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London Book Fair buoyant

9 April 2018

This week's London Book Fair has been a buzzy and optimistic occasion, as publishers from around the world gathered to sell rights to the international market. Second only to the Frankfurt Book FairWorld's largest trade fair for books; held annually mid-October at Frankfurt Trade Fair, Germany; First three days exclusively for trade visitors; general public can attend last two., the LBF punches above its weight in terms of its usefulness to publishers.

More than 25,000 publishers have gathered this week to talk about new books and make deals for their rights, as Bookbrunch reported.

Stephen Page, CEO of Faber said: "I think it has been a good fair, with the right people here for rights and international deals." He pointed to stronger submissions in non-fiction, driven by "new and challenging ideas in gender politics, technology, politics, the state of the world".

Anthony Cheetham, chairman of Head of Zeus, said: "My view on book fairs is that they are largely unnecessary in terms of running your business, but every year there is a conversation or chance encounter that makes it all worthwhile." On acquiring fiction, Cheetham said: "The whole thing is completely insane, there is no middle ground any more, things are either massive or they are tiny."

In the less commercial area, it's a pleasant surprise to hear that the poetry market is booming as audiences for poetry, as well as poets themselves, are diversifying, attendees to the first ever Poetry Summit at London Book Fair heard. This well-attended meeting was followed up with a number of discussions, including two focusing on children's poetry, which is also doing better than in the past, and which gave the Fair more focus on poetry than any previous fair. More on poetry sales next week.