Rebecca Lloyd, Senior Commissioning Editor at Accent Press, writes about her recent experience at the Young Adult Lit Con…
London ComicCon was hot and very very crowded. But the YALC area up with the graphic artists on the second floor at London Olympia, was an oasis of air-conditioned civilisation. There were crowds, and long, snaking queues for the most popular author signings (authors really are treated like film stars at YALC!). But there was also a lovely bean-bagged ‘chill-out’ area, as well as places to workshop and to sit down and listen to people talk about writing. Most importantly – there were lots and lots of people passionate about reading, writing and books.
I was delighted to grab the opportunity to get involved in all the cos play, dressing as a Hogwarts supply teacher with a profound admiration for Professor McGonagall.
I think this made me more approachable as I manned the general publishers’ stand. After several hours standing in a black pointy hat, I felt absolutely certain that the profile of Accent YA had been raised. Lots of bloggers were keen to get involved in our new list. Many teachers and librarians and readers also picked up our flyers. And it was fantastic to see our badges with our new ‘little a’ logo attached to hundreds of lanyards.
Aside from the opportunity to talk up our new list and our titles, to meet with bloggers and readers, and to network with YALC organisers at Booktrust and other YA publishers, including another from Wales, this year’s YALC was a wonderful fact-finding opportunity for me. It was great to see (and take away!) other publishers’ promotional material. Great, too, to see the inventive campaigns that companies are coming up with.
On a practical note, it was useful to see that while author signings can be booked up independent of panel-discussions, the signings that go really well are the ones that follow on from discussions and readings. Interacting with the audience is always really key.
All in all, I can’t wait for next year when we will have books to sell and cool authors to bring to the party!