Last week I had the opportunity to travel to Minneapolis and visit my publishing house, Bethany House Publishers. I went with my agent and two other debut authors to tour BHP's facility, meet the staff, and get a first-hand glimpse of the inner workings of publishing.
Let me just start by saying--WOW!! It was a dream come true! I won't ever be able to do justice to the experience in this blog--it was more exciting and nerve-wracking than I'll ever be able to express. But it is my hope to share just a bit of what I experienced and learned.
Of course in the days leading up to the trip, I fretted over the usual things like: What should I wear? How much deodorant should I pack? And did I need to make a mad dash to my stylist for a color and cut? (Yes, I really did stand under the kitchen light and ask my daughters if they could spot any grays.)
A week before the trip, I nearly had a heart-attack when my acquisitions editor emailed me to ask if I really meant to fly in at 11:30 pm. Only then did I realize when I'd purchased my ticket, I'd clicked on an identical night time flight, instead of the morning one I'd intended! Several phone calls and a few bucks later, I was back on track for my mid-day arrival.
When I landed in Minneapolis, my line-editor and the head of marketing picked me up and took me out to lunch. I can honestly say that was one of the highlights of my trip--having the opportunity to get to know those two ladies on a personal level.
After lunch, they helped me get checked into my motel, and then we headed