Posted by: nancyisanders | April 6, 2012

Publicists: Conventions

I’m interrupting my posts about filling out the Author Questionnaire for my publicist, Josh, to give you an update on what else is happening as we’re working on preparing for the launch in June of my newest children’s book, Frederick Douglass for Kids.

I’ve been busy working with my marketing manager, Mary, to set up details about attending ALA 2012.

One of the things that happens each year is that there are several huge big conventions that take place where a publisher showcases their new books that are being release that year. The big three conventions include:

ALA (American Library Association)
BEA (BookExpo America)
IRA (International Reading Association)

There are also other big conventions such as CBA (The Association for Christian Booksellers) that target a specific type of bookseller. There are also conventions oversees, too, that are giants in the industry such as the Frankfurt Book Fair.

So when you have a new book coming out, be sure to take a minute and check out where each of these conventions is taking place in the year your book will be released. If the convention is near your home or in a vacation spot, it’s great to make plans to attend.

Just the other day, my husband Jeff reminded me to check out the conventions. And guess what! ALA 2012 is happening right in my very back door…at Anaheim Convention Center.

So I alerted my publisher and my marketing manager, Mary, and the gears started working! First things first…Mary had to work to get tickets for Jeff and me to attend. (Thanks a billion, Mary!)

Not anyone can attend these conventions. You have to get tickets and tickets are very expensive.

So when I alerted my publisher about the fact I’d like to attend ALA this year, the first thing Mary did was work out the details with my publisher to pay for two tickets for Jeff and me to attend.


  1. How neat, Nancy! Have you been to this before? You’ll have to post photos.

    • Yes, over the years I’ve had the opportunity to go to lots of these. Very exciting! We used to take the boys when they were little. And one year, Wordsmiths took a field trip and we all went together. Great fun!

  2. I have to make a choice about my upcoming book, Stretch Marks, Devotions for the Not-So-Perfect Woman. I can purchase a full page in two catalogues, one that will be seen at our denominations national convention and at the retailers convention or, for the same amount, I can have my book literally present at the retailers convention. There will be up to 9,000 people at the denominational convention but I know not all of them will pick up the free catalog. There will, however, be lots of women there. I think they are the one who would consider ordering my book. Of course, the retail convention will have lots of retail stores looking for books. Do you have any suggestions about which would be the better investment?

    Gloria McQueen Stockstill

    • Wow, Gloria! Congratulations on the upcoming release of your book! Be sure to let me know when it comes out…I want to buy a copy for me AND for my friends! Plus, if you want, I’d love to interview you here on my blog.

      But as to your dilemma…here’s a question…if you pay for the book to be in the two catalogues, will the publisher have those catalogs available as files on their website, too? Or just in the paper copy? Because lots of booksellers and women don’t actually attend these conventions, the catalogs will reach more people. I know I study catalogs seriously…the ones online at least. So if you purchase the catalog pages you’ll reach the people who attend the convention and get the paper catalog but you’ll also reach the people who don’t attend the convention and get the catalog online.

      • Actually, they are setting up a page on their website for me. it will spotlight my book. You can purchase from them on the website. I’m still a little unsure of all that part just yet.

        Thanks for your help!

        Love, Gloria

        P.S. Just wanted you to know you are on my acknowledgements page in the book.

      • Gloria, I am honored to be part of your book in this special way!!! Thank you so much!!! And when you figure out how the website works, post a link to it here on my blog comments so we can all go over there and purchase it!

  3. Nancy,
    Do you go to each convention? How often do you go? Each year? Did Margaret go with you and Wordsmiths?
    How do you manage everything? It amazes me that you manage to do your blog and still write everyday.
    Happy Resurrection Day!
    Jan Parys

    • Happy Resurrection Day, Jan! This is my favorite holiday of the year.

      Now for your questions…I try to go to every convention that is out here near my home. I’m fortunate that I live near Los Angeles, Anaheim, and Ontario Convention Centers where these tend to come around every 2 or 3 years. They alternate to different locations every year across the country. And I don’t think Margaret was part of Wordsmiths yet when we went.

      Oh, and here’s a tip about managing writing and blogging. Write first. Then when that priority is out of the way, if there’s any time left for blogging, go ahead and blog. If I blog first I’ll never get my writing done!

  4. This sounds great for helping to launch your new book, Nancy! I’m really glad you’re getting to go. When you said it’s very expensive, do you mind giving us some kind of ballpark number, so others of us have some idea of what to expect if we ever want to go. You mentioned that you used to take your kids. Do kids get in free?

    • Thanks, Ev! For ALA, nonmember rates that I qualify for are $250 per day at the door. But since the publishers purchase these tickets for their authors to attend, they get different pricing rates. You can search online for these different conventions to find the rates. And when the kids were still living at home, I’d call all my different publishers and ask for tickets (you have to have your name on a ticket, you can’t just use someone else’s ticket) and many have been so generous over the years so that our entire family has been able to go often to celebrate the release of new books. (So no, kids haven’t gotten in free.)

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