As promised, here are some LDSBA photos. I intended to get a lot more, but I got distracted and only have a few. So if you want to send me some, I’ll post them. (All you authors who did signings, send a photo!)
Just a bit of this and that.
Keith/Attending LDSBA: Usually, individuals cannot come to the LDSBA convention. Some publishers schedule book signings during the convention and provide name badges for the authors, but usually only those who have a new book the publisher wants to promote. You can purchase a name badge at the door for $25, but this is NOT the time to be talking to publishers. They are busy promoting authors they already have and selling their books to the bookstore buyers. They will not have time to talk to prospective authors. If you come, plan to walk the aisles with your hands firmly in your pockets and your lips sealed. You can observe, but don’t interfere.
Jannette/Book Covers: I’ve seen some really bad covers too. The one that really sticks out to me is one where the heroine of the book is in her 40s, but the woman on the cover could not possibly more than 25. Geez, did the publisher/illustrator even read the book?
Incognito at convention: No rose wearing for me. I have allergies. I understand that this is particularly unfair because I know who most of you are, recognizing you from your books or your posts which have photos. Sorry about that, but life is full of unfair circumstances.
LatterdayAuthors.com: I love(d) this site. I’ve recommended it multiple times here. I think it is a huge support to authors. Unfortunately, if any of you have clicked that link lately, you will have gotten an error message. You can read an explanation for that here.
Guest blogging: PLEASE send more. Please, please, please. Also, please copy and paste your guest blog within the body of the e-mail. Do not send it as an attachment. Since my computer crash several months ago, I’ve become very paranoid about viruses.
This is “heck” week for most LDS publishers. Next week is the annual convention of the LDS Booksellers Association. We’re putting the finishing touches on our displays and marketing materials. The convention starts next week. Tuesday we set up our booths, then the convention itself runs next Wednesday through Friday (Aug 15-17th).
This year the theme is on working together as a team—which I really like. It’s especially important for the smaller companies to act like a team, supporting and encouraging each other, rather than as competitors. If we don’t work together, we could all be in trouble.
Here’s the logo:
If you want to know more about the LDSBA convention, click here to read last year’s posts. I plan to get some pictures of the booths again this year and post them here for everyone to see.
Just out of curiosity, who’s going?
P.S. This may be the last post until after the convention. We’re busier this year than last year and I need to concentrate on making that filthy lucre. If you’ve been thinking about submitting a guest blog, NOW would be the time to do it.
I’ve already seen info about the Whitney Awards on several blogs.
I cannot express what a fantabulous idea I think this is. Spread the word. Tell every LDS author you know about it.
Here is a link to the press release.
Odds & Ends:
LDSBA: On another note, we’re moving into the home stretch for the LDS Booksellers convention this year. It’s August 15-17. I mention this because for the next 8 weeks, my life will be crazy and it will be my excuse if I miss a day or two here. (If you click on the LDSBA label you can read all about last year’s convention.)
CONTEST: Absolutely no one has submitted any marketing ideas to the contest. No interest? Or are your insulted by the cheesy prizes?
Are there times of the year that are better to submit than others, or
There’s not a huge difference in when you submit, it just may take longer to get a response.
Timing is more important with the smaller publishers than with the bigger ones because the small ones have each of their employees wearing several hats (ex: editor also does marketing). For those smaller publishers, the big LDSBA is in August, so July and August might take longer to get through the process. Also Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years–give or take a week on either side. Then there’s summer vacations–and there’s no way you can know when that will hit.
Many publishers will create a budget for a specific time span–usually yearly, quarterly. As it gets closer to the end of those time periods, they may have used up their budgets and not really be looking hard until the beginning of the next time period. Or, they may have extra money and be a little less picky just to get something out there. (Not a good plan, but it happens.)
However, regardless of when their budgets begin and end or when they take their vacations, if your book is good enough, it will overcome those obstacles. If their budget is spent, they will hold it over until they have money again.
So, long answer to a short question, No, it doesn’t really matter when you submit.
