Book Show: Preparation
Blogger: Wendy Lawton
Location: From ICRS, Atlanta
This is my week to blog but it’s also my busiest week of the whole year– The International Christian Retail Show. It’s the primary book trade show for the Christian book industry. I decided to take you along with me through the week letting you experience it as I experience it.
For weeks leading up to the show we prepare. As agents, we schedule back-to-back appointments with editors and publishers. Our goal is to present them exciting projects and introduce them (or reintroduce them) to our clients. In order to prepare for these meetings we have been working through all our clients projects, honing the pitches and making sure we can answer all the questions that editors may ask. We then prepare written presentations for each meeting. This year we have twenty-three meetings. That’s a hefty stack of presentations.
It’s also an opportunity for us to discuss complicated issues with the publishers like future trends, general contract issues, ebook issues, and more. We carefully prepare for these, sometimes by composing a white paper on a pressing issue, sometimes by just gathering information in order to solidify our position.
Weeks go into the planning. Just the task of setting up and confirming those 23 meetings takes an inordinate amount of time. Everyone at the Books & Such office works to plan our annual client get-together– choosing a venue, picking a menu, lining up speakers and sending out invitations.
Add to that the other tasks involved with traveling for business, including reservations, getting badges, travel, packing and organizing the work load for the time we’ll be away.
The good news is, the preparations are all completed.
We’re here in Atlanta and I spent this first pre-show day with client Debbie Macomber who spoke at a bookseller luncheon. Janet Kobobel Grant emceed the luncheon at the Advanced Writers and Speakers Association Conference. Then we all gathered at the Parable Dinner where Debbie spoke once more, along with Veggie Tale creator, Phil Vischer. What a fun combination!
The first full day is over. We’re tired but it’s been a good day.
This is your chance to ask any questions about ICRS or about the industry. I probably won’t be able to answer until we get to our hotel room late in the evening, but I’d love to hear what you’d like to know.