My god, it’s huge!

I have to admit my head knew the London Book Fair is one of the biggest trade events for publishers, authors and booksellers in the world, but until I actually saw all the stalls filling both sides of Earl’s Court, it hadn’t really sunk in.

dean_lbfGranted, a lot of stalls were empty today most likely because of the ash cloud that is blighting air travel in western Europe. It didn’t seem to dampen the spirits of those attending, and I fear it will only get busier.

It was good to see my Death in Amber on the New Title Showcase – I even got the attendant on the stand to take my photo in front of the stand (pictured). He was very supportive and his photography skills are only likely to improve over the next few days.

Digital is the new black

The buzzword does appear to be ‘digital’ as all aspects of the industry are seeing changes to the way things work. I can’t believe how many different do-it-yourself publishing outfits there are and more varieties of publishing, web design or conversion software than you can shake a stick at.

Sony’s sponsored the whole digital section, not a big surprise, as they’re pushing their Reader. But they can’t stop the other ebook readers even if they did sponsor that bit: I’ve finally seen a ‘Nook’ (Barnes and Noble), a ‘Kindle’ (Amazon) and, wait for it – my first iPad! I have to say it’s very nice and I do want one. I was comparing the e-ink of the Kindle and the iPad and it’s not that different, but the Kindle does feel a little more like text on a page. It doesn’t stop me wanting an iPad, though.

There is a lot of concern in the trade about the ways things are going to change and there is obviously a reason to be concerned – digital print on demand and the ebook revolution are already making inroads on traditional publishing.

Tomorrow I plan to see Cory Doctorow speak, probably about his new book, but hopefully someone will ask him about his ideas that information wants to be free. It will be interesting to see what he says.