Just back from the International Christian Retail Show which took place this week at the Orange Country Convention Center in Orlando, Florida.
It's a straight shot from my house -- about an hour plus -- and I drove over Sunday night to spend a few days.
I love trade shows. I love meeting people, catching up with old friends, making new ones, walking the show floor, standing in line for the newest and lastest books.
My first trade was in '87. Vegas. With my first job. I was a software trainer and we helped support the trade shows. I got the honor of being the "in the round" speaker.
Someone sat at the proprietary computer program, ran the software while I talked about the system's features.
So, I love trade shows.
|Javier by the giant iPod! He freaked. |
But I was looking at the giant book!
|Author Gayle Roper sharing on the ACFW panel|
Then I went on the trade floor and helped with the ACFW panels.
That was fun. Since the show is for retailers, we focused the power and importance of story and fiction.
We also shared about Fiction Finder, ACFW's database that helps reader find the kind of novels they love to read.
In the afternoon I participated at the Fiction Event put on by the lovely Suzanne Kuhn.
I was able to talk about The Wedding Dress for a minute or two, then sign for the retailers.
I sat next to Colleen Coble and we ran out of books lickity-split!
|Me with Kim Alexis|
The big highlight of the Fiction Event though was meeting supermodel, Kim Alexis.
I said, "Kim Alexis, wow!" She was there promoting her book with Mindy Starns Clark, "Beauty to Die For."
At the 13th Annual Christy Awards, I was the guest blogger, helping Tyson Wynn of Wynn-Wynn let online attendees know what was going on in the room.
|With Tyson Wynn at the Christy Awards|
Allen Arnold was the keynote speaker and he was so good, so quotable I was able to blog a lot for the online viewers.
You can view our live blog here.
Tuesday I sat again for some ACFW panels and walked the show floor. I learned a few things.
The new buzz word is "discoverability." Meaning, how can readers discover you and your work. Social media is a part of that but I'm not sure what else is involved.
Seriously, I think the word was invented this week so the definition is still be molded. But I get where "they" are going.
Cozy mysteries sell well in e-book.
Trade books are still the largest part of the market because people still like to hold a trade book, but the market is still changing.
From Allen Arnold's keynote: Be present as much as you are productive. Your main priority is to live life and walk with God. You can't write about what you are not.
Allen really focused on having a relationship with Jesus above being great writers or great publishers. I really appreciated that about his talk.
I'm home now. Catching up and starting to write my next book, tentatively titled An Uncommon Princess. ;)
|With fellow belle and Christy nominee, Lisa Wingate|
|Goofing with agent Chip MacGregor|
|Oops was this the serious picture?|
|With friend and ACFW ass't conference director Allison Wilson.|
|With the humorous Dave Long, BHP editor.|
|With Christy Winner Steven James.|
|With Christy Winner Ronie Kendig.|
|With Christy Winner Julie Klassen|
|With a future Christy Winner, I'm sure, Dani Pettrey.|