The London Book Fair: Another Lesson

June 2000
by Jack Estes, Pleasure Boat Studio

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  What the heck, I thought, might as well go to England and attend
the London Book Fair. Might learn something. I can stay with the author of
a book we’re publishing and can maybe even sell some foreign rights to
some of the books we’ve already published. Or at least I can find a United
Kingdom distributor for our books. I mean, how hard should that be? Our
books are in English, after
all.

  I got prepared:  I
checked out the Web site ahead of time, and that helped a bit. It let me
know where and when it would be held and how much it would cost. It also
let me know there’d be a hundred or more foreign presses looking for
rights to publish books in their country, another hundred or more trying
to sell rights to others. And I learned there’d be regular seminars about
publishing on the Web (a hot topic, for sure), about marketing and selling
books in Africa, about reaching the children’s market, about copyright
problems internationally, and about self-publishing. This was no PMA
Publishers’ University, but it didn’t sound bad.

  And as a PMA member, I thought I’d check to see if I could get into
the show under the association’s name (agreeing, of course, to help in
their booth). And it worked. PMA Director Jan Nathan

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