10 Writer Learnings From The London Book Fair 2017 #WritersLife #LBF17 #Writer

London Book Fair, #writers

This week I attended the London Book Fair 2017 and wanted to do a post to share my writer learnings from the event.

Apologies to those expecting the next part of my series Heaven Calling. It will be back next week.

I have never attended the London Book Fair before so I didn’t really know what to expect.

Here are my learnings.

  1. I am so grateful I wore flat comfortable shoes and one of my writer friends talked me out of wearing a lovely (blister inducing) pair of nude coloured high heels. The event is huge and there are two levels with hundreds of stands. If I had worn heels my writer friends would have either had to give me a piggy back round or ditched me a few stands in past the entrance.
  2. It’s a great place to meet up with writer friends. I met up with some writers who know me from my blog which was nice as in-between listening to speakers we were able to carry on talking about writing. I seized the opportunity to force some of my writer friends to sit and listen to my latest second draft woes.
  3. Successful and famous authors are mingling and you never know who might be having a coffee from you a few tables along or standing near you. It is worth staying ‘eagle eyed’ and being prepared for an author crush moment (I had several!).
  4. The speaker events in Author HQ get really busy so we had to sit on the floor at times to listen. Next year I plan to take a little fold away camping chair, which I can pull out and erect at a moment’s notice, plus a little camping stove.
  5. Author crush moments can happen at any time and when they do you will lose all control of your mouth / brain. I found myself spotting a famous author, racing towards them with a head full of intelligent questions and once I stood in front of them all that came out of my mouth was…gibberish. It was good to see some of my writer friends suffering from the same issues. I found myself walking away from a puzzled looking author, shaking my head with embarrassment and having a stern word with myself about getting carried away again!
  6. Author crush moments will result in you requesting (begging in my case) a selfie and you need to think carefully about your selfie pose. I wish I had done this. As you will see from the photos below you need to think about severe hair partings and looking like you are a weird stalker fan. I achieved all these looks in my selfies *sigh*
  7. Behind every successful and famous author are years of hard graft, overcoming failure and persistence. From the speakers I listened to it was clear there is no such thing as overnight literary success. They just keep writing, no matter what!
  8. I learnt that you cannot have a one book approach. If you are going to publish a book you need to have another one waiting in the wings. Readers who like your first book don’t want to wait years for your second book, which I can understand.
  9. You need an author website which contains links to all your social media channels and blog. Your author website must bring this all together. Several of the big name authors I spoke to mentioned the importance of having an author website.
  10. Building a mailing list is key!  This is what we should all be focusing on. Seeing as I don’t have any books out yet I am not sure what I can share in a newsletter. On the train home I came up with some ideas for a Lucy Mitchell newsletter; a collection of bad jokes, photos of cakes I have recently consumed and a selection of amusing tales from the letters I used to write to my parents when I was a university student (so many wrongs in over 50 handwritten letters). This is why I don’t have a newsletter!

The photo below is me with my writer friends.



Me and NY Times & USA Today Bestselling Thriller Author and creator of the ‘Creative Penn Podcast’ Joanna Penn. I religiously listen to her podcast and her book titled ‘Author Mindset’ is amazing. Joanna is such a lovely person in real life and didn’t mind us disturbing her coffee time.

As you can see I managed to give myself a severe hair parting for the selfie.


Me and author of the international bestselling DCI Ryan mysteries – L J Ross. I loved talking to Louise and she shared so many useful tips.

As you can see I am modelling a slightly unhinged look (I’ve not even noticed that my top is on the slide and if you look closely there are many veins bulging in my forehead.)


I did introduce myself to one of my favourite thriller authors but that didn’t end with a selfie as I didn’t sound great and kept muttering ‘OMG you’re actually real!’

It was a fab experience and I will be back next year!

Have a great day!

Posted by

Lucy Mitchell lives in South Wales with her husband, her two teenage daughters, a giant labrador and a gang of unruly cats. Lucy is the author of the award winning blog, BlondeWriteMore and was a Featured Romance Author on Wattpad. When she’s not working or writing, Lucy can be found listening to audiobooks in a muddy field with her dog or sat outside her local pub in the sunshine enjoying a glass of wine. Her debut novel Instructions Falling In Love Again is OUT now and already pulling in some fabulous reviews ❤️

47 thoughts on “10 Writer Learnings From The London Book Fair 2017 #WritersLife #LBF17 #Writer

  1. So gutted I couldn’t go…. Work really gets in the way. Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts about the day and your selfies! I have no idea what to write in a newsletter either but perhaps I should have one too!

  2. Hi Lucy … it was a pleasure to get to meet you yesterday and end up in a ‘selfie’. Everything you wrote sums up the Fair perfectly … it’s good to have mingle! I’ve bailed out today … two days exhausted me! Eric

  3. Lucky you! Sounds like you had a great (and productive) time. Such an important lesson to learn that one book wonders just aren’t enough. You have to keep thinking of what’s coming next. I still haven’t mastered the mailing list yet either, or the perfect selfie pose for that matter! But you look completely laid back, like you do this sort of thing all the time, with amazing hair! 🙂

  4. To be fair, Lucy, I didn’t notice the top sliding and I took the picture. I also immediately went on to tell LJ I was reading one of her books and it was helping me overcome my insomnia. Gibberish would probably have been better.
    Great post, and glad you enjoyed the event. Same time next year!

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