Six LDS Writers and A Frog

Saturday, August 02, 2008

LDS Booksellers Convention

By Sariah S. Wilson

So this Wednesday morning I will be getting up at 3:30 a.m. to get on a plane and bringing my 14-month-old along for the early morning adventure. I have already started making mental lists of what I will need for my overnight stay, and it includes an obscene amount of luggage (a car seat, stroller, a portable crib for her to sleep in). I am trying to figure out how to get it all from the long-term parking onto the shuttle and then from the shuttle to the airport and then how to get it through the line to check in and then through security. Once I get past that, I’m hoping it will be relatively easy to entertain the baby. She has a deep, pre-Earthly-life love for Barney the Dinosaur. (I kid you not. The first time she ever saw Barney she laughed and giggled just at the intro music. They were obviously friends in the pre-existence. Or else she just hung out here at the house a lot as a spirit when her older brother couldn’t survive without his Barney.) So I am bringing the portable DVD player to keep the baby quiet on the airplane rides. (Although I do question whether my fellow passengers would prefer Barney singing or a baby screaming. I think that might be debatable.) I have layovers, but I have to say that I actually find that easier when traveling with small children – it gives them the chance to stretch their legs and get out of the confines of the airplane before being subjected to it again.

My lovely sister Becky has volunteered to take time off of work to take care of the baby while I’m at the LDS Booksellers Convention. This will be my first time attending, and while I am already under the cloak of protection that Traci Abramson has offered me, I do have to admit that I am nervous about all that talking and smiling and interacting with other people I’ll be expected to do. Traci is trying to reassure me that it won’t be necessary to go out and buy a book on how to make conversation. I’m not sure I believe her.

I hope to get a chance to walk the convention floor and see all the booths. I’ve loved the themed decorations I’ve seen in pictures in the past. For anyone who’s been, what booths do I have to stop by? I figure the Whitney Awards booth so that I can meet those LDS Storymakers I talk to online but haven’t ever met in person, and obviously I’ll be at the Covenant booth already. Are there are any booths that give away chocolate? That won’t care that I’m an author and not a bookseller?

I’d also be interested in hearing favorite memories or advice from people who have gone in the past. (Post away in the comments section!)

I’m also going to the Covenant breakfast on Thursday morning. Is there anyone else who would like to join Traci in babysitting me so that I don’t do something stupid?

I’m also up for advice on how to make traveling with an older baby easier. It was cake last year when she was six months old, but now that she’s leaning toward mobility, I worry about how she’ll handle the enforced sitting on the plane.

I promise to return with pictures and hopefully not too many stories with ways that I managed to embarrass myself.


At 8/02/2008 5:19 PM, Anonymous William Morris said...

My daughter traveled quite a bit by airplane between ages 1 and 3.

We had two basic strategies:

1. We always had three to four new (but cheap) things for her to play with. A small pad with a fresh pack of crayons. A cute little furry or rubber thing that had some type of part you could fiddle with. A small thing of playdough, etc. Stuff you can play with on the tray. Oh, and a new, lengthy book helps too. I also brought a (cheap -- I don't own an expensive one so no worries if something breaks) MP3 player and two sets of headphones. We'd listen to music on the MP3 player. We'd listen to music that the plane provided. I'd let her fiddle with the MP3 players controls. Ate up 30-40 minutes with just that one item.

2. She could eat whatever she wanted. Now this only works if your child isn't going to eat until they are sick. But we always bought the snack box. We packed both some semi-nutritious snacks (pretzels, etc.) as well as two kinds of candy that we broke out when it became clear she was close to reaching the end of her rope. Your daughter is probably a little young for this, but we found Swedish fish were good.

At 8/02/2008 5:47 PM, Blogger Just_Me said...

For the baby- pack pretzels and dum-dums. If you can, schedule to have someone at the other end lend you a pack-n-play and the other big things. It costs money to put them on the plane and aside from a car seat and baby backpack the less you bring on the plane the better.

