Before I begin, I must note that these are my personal opinions, not those of my employer.
The last two days have been a flurry of activity in preparing for the International Christian Retail Show. I haven’t been to one as an exhibitor for a while and I almost forgot the work and energy that goes into making something like this a reality.
One noticeable difference from ten years ago are the flood of flat-screen TV’s and monitors that are in each booth. Screens are so lightweight now, you can add them practically anywhere in a booth. Of course, that means a book trailer isn’t as impactful at one of these shows as they used to be. Now hundreds of TV screens will be competing for attention!
One thing I also almost forgot is the amount of work that goes into these shows. As an author, I’ve heard the many complaints about publishers not putting enough marketing effort into their books. But when you’re on the other end, you realize it takes an enormous amount of time and money to be at one of these shows.
This reminds me as an author to consider how much work an editor or marketer has to do to make any book get noticed. It takes creativity, elbow grease and a lot of vacuuming to even be noticed at a book expo. (The dust in a convention hall is incredible! There is also no heat or air-conditioning until the exhibits are fully installed. Eek!)
So if you get a chance, you may want to thank your publisher when they go to one of these expos. It may ease their sore muscles from toting those flat-screen TV’s, building and tearing down their area, and smiling for twelve-hours on end. Seriously, I never knew you could pull a muscle from smiling. It can be done!