The LBF Quantum Conference took place today, featuring talks from Stephen Page (Faber & Faber), author Alexandra Levit and actor Christopher Ecclestone. Topics covered included the audio boom, increasing popularity of non-fiction, TV adaptations and the children’s entertainment industry.
Nielsen Book revealed new data, showing growth of children’s non-fiction, audiobooks, politics and self help books.
Jacks Thomas, Director, The London Book Fair, said: “The LBF Quantum Conference marks a wonderful start to The London Book Fair, and provided a fascinating insight into emerging book trends, as well as how publishing interacts with other industries.”
Highlights from LBF Quantum Conference:
Faber & Faber CEO Stephen Page gave the keynote for the conference, urging publishers to continue with the “political act” of facilitating the expression of new ideas in an increasingly divided society. He said that “all publishers have responsibilities beyond their own bottom line, and…must acknowledge their responsibilities towards culture and society.”
Nielsen Book gave an insight into the latest trends in the UK book publishing market, while revealing that E.L. James’ 50 Shades of Grey has been the biggest-selling print book in the UK over the past 25 years. Nielsen also highlighted the way in which TV and film adaptations boost book sales.
Futurist Alexandra Levit took to the stage to speak about how AI will not take over the workforce, but is changing the range of roles available and the way in which we work. She warned that the human Achilles heel is still bias, and that technology will not change that.
Actor Christopher Ecclestone joined author AJ Hartley, UCLan Publishing’s Debbie Williams, and Charlotte Melén from Almost Tangible, on a panel discussing the rise of audio. Chaired by Jo Forshaw, the session discussed the need to write differently for audio, and the variety of interpretation that should be applied to audio adaptations, in line with theatre productions and film. The panel pushed for publishers to invest more in different types of audio production, including more immersive audiobooks.
Emma Scott, CEO of Beano spoke on how she created Beano Studios, transforming the 80 year old comic into an award-winning multi-platform content studio.
BBC’s Chief Creative Officer Mark Linsey spoke about BBC Studios: Open for Business, and how the challenge of growing the value of BBC Studios’ content across wholly owned production and indie partners is met.