That’s the last of the photos of the LDSBA convention. A big thank you to those companies and individuals who augmented my own few measly photos. (I am not much of a photo taker.) I hope this has given you a sense of what the convention was like, although nothing quite does it like being there in person. If you are ever lucky enough to be invited to attend by your publisher, jump at it. It’s well worth the trouble to get there.
These photos and information come compliments of Sandra at Rosehaven.
Mapletree is a national publisher specializing in parenting and homeschooling. They also publish uplifting fiction. Their motto is: “Publishing excellent books that gently promote religious values.” They have been part of LDSBA for awhile, but just this year signed Rosehaven as their LDS distributor. That is why they have a shared booth. Between them, they had a three booth space.
Rosehaven both publishes and distributes for self-publishers and small presses. They carry over 100 products, including books, games, music CDs, and art prints. They are probably best known for their LDS Twelve Step Recovery titles, but they also have a variety of inspirational titles, LDS homeschool titles and fiction.
I’m sure the MoTabs were more impressed with the Pearl Awards than the LDSBA Listener Choice, but the couple who came to accept in behalf of the choir seemed pretty happy about it.
I think this is their latest album. That makes what? 2,007?
There were 119 vendors at the convention. I still have several photos to post but I know I don’t have a photo of every booth. The ones that I do have are not always flattering. (These are snapshots, not professional photo set-ups.) So if your company/publisher/friend is not represented here, please send a photo of their booth and I’ll be happy to post it.
Some of these companies I am very familiar with and others I don’t know so well. I’ve tried to give a fair description of them based upon what I know or what I can glean from the LDSBA magazine. If I’ve misrepresented anyone, please know that it was out of ignorance and not intent. And that’s what the comments section is for. Feel free to give your company/publisher a plug if you want.
I believe this is Accent Design. They do a lot of the matted prints with quotations. Again, I could not find a direct link to their website, but this one takes you to their stuff on DB.com.
(Perhaps we need to have a class on establishing a web presence at the next Wholesaler’s Seminar sponsored by the LDSBA.)
Had to make a run to the airport to send some authors home. Saw several other conventioneers catching their planes too. A few are staying through Education Week at BYU. In case you weren’t sure, the LDSBA convention is intentionally planned to be the week before Education Week so that those who want to do so can make it to both, instead of having to choose to attend one or the other. Now back to our photos.
This is the Cherished Moments booth. I couldn’t find their website, but here is a link to their products on DB.com. They sell some really cute bracelets for Young Women and CTR items.
Just past them you can see Latter-day Inspirations. They sell greeting cards and gift items with an LDS/Christian focus. Their cards are simple and minimalistic. I liked them.
Just have a few minutes this morning.
The convention is held at South Towne Convention Center in Sandy, Utah. It goes from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. on Wednesday and Thursday; from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. on Friday, with an LDSBA member business meeting at 9:00 on Friday morning and a fun banquet with awards and entertainment on Thursday night.
We are encouraged to decorate our booths to fit the convention theme. Most do. It’s fun to see everyone’s take on it all. Here are a few descriptions. I will try to get pictures later, but I’ve been so busy that I’ve been forgetting.
Deseret Book Booth
Deseret Book has the biggest booth. It takes up 16 booth spaces, plus one aisle. To help you get an idea, a booth space is 10×10′. That means they had over 1600 square feet. That’s bigger than my house! I didn’t have a long time to browse their booth, just did a quick pass through. They go very classy with black walls and silver and glass displays and leather couches and chairs for people (read that, “buyers”) to lounge in.
The outsides of their booths curve around on each corner to make a little alcove. This is where their authors sit to do their book signings. You can always tell when they have a big name in there doing a signing, because it goes dead on the rest of the floor.
