Monday, June 2, 2008

Book Expo America.

Aloha, Amazon! Thank you to my friend Muroku, who told me I could syndicate this blog over there. Look! I did it!

I spent Saturday at the Book Expo America. I was invited by my publisher, his wife (and business partner), and the company's publicist. What a seminar in publishing that show was. First, it was huge. Both halls of the Los Angeles Convention Center. I've been there before for the L.A. Auto Show and a screenwriting conference. Neither was so large as the BEA, neither in the number of companies present nor the size of the crowd. And the BEA is not open to the public (unless they don't mind the $40 price of admission). This is a trade show. This is the business.

There were thousands of people there. Not many writers; mostly people working for publishers, printers, distributors, etc.. I found it absolutely invaluable. And being there with my publisher meant that I got to listen in on the business they were doing and learn a bit more about what a huge task it is to publish a book. Iota Publishing is taking a big, big chance on me and my book.

I now know my book will be printed in Ann Arbor, Michigan, and warehoused in Chicago, Illinois. I found the book on page twelve of the distributor's Fall Small Press catalog. And I met my book! A galley copy sitting on the shelf in the IPBA display. My book.

And then Iota's publicist handed me a galley copy. My book in my hands. I cannot tell you how strange it is to open a new book and know all the words. I hadn't thought about it before. It's like an extreme form of déjà vu. I carried that book all day, and drove home with it on my lap. It's sitting here on the back of the sofa.

I'm not crazy about Los Angeles. It's a hard place. It's big, it's violent, it's unpredictable, it's immobile, it's waiting to be wrecked again. But there in the heart of L.A., in the giant convention center, I've had two of the happiest moments of my life. I won a large screenwriting contest there in 2004, and I met my book for the first time on Saturday.

Thanks to Iota for taking this chance. I know how much you have at risk. And thanks to that big crowded building. During the week you stand in for airports for film crews. Next weekend you will host an erotica convention. But twice you have been my own personal Happiest Place on Earth.

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