The London Book Fair 2017 Roundup

The London Book Fair 2017 Roundup

Landmark Launches – Ruby Wax, Michael Morpurgo, Stanley Johnson & More. Six-Figure Deals & Book Boom, with Market up 6%.

SAVE THE DATE: 10 – 12 April 2018

London. 16 March 2017. The London Book Fair closed the 2017 Fair on a high today, with a raft of six-figure deals across the week, a buoyant atmosphere, and attendees describing the Fair as “upbeat” and “positive”.

Over 130 countries were represented at the 46th Fair, with this year’s international VIP line-up including: David Nicholls, Michael Morpurgo, Olga Tokarczuk, Ruby Wax, Simon Sebag Montefiore, Stanley Johnson, Louise Doughty, Gurinder Chadha, Andrzej Sapkowski, Jacek Dehnel, Bernard Cornwell, Val McDermid, Rachel Abbott, Elif Shafak, Amit Chaudhuri, Ayobami Adebayo, Anita Anand, Rosanna Ley, C.L. Taylor and LBF founder, Lionel Leventhal, who celebrated his 80th birthday at the Fair today.

Michael Morpurgo reads from his new book, Toto, accompanied by Toto the dog, at the final day of The London Book Fair today.


There were a number of major author and publisher announcements at this year’s Fair, including:

  • Ruby Wax announced her partnership with Marks & Spencer to launch Frazzled Café at M&S stores across the country where people feeling ‘frazzled’ can drop in for fortnightly talk-in sessions
  • HarperCollins Children’s Books announced a new collaboration from LBF Author of the Day Michael Morpurgo and critically acclaimed illustrator Emma Chichester Clark to create TOTO: The Dog-Gone Amazing Story of the Wizard of Oz, out in September
  • Stanley Johnson gave Fair-goers a sneak peek of his upcoming Brexit thriller, Kompromat, published by Oneworld Publications in September


Brexit and its potential impact on the publishing and wider creative industries was one of the most talked about topics at the Fair. A weaker pound also saw more American and European publishers scouting for UK content.


Big name deals, six-figure sums, and cross-media rights sales were the order of the day at LBF 2017, with highlights including:

  • Ex-Pulp frontman, Jarvis’s book on creativity was snapped up by Jonathan Cape in a six-figure deal
  • Faber bought 90s drum and bass legend and cultural icon, Goldie’s memoir
  • Little, Brown signed Suede Frontman Brett Anderson’s memoir
  • Obama’s right-hand man, Alan Krueger’s title using the music industry to shine a light on economics, was snapped up by John Murray
  • Benedict Cumberbatch’s production company, SunnyMarch, bought the film rights to Matt Haig’s upcoming How to Stop Time
  • Orion imprint Trapeze announced it will be publishing a YA novel by Cara Delevingne in October
  • HarperCollins signed a six-figure deal with Lionel Shriver for her short story collection, Property
  • UK rights for the book behind Oscar-nominated French film, Elle, were bought by Oneworld
  • In a ‘post-truth’ era, Quercus signed A Short History of Truth by Julian Baggini
  • Scholastic signed Alesha Dixon’s series about a girl who is a superhero
  • Quercus bought Greg Wise and his late sister, Clare’s, account of her battle with cancer, Not that kind of Love
  • Orion Fiction snapped up Libby Page’s The Lido for a six-figure sum
  • Top Gear featured heavily with Harper Non-Fiction acquiring three Top Gear titles and Piccadilly (Bonnier Zaffre) picking up The Stig inspired children’s fiction series
  • Harper Non-Fiction also snapped up NHS GP, Dr Rupy Aujla’s debut cookbook, The Doctor’s Kitchen
  • Bloomsbury signed ‘first of its kind’ dementia memoir, Somebody that I used to Know, by NHS worker, Wendy Mitchell, who has Young-Onset-Dementia

Please find more details and a breakdown of key deals by genre in the Notes to Editors*


Polish writing was at the heart of The London Book Fair this year. With Poland featured as the Market Focus country, 12 of Poland’s most prominent and talented contemporary writersincluding the Market Focus Author of the Day, Olga Tokarczuk, Cross Media Author of the Day, Andrzej Sapkowski, and powerhouses Zygmunt Miłoszewski and Jacek Dehneldiscussed themes such as crime writing in Poland, poetry in translation, equal opportunities in writing and reportage. Meanwhile, the Professional Programme presented a series of events providing an insight into the Polish publishing industry while highlighting business opportunities and showcasing the market’s importance in the wider context of international publishing.


