Silja Swaby, half Jamaican, half Finnish, is a marine biologist and author. Funded by Arts Council England, she has won competitions, and been placed in prizes and awards. She is working on a series of futuristic thrillers, featuring a female biologist whose quiet academic life takes a drastic turn. Silja has taken creative writing courses at Cambridge University and more recently Yale University, USA.

Silja tutors writers, gives workshops, and provides a critique service. She is happily unmarried and lives in deepest Somerset, UK.

Silja Swaby is pronounced Sil-yah Sway-bee.

April 23, 2008

London Book Fair

The London Book Fair is big, brash and not really the place for a pre-published author, unless you want a look see at how the industry works. It’s where the suited and booted agents and publishers do business – and they’ve got back to back, pre-scheduled meetings with each other. If you bring submissions of your own work hoping for a look in, chances are you’ll take them home untouched. Authors do give talks, it is about books after all, but these are ones you’ve already heard of. And if money is an issue, you’ll have to decide if the £35.00 entry fee wouldn’t be better spent on printer cartridges or stamps. Time is tight so;

1. The seminars, of interest to authors, ranged from pitching your work to getting books on the front page of newspapers. Insights like publishers are keen on writers who blog, was one I came away with. So get on with it. It's not hard and it's free!

2. Watching publishers convince independent book sellers to buy their latest offerings brought on a smug ‘so now you know what it feels like’ reaction.

3. Get lucky and you might get ushered into after seminar drinks and nibbles. But a couple of glasses of red wine (on an empty stomach I hasten to add), did result in my needing assistance to exit the building.

Ah well. Onward and upward, as they say.

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