookstores campaign. All writers and readers love bookstores and want to see at least one on every high street. This new campaign encourages and enables indie authors and bookstores to form mutually beneficial, supportive relationships.
Last session of the day saw Joanna Penn grill a range of successful indie authors, Rachel Abbott, Steena Holmes, CJ Lyons, Mark McGuinness and Nick Stephenson on their tactics, breakthrough moments and advice.
Orna Ross & Porter Anderson wrapped up the conference with a look back at the last three years of ALLi (including a divergence of opinion on how to pronounce it) and hopes for the future.
You can access all this and more via IndieReCon – talks, tips, ideas, videos and vast amounts of resources to peruse at leisure.
The last part of the day was IAF15 @Foyles, organised by Triskele Books. Fifty authors with books, balloons, goodies, quizzes, wine, canapés and smiles welcomed browsers, bookclubbers, friends and readers. The atmosphere was happy, friendly, communal and everything an indie author fair should be.
The Indie Author Fair at Foyles
And we’re now planning the next one.
After a cup of tea.
Images courtesy of Liza Perrat