Unless you possess a particularly charming smile, although I still have my doubts about this theory, getting into London Book Fair’s International Rights Centre without an appointment is going to be no easy feat. On no account mention that you are a student. The best way is undoubtedly to resort to shameless blagging.
And so, I’m proud to say, began my first day at the London Book Fair. Once past the stony-faced guards, your eyes are rewarded with, well, beige. Everywhere. A truly inspiring atmosphere in which to excite publishers and sub-agents with your rights list.
Sadly this is more or less where my first day ended as Jenny Brown, of Jenny Brown Associates where I have been doing my placement, was busy in meetings each time I battled my way into the IRC. All was not lost though as I did spot the promising glimmer of a pile of Tunnocks biscuits.
Day 2 and armed with this new knowledge, I once more ascended the escalator in search of the Tunnocks-sponsored agency. This time I was in luck, and soon found myself sitting in on rights meetings, praying no one would turn to me with a searching question. It was fascinating to watch agents pitching titles, hear what different publishers were interested in adding to their lists and what is particularly popular in their respective countries.
Despite all of this, when Jenny turned to me, mid-meeting, and suggested that I pitch the text I’ve been working on, I was a little tempted to quickly stuff a tea cake in my mouth. The opportunity to pitch such a great text proved too good to miss though; I only hope I haven’t done any permanent damage…