London Welcomes Crowds and Chaos

Andrew AlbaneseThe political world – or at least the part of it that includes the United States and Europe – may be roiling with chaos. But at the London Book Fair this week, publishers welcomed the pandemonium.

Attendance was up for LBF 2017, organizers announced cheerily. Local press coverage of Brexit – the United Kingdom’s withdrawal from the European Union – cast a shadow, but not a terribly gloomy one as spring blossoms brightened the city’s streets. Prime Minister Theresa May had yet to trigger Article 50, and publishers could enjoy a few days of wondering what happens next rather than finding out.

“On the show floor, Brexit and Trump seemed to animate the fair this year,” notes Andrew Albanese, Publishers Weekly senior writer.

“Anthony Forbes Watson, managing director at Pan Macmillan, told PW that, ‘the industry is feeding off the chaos in the world outside, rather than being depressed by it, and we heard that consistently on the show floor,” Albanese tells CCC’s Chris Kenneally.

“As Duncan Heath, editorial director at Icon Books said, ‘Books are a solid thing in a changing world.’”

Every Friday, CCC’s “Beyond the Book” speaks with the editors and reporters of “Publishers Weekly” for an early look at the news that publishers, editors, authors, agents and librarians will be talking about when they return to work on Monday.

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