#DecolonizeReading2023 Book Hunting Expeditions Features Reading Life Reading Themes

[BHE 567] Book Hunting in London (Part 2 of 4): London Book Fair and Author / Review Copies

GatheringBooks in the UK.

Myra here.

This is my first London Book Fair – and I am indeed very fortunate that I was able to secure free tickets, with special thanks to my host Candy Gourlay’s connections with the National Book Development Board of the Philippines (NBDB). I knew that the Fair was not really a place for book buyers per se – but for publishers and distributors to discuss translation rights and having access to the many books being produced in various parts of the world. However, I knew that just being in the same air as book enthusiasts who are championing the power of the written word would be invigorating for me, and it was. I know that there were also quite a number of workshops/ talks by renowned editors, authors, publishers – but I was not able to attend any of those, since I only managed to visit once.

London Book Fair

I initially looked for the booths of the United Arab Emirates – and noted that there were several of them: the Sharjah Book Authority had its own huge dedicated space:

Then there was also the Emirates Publishers Association’s booth where I got to chat with one of the ladies in the booth and mentioned our recently concluded Reading Festival in our college; and the booth of Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Knowledge Foundation. 

Such a strong showcase of books coming from this part of the world, indeed, in the UK.

Naturally, my husband and I also visited the booth responsible for providing us with free tickets to the fair:

and I drooled over the many titles I wish to get my hands on and took photos of them:

I did receive a few freebies from some of the Filipino publishers who attended the London Book Fair and I was super lucky enough to have also been given author copies by my dear friend, Candy Gourlay, who hosted my husband and I in her lovely home in London – along with two other Filipino publishers attending the fair.

Snagged from the London Book Fair

I grabbed a copy of the catalogue being given away by the Emirates Publishers Association. I especially love the titles being published by Kalimat – I did purchase quite a number of books from them at one point (see here and here).

I wanted to familiarize myself with the recent picturebooks being published now in the Philippines – as well as the graphic literature – mainly because there are so many talented yet underrecognized Filipino artists and authors whose works need to be featured more in the international scene.

I was also happy to receive the above from some of the publishers I met while in London: The House Tahanan Built: Celebrating 25 Years Of Making Children’s Books and Ink Story: Philippine Children’s Illustrators.

I received a copy of Eugene Y. Evasco’s book from his publisher, and super grateful to Candy Gourlay for sharing with me some of her more recently-published titles.

(01) Awtor Ako! by Eugene Y. Evasco (Amazon)

(02) Mike Falls Up by Candy Gourlay and Carles Ballesteros (Amazon)

(03) Wild Song by Candy Gourlay (Amazon)

(04) Sirena Ba Yan? by Candy Gourlay and Francesca Chessa (Amazon)

(05) Is It A Mermaid? by Candy Gourlay and Francesca Chessa (Amazon)

Advance Review Copies

I was also thrilled to receive these two titles from Amazon Crossing Publishing when I arrived home in the UAE from the UK.

(05) Memo And The Unexpected Gift by Funda Özlem Seran and Ezgi Keles translated by Amy Marie Spangler (Amazon)

(06) Jhupli’s Honey Bee Box by Achintyarup Ray and Shivam Choudhary (Amazon

Have you been to the London Book Fair? Any tips on where to go next time?

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