The London Book Fair and its UK partners, the British Council and the Publishers Association, marked the official launch of Market Focus Baltic Countries 2018 today with a special event and handover ceremony at LBF.


At The London Book Fair Quantum Conference, Nielsen’s Books & Consumers annual survey reported that 2016 was a strong year for printed books in particular, with spending up by seven per cent and young generations of consumers fuelling this growth. The survey also delivered good news for the British high street, with a four per cent rise in book volume purchases through physical stores, while eBook sales were down by four per cent. The fastest growing categories were Non-Fiction (+5%) and Children’s print books (+3%).


The winners of The London Book Fair International Excellence Awards were announced on the first night of the Fair, with Paris’ Shakespeare and Company crowned Bookstore of the Year, the Arab world leading the field with the highest number of award wins, and the LBF Simon Master Chairman’s Award awarded to His Highness Sheikh Dr. Sultan Bin Mohammed Al Qasimi. The full list of winners is available here.


The shortlist for the 2017 prize was unveiled on the first day of The London Book Fair by this year’s judging panel, chaired by acclaimed author Val McDermid. Recognising exceptional works of fiction and non-fiction that engage with the topics of health and medicine, the 2017 shortlist can be found here.


As ever, it was standing room only at Author HQ throughout the Fair. The packed line-up concluded with the now firmly established Write Stuff competition, where six authors pitch to a panel of agents (this year Laura Williams, PFD; Euan Thorneycroft, AM Heath; Piers Blofeld, Sheil Land; and Camilla Wray, Darley Anderson). This year’s winner was Rochelle Bugg for her book, Help! My Mum’s Got Cancer, a 20-something’s guide to caring and coping (without going crazy) when a loved one is ill. Bugg chose her follow-up meeting to be with PFD’s Laura Williams.


In celebration of the UK-India Year of Culture, and to mark the 70th anniversary of India’s Independence, LBF hosted a Spotlight on India at the Fair. The opening ceremony included speeches by the High Commissioner, His Excellency Mr Y K Sinha, and the Joint Secretary, Ministry of Culture of India, Mr Pranav Khullar. Meanwhile, the renowned novelist, essayist and critic Amit Chaudhuri, Gurinder Chadha, Anita Anand, Shrabani Basu, and more took to the stage.

– Ends

Please find high-res images at the following links:

For further information, please contact:

Daniel Freeman or Edwina Boyd-Gibbins Midas Public Relations on 0207 361 7860 /


10 – 12 April 2018

Notes to editors:

*LBF Top Deals 2017


  • Obama’s right-hand man, Alan Krueger’s title using the music industry to shine a light on economics was snapped up by John Murray
  • Harper Non-Fiction acquired the rights to three Top Gear titles, with the first due out in October to coincide with Amazon Original’s new series, as well as NHS GP, Dr Rupy Aujla’s debut cookbook, The Doctor’s Kitchen
  • Quercus signed A Short History of Truth by Julian Baggini, tapping into the post-truth zeitgeist


  • Faber bought music legend Goldie’s memoir
  • Quercus bought Greg Wise and his late sister, Clare’s, account of her battle with cancer, Not that kind of Love. The book is based on Clare Wise’s blog which she started when she was diagnosed with cancer in 2013
  • Bloomsbury signed ‘first of its kind’ dementia memoir, Somebody that I used to Know, by NHS worker, Wendy Mitchell, who has Young-Onset-Dementia
  • HQ (HarperCollins) bought American actress, Anna Faris’, first memoir
  • Pan Macmillan announced that it will publish Dare Not To Linger: The Presidential Year by Nelson Mandela and Mandla Langa. The book will draw on Mandela’s unfinished sequel to his worldwide bestseller Long Walk o Freedom
  • In Shock by Rana Awdish, an account of her near-death experience and transition from doctor to patient sold to Bantam Press (Transworld)


