Yesterday and today we held the sales conferences here at Llewellyn Worldwide. Midnight Ink and Flux, our mystery and young adult imprints went yesterday. Today was the Llewellyn line and the companies we distribute for. But what happens at sales conference?
First we all gather in the conference room. Attending departments - sales, publicity, marketing, acquisitions, production, and art. Aren't we an attractive bunch? I stunned them into silence by telling them to shut it (my boys have rubbed off on me...)
Sales conference is basically me giving everyone else a sales pitch. Each editor has his or her own style. My style comes straight from being a bookseller. I give a short synopsis, but almost never any spoilers, and then some interesting facts about the author, the series, or the plot. Then the fun begins... anyone in the room can then chime in or ask me any random question connected to the author or the book. And let me tell you, the questions are often off the wall. I can talk about the Midnight Ink books or authors all day long - but the question time is the most nerve-wracking since I may, gasp, not know the answer!
Ok, that rarely happens. Mostly because I over prepare so I am not in that position. The week leading up to sales conference, I create, with the help of Kelly (who does our contracts and a million other things we need to keep the machine running), a one-sheet. The one-sheet is all the information the sales department needs to sell the book:
- physical description of the book (page count, trim size, price)
- rights we have retained
- author bio
- setting or location
- comparable titles (complete with ISBNs and bookscan numbers)
- silver bullet (one line that sums up the plot)
- series status (book 2 of three contracted, for example)
Usually while I am creating the one-sheets, I also create my powerpoint presentation. The powerpoint focuses mainly on the book cover, as well as key critical reviews or endorsements.
No rest for me though. I have six more launch meetings - three on Monday and three on Tuesday - and then the Fall 2016 catalog will be closed. Of course I still need to acquire a few titles for Winter 2016. Better get on that soon.
Tomorrow is one of the best things I get to do as an acquiring editor. I am road tripping down to Madison, WI with one of my authors for a signing. What makes this extra special - it's at the mystery bookstore I used to own. I haven't been there since I sold it and moved up to Minnesota. It has changed hands and names since I sold it, but nevertheless I am very excited. The following week is Halloween at Llewellyn, and let me tell you, that is a big deal! More on that next week. After Halloween I am heading down to Milwaukee for a little Murder and Mayhem with the Jordans (Crimespree magazine, frequent Bouchercon organizers and all around fabulous people). Bouchercon is just around the corner as well. Yep, this editor has a pretty full dance card. Just the way it is supposed to be.
Have a great week y'all! Happy reading.