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My Favourite Moments from the London Book Fair

A round-up of my most memorable moments at the London Book Fair

Selfie of Debbie Young, Jessica Bell, Orna Ross, Hugh Howey, Diego Marano and Dan Holloway, all looking very happy
Best selfie of the show, by miles – courtesy of Dan Holloway (right), with (from left) me, Jessica Bell, Hugh Howey, Orna Ross and Diego Marano of Kobo.

Cover of "Opening Up To Indie Authors"

A few days ago I wrote a post about my biggest news from last week’s London Book Fair – the launch of my latest book, co-authored with the writer, poet and indie author community builder Dan Holloway as part of the Alliance of Independent Authors’ Open Up to Indies campaign. I’m sure Dan will agree with me how rewarding it was to have self-publishing phenomenon Hugh Howey come up at the end of our launch speeches to shake us by the hand and declare “That was the best talk I’m going to hear all year!” (And it’s still only April!)

But there were also lots of other fun moments, some captured on camera, others stored only in my unreliable memory, so I’ll reel them off here for posterity.

  • Meeting other self-published authors for the first time, having befriended them online, and feeling as if they were already old chums
  • First face-to-face encounter with – can you believe this? – my co-author Dan Holloway! Bumping into him in an aisle, I received an immediate bear hug. Well, we are both very easy to recognise from our mug shots!
  • Catching up again with authors that I had met before and getting to know them better than ever.
  • At the book launch, spotting other authors who I knew were there because I’d persuaded them to join ALLi, and seeing how much fun they were having. No regrets there!
  • Serendipities such as the lady who started talking to me in the queue for the Ladies, her opening gambit: “Oh at last, another author! I’m so pleased to meet you!” – and then taking her along to our book launch, where she was bowled over. “ALLi’s just like a big family!” she said. “I want to join!”
  • Catching snippets of Orna Ross’s talks in the Author HQ (I made a conscious decision not to go to any seminars in full – I just wanted to use the time to network) and thinking “I’m in her gang! I’m in ALLi! I’m so glad!”
  • Calling by the SilverWood Books stand repeatedly in hope of a quiet chat with publishing director Helen Hart, only to find her constantly besieged by eager authors wanting to know more about her services. SilverWood’s reputation is growing by the minute, and I’m proud to be associated with them. (Helen commissioned my book promotion handbook Sell Your Books! and has also been helping me with Coming Terms with Type 1 Diabetes.)
  • Joining in the celebrations at ALLi’s second birthday party in the crowded, buzzing pub, enjoying the fabulous line-up of readings and the banter between so many great characters. (And who was that guy in the huge black velvet beret, anyway?!)
  • Strolling round the stands, taking in the zillions of books out there that are our competition – and realising the people who were promoting them were not having anywhere near as much fun as we were.
  • Realising that really all this excitement is just the beginning of the adventure – there is so much more yet to come.

The self-publishing star is in the ascendant, and I’m glad that I’ve hitched a ride!

Debbie Young and Joanne Phillips seated at a table on the SilverWood stand
How happy are we?! Catching up with Joanne Phillips on the SilverWood Books stand.


If you missed my post about the book launch at the London Book Fair, you can read it here:

And just two days before, I’d been having fun at the Cambridge Literary Festival – read more about that here: 

No wonder I was hoarse till two days after the Fair ended…

If you were at the London Book Fair, what were your favourite moments? Do tell, via the comments form!


English author of warm, witty cosy mystery novels including the popular Sophie Sayers Village Mysteries and the Gemma Lamb/St Bride's School series. Novels published by Boldwood Books, all other books by Hawkesbury Press. Represented by Ethan Ellenberg Literary Agents. Founder and director of the Hawkesbury Upton Literature Festival. Course tutor for Jericho Writers. UK Ambassador for the Alliance of Independent Authors. Lives and writes in her Victorian cottage in the heart of the beautiful Cotswold countryside.

9 thoughts on “My Favourite Moments from the London Book Fair

  1. Hi! Someone in my Facebook group shared this site with us so I came to give it a
    look. I’m definitely loving the information. I’m book-marking and will be tweeting this to my followers!
    Outstanding blog and brilliant design and style.

    1. Hi Mae, thank you for your kind comments, that’s great to hear! You might like to “follow” the blog to make sure you don’t miss a post, or to subscribe to the newsletter, for more news, helpful information and the occasional freebie! You’ll find the appropriate buttons in the sidebar on the right hand side. Best wishes, Debbie

  2. Most envious of those who attended and heard the speeches. I did shoot up to meet, Jessica Bell and others on the Sunday eve but family life prevented me from attending the fair. Next year will be different! Well done to all who put Indies on the map, and thank you.

    1. That’s great news, I’m sure you won’t regret it! I’ll look out for you on ALLi’s Facebook forum – it’s a lively group and I’m sure you’ll feel right at home there!

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