My London Book Fair - Day 3

Rebecca Swift, Juliet Mushens, Iain Millar

Rebecca Swift, Juliet Mushens, Iain Millar

Thursday had a calmer feel to it and I went to listen to a session on how publishers and agents are discovering new talent in these evolutionary times, led by Rebecca Swift from The Literary Consultancy, talking to Juliet Mushens from The Agency Group and Ian Millar of Canelo Digital Publishing. Juliet described how she read every submission sent to her which could be over a hundred a week and was open to looking at all genres. As expected, both Juliet and Iain stressed the need for sparkling writing and an engaging story. Rebecca commended Juliet for her energy!  In her turn, Rebecca urged authors to review, polish and hone their work to the ultimate before submitting it to agents and publishers.

At lunchtime, I caught up with Romantic Novelists’ Association colleagues, including Sue Moorcroft,  Christina Courtenay, Catherine Miller and Janet Gover. Although I’ll see them briefly at the RNA party next month, I valued seeing them now as I will be in the US and miss the summer conference in July. We were so busy talking, none of us took a photo!

Then it was back to Author HQ at the book fair to see and support Catherine in her pitch during ‘The Write Stuff’ panel event – a ‘Dragons Den’ presentation to a fearsome group of literary agents! Unfortunately, she didn’t win, but being selected as a finalist was a high honour.

As I said good-bye to Helen Hart and her SilverWood Books team, I had two reflections on this year’s fair. Firstly, I felt more involved with, and bumped into, more people than ever before (RNA, ALLi friends in particular) as well as making new ones. Secondly, I realised that I had outgrown the new author stage which was the level the talks were pitched at in Author HQ, and found myself giving less experienced ones tips and hints on their writing and publishing journey.

But this fair had another dimension for me. I was at the London Book Fair as one of  the authors of my new agent, Annette Crossland of A for Authors, who invited me to be her guest in The Ivy Club. I sat there sipping my glass of bubbling Taittinger reflecting on my own journey in the past twelve months. And later that evening, at a charming supper, Annette speculated what might be happening in the next twelve. I’ll keep you posted…


Alison Morton is the author of Roma Nova thrillers, INCEPTIO, PERFIDITAS and SUCCESSIO. The fourth book, AURELIA, is due out on 5 May 2015.

Find out more about Roma Nova, its origins, stories and heroines…

4 comments to My London Book Fair – Day 3

  • what an exciting world you live in!

  • David Gladwin

    Fascinating stuff Alison. My 38th.,39th., and 40th books are all in the mixer somewhere, between waiting for print, final edit, and with the layout man. All non fiction of course and I’m curious to know – are there any non fiction writers among those attending the LBF?
    There used to be something of the kind at Caxton Hall but it died with most of the authors of my era.
    I like the whole principle of your Roma Nova series – during my time with the Legion some of our men were from Swiss-Italy and dreamed of a new resurgent Northern Italy using the best of Rome’s past.

  • Alison Morton

    Thanks for your comment, David. The main exhibitors at the London Book Fair, i.e. the big publishers, represented fiction and non-fiction of every sort from trade paperbacks to the most lavishly illustrated prestige hardback productions. For authors, the new/aspiring programme is mostly for fiction writing, but I think that a few non-fiction writers were amongst those present.

    Thank you for your kind comments about the Roma Nova series! I think the idea of Rome still fascinates us…

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