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'Love to hate book fairs'

16 October 2006

'Even though most people in publishing love to hate book fairs, preferring to pretend to be above the hustle and bustle of the marketplace, everyone nevertheless wants to be seen there, and there is no doubt that during three such intense days, where everyone is conscious that they must make it worthwhile, a huge amount of business is done.

Not all of this is good business: books are frequently bought for far more than they are worth. Even experienced publishers sometimes throw caution to the winds after being caught up in the excitement of a bidding war conducted via frenzied conversations in a crowded hall.'

Anne Louise Fisher, London literary scout, in the Observer (Seven)