I think I might thrive under pressure. I say that because this week, here at Llewellyn headquarters, we will be doing our Fall 2013 sales conference and I have been slow to get prepared. For those of you unfamiliar with sales conference, it is a huge meeting where the acquiring editors showcase the fall titles for the sales, marketing, and publicity departments. For each title, we create a document that gives those departments all the information it needs, such as:
- release date
- cover image
- author bio
- physical book description (page count, sub-genre, ISBN)
- who the audience is
- a one to two sentence sound bite
- three comparable titles with book description and life to date sales
We also create a powerpoint to go with the presentation. During the presentation, I give a verbal summary of the book and often go deeper into why I chose the applicable comp titles. I also talk a bit about the author, especially if I have personally met the author.
After each title presentation, I ask if there are any questions or other information to add.
Is it stressful? Heck yeah. The most stressful part for me is the question time, because I have no idea what might come up!
But in general, I find sales conference to be fun and exciting. I acquire books that I love and often refer to them as my children. And at sales conference, I get to whip all my baby pics! I tell stories of hanging out with authors and getting to know them. I might go on and on about how much I loved a manuscript. I can talk about a series - where it has been and where it is going. I also work in my vision of Midnight Ink. Where we have been and where I see us going.
But alas, I procrastinate. Which means I should be filling in my powerpoint rather than typing up a blog post. By noon today, I will start feeling anxious and stressed out. Tuesday I will probably be a wreck and finish up my powerpoint. Wednesday starts the sales conference with nonfiction lines. Thursday we do fiction. I can't wait... now to just finish this powerpoint!
I give a big shout out to Kelly Van Sant who did the heavy lifting on my onesheets. And to Brian Farrey-Latz who put the bones of my powerpoint together. :)