by Tyler M. Carey, Chief Revenue Officer
A week and a half following my return, and I have finally dug out from a very productive London Book Fair. Westchester once again exhibited at LBF, where last year as you may recall we had a prime location next to the scholarly publishing seminars at The Faculty. This year, instead of being in an independent stand, we relocated to The American Collective Stand which provides fantastic service to the publishers and vendors that use their collective area for meetings and exhibiting. We also were able to attend the IPG stand party (read their LBF recap here) to network further with our clients and potential partners. This different approach was very effective, with Dennis, Tim, and I having about 40 meetings over the three days we were at the Fair. Those of you who caught the New York Times coverage of the Fair and the rights business may have even had the opportunity to play some Where’s Waldo (Where’s Wally to our British customers) – yes, that is me in my powder blue blazer in the lower left corner of the crowd shot.
It’s worth noting that while the London Book Fair is indeed a global event that allows us to meet with publishers from many countries, this year our emphasis was focused on the British publishing market. Over the past year, Westchester staff have returned many times to the United Kingdom, where we have continued to build out our presence, UK-based staff and freelance resources, and most importantly, our customer base. The level of interest in Westchester’s services from the British publishing market has been so substantial that earlier this Spring we brought on Tim Davies to helm our UK operation.
Tim’s engagement with publishers on behalf of Westchester at the London Book Fair was a big game changer for the company. Tim has an innate understanding of publishers’ needs having been a publisher himself, and is also quite attuned to the consultative nature of Westchester’s business (no two clients really have the same workflow). This both-sides-of-the-desk expertise, if you will, has allowed Tim to have meaningful dialogues with British publishers, to help them evaluate their publications programs, areas where they may need some assistance, and explore ways that Westchester can provide affordable, scalable solutions to help publishers with as few as 2-5 titles per year or as many as 500+ address their specific editorial and production needs. Publishers we spoke with found our consultative approach towards working with clients and their authors to be very compelling. Shortly after the Fair, our Director of Operations, Terry Colosimo, released a blog post that expands upon this, and echoes much of what was discussed with our partners at the Fair.
Lastly, a trip to London for me is not complete without trying to attend an event with my colleagues from The Stationers’ Company, London’s publishing guild. While the Westchester team did indeed catch up with several of The Stationers’ at the Fair and at surrounding events, I was fortunate enough to be granted my Freedom of the City of London from the Company. For this second round of Where’s Waldo/Wally, eagle-eyed readers of the Westchester blog may recall seeing a similar photo from our friend Lorraine Shanley’s ceremony, last year. It was humbling to be one of the few Americans offered this tribute, and in joining the ranks of Morgan Freeman and Bill Gates, I’m quite confident that the wrong Tyler Carey was nominated. Nonetheless, I was happy and grateful to join my friends, family, and colleagues at Guildhall for this ceremony. I was also amazed to learn that I am now eligible, under the privileges bestowed by my Freedom of the City, to drive a flock of sheep across London Bridge. (No joke, every Fall Freemen get to do this.) Anybody based near London with an available flock of sheep that can be leased (option to buy, negotiable) is encouraged to contact me directly.