Saturday, March 17, 2012

Live from Salon du Livre, Paris 2012

Well, let’s say it straight ! 

The “Salon du Livre” in Paris (International Book Congress) is one of the most popular conferences about book in Paris (and probably in Europe). Being here is very important for publishers, professionals of the book business and authors. Whatever author you are, being in the Salon du Livre is a major meeting of the year. 

First of all, apart from the “famous” writers, you are not going to sell many books, but the leading point is not in selling. The point is to be there, to meet you up some “colleagues”, to be seen and focus on “your” audience.

So, here is a moment of life in Salon du Livre - “Live from The Salon du livre” ! :

The fact is, I am an author, so I have my e-badge to access freely to the Salon du Livre, before the visitors and that is amazing. 

Each time I put this e-badge on my chest, I am just feeling a bit guilty and happy at the same time. But undoubtedly, really proud ! After the entrance, I reached my colleagues of the day and walked around until the official opening. 

It was funny to hear conversations from famous writers and pretty unknown ones. I met up some “friends” I met in some Conferences and we had a blast talking about last books we read. It was obviously very important to us, because we hardly noticed people coming around until someone asked one of my colleagues if he was “the author of this wonderful essay” she had read.

Sitting behind a lovely table, full of books (not only mines !), close to another author, we started to share our experiences and explained our resumes. I decided to sketch some people walking around and he wrote a few poems upon our “sitting position”.

The visitors ? Basically, some come in the Salon du Livre clearly because they love books and reading, discovering and talking with passionate authors. Indeed, we all are. The famous, the unknown, the well-known, the soon-to-be famous, we all are the same : we love writing and sharing our words to people, to strangers. The others are just walking around, trying to get free brochures everywhere and criticizing freely any author or book.

One of our first visitors was a middle age woman, attracted to us by the fact that we were laughing like crazy because of another visitor was too absorbed by his waffle that he did not see a box and fell on books (no injury ! He was laughing too). So she came to us and asked some questions toward the books and what I was drinking (tea). She stayed about half an hour talking about her reading and the fact that she envied us to be able to write. She complimented us to do so and walked away. We were quite happy to such conversation. We smiled back and we said her goodbye.

To sum up the day : long day, stunning noise, some laughing, a few lines written for another book, long queue on specific stands with famous writers with a dedicated meeting and nobody talking to you for half an hour (happily, colleagues are in the same old business and start chatting to you !), great talking with Japanese fan of an author, amazing and fascinating talk about Russia on the Russia Stand (U56), took a few cups of tea, gone to pee (awful places but where you can pee next to an author you fancy and smile like a stupid fan in front of the mirror !) and entertained myself with Twitter & Facebook !

After long hours, I am nearly off the Conference, thinking about tomorrow and the same day to attend, pretending to be an author and act like one ! I am very happy and proud of my day !

The program of tonight : Saint Patrick Day celebration ! On my way to the Pub in an hour (Kitty O’Shea - Rue des Capucines !) to get a whiskey and try out not to go to bed before 1 pm ! Let’s rock, guys !!!