Over the past three days I have been at the London Book Fair, where I have had meetings with 19 different publishers to arrange all of the foundation’s book orders for the next 12 months. Something I have come to realize is no easy feat.

This was our first time attending the book fair, which features over not only all of the worldwide publishing companies, great and small, but also literary agents, book rights negotiations, authors, editors, and everything in between.

My meeting schedule was bananas, as was navigating through the hundreds of different booths in the Exhibition Center. At each meeting, which is either scheduled to be 30 mins or one hour, I sit down at a table with the publishing sales rep for our region of buying (i.e. Africa), and go through my pre-prepared lists, as well as their current catalogues, to put together our orders. But it’s not nearly ready yet. After our meetings, I then need to sit down and put together our official orders, which includes the unique ISBN number for each book. When you factor in the thousands of books we are ordering, it becomes a huge amount of work!

My marked up meeting schedule by the end of the fair.