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My first London Book Fair

The new London Book Fair location, far in the east of London in an area called Docklands (because that’s what it was), is a disappointment. Poor directions, few people on site to direct people arriving, and appalling food. I’m disappointed; we were promised better facilities to make up for the extra travel and for giving up the lovely historic venue the Fair was in until this year. But this event is still a favorite of mine because I see old friends from my U.K. publishing days. I have more recent memories, too, like my first LIBF two years ago. Here’s a photo of the booth at MQ Publications. I was gobsmacked when I saw this: I had signed the contract for The Armchair Environmentalist, the book that was the whole outside of the stand, only a week earlier! The publisher had contacted me and persuaded me to write this for them, but somehow the promotional effort was miles ahead of editorial. A bizarre situation that only got more complicated, but I did finish the book. It’s available in several countries now (though I’m still waiting to see copies of the French and Thai editions–hardly a surprise, given how things started). I also ran into an old friend within minutes of arriving at that first Fair, so it was a memorable morning. Nothing this year quite so exciting.

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