Daily Archives: July 10, 2006

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MICHELLE THORNE: Atlanta , I Don’t Know Nothing About Birthing No Babies

July 10, 2006 by in category Archives tagged as

I know I said last time I was going to talk about how to use a Reader’s Group to grow your market but I have been reading The WRITERS VIBE BLOG about our “Young Ones” National Conference stories from last year and I thought I’d tell you about my first conference. You all know I love National Conferences. I have more fun and it’s probably because I don’t get all caught up in the agent /editor thing or the workshop thing or the fear thing. I LOVE TO WRITE, REALLY, I do, but I don’t have a lot of ego invested in it. You do, but here’s the secret, you have to relax and let your work speak for itself. Go to your interviews, schmooze with whoever you can, but SHOW NO FEAR OR DESPERATION. Publishing peeps can smell it. Have some fun, and here’s my story to prove my advice.

My first conference was in Orlando, FL an it just happened to be the year the Nora/Janet deal exploded and you couldn’t get near a women’s loo because that’s where all the great dish was going on. Well, I really had to pee, so I grabbed an elevator to go to my room and who happened to be on it but the “Male Troika of Agents…Ethan Ellenberg, Evan Fogelman and Steven Axlerod. They tried not to make eye contact and went into a defensive huddle. But it was a long ride and they were consummate gentlemen, so they asked what I wrote and I said “Checks.” I said I was a bookseller and then they became very interested in me: Did I have time to take a meeting? Yeah, right! What was selling in my store? What genres were big this year? The thing was I didn’t want anything from them and they relaxed. We spoke for a few minutes and I touted some of my OCC friends, and then, thank god, we arrived at my floor and I could escape to my room. I really did have to pee.

Every year I see one of those guys and they say “Hey it’s the check lady”. So relax, make a good impression, and have some fun. All these “important people” are just that, people. Follow up on any contacts and connections you make in Atlanta , but if you expect to “close the deal” there, you’ll probably disappointed. Be in the moment! Soak up the atmosphere. Set goals and agendas, but don’t be crushed if they aren’t fully realized. Since we’ll be in Atlanta, as Scarlett says “TOMORROW IS ANOTHER DAY”, Come hang in the OCC suite (It’s going to be awesome with a few surprise and lots of fun and special guests) I’ll be there and I have lots of stories. I’ve been in books since dinosaurs roamed the earth. Go to The Writers Vibe blog and read Louise, Dana and Michele’s blogs. They’re great. They’re authors on the verge of getting that first publishing contract. They’re smart, funny and very well informed about the publishing business. Good to know. For added inspiration, OCC’s own Mary Castillo, author of IN BETWEEN MEN, met her editor at conference!

Next time Reading Groups to Grow Your Numbers, for sure.

As god as my witness, I’ll never be hungry again! (I know, it’s a sickness)

Michelle Thorne
Bearly Used Books…123
Home of A Great Read
OCC Media Director
123 So. First Street
Historic Old Puente, CA 91744
(626) 968-3700

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