The past two weeks have been fun for Spanish book lovers. The Feria del Libro (Book Fair) at Madrid's lovely Retiro Park brought out all of Spain's publishers and major bookstores. Many foreign publishers also showed up. I've talked before about the value of going to book fairs, especially the London Book Fair, as well as fan conventions.
I joined a couple of members of my local writer's group to browse more than 300 stalls packed with books. I discovered two military history bookshops I didn't know about and some publishers that I might try to sell translation rights to. Writers should go to these things to see what's out there. Plus it's fun to buy books! I got a couple that will help me with a book proposal of my own in the coming months.
Seeing so many books together at one time really brings home how massive of an industry publishing is. The sight is simultaneously a reassuring and depressing one. Reassuring because there's room for all types of writers, depressing because it's so easy for your title to get lost in the avalanche.
I also got to see my old friend Claudia Gray, whose YA vampire fiction is selling well in both English and Spanish. She held up remarkably well during the day despite my having kept her out until four o´clock that morning showing her Madrid's nightlife.
So come on, writers, if there's a book fair or convention near you, go to it. You won't regret it.