London Book Fair bears fruit
I attended the 2018 London Book Fair as one of the heaving masses of bookish visitors and exhibitors. The LBF is one of the foremost book trade exhibitions in the world.
Authors and writers have an ambivalent attitude and approach to shows like this, half believing it's their big chance to pigeon-hole literary agents and publishers who will welcome them with open arms, offer them coffee and listen to their book pitches, examine thick manuscripts and offer them representation or a book deal on the spot.
Nothing could be further from the truth.
It's not that authors are unwelcome at LBF, they are encouraged to attend. Authors have their own space where they can network and sit through a packed seminar programme, including sessions from literary agents telling them how to go about approaching them.
The instant the agent seminar ended, the three agents disappeared inside a scrum of writers that surrounded them.
Book deals and representation are unlikely to be offered at such fairs.
The fair exists to do business, sell rights, and sign publishing deals. Agents are representing their existing clients, not searching for new ones (unless by chance over a drink, a pitch a writer bags a meeting - it can happen). The buzz of the exhibition floor and the clamour in the International Rights Centre
I had an appointment to meet a literary agent who had actually read my unpublished surrogacy thriller , MISCONCEPTION. She wants me to sharpen up the suspense to turn it into a fully fledged psychological thriller. She is sending me notes and her agency contract.
We got on very well, so it looks like I have found a literary agent.
I have pitched this book to other agents but have not heard back from any of them yet. I may do so and, if it is a positive response, I could face some choices. But for now, I will sail whichever way the tide takes me.