Monday, July 09, 2007

Greetings From Atlanta ICRS

Happy Monday.

I am in Atlanta at ICRS (International Christian Retail Show). Thursday through Saturday Chi Libris had its retreat. (Chi Libris is the organization of Christian novelists.) Always so fun and refreshing to hang out with the author pals. We have two days of meetings, discussing the business, marketing, career paths, that sort of thing. Typically we don't focus on the craft of writing, but this year we had a full day with Donald Maass, agent and writing guru. His teaching is very instructive, no matter how many novels you may have written.

Saturday evening was the Christy banquet. Lovely night. Wonderful speaker. Very encouraging to us novelists. To see the list of Christy Award winners, visit the Christy web site.

Today is the first day of the convention floor opening. I sign copies of Coral Moon at the Zondervan booth at 2 p.m. Wouldn't you know it--that's the very hour that the one person whose line I wanted to stand in for an autographed book is also signing. Those of you who watch American Idol will remember Mandisa from the fifth season. She teamed with Angie Hunt to write a book about her experience at AI. That's the book Mandisa is signing. I want one for my daughter. I'm gonna have to get over to that booth early and see if I can sweet-talk someone into getting Mandisa to sign one, using my daughter's name. I can trot over later and pick it up. Hope this works.

Actually, I'm not trotting. I'm still limping a little--worse as the day wears on and the foot swells. I want to walk as little as possible, which isn't easy at a huge convention.

Tonight is the Personality Party. You know, the one I'm not invited to. Sigh.

Oh, well. After years of teasing about The Party, I may as well give you the real scoop. It's a signing party. For two hours. Publishers pay for a "booth"--a table, really, for an author to sit at and sign. It's in a big room, and booksellers only have those two hours to get to all the authors they want books from. Zondervan, my publisher, chooses not to participate in the Personality Party. Thing is, if I signed there, I wouldn't sign at the Z booth on the convention floor during the day. (1) Why pay for a table at The Party when Z can offer me a full hour of taking over their booth for a signing--for free? (They paid for the booth but don't have to pay any extra to have me sign there.) (2) Signing on the convention floor-especially on Monday, the busy day--arguably gives an author higher visibility and time with booksellers than competing with a whole room full of people during the same two-hour period. I have never wanted for people in my lines. Usually once I start signing I keep at it until the books are gone. So in truth, I believe the floor signing is a better way to go.

Man, the truth is so boring. It's much more fun to kid about not having a personality.

Did I mention new author Camy Tang is joining me for the signing? Her first book, an Asian chick lit titled Sushi for One, is just out. I figure we can do our own personality thing to attract crowds: Suspense author strangles Asian Chick.

Think that'll work?

Tonight is the ACFW dinner. I'll try to post about that for tomorrow.

For now, signing off from Atlanta.

~ Brandilyn


Kristy Dykes said...

Thanks for the tidbits about ICRS. Keep 'em coming!

Once Upon a Dream... said...

Hey Brandilyn! How are you? I haven't been around for a while, but I do miss reading your blog and hearing from you. Sorry to hear that you are still limping, I sorta know what it feels like (because I have a slight limp from having torn all the ligaments and tendons in my ankle), but I know your is alot different.

When might you be coming to visit us? Let me know!!!


C.J. Darlington said...

Thanks for taking the time to give us an update, Brandilyn. ICRS is in Denver next year, and I love Colorado, so maybe next year!

Rel said...

Surely some year you need to go internationally?? Australia is a great place - LOL!! Hope you were able to get that book for your daughter, Brandilyn :)

Kristy Dykes said...

Yoohoo, B. Where a-r-r-r-r-r-r-e you? Give us some more tidbits (and pics!) from ICRS! Even next week. Late is fine.

Gina Holmes said...

Brandilyn, if we would have given an award for best-dressed at the Christys, it would have been to you. You looked lovely.

(You can see her gorgeous dress on Novel Journey btw). Jerry totally understood why we had to cut his interview short btw. He was honored we took time out for him when we could have been gawking at you and Camy for two hours. ; )

I'll work on my glitter phobia.

Karen Eve said...

B- Enjoy your time with Mama Ruth and let her fuss over you. I'm amazed you were able to do ICRS!
Karen Eve

relevantgirl said...

Congrats on a good signing!

It was great to see you.