They had Kenneth Cope (I think it was) and John Bytheway signing at the same time and it was dead from about 1:00 to 3:30 p.m. on Wednesday. I had two new authors doing a signing at that time. No one came to see them. It was dissappointing, but I had warned them ahead of time that it can happen. Since we don’t have access to any of the other vendors’ signing schedules, we make our own and hope for the best. But the authors didn’t feel too bad about it. They were so overwhelmed with the experience. And they had a good time chatting with us and visiting other booths to just look at all the stuff. They were really good sports.
The rest of the day we were really busy.
Oops. Just looked at the clock. Got to go. More later.
Stats have jumped on this site since I started the Convention Countdown. Is this topic really that interesting? When I started it, I was letting off steam. The next day, I felt bad about that and was going to delete the post entirely, but–surprise!–there were positive comments about it. So I guess I’ll continue the update until I get comments otherwise.
I will not be “working” today or tomorrow because I have some family events that require my physical presence, and at least half my attention. These people who have lived with me during the entire time that I’ve been a publisher stilll seem to think that summer is for vacations and fun and trips to the water park and theme parks and shopping and all. I tell them, “No, summer is for conventions and publishing. Go watch a video.” But they mutinied. And I either have to have fun this weekend or walk the plank. (Actually, they threatened to feed me to the Kraken.)
But back to the convention. Each year, the convention has a theme. This year it’s “Riding the Wave into the Future.” Here’s the convention logo. Isn’t it pretty?
We are encouraged to decorate our booths to reflect the theme. They even have prizes for the best decorated booths. We never win. I’m not that creative. I have no idea what we’re going to do in our booth yet. That is next week’s task. If you have any ideas for something cheap and easy, let me know ASAP.
This year is also the 25th anniversary of the association. What a huge milestone. I love this association. The people who are part of it are very committed to helping the industry grow and succeed. They have a passion for what they do; they’re excited about it. I think it’s a great vehical for helping vendors and buyers get to know each other on a personal basis. It makes selling and shopping easier for everyone. It also helps small publishers network together, sharing ideas, resources, problem-solving together. It’s a wonderful thing. I hope it lasts another 25 years.
(And anyone who says that the association has a hidden political agenda, or that it’s run by Deseret Book, or any of that other nonsense needs to go have their meds checked.)
When I first started publishing, it was the norm for the publishers to bring authors to LDSBA to sign books for the vendors. Now I’m noticing that authors aren’t being invited as much. Is this just the case with my publisher (don’t they love me anymore?) or are all publishers being more selective about who they bring to LDSBA?
Thanks for the question, Anonymous. It is so much easier for me to respond to questions than to make something up out of the blue.
This is how it works–You can’t get into the convention without a name badge. Each 10×10 booth gets 15 free name badges. So if you have a double booth, you get 30 name badges; if you have an octobooth (that’s the professional term for a ginormous 8 space booth), you get…well, 15 X 8 name badges. (It’s late and I just ended a 14 hour workday, so you do the math.)
First priority name badges go to the employees who will work in the booth. Remember, the purpose of this convention is to sell books. Second priority are the authors/artists for book/CD/print signings.
We don’t have enough name badges for all of our authors to come, so we limit it to those authors who have new product being introduced at the convention and/or to those authors who are “hot” names and will draw a crowd of people who want to simply touch their hem and breathe the same air so they can go back home and brag to all their neighbors that they are now good friends with whats-his/her-name.
And there are a limited number of hours to actually have book signings, so that is a factor too.
One of the biggest limiting factors is simply space in the booth. Deseret Book always has several big names signing at their booth. Covenant, Granite and Cedar Fort do too. They all have big booths with plenty of room and special little nooks and tables where their authors can sit and do a signing without interfering with the business end of the booth.
Smaller publishers with only a 10×10 have to cram everything into that space. If you get really busy with buyers, the signing authors sometimes are a hindrance. Not because of their personality or anything–just spatial logistics. Some smaller publishers have decided it’s just too hard to do it. Even though I don’t have an octobooth, I think it’s worthwhile to have the authors there because their excitement about their book is a great selling tool. Usually.
So my guess is–it has nothing to do with how much they like you.
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.)