My boss is NOT one of the many people who planned to go to the London Book Fair and has lost out on their deposit. Of the international fairs, she usually does one or the other - Frankfurt or London - and it was Frankfurt, which is in the Fall. It did create a panic in the industry last week when the volcano-related news came out, but the London Book Fair is going forward anyway, as most people in Europe can take buses or trains to get there.
Hi Rejecter. (I'd rather spell that with an Or, sort of like a Terminator!). This question may suck, but I'm asking it anyway: It seems like nearly every fantasy or scifi book that comes out now is part of a trilogy (or longer in some cases). Is this because publishers mostly want trilogies, or is it because the writers can't get Lord of the Rings out of their minds and think everything needs to be a trilogy? If I have a novel I want to pitch, should I be telling publishers "This is Book 1 of a Trilogy", in the hopes of more interest?
I don't have a straight answer for you here. Publishers in certain genres, specifically fantasy books and mysteries, do like multi-book series of an often unspecified number at the time of the buying of the first book. That said, they don't love them from new, untested authors.
As for agents, I don't think it would hurt your query, but I don't think it would help, either, unless your book has a stupid fantasy name like "Book 1 - The Prophey" because if you don't mention there's more books we'll just be wondering. The thought, when publishers buy a book, is often "Will this book succeed?" way before it's "How many of these can the author pump out and how fast can they do it? Because George R.R. Martin is screwing us over. I mean yes, we're still making tons of money off it, but we're really wondering if he's going to finish the series before he dies or some relative will have to pick it up and it will be lame."
Keep your focus on the first book. Getting one book published is really, really hard; many of my readers would be more than happy to tell you that. This is the book you want the agent to love and the publisher to buy.
I don't know whether other people who handle more fantasy hold the "unpublished author with a trilogy" against the author in the query or not. I just see it so often I ignore it, whereas if it was in a non-trilogy-friendly genre I would definitely hold it against the author (like, say, memoir). So, leave it out unless you can't, in which case just give it a line.