Celebrating my fifteenth year of visiting the London Book fair

I've worked out that this will be my fifteenth year of visiting the London Book Fair. 

I first took the plunge of seeing what was on offer in 1999 when I was running my own Marketing, PR and Training Agency and was about to add a small publishing arm to the company.  I remember the shock of the London Book Fair (LBF) as being like no other exhibition I had attended in the course of my work because no one wanted to speak to me, let alone try to sell me anything!  I was amazed because at most exhibitions I'd taken part in the objective was to gain new customers or prospects and win orders but not so the London Book Fair, or rather I should say in a completely different way.  I soon learned that the London Book Fair was a gigantic meeting venue where all the meetings had been arranged in advanced.

In those days too authors were actively discouraged from attending. No one in their right mind would be seen dead wearing a badge declaring they were an 'author' because that meant  absolutely nobody wanted to speak with you. I'm pleased to say that things have changed and for the better. There are even authors featured on the Home Page of the London Book Fair website! And there are plenty of seminars, and stands offering advice to authors and budding authors.

On my first visit in 1999 I was fortunate to meet with two great entrepreneurial talents by the name of Stewart Ferris and Alastair Williams who were running a small independent publishing company called Summersdale.  I was delighted to learn that they operated down the road from me in Chichester, West Sussex.  They were friendly, helpful and gave me lots of advice about the publishing world. I went on to work very closely with them when I launched my range of Easy Step by Step Guide Business Books, and they not only became my distributor, but together we launched the series in e book format back in the very early days before the Kindle, Kobo, Nook and ipad were even a blink in their inventors eyes.  We also produced them as audio books and one title as a DVD, Successful Selling.

Summersdale Publishing has grown and flourished since those days and this year was voted by the Independent Publishers Guild as Independent Trade Publisher of the Year 2014, an accolade extremely well deserved.

My company joined the Independent Publishers Guild (IPG) and I began to exhibit with the IPG at the London Book Fair and the Frankfurt Book Fair until I had built up a list of sales, marketing and business books which was sold to Crimson Publishing, and until I was delighted to sign a contract with Severn House Publishers who became and still are the publishers of my DI Andy Horton police procedural crime series of which there are now eleven in the series with the latest, Shroud of Evil,  published this month, April 2014.

I have since sold my business and am delighted to say that I now write full time. As well as the DI Andy Horton series, I am also the author of two thrillers and am currently writing a new crime series and am continuing  to write the DI Horton series.

Pauline Rowson and Bob Rowson in a meeting with Severn House at London Book Fair 2007

Pauline Rowson with DI Andy Horton crime novel The Suffocating Sea (no. 3 in the series) (LBF 2008)


 Pauline Rowson with the team from Severn House Publishers at the London Book Fair 2013

This year I will once again be at the London Book Fair meeting those I know in the book trade, catching up with friends and colleagues and meeting with my overseas agents and  publisher.

I'm very much looking forward to it.


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