Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Off to CBA

errrr...I mean, ICRS. The International Christian Retail Show. The lights, the glamour and the dizzying amounts of books all packed into one convention center. Hundreds of companies trying to woo thousands of retailers to stock their products in their stores.

Notice I didn't say "books"? Yes, more and more it's all about product. While all the publishers are represented, a huge chunk of the CBA floor will go to the dolls, the socks, and the ties with Bible Passages on them. And don't forget about the toys, the paintings and the diapers with a detachable devotional on them for new moms.

Okay, so it's not that bad, but books are fighting for space in the stores. And authors have their work cut out for them.That's why I go to ICRS every year. I don't have a new book release. I'm not even doing a signing. But I'm still going. Because I love it. I love being a part of this industry. An industry where you can stroll down a convention aisle and see both Beth Moore and a first time novelist. A place where you can learn what everyone thinks will be big, and then wait and see what will happen. A chance to stand next to booksellers from all over the nation and meet them face to face.

I go for the lessons to be learned, and for the people. It's the one time a year I can count on reconnecting with old friends and making many new ones. As Susan mentioned in her post, it's not about networking, but creating real relationships with people who get the crazy life of a writer. I am one of the people that also goes for a pre-convention activity. Many groups hold conferences and retreats around the time of CBA simply because it's the best time to get people together. In additon to a conference, I will also have a number of meetings to go to to prepare for some upcoming events next year.

But mostly, I'll just be a guppy walking the oceans of aisles in awe of all the huge signs and long lines of the rich and famous. Rich being a relative term, of course. So I must go pack, but I promise a full (and very special) report when I return.

Cross Posted at CAN Marketing Blog