Due to the ash cloud coming down from Iceland, travel arrangements for those coming from overseas have been impaired or completely scuppered. Efforts to overcome – observed on twitter – have been tremendous. One Dutch publisher (Meulenhoff) is promising a night ferry if no flights for Monday morning and another, Ambo Anthos, has suggested it might be the first publishing house to “host a Skype dance party during the fair”.
This year, there is a focus on South Africa at the London Book Fair and, sadly, with further to travel and dependent on airlines, this contingent is suffering and having to cancel.
Some of us, as close as train or road travel are also not able to make it. But, if you can’t make it, the London Book Fair can come to you instead.
Firstly, due to the wonderful internet and Twitter specifically, there will be tweeting for the fair. The official hashtag to follow is #LBF10 and, following on from the developments at the Emirates Festival of Literature earlier this year, there will be a Twitterwall at the London Book Fair on display at the Market Focus Bar. Another one to follow is #lbtweet. So, if you can’t make it but want to keep up with the news, you can let it flow to you via Twitter.
UPDATE 17/4: You can follow the Twitterwall here.
Secondly, there’s a very strong group on Twitter involved in the publishing industry in the UK and a second Tweetup has been arranged for the evening of Tuesday, 20 April. Go here for further details. (With thanks to Jon Reed of Publishing Talk for the details of both one and two above.)
Thirdly and last: the deals. Some have hit the news and indeed been made ahead of the London Book Fair. In the crime fiction quadrant, we see a new wave coming after the Scandinavian tsunami: it’s now time to welcome South Africa! Where literary agency Gregory & Co. may be the one noted for crime fiction, Blake Friedmann certainly corners the crime and South African market. Just look at their 15 April TV deals (via Book Trade Info):
- Peter James's Roy Grace series to Artists Studio (producer Gub Neal, who produced Cracker),
- Deon Meyer's BLOOD SAFARI to TFI International, for English language theatrical film development.
- Deon Meyer's 13 HOURS, set in Cape Town, to producers Robert Fig/Malcolm Kohll, movie screenplay by Malcolm Kohll, Roger Spottiswoode attached to direct.
- Craig Russell's Jan Fabel series to Mona/RTL in Germany (first due for transmission in December),
- Graham Hurley's Portsmouth-based Faraday novels are being acquired by French independent producer Jacques Salles at Geteve for development as a series of 90" French language TV features set in Le Havre.
- Margie Orford's southern African series (BLOOD ROSE), set in Namibia, to Robert Fig/Malcolm Kohll.
Some other titles currently under negotiation include:
- David Hewson's Rome-based Nic Costa thrillers
- The Desmond Bagley adventure novels
- Ted Allbeury's thrillers
- Joseph O'Connor's Desperadoes/Slingshot Productions.
Julian Friedmann said he was particularly pleased that several novels by South African writers are being developed as South Africa is the country of market focus at this year's London Book Fair.
And also this: Agent Carole Blake of Blake Friedmann has tweeted that a major deal will be announced after the London Book Fair.
It’s all rather exciting isn’t it? Tune in on Twitter, folks…