A quick wrap-up of the main takeaways from this week's London Book Fair. . . .
2011 BF blockbusters: Every year there are a select few titles that explode at the fair. According to The Guardian, this year's buzz generators included a tantalizing trio of titles: Steve Jobs' new authorized biography iSteve: The Book of Jobs, former British PM John Major's history of music halls, and the debut novel of Love Story author Erich Segal's daughter Francesca. But it was the quantity of deals, not the quality, that seemed to be the real story. Publishers Marketplace reports that March acquisitions were up 25 percent from the prior year, and April looks to be up 20 percent thus far.
International interest: The LBF is one of the major avenues U.S. publishers and agents use to sell foreign rights to their titles, but until recently the reverse was quite rare. This year, though, German agent Michael Gaeb reports a noticeable shift, with growing interest from American publishers at the fair for works in translation. The reason? Gaeb suggests it's largely due to the girls who sell a ton of books -- also known as Swedish sensation Steig Larsson's Millenium Trilogy.
E-readers flock to iPad: The only thing more prevalent at this year's LBF than e-book angst was apparently the physical presence of e-readers themselves -- most notably the iPad. According to eBook Magazine, the Kindle's tiny gray screens were nowhere to be seen, despite what many refer to as the "superior technology" behind the device. Chalk it up to how "desirability often trumps hardware specs," the mag says.
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