Taylor Jenkins Reid – New York Times Bestselling Author – and Jonathan Karp of Simon & Schuster, are among the VIP line up on the first day of The London Book Fair 2024

The largest Spring gathering of the international publishing industry assembled at Olympia on Tuesday 12th March, as The London Book Fair kicked off its first day. Thousands of exhibitors and visitors from the UK and around the world gathered to do business, share expertise, network, and attend sessions covering topics including platforming marginalised voices, sustainability, tips for writers, social media, and new global trends.


Gareth Rapley, Director of The London Book Fair, said: “What an amazing opening day of LBF! It’s been brilliant seeing global publishing all under one roof and the excitement in the room has been so great to see. the buzz has been incredible. From our International Author of the Day, Taylor Jenkins Reid, to the Selfie Awards and incredible talks from authors including Gavin Esler, Lemn Sissay, Kit de Waal, and Joe Haddow, it’s been an incredible first day. We can’t wait to welcome everyone back across the next two days.”

Highlights from Day One of the Fair:

There was a Welcome Address from BBC and Sky Arts journalist Geeta Pendse which was followed by Esther Fung, Social Media and Marketing Coordinator at Pangobook, and Lea Crumpton, Content Creator and Bookseller, discussing the growing influence of BookTok and Bookstagram, and how these spaces are revolutionising reading habits.

Jonathan Karp, President and Chief Executive Officer at Simon & Schuster, and Porter Anderson, Editor-in-Chief at Publishing Perspectives, held the opening keynote address, which explores S&S’s outlook on the evolving world of content and the innovative directions they envision for the future.

Jasmine Richards, Founder of Storymix, Vicky Palmer, Creative and Marketing Director, Hodder & Stoughton, Ken Wilson-Max, Publisher at Kumusha Books and HarperCollins Children’s Books, and Hannah McMillian, Director at Midas, delved into their expert advice on how to prepare for the publication of your next book, with

Lisa Sharkey, Senior Vice President Executive Director of Creative Development at HarperCollins Publishers, Ain Chiara Bensenouci, Publishing Consultant, Jojo Schlattner, Senior Social Media Manager and Ashley Baugh, Associate Director at Midas, shared how authors can use social media to boost their brand and promote their books.

International Author of the Day, Taylor Jenkins Reid, New York Times and Sunday Times Bestselling author of Mailbu Rising and The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo, joined Leonel Teti, Editorial Director at Urano World on the Main Stage to discuss her career and inspiration behind the strong women featured in her popular quartet. Guests at The Fair were excited to hear that Reid’s new project will involve “a good love story.”

Jaclyn Swope, Senior Account Manager at Nielsen BookData, provided an insightful talk of the local and global factors driving varied book markets in 2023, through the combined data of Nielsen BookScan and GfK. The talk revealed that there were over 1bn book purchases in 2023, the top three countries for book sales were France (325m), UK (199m), and Italy (105m)t, and Colleen Hoover remains on all top five bestseller lists across EU and outside.

During the How I Write panel, authors Gavin Esler, Lemn Sissay, Kit de Waal, and Joe Haddow, shared a glimpse into their writing life, and offered insight into how they wrote their best-known books and poetry, find creative inspiration in the everyday, value feedback from the people around them, and how important it is to uphold the human voice in all writing.

Alexander Buchler, Director at Literature Across Frontiers, Dr Richard Davies, Publishing Director at Parthian, Bianca Bellova, Author, and Shelia O’Reilly, Board Member at European & International Booksellers Federation celebrated the European Union Prize for Literature and its evolution and impact on translation across European literacy scenes over the year.

Sir Chris Bryant, Shadow Creative Industries and Digital Minister visited The Fair, adding: “It was a pleasure to visit The London Book Fair and to see the UK’s publishing industry in action. The sector is a huge driver of economic growth in the UK and we are proudly the largest exporter of books in the world. We need to address publishers’ concerns so the industry can thrive and continue to contribute to the wider success of the UK’s Creative Industries.”

The 2024 BookBrunch Selfie Awards winners were also announced with Julia Boggio, taking home Best Adult Fiction for Shooters, Jill Michelle Smith and Jennifer Watson taking Best Children’s Book for Extraordinary Extinct Prehistoric Minibeasts: A First Guide to Fossils, and J F Penn winning Best Memoir/Autobiography for Pilgrimage: Lessons Learned from Solo Walking.

Written by Theatrefullstop