Several editors and agents are informing me that the eruption of that volcano in Iceland Thursday is wreaking havoc on those trying to get to the London Book Fair, which starts Monday and runs through Wednesday. European publishers are already canceling meetings, and in the U.S., the flight situation is precarious for all but those lucky enough to have flown to Europe earlier in the week. Even those early arrivals might find it lonely. I’m hearing agents and editors have or are considering scrapping their trips. Everybody’s pinching pennies, and even if flights resume over the weekend, agencies and publishers will have to weigh whether it is cost effective to arrive late. The bulk of foreign rights business gets done at London and Frankfurt, and London was going to be a big schmoozefest for publishers, lit agents and film execs looking for film-friendly books.
Also inconvenienced are those leaving MIPTV in Cannes, which ends today. I find it hard, though, to pity those execs forced to find something to hang around a few extra days in the French Riviera until the ash blows over and the skies are safe to fly once again.