So, why didn’t I say much about Tuesday?
Because, I CAN’T!
Let’s just say I was part of some very special, very shocking (but not to God) developments for my future as an author and I’m still pinching myself. I’m still in shock. I’m still overwhelmed as much by the possibilities that were presented to me (and a certain co-author) and the awesome way in which God brought all of this to fruition. It is truly a tale worthy of Christian fiction but in this case all true. And, one day soon, I hope I can share the details!
So, the rest of the ICRS show was a blur after Tuesday morning. What is it like going to this show? Let me give you some quick idea.
1. When in line for a book signing you will be overwhelmed by authors pitching their books. I was once a self-published author and, frankly, I admire their guts for being so bold to promote themselves. After a while I had to burst their bubbles by telling them, “I’m NOT a retailer. I’m an author.” At which point they realized I wasn’t going to carry their book in a store I didn’t run. So, they moved on. I prayed for each and everyone one of these self-published authors.
2. ICRS does so many things very, very well. But, what it doesn’t do well is to advertise book signings. This is left up to each individual publisher. So, if you don’t go by their booth and see their sign for that day’s book signings, you will miss out. When I went to Book Expo America, the main publishing show of the year for all of publishing, there was a list of all book signings at all booths. Now, maybe such a list existed, but if it did, I never heard about it and it wasn’t listed on my iPhone app (another great development by ICRS). I was fortunate to meet Charles Martin, Ted Dekker, Tosca Lee, Martha Rogers, and Os Guiness. But, I missed out on a whole list of authors I would have loved to meet. Oh, and the books are free and often pre-releases not yet available. If you miss your author, chances are there will be a pile of unsigned books you can snag if you want an advanced copy.
3.There are two good organizations out there every Christian fiction author should know about. One, of course, is the ACFW, the American Christian Fiction Writers and the CAN, Christian Author’s Network. Both of them had a presence at ICRS and both of them promoted authors to the retailers.
4. Take a rolling bag. You will get loaded up with free books and media and trinkets. A nice touch this year (as opposed to 2008) was the shipping section in the back corner. For 12 dollars a box, you could put a cardboard box with your name on it on one of dozens of tables and come back and fill it up as you gathered books. Then, before leaving the show, you could take the box over to the FEDEX table in the same corner and ship your books home. This was a GREAT idea! I won $600 worth of books from CAN and I was able to ship two boxes back. But, I kept my signed copies of books from Charles Martin, Ted Dekker, Tosca Lee, and Os Guiness with me. I don’t want to lose them.
5. The ICRS is overwhelming from the kids running around handing out leaflets to the old man blowing the ram’s horn every thirty minutes to the loud raucous presentations at “Town Center” to the music playing in the music aisles. By the second day, I was shell shocked. There is no way to describe how overwhelming the atmosphere can be. It is exciting and challenging and humbling and tiring all at the same time. If you are an author, you can become a CBA member as an “industry professional” and you can make appointments with major publishers to pitch your ideas. You can learn a lot about the distribution side of publishing. You can learn a lot about how stores handle selling ebooks, for instance. And, if the timing is right and God has ordained, you might wander into the biggest proposal of your life!!!
One final picture with a man I have enormous respect for as an author and an apologist, Os Guiness:
Until next year, I’m hanging up my dress walking shoes and putting away the frazzled rolling bag and putting my own cards for “The 12th Demon” on the shelf and I’m taking a much deserved nap. Because tomorrow, there is WORK to be done!!!