Here’s an Oldie But Goodie that gives you an idea about what it’s like to attend a national bookseller’s convention such as ALA.
ALA (American Library Association) is in town this year! The big event is being held at the Anaheim Convention Center just across the street from Disneyland. And while it may not have the rides that Disneyland offers, for a writer, ALA is a fairy-tale kind of place where yes, dreams do come true, and meeting publishers and editors face-to-face really can make it the happiest place on earth!
This year, members of my critique group of professional Christian writers (and illustrators!) planned a field trip to ALA. First, those who could make it met at Veronica’s house, the illustrator and budding writer in our group, then we carpooled over to the event.
Can you even imagine how much fun we had? At every publisher’s booth we stopped, we introduced ourselves as a local critique group on a field trip, and the excitement was contagious! Publishers showed us what their favorite new titles are, they described the dream manuscripts they are looking for, and they told us how to send our manuscripts their way. One marketing rep even shared that she is a wannabe writer, so we gave her tips on how to follow her dreams.
We got free books and free totebags and more free books and free gimmicks (I’m treasuring my “I’m a Fancy Nancy fan!” fan) and even more free books! Not to mention the autographed books of local author friends we unexpectedly ran into who were doing booksignings at various booths scattered throughout the floor. Lots of squeals of delight and hugs here…
By the end of our stay, we were lugging around heavy totebags filled with goodies, only to run into my hubby and youngest son who had just dropped in to take a peek around, too. Jeff graciously helped carry bags to the car for the other gals, then returned to join me as we headed to the Libraries Unlimited booth.
On display was one of our newest books we’ve written together: Readers’ Theatre for African American History. It was hot off the press–the first time we held it in our hands–and we are thrilled with how it turned out! We got to meet some of the folks at Libraries Unlimited, including our wonderful editor, Sharon Coatney. It was the perfect ending to a fairy-tale-kind-of day!