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London Book Fair 2019: A Recap

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Held annually, The London Book Fair sees more than 25,000 publishing professionals arrive in London to learn, network, and kick off their year of business. This year, LBF celebrated its 48-year anniversary and IPG was there for all the excitement. 

Sharing their takeaways from LBF are Brooke O’Donnell, Managing Director of Trafalgar Square Publishing, a division of Independent Publishers Group, and Alex Kampmann, VP, General Manager of Midpoint Trade Books & Small Press United, divisions of Independent Publishers Group.

What was your primary objective for attending LBF and what were you most excited for?

Brooke: The London Book Fair is probably the most important trade show for me since a majority of our publishers are based in the UK and it’s my chance to personally meet with almost all of them. I always look forward to seeing everyone and talking through the previous year’s highlights and getting a peek at upcoming books.

Alex: Continuing to develop existing relationships with foreign publisher clients and scout for new opportunities.

How was this year’s show different from others you’ve been to in the past?

Brooke: The only thing different this year was everyone’s preoccupation with the looming BREXIT. Publishers were unsure of how, if at all, it would impact their business with partners around the world.

Alex: This was my first show as part of team IPG but the overall feel of the show was similar to the other LBF shows I have attended in the past.

What was the show’s biggest success, in your opinion?

Alex: Further establishing the IPG brand as a true player in the international market place.

What would you like to see differently next year, either on the part of the show or of IPG?

Brooke:  I selfishly wish LBF would add a day to the fair as this would give me time to have some extended meetings and perhaps a lunch break. We had a bit of a disaster with our posters falling off the wall. We joked that IPG was going for a minimalist look! I’m hoping they stay on the wall next year.

Alex: An even bigger booth presence for IPG.

What was your main takeaway?

Brooke: Publishing is still a vibrant business and there are good publishers still looking for distribution options in North America.

Alex: Whenever I attend the international shows, I am reminded of how global our industry truly is which is easy to forget while we go through our day to day work here in the states. IPG, including TSP of course, represent a real entity in the international publishing space and as part of our overall growth strategy as a company, I believe the international publishers and international markets are significant areas for us to continue to explore and expand our reach.

 

The 2020 London Book Fair will be held March 10th – 12th, 2020.

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