I’ve been to New York City before. Many times, actually. With my parents. On school trips. With friends. Twice in college to see Conan. With my wife. But I realized as I got off the train at Penn Station on Monday afternoon that I had never been in New York City alone. It strangely felt like I’d never been before. And I’ve certainly never had an experience quite like the past few days.
I was invited to speak at the Sterling Publishing Sales a Conference this past Tuesday (er, I was invited months ago, but the conference was this past Tuesday, forgive my grammar).
What happens at a sales conference, you ask? This is where the Editorial, Publicity, and Marketing departments of the Publisher reveal the upcoming season’s list of books to the Sales Representatives who will then try to sell those books to bookstores around the U.S. and Canada. And let me tell you, Sterling’s Fall list looks awesome (and I’m not just saying that cause I wrote one of the books on it).
Why was I invited, you might still be wondering? Sterling thought I could get the sales reps excited about LADY PANCAKE & SIR FRENCH TOAST.
After a quick breakfast and some remarks by the editorial director, my editor introduced me with some very kind words. I shared a sneak peak of the book trailer (coming soon, I promise, Mr. Schu), and talked a bit about the book and what some of my marketing/promotional plans might be. And then I got a sneak peak of everything else Sterling is offering this Summer & Fall.
At the end of the day, everyone went out for done fancy cocktails (I got a Shirley Temple, just like my editor). At a luxurious dinner (where I should note there were zero children), I got a chance to chat with many of the sales folks, about breakfast foods, kids books, and everything else. I met Jeff Anderson, author of the forthcoming middle grade from Sterling, ZACK DELACRUZ: ME AND MY BIG MOUTH. And got to hang out with many of the the other book creators on the Sterling team.
But the remarkable thing was that people treated me like I was something special. In all seriousness, this was strange. A good strange, but I never thought anything I would do or say would be worth paying attention to.
(I mean I think everything I do and say is worth paying attention to, but until now, nobody else ever seemed to feel that way).
I keep thinking how fortunate I am to have found perfect homes for three of my manuscripts, connected with a great agent, and made all these friends along the way. This whole ride just seems so surreal. But I’m not saying I’d trade it in.
It’s strange, and might even be crazy. But it’s crazy awesome.