We have just under three weeks until the LDS Bookseller’s Convention, which will be held at the South Towne Convention Center in Sandy, UT, August 16 – 18. I thought it might be fun to give you a little peek into that crazy world.
The LDS Booksellers Association is an organization comprised of LDS vendors, resellers and others engaged in the distribution and sale of LDS products. It is guided by a board of directors from a variety of companies across the U.S. and Canada. Each year, the association sponsors classes and seminars for both Wholesalers and Retailers; provides a network of resources making it easier for resellers to find and order product; and (drum roll, please) hosts a huge convention for members only.
This convention is the one time all year that vendors and resellers get to mix and mingle, talk shop, and get to know each other better. It’s also the time when vendors present their new products, get feedback about what the “market” wants and needs, and hopefully, the time when resellers place huge orders in preparation for Christmas sales.
Impressions made at this convention, both by company representatives and product line, can be long lasting and effect sales for months to come. We like to imagine that we will handle the weeks leading up to the convention with an elegance and grace that informs the well-prepared. Instead, it’s a madhouse–a flurry of frantic activity trying to get everything ready for the show.
For example, I am still–three weeks before the show–signing new product to distribute. Because I’m still negotiating on a book that I think will sell well in this market, I’ve postponed printing my catalog. That means I missed the deadline for a pre-convention mailing. (Drat!)
I also have titles arriving almost daily from various printers–batches coming from the east coast, the mid-west and even China. I have to spot check all this new product to make sure it was done right (no upside-down pages, no streaks across the covers, etc.). Then I have to inventory it and get it into the computer system. And somehow I have to find a place to put it so that no one will trip over it and sue me.
I also have to come up with a booth layout and decor that will be attractive, inviting and appropriately feng shui-ed. I have no clue how I’m going to do that.
Anyway, I’ve exhausted myself just thinking about this, so I’m stopping now. But I’ll comment more about it and describe some of the preparations in more detail later.
(If this is a totally boring topic for you, then please e-mail questions or queries and I’ll respond to them instead.)