The largest spring book trade and publishing event in the world, The London Book Fair, returned in April 2023 with everything from topical conversations about the future of publishing to keynote talks from leading authors, and huge award wins celebrating excellence across the industry.
If you weren’t able to make it this year or catch all of the events, here are some of the highlights…
DAY 1 of #LBF23
“The more success you have, the less time you have to write.”
– JUNO DAWSON, AUTHOR
Day 1 kicked off with words from Director of The London Book Fair, Gareth Rapley, welcoming Ukraine as the Guest Spotlight for 2023, featuring a message from the First Lady of Ukraine, Olena Zelenska. Highlights included a keynote from CEO of Harper Collins, Brian Murray, an in-conversation event with Author of the Day, Colson Whitehead, and a panel discussion on ‘The Journey of African Publishing’ featuring eKitabu’s Mercy Kirui.
The International Booker Prize 2023 shortlist was announced, and there was a special meet and greet with Sarah Ferguson, Duchess of York. Midas’ own Ashley Baugh (Associate Director at Midas) was on the panel for one of the most popular talks of the day: ‘Keeping up with Social Media: What’s an author’s best tool?’
DAY 2 of #LBF23
“Just like politics, writing a book is a team endeavour.”
– SADIQ KHAN, MAYOR OF LONDON
Day 2 highlights included an inspiring keynote from Sadiq Khan, Mayor of London, a criminally good event with Author of the Day, Ann Cleeves, and a brilliant session with Illustrator of the Fair, Dapo Adeola, who painted a picture of life as an illustrator. A panel of experts featuring Georgina Moore (Deputy MD at Midas) were on hand to give advice on how to prepare for the publication of your next book.
There was also a ceremony to celebrate the Lifetime Achievement Award winner, Klaus Flugge, founder of Andersen Press, and to spotlight the 2023 winners of the International Excellence Awards.
DAY 3 of #LBF23
“Let kids have fun with words, pictures and stories… don’t pressure them into doing something that doesn’t give them joy.”
— ROBIN STEVENS, AUTHOR
Bringing the 2023 London Book Fair to a triumphant end, Day 3 saw a keynote from Kate Mosse OBE, novelist and Founder of the Women’s Prize for Fiction, chaired by Louise Minchin, author and former BBC Breakfast presenter. LBF’s Schools Programme 2023 in partnership with National Literacy Trust saw a number of volunteers from the publishing world speaking to 80 students from disadvantaged backgrounds, aged 13-16.
Author of the hit debut Morgan is My Name, Sophie Keetch, discussed the resurgence of retellings of myths and legends and how audiobooks can offer a different perspective on storytelling, while a conversation with Author of the Day Robin Stevens offered thought-provoking perspectives from the celebrated author of the Murder Most Unladylike Mysteries.
In addition to the days’ events, a host of six-figure deals and celebrity biographies were announced at this year’s London Book Fair Fair.
Headline acquired a biography of Formula 1 champion Max Verstappen by author and motor sport insider Mark Hughes; Canongate acquired a collection of short stories by International Booker Prize winner Lydia Davis (the book will be blocked from sale through Amazon – a first for the UK market – at the author’s request); Fourth Estate triumphed in a six-publisher auction for the new novel Portraits of Small Deaths by Maaza Mengiste; Orion acquired Aisha Hassan’s debut novel The Boy Who Built Lahore and one other title in a six-figure deal; and much more!
Find more details and a breakdown of the deals here
We want to thank everyone that attended, participated or supported London Book Fair 2023.