As for the convention- I've never even heard of it. I'm terribly out of the loop. Just smile and act like everyone loves you, hopefully they'll all get the hint.

:o) Have fun!

At 8/02/2008 8:37 PM, Blogger Sandra said...

Oh, you are going to love the convention. When I worked for a publisher, it was my favorite time of the year (well, next to Christmas) I would plan our booth all year and just loved being on the floor all week.

I get to go again this year, not as a distributer, but as a guest and I am so excited. I'll try to stop by and see you.

You don't need to worry about finding things to talk about, I promise. When you are not in the booth, just wander around and enjoy yourself. There will be plenty to see. (oh, and you will be able to find chocolate and all kinds of other goodies- bring a tote bag)

Drink lots of water so that you don't get too tired and worn out. The air is dry here and you will start to feel drained if you don't keep yourself hydrated.

Oh, and wear comfortable shoes!

You are going to have so much fun, just relax and be yourself and it will be the highlight of your book year.

At 8/02/2008 11:11 PM, Blogger Traci Hunter Abramson said...


Not only will you not need a book on how to engage in conversation, I will definitely help you find the booth that gives away the chocolate!

At 8/03/2008 1:56 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

What day and time are you signing your book. I just want to know when to sneak into the convention floor through the employee entrance, put on a caterer's apron and then jump in line for one of your books? Please tell.


At 8/03/2008 6:27 PM, Blogger Tamra Norton said...

I'm flying in Wednesday too! And my layover is in Denver.

Good luck flying with baby! I suppose you're not interested in the Benadryl solution. (I'm kidding! Really, I'm kidding!!!) But a sucker or two would definitely come in handy.

See you there!

At 8/04/2008 11:23 AM, Blogger Tristi Pinkston said...

I haven't flown with small children for a while, but the last time I did, I bought a little Blue's Clues house with little Steve and Blue figures that my daughter had never seen until we were on the plane and she started getting restless. I pulled it out and shazam -- she was happy. I put it away as we landed and didn't get it out again until the flight home.

At 8/04/2008 3:01 PM, Blogger Jon Spell said...

So, can non-authors attend this convention?

Where do the rabid-stalker-fans sign up?

At 8/04/2008 3:48 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jon Spell:

You have to either be a publisher or a retailer. This is where publishers show off their newest offerings in everything LDS from print to video to nick-nacks like the newest trends in CTR rings. They have a lot of fun. It is likely the most important marketing event for LDS publishers. And possibly one of the most enjoyable events for retailers who are treated well by the publishers and wholesalers of LDS stuff.

Getting in?

That would a whole nuther affair. You either have to be a publisher (not) or a retailer (not) or an author who has a release fetured at the conference and be willing to sign complimentary copies of said release to retailers who go from display to display filling their bag with chocolates, free books and all sorts of memorobilia.

Its is likely one of the best marketing tools for an author if you're lucky enought to have a featured release at the conference.

Congratulations to Sariah. She is one of the lucky few.


At 8/04/2008 5:52 PM, Anonymous Tammy D. said...

I went to High School with the woman who is always in the Kara Chocolate booth. I bet she would give you a sample. :)

At 8/04/2008 6:28 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

If she doesn't give you a sample, I'll send you a whole box. You deserve it.


At 8/05/2008 10:04 PM, Blogger Nancy Campbell Allen said...

Sariah, we've never met but maybe we will collide at Booksellers. I'll be signing advanced copies of my October release, Isabelle Webb: Legend of the Jewel. When are you signing?

At 8/05/2008 10:29 PM, Blogger Sariah S. Wilson said...

Thank you so much for the advice! I didn't have time to get new toys, but new Barney DVDs are ready to go.

I'm looking for that chocolate booth. That sounds awesome!

Thanks to everyone for the advice and the encouragement. It is much appreciated!

And I'll be signing tomorrow (Wednesday) at 2:00. If anybody is planning on coming, please come and see me. :)


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