  • HarperCollins signed a six-figure deal with Lionel Shriver for her short story collection, Property (Bookseller)
  • Canongate acquired Malary Tallack’s literary novel set in Shetland from Jenny Brown
  • Scholastic signed Alesha Dixon’s series about a girl who is a superhero
  • Picador signed Hannah Kent’s third novel; her first novel was translated into 30 languages (Bookseller)
  • Orion Fiction snapped up Libby Page’s The Lido for a six-figure sum
  • Pan Mac snapped up two novels, plus a non-fiction title, by former MI5 officer, Tom Marcus
  • Faber acquired two-time Booker winner, Peter Carey’s new novel, A Long Way from Home
  • Piccadilly (Bonnier Zaffre) picked up Top Gear inspired The Stig children’s fiction series
  • HarperCollins signed a four-book historical fiction deal for Barbara Taylor Bradford
  • Simon & Schuster’s Scribner acquired the rights to the debut novel, Disappearing Earth by Julia Phillips, which is set in the Russian community of Kamchatka, where two young girls go missing
  • Mantle in the UK and Flatiron Books in the US jointly bought La fille qui lisait dans le Metro by Christine Feret-Fleury
  • Simon & Schuster’s Scribner is to publish Liar’s Candle by August Thomas, a 25-year-old Fulbright Scholar
  • Debut psychological thriller, The Innocent Mistress by Elle Croft, was bought by Orion
  • Usborne signed children’s book, Rosie Loves Jack by Mel Darbon, a love story involving a young woman with Down’s Syndrome
  • MCD/FSG snapped up The Golden State by Lydia Kiesling
  • Birnam Wood by Eleanor Cotton, winner of the 2013 Man Booker Prize, was acquired by Granta in the UK and FSG in the US

Literature in Translation (English Rights)

  • Swedish crime debut In the Mire sparked a cross-European bidding war
  • Polish author, Jacek Dukaj’s award-winning Ice was signed by Head of Zeus
  • World rights of The Tattooist of Auschwitz have been acquired by Bonnier Zaffre. It will be published alongside sister company Echo Publishing in Australia
  • Calling Bullshit by Carl Bergstrom and Jevin West sold to Random House US
  • Rights to The Wonder Down Under by Nina Brochmann and Ellen Stokken Dahl were bought by Hachette UK and Quercus US
  • The M Word: Meditation for Busy Minds by Emily Fletcher went to Bluebird


The London Book Fair (LBF) is the global marketplace for rights negotiation and the sale and distribution of content across print, audio, TV, film and digital channels. Taking place every spring in the world’s premier publishing and cultural capital, it is a unique opportunity to explore, understand and capitalise on the innovations shaping the publishing world of the future. LBF brings you direct access to customers, content and emerging markets. LBF 2017, the 46th Fair, will take place from 14 – 16 March 2017, Olympia London. LBF’s London Book and Screen Week will run for the third year, with the book fair as the pivotal three-day event within a seven-day programme. London Book and Screen Week will begin on Monday 13 March. For further information, please visit:


Reed Exhibitions Books & Publishing portfolio consists of six trade and public book fairs taking place in some of the most important and dynamic book markets in the world: Brazil, France, Japan, UK and USA. Bienal do Livro São Paulo, BookExpo America, eBooks, Salon du Livre, The London Book Fair and Tokyo International Book Fair, collectively attract over 770,000 participants and 2,600 primary exhibitors and rights centre table holders, interested in buying or selling intellectual property rights, buying, selling or specifying titles, discovering the latest trends in publishing, understanding new markets or meeting authors and discovering new titles.

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