Department of International Trade offers grants for book SMEs to attend trade shows; Webnovel provides micro-payment platform for consume-on-demand books; Queen’s Brian May promotes his 3-D books at The London Book Fair.


Funds of up to £2500 available for SMEs

Do you know that as an SME or if you are new to exporting book or creative products, your company can apply for grants between £500 and £2500 from the UK government’s Tradeshow Access Programme (TAP)?

That may not be a lot. It only covers the cost of promotions such as conference fees and exhibition costs. But apparently, trade fair publishing events are still crucial in getting warm leads and securing deals.

Industry experts shared trade show tips at the DIT session on Day 3. From left: Jenna Brown (Watkins Media), Nick Wells (Flame Tree Publishing), Jade Robertson (Austin Macauley Publishers) and Gloria Bailey, International Book Fairs Manager, The Publishers Association. Image: © S Christmas / Story Of Books

At a session to promote the TAP grants, Gloria Bailey of Publishers Association, said that a company can only apply for the grants six times in its lifetime.

Jade Robertson of Austin Macauley Publishers gave an insight into the best locations and footfall penetration at events such as Frankfurt Book Fair and Bologna Children’s Book Fair.

Nick Wells of Flame Tree Publishing said without the grants, his company wouldn’t have taken the stands at trade fairs. But publishing is an expensive business. Being at trade fairs enabled him to understand the markets, the ever-changing requirements and also the go-to-market preferences of clients from different regions. In China, he said, WeChat is crucial for messaging.

Jenna Brown of Watkins Media said that attending fairs and expos, no matter how small, is crucial in qualifying leads compared with email leads.

The event, held on Day 3 at the Cross-Cultural Hub, was backed by The Department for International Trade (DIT).

About Tradeshow Access Programme (TAP)

About the speakers

  • Moderator: Gloria Bailey, International Book Fairs Manager, The Publishers Association
  • Jade Robertson, International Publishing Director, Austin Macauley Publishers
  • Nick Wells, Publisher & Founder, Flame Tree Publishing
  • Jenna Brown, Rights Manager, Watkins Media


Don’t like subscriptions? Try micro-payments

Subscription services like Netflix or Spotify are great. You can get contents anytime, anywhere. But if you want to enjoy a few titles in a month, do you need to pay for hundreds of titles for the entire month?

Good proposition. Yuren Liu, Content Director, Webnovel, got us thinking when he explained the purchased-based model of his content platform. Consume-on-demand works in gaming and it makes sense with Webnovel, he said.

The Buzz Theatre was packed when Yuren Liu, Webnovel, delivered a talk on micro-payments. Image: © S Christmas / Story Of Books

Webnovel has over 7.3 million writers, 10.7 million online publications and over 10 million of registered users.

The benefits for content creators:

  • Living: The platform manages payments (collection and payout for royalties)
  • Career: The creator can expand his or her IP rights for adaptations
  • Fame: The creator can enjoy reputation-enhancement from Webnovel rankings

Authors retain their copyright but Webnovel gets 50% of revenue share. Yuren Liu said the company works hard at promoting the contents, so the 50% cut is a good incentive.

So where do we start? Someone asked. Liu said you submit your drama or your comic on the platform, and you can publish as many works as you want. On the analytics, he said the data is meant to prompt you these questions:

“How do people read? How do people feel?”

Story Of Books asked Liu how we can get started with payments. Can we use our payment accounts? Any currencies accepted? The payment system is connected to Google Pay and Apple Pay APIs, he explained. That takes care of security, currencies, privacy and due diligence.

About Webnovel


It’s a kind of magic: Dr May promotes stereoscopic books

Dr Brian May, astrophysicist and former Visiting Lecturer at Imperial College, London, was at The London Book Fair on Day 3. And we didn’t notice because we were too busy looking down at our shoes, avoiding eye contact!

Dr May, better known for his works with rock band, Queen, and the recent blockbuster, Bohemian Rhapsody, was at the Independent Publishers Guild (IPG)’s stand to meet with representatives who will distribute the book Queen in 3-D in Japan and South Korea.

The stand also features other titles under his imprint such as Mission Moon 3-D, Crinoline: Fashion’s Most Magnificent Disaster and Diableries: Stereoscopic Adventures In Hell.

If you take a look at the website of The London Stereoscopic Company (LSC), the imprint, it looks a bit like an imaginarium. Dr May is a maker, after all.

Mission Moon 3-D: Reliving the Great Space Race was the most recent release by the LSC. It was published in October 2018. The book is a 3-D stereoscopic book that he co-authored with David J Eicher.  It features spectacular 3-D images constructed by Dr May using the astronauts’ own photographs. It also includes a free stereoscopic viewer that he designed called the OWL. Because it looks like a pair of owl’s eyes.

It’s great to see him promoting a scientific book that has mass appeal. We’d love to see more academics reach out to the wider audience with simpler, easy-to-understand books. But then, Dr Brian May is a one-off. He’s a genius. Not many minds can oscillate between high-brow topics such as astrophysics and, well, Fat Bottomed Girls.

Image source:

About The London Stereoscopic Company