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Another London Book Fair

18 April 2016

So, another London Book Fair has come and gone. Our links this week include some interesting stories about the Fair but the main thing seems to be that this was a lively and confident affair, with publishers from all over the world bullish and ready to do business.

This cheerful moment may soon pass, but right now publishers seems to be in reasonable shape, as the ebook revolution has been tamed and incorporated into their businesses. In many cases this has meant a good result for publishers, as the ongoing costs of selling ebooks are minimal, the overstock risk is no more and their profit margins have risen accordingly. Neil Denny suggests that this could even be to 20%, a very high level for publishing.

Part of this good cheer comes from the resurgence of print, which has defied expectations and continued to perform quite strongly, especially in hardback.

It would be good to be able to report that this has meant greater opportunity for authors but sadly this doesn't seem to be the case. Publishers are still concentrating on slimming down their lists and looking for the next big thing see the link to the story about Chloe Esposito

Successful self-published authors are able to set up deals going forward with publishers, who benefit hugely from the fact that the author has already grown an audience for their work. For other writers it's business as usual - trying to successfully self-publish or to find an agent to take you on and sell your work to publishers. As always this favours the confident authors, especially those who are well-known already in another field or whose work is original or especially compelling in some way. With the very large number of writers wanting to get their work into print there is now a great deal of competition and endless choice for readers.