The London Book Fair announces Author HQ and Writers’ Summit

Olympia London, 18-20 April 2023

book fair
Top L-R: Elle McNicoll, Lemara Lindsay-Prince, Juno Dawson Bottom L-R: Joel Rochester, Laura Lee Dockrill, Peggy Hughes.

The London Book Fair (LBF) has announced its Author HQ events program and the Writers’ Summit conference line-up for 2023, two of the key highlights offering authors invaluable insights and practical tools from leading experts in the industry.

Taking place on Tuesday 18 to 20 April at Olympia, the line-up of Author HQ will feature best-selling authors Juno Dawson, Janice Hallett, Katy Brent, Elle McNicholl, alongside leading industry figures from Curtis Brown, Penguin Random House, Profile Books, Harper Voyager, Unbound, Hay Festival, Women’s Prize for Fiction, Society of Authors among others.

Designed to provide writers with an insight into the trends and talking points currently exciting the publishing industry, topics to be discussed at Author HQ include TikTok and social media, sensitivity reading and copyright, AI tools for writing and marketing books, children’s books, preparing for publication, writing and resilience, and more.

On the afternoon of 19 April, Author HQ will host a special Illustrators Program, featuring a business masterclass for illustrators, tips on how to get your illustrations published, the process behind a cover design and more, with speakers from Bloomsbury, Faber, Harper Collins, Association of Illustrators, Andersen Press, Klaus Flugge Prize.

The Writers’ Summit one-day conference will be held on 19 April at Kensington Town Hall. Aimed at equipping writers with practical tools and empowering them from the outset of their publishing journey to get their work noticed by agents, publishers and readers, the conference will feature expert tips, industry advice and author inspiration, as well as practical workshops.

With speakers including authors Laura Lee Dockrill, Harriet Evans, Rebecca Abrams, Joanne Limburg, Sacha Black, and experts from The National Centre for Writing in Norwich, The BKS Agency, New Writing North, Spread the Word, Alliance of Independent Authors among others – the day will include sessions with authors about their journey to publication, how to polish your book pitch, the value of agents, and the support available from literature development agencies.

The London Book Fair is offering a few bursary places to attend the Writers’ Summit, with the bursaries managed in collaboration with New Writing North, National Centre for Writing in Norwich and Spread the Word.

Juno Dawson, author of Her Majesty’s Royal Coven, said: “I’m excited and very honored to be asked to speak at The London Book Fair. It’s a chance to talk not only about my career highs, but also represent the UK publishing industry to the whole wide world! No pressure!”

Laura Lee Dockrill, author and Writers’ Summit keynote speaker, said: “It is an honor to be asked to speak at the London Book Fair. The atmosphere at the Fair is so alive and exciting, it’s wonderful to be able to share stories with others that also love storytelling as much as I do.” 

Peggy Hughes, executive director of the National Centre for Writing, said: “The business of writing can seem a mercurial enterprise when you’re first getting started, but writer development organization like National Centre for Writing (NCW), New Writing North and Spread the Word can help plot a route map. In our session, new and emerging writers will find out more about the work we do and the opportunities available to them, from funding to residencies, talent development programs, prizes and more. It’s always brilliant to meet new writers and hear how the work we do can support them to thrive, and I’m looking forward to it, and to comparing notes with my fellow panelists.”

Gareth Rapley, director of The London Book Fair, said: “Without authors, there would be no book industry. We are delighted to welcome back aspiring, emerging, and seasoned authors to the Fair, for two of the key events in the publishing calendar. London Book Fair visitors will be able to gain invaluable insight into authors and illustrators, and their creative process at Author HQ across the three days of the fair, while attending the one-day conference Writers’ Summit will equip them with invaluable skills and knowledge on their journey to publication. The London Book Fair is thrilled to have so many brilliant authors and industry experts sharing their knowledge and experience in this year’s program.”

The London Book Fair  is the largest spring book trade and publishing event in the world, and will take place at Olympia London, 18-20 April 2023.

2023 promises an interesting ride for print in India

Indian Printer and Publisher founded in 1979 is the oldest B2B trade publication in the multi-platform and multi-channel IPPGroup. While the print and packaging industries have been resilient in the past 33 months since the pandemic lockdown of 25 March 2020, the commercial printing and newspaper industries have yet to recover their pre-Covid trajectory.

The fragmented commercial printing industry faces substantial challenges as does the newspaper industry. While digital short-run printing and the signage industry seem to be recovering a bit faster, ultimately their growth will also be moderated by the progress of the overall economy. On the other hand book printing exports are doing well but they too face several supply-chain and logistics challenges.

The price of publication papers including newsprint has been high in the past year while availability is diminished by several mills shutting down their publication paper and newsprint machines in the past four years. Indian paper mills are also exporting many types of paper and have raised prices for Indian printers. To some extent, this has helped in the recovery of the digital printing industry with its on-demand short-run and low-wastage paradigm.

Ultimately digital print and other digital channels will help print grow in a country where we are still far behind in our paper and print consumption and where digital is a leapfrog technology that will only increase the demand for print in the foreseeable future. For instance, there is no alternative to a rise in textbook consumption but this segment will only reach normality in the next financial year beginning on 1 April 2023.

Thus while the new normal is a moving target and many commercial printers look to diversification, we believe that our target audiences may shift and change. Like them, we will also have to adapt with agility to keep up with their business and technical information needs.

Our 2023 media kit is ready, and it is the right time to take stock and reconnect with your potential markets and customers. Print is the glue for the growth of liberal education, new industry, and an emerging economy. We seek your participation in what promises to be an interesting ride.

– Naresh Khanna

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