The London Book Fair (LBF) has become a crucial forum for the European and US film adaptation market, both for new material and discussions of ongoing projects.
Both Lionel Shriver's The Post-Birthday World and Steven Hall's The Raw Shark Texts were buzz books at last year's event, and a slew of new manuscripts are circulating among scouts, agents, publishers and producers in the run-up to this year's fair.
The event gives a focus to adaptation discussions, with US and UK producers, agents and scouts mingling with publishers at dinners and drinks parties (the event returns to west London's Earls Court after an unpopular move to the Docklands last year).
London becomes a hub for US producers: show regulars include Hardy Justice of Tribeca, Drew Reed of Fox, Jill Morris of Focus Features and John Delaney of Scott Rudin Productions. In the fair's agents centre it is easy to spot influential scouts such as Erin Hennicke of the US's Franklin & Siegal Associates.
'Hollywood producers feel that LBF is an event they can't afford to miss,' says Rebecca Watson, of UK film agency Valerie Hoskins Associates. 'More and more people are coming over for the show to make sure their relationships with us are really strong.'
Many agents do not base themselves at the fair, preferring to host longer meetings at their offices.
Though the LBF is dominated by international rights trading, there is still room for a fresh manuscript to get the crowds talking. 'We're always dying to have a big book for LBF,' says Lucinda Prain of the William Morris Agency. 'The fair serves to heighten the tension.'