Self-published writers have voiced disgruntlement about a perceived sidelining of the Author HQ area at London Book Fair, calling it a “step backwards” for the independent author movement.
Ben Galley, who self-published The Scarlet Star trilogy, said Author HQ and “indie-centric” stands such as Kobo, Draft2Digital and Amazon KDP had been moved to “the very back of Olympia—as far away from the rest of the fair as seemingly possible”. He added: “If I’m to be brutally honest, it feels like that kids’ table at a dinner party. LBF has plenty of opportunity to expand its offering and mix the traditional side of the business with the indie side. Indie publishing is here to stay, and it’s about time that authors—the creators of the media this industry revolves around—were recognised as a valuable part of LBF.”
Eliza Green, indie author of Becoming Human, said the move was a “step backwards”. Chele Cooke, who self-published Teeth, added: “It’s a shame that LBF has pushed authors into a back-alley area, next to the toilets and as far away from any ‘real publishing business’ as possible. For a few years it seemed that it was attempting to expand on author involvement but this has taken a back seat, instead [it’s] left to companies who wish to sell products and services.”
LBF director Jacks Thomas said: “Author HQ was moved because it was such a popular feature last year that it needed more floor space. It’s a much bigger theatre this year and it’s still packed—it is such an important feature for LBF and it’s great to see how many indie authors are attending the fair. LBF always do our best for visitors and exhibitors, so we encourage everyone to send their feedback to us.”