Rights round-up, Fair highlights and 2017 dates

Rights round-up, Fair highlights and 2017 dates


LBF 2017 will be held at Olympia Exhibition Centre on 14– 16 March

LONDON, 15 April 2016: The London Book Fair welcomed publishing professionals from over 124 countries, authors and aspiring writers to a successful 45th Fair. From top author visits from Julian Fellowes, Jeffery Archer, Peter James, Marian Keyes, Judith Kerr, Tracy Chevalier, Jeanette Winterson and more, to six-figure book deals brokered and the best new talent discovered, The 45th London Book Fair 2016 was a vibrant showcase of international publishing and a bustling centre for rights negotiation.

Exhibitors and visitors alike agreed that the 2016 Fair had been a brilliant showcase of the publishing industry. Stephen Page, Faber & Faber, told PW Show Daily, that the mood at the Fair is “really great. There’s a reason there’s a deal frenzy and we are having an excellent rights fair.” Hachette CEO Tim Hely Hutchinson said: “It seems very busy, my staff are very happy. LBF has become more important… it has become indispensable.”Gemma Creffield of Watkins Media said “Fantastic fair! Brilliant atmosphere and fantastic stands.. Positive, inspiring ideas and passionate speakers.”

In a Q&A with Fair Director, Jacks Thomas, Julian Fellowes discussed his new Belgravia app on Tuesday, and why ‘serialised’ publishing is back in vogue thanks to modern technology. The London Book Fair also revealed research showing that 41% of 18-23 year olds read serialised fiction on a monthly basis.

Public libraries were a hot topic at this year’s Fair as children’s author Philip Ardagh participated in a lively panel debate entitled No to Library Closures – the benefits of the public library in the UK and beyond; is the library an unaffordable luxury in the digital age?

TOP DEALS OF THE LONDON BOOK FAIR 2016 (more deals can be found in notes to editors)

  • Hutchinson is to publish The Raqqa Diaries: Life Inside the Islamic State by Syrian activist Mohammed. Jocasta Hamilton, publishing director at Hutchinson, acquired world rights directly from the author. (The Bookseller)
  • Nobel Laureate Ohran Pamuk and Costa-winner Sebastian Barry have signed “major” new deals with Faber, while publisher Mitzi Angel has snapped up two “provocative” titles from UK academic Jacqueline Rose.
  • Nadiya Hussain, winner of “The Great British Bake Off” in 2015, will write three contemporary women’s fiction novels for Harlequin imprint HQ.
  • The ultimate make-up book, Face, by sibling vloggers Sam and Nic Chapmen has been acquired by Blink Publishing.
  • Production company Playground has TV rights to Fiona Barton’s The Widow (Bantam) and Thomas Grant’s biography Jeremy Hutchinson’s Case History (John Murray).
  • To mark the 150th anniversary of The Jungle Book, Macmillan Children’s Books have inked a deal for world English-language rights to a brand new survival book from Bear Grylls. Aimed at 10+ readers, the book is inspired by Rudyard Kipling’s title and is full of survival tips and will publish in October.
  • HarperCollins has signed a new four-book deal with Cecelia Ahern.
  • Portobello has signed a “masterpiece” by Man Booker International Prize-nominated author Han Kang. World English-language rights by The White Book have been sold to Max Porter.


2016 saw LBF commemorate 400 years since the death of the bard, with multi-lingual performances of some of Shakespeare’s most-loved works at the onsite Globe Theatre. From Arabic to Hindi and Polish to Maltese, actors took to the specially constructed mini Globe Theatre to delight the passing crowds with some of Shakespeare best-loved sonnets. Wednesday saw literary heavy-weights Jeanette Winterson and Tracey Chevalier take to the Fair as Authors of the Day. Both writers have recently penned modern re-telling of the bard’s works.


The London Book Fair International Excellence Awards were presented at a prestigious awards ceremony on Tuesday night, with a global list of winners including Actes Sud (France), Readings (Australia), Words Without Borders (US) and Jieli Publishing House (China). The LBF Lifetime Achievement Award was awarded to Gail, Baroness Rebuck, DBE, Chair of Penguin Random House UK.


The London Book Fair played host to the 31ST International Publishers Congress on Sunday, where keynote speaker Arnaud Nourry, CEO of Hachette, gave a rousing and optimistic speech on the state of the industry. Later in the afternoon, author Philip Pullman gave an enlightening talk on the four revolutions which have impacted the book business over the years.


At Quantum, the Fair’s rebranded agenda-setting pre-conference, a future-gazing speech from Artificial Intelligence expert Professor Nick Bostrom opened proceedings, followed by an inspirational address by Gail, Baroness Rebuck. Delegates later enjoyed an engaging and upbeat conversation between Waterstones Managing Director James Daunt and Faber & Faber CEO Stephen Page.


With growing numbers of literary festivals around the world (currently over 340 in the UK and Ireland alone) and with recent media coverage and open letters about author’s events and pay, it’s not surprising that The London Book Fair drew a crowd to the onsite Literary Festival Forum.


The academic publishing community flocked to the dedicated scholarly publishing theatre The Faculty to hear from various speakers on current industry trends. As in previous years Open Access played a large role in the conversations here, with the debate moving on to focus on how publishers can better disseminate content and make their OA content more discoverable.


At a special event on the final day of the Fair, The London Book Fair, in partnership with the British Council, the Publishers Association and the Polish Book Institute, celebrated the launch of LBF Market Focus Poland 2017. Market Focus Poland will combine an extensive professional programme with a comprehensive schedule of cultural events throughout the year which celebrate the very best of Polish literature and writing.


Crowds gathered at Author HQ on the show floor, where a full seminar programme over the three days provided clear, concise advice for how authors can interact with the publishing community. Agent one-on-ones were fully subscribed and agents, authors and publishers imparted insight to a host of authors.

For media interview requests please contact Daniel Freeman/Edwina Boyd-Gibbins at Midas PR
T: 020 7361 7860
E: Daniel.freeman@midaspr.co.uk
E: Edwina.boyd-gibbins@midaspr.co.uk

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