Wednesday 21 April 2010

The London Book Fair Day Two: Guerrilla Authors Storm Empty Stall

The headlines at the London Book Fair on day two. Sad.

The empty stalls were heartbreaking. These were at the pavilion for South Africa, the country chosen for this year's market focus.
On the first day of the fair, Noisy Dog author Sue Eves and I sat in one of the stalls and played stallholder.

Sue Eves

On the second day of the fair, Anne Rooney and Lucy Coats (probably the most prolific authors on Facebook)  went one up and actually took over one of the stalls!

They even managed a volcano theme - Anne having conveniently written a few books about volcanoes!

They called it 'Volcano Squatting'!

A bunch of us piled in enthusiastically and added our stuff to the stall.

Books by Anne Rooney.

Books by Tabitha Suzuma.

Thank goodness I happened to have flyers for my book TALL STORY (out on May 27, pre-order now, now, now, now ... and you can visit my website and you can visit my other blog here). (Apologies for the desperate outburst. I'm a debut author)

Tabitha just happened to have a freshly pressed copy of her new book (not yet in the bookstores) Forbidden. So of course, she had to do a guerrilla book signing - probably the first in the world!
She sat! She signed! She fled!
Guerrilla paparazzi!

Unfortunately by the time we took these photos, Anne Rooney was off to a lugubrious lunch with her agent, but really (in case you LBF authorities are wondering) the whole thing was all her fault inspired by her!

The good the bad and the writerly: Lucy Coats, Kathryn Evans, Candy Gourlay, Tabitha Suzuma. Also guilty involved but not in picture Anne Rooney, Sue Eves, Terry Teri and Jackie Marchant

Now just in case you are suddenly taken with a burning desire to become fans - here are some blog links and Facebook fan pages (listed according to guilt):

Anne Rooney's blog Stroppy Author
Lucy Coats's Scribble City Central blog and Facebook page
Candy Gourlay's Tall Story Facebook page
Tabitha Suzuma's Forbidden Facebook page
Sue Eves's Noisy Dog blog


  1. Wow, in some ways, the fair sounds so much better this year! I've been so put off in previous years, with people almost being a bit sniffy at me for being there and not being a rights person. Maybe it's becoming a bit more like friendly Bologna, that would be a great thing.

    Love the stall storming tactics!! :D (Where was I?! Clouts self in side of head.)

  2. there quite a few illustrator things going on. apparently they're trying to emulate bologna.

  3. although the illustrator corner was still a bit pathetic!

  4. Great thing to do. You go girls!! :)

  5. Candy, a bunch of illustrators put some of their stuff on our stand, too - and I might be ablet to get one of them a contract!!!

  6. Excellent idea. I've been twice to the LBF, and was bored to tears each time - this sounds much more exciting!

  7. Well done! Author power - I'm proud of you. I came to meet the production company from Dublin who want to turn Hybrids into a tv series (hush, don't tell anyone yet, the contract isn't signed) - who never showed - by the time HarperCollins emailed me I was on the train. Still, went down the pub with HarperCollins' very nice rights lady Mel, so it wasn't all wasted. Next time they can come on the ferry to Holyhead and I'll meet them in Wales!

  8. I congratulate you all for your enterprise! Well, you ARE all in the SAS!

  9. WOW! This might be a great evolution for a strange moment!!!

  10. Ah was brilliant. This is what happens when we are allowed out en masse.....

  11. I love the pro-activity of you lot. One year they'll have lbf during school holidays so I can come too!

  12. I really, really, REALLY want to come next year. Or maybe 2012, when the last of the trilogy is out. No. Next year. 2012 is too far away.

    And I know the booths are expensive, but could-- oh, like 20 of us---split the fees?

  13. kathleen - 3000 quid divided by 20 is ... hmm that won't be too bad! and you know where to stay if you come for the book fair!

  14. mission accomplished! Great thinking, I thought of doing the same but had visions of being frog-marched out of the Fair by irrate staff.

    I don't think the LBF stands are that expensive actually, some illustration graduate students shared a stand.

  15. Who Dares (to VolcanoSquat) Wins! Just wish we'd thought to do what the nice (official) man advised ie bring ash and volcanic rock. It was fun, girls--I'll play guerrillas with you all anytime!

    John--those were the very illustration students Stroppy Author is talking about! We liked them a lot...and then Martin 'Horrible Histories' Brown talked about them and showed their work in his seminar. So they got noticed.

  16. Sounds great. Way to go, Guerrillas!

  17. What a hoot. Great fun!
    Couldn't be there as I was stuck in Cyprus. hadn't been able to go anywas as I was supposed to be teaching.

  18. I wasn't there.
    But if I was, you got my name backwards, Candy!

  19. way to see an opportunity and run with it!

  20. Oh you guys are just brilliant!

  21. i am a huge fan i mostly read all your books they are so great


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