A Close One

I’ve been in planes when they have to ditch a landing. It’s disconcerting to say the least. You’re prepared for the wheels to touch the ground when all of a sudden, the jet engines crank up to full throttle as you head straight back up into the air. Not fun.

On Saturday, a Lufthansa flight carrying 131 passengers tried to land in Germany when the pilot encountered crosswinds 150 mph.

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2/09/08 – 9:57 PM – outside the window of my hotel.

And That’s All There Is

I closed the book fair today with another half dozen appointments. The floor was noticeably quieter being it was the last day of the event. The weather has stayed almost perfect the entire time, so I imagine a lot of folks decided to get out and enjoy it.

I’m on a plane late Thursday heading back to the states. Goodbye London (for another year).

My Feet Hurt

I spent all day at Earl’s Court One Tuesday, with meetings from 9 AM til 5:30 PM.

Whenever I go to shows like this, I’m always amazed by the amount of books published. More than that, I’m blown away by the variety of subject matter. During my ‘in between meetings’ moments, as I was walking down the aisles, I’d think up the most bazaar book subject I could and then wait to see how long it would take before I saw a published version. Invariably, I’d see one or something very close to it. I don’t know what’s more strange – my book ideas or the fact that there are actual markets for these things.

LBF Observations

The first day of the London Book Fair is in the bag. As far as logistics go, I’m much more pleased with the location of this event. Earl’s Court is in the heart of London, and access to food, shopping, sites, etc., is excellent. And if you’re lucky enough to have lodging like I do, you appreciate the simple 3 minute walk to the hall.

The exhibit layout is a little bizarre. Today’s Publishers Lunch email described it well.

The Earl’s Court exhibition center is new and familiar at the same. The space is reminiscent of the old location at Olympia with a reasonably sized “main floor” surrounded by a big mezzanine. The neighborhood is more convenient, the transportation by tube easier, and food and other basic services are more abundant (including a poor crew pushing a trolley of sandwiches and drinks for sale down the aisles). After last year’s poorly received riot of accent colors, organizers have gone the other way and invested in acres of manilla–beige carpeting, beige lockers, and beige bunting galore–large easy-to-find booth numbers and other functional improvements (including wider main aisles with benches to sit on; ancillary seating/meeting areas, and newly constructed closests and lockers in the Rights Center said to have cost the fair more than the price charged for a rights table).

Once people get past the basic navigational confusion of a new center–which happens to be wedge-shaped, with three different levels–business seems to be proceeding smoothly. While opening day was traditionally the quietest on the floor in the past, given a certain reluctance among some locals to work on Sundays, the change to a Monday opening has aisles as brisk as ever. And yes, the weather is much better than in New York.

I’ll say. Yesterday it was 78 degrees in London. Today it cooled to 75. It rained every day of the show last year, so you can’t ask for more with this great spring weather.

I had a light schedule today, which was intentional. Since I arrived in London yesterday afternoon, I figured I’d be pretty wiped out with jet-lag. I was. By 2 PM I just wanted to drop. Tomorrow though I’m booked solid from show open to close.

So, for now, that’s all from here. Cheerio!

Traveling Man

So, I’m heading to London tomorrow for the book fair. I’ve got a direct flight over, which limits my air time to 9 hours. I’ve spent most of the day today getting everything together – calendar, meeting agendas, documentation, itinerary, you know, the regular stuff. I’ll be plenty busy each day of the event.

I was checking on things to do after hours and I found this evening session on book digitization. Might be interesting, and then again it might be nothing more than authors bemoaning the paradigm shift toward electronic publishing. Hit or miss. If I go I’ll comment about it here.

While I’m in the area I’ll try hard not to find myself sitting down at a table here. I’ve revised my dietary intake since the last time I was in London, and this place doesn’t really align with the new me. But then again…

Talk to you from the other side.