Photo of Clare Flynn at a book signing session at Foyles Bookstore in LondonHere I am all set up and ready in the fabulous Foyles of Charing Cross Road, where late on Friday afternoon, the 6th Floor was given over to the Indie Author Fair. What a great evening it was too – about 50 fantastic authors selling and signing books across all fiction genres and several non fiction too – accompanied by wine and canapés, a touch of piano music and lots of laughter. So many people turned up for the chance to discover interesting books and meet the authors. It was superbly organised by the wonderful Triskele Publishing. The culmination of a cracking week!

My busy book week started on Tuesday at the London Book Fair where I bumped into lots of author friends and attended several organised talks at Author Central and the Tech HQ. While I had a fun day, overall I was disappointed with LBF2015 and didn’t bother going back for the other days. The progress made recently on being more author-friendly was reversed this year – doubtless reflecting the new regime organising it. A lot of the presentations were quite basic and made me realise that the independent publishing community has made greater strides in many respects and has a better understanding of some of the issues than the traditional sector.
I was interviewed there by journalist Nick Rippington and his piece was in the Sunday Express online today. I made the point that: “Some of the LBF stuff can be very patronising to indies and, in many respects, I think the best of the indies know a hell of a lot more now about publishing than some of the trad sector – especially understanding digital. The traditional publishers were late and reluctant to the party and many still view things through their old world lens.”

Photo of The London Book Fair At Olympia

I much preferred being at Olympia this year to gloomy old Earls Court – but as someone pointed out on Friday, the lead item in the Book Fair’s daily on the first day was about how the book industry was unhappy with the change in venue – and this sums up their conservative attitude to change!

My impressions were comfirmed on Friday when, before the Indie Author Fair, about 150 of us met at Foyles for the Indie Author Fringe Festival organised by the Alliance of Independent Authors (ALLi) and IndieReCon – a day of engaging, informative and inspiring presentations and lively panel discussions which were live-streamed across the world as part of the 3-day Indie ReCon event. With first class speakers, including several multi-million book, New York Times best-seller listed authors, we were treated to some fascinating insights on a wide range of topics and the place was buzzing all day. A packed programme included ALLi’s Debbie Young announcing the new initiative Authors4Bookstores – a programme for independent authors to support independent bookstores, an impassioned defence of literary fiction from Rohan Quine and (in verse) from Dan Holloway and tons more. I was tweeting soundbites all day.

Photo of Orna Ross speaking at the Indie Authors Fring Festival at Foyles

Orna Ross, ALLi founder, opening the day and introducing best-selling US author CJ Lyons

Photo of Porter Anderson Speaking at The Indie Author Fringe Festival

Porter Anderson introducing Library Journal’s new ebook discovery program for US libraries – Library SHELF-e

Recordings of all the live presentations will shortly be available on the IndieRecon website – where the non-live material – blogs and videos from across the 3 days is already available.

Most important take out from the week is what an amazing and supportive bunch Indie authors are – super friendly, helpful and good fun!

Photo of Joanna Penn and Orna Ross

Joanna Penn (aka The Creative Penn), Orna Ross founder of ALLi and CJ Lyons

Photo of James Erith and Clare Flynn

James Erith, author of the children’s series The Eden Chronicles, who was sharing a table with me at the Indie Author Fair

Now I need to get back to the writing. As CJ Lyons said “the best marketing is writing your next book!”

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