Looking for Sean McLachlan? He mostly hangs out on the Civil War Horror blog these days, but feel free to nose around this blog for some fun older posts!

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Monday, 27 April 2009

London Book Fair Attracts Global Publishing Community

As I mentioned in my last post and my other blog, I recently attended the London Book Fair. This year's theme was India, and the Indian companies had a large section in the middle of the exhibition area. Not only were there lots of publishers, but there was also a concerted effort by Indian printers to become a rival to China for affordable printing services. The Indians put on some good cultural events like interviews with prominent authors such as Vikram Seth, and a troupe of Indian dancers would pop out of nowhere at random moments to do their thing. I just wish they gave away free curry like some publishers gave away free beer!

Lesser-known countries were there too. Iceland had a big booth with some beautiful books. Azerbaijan had a booth promoting both its publishing and its tourism. Dubai was promoting an upcoming children's book fair. And despite being in the "United Kingdom", Scotland and Wales had booths of their own!

Two other booths caught my eye. One was for the Muslim Writers Awards, taking place May 27 in London. The shortlisted titles were on display and included a lot of interesting work by Muslim women. I also liked the booth for the African Books Collective, which distributes African books to overseas markets. They had a huge range of titles from all over the continent, but sadly none from The Gambia. I guess I'll have to wait until I get there to find out more about that country's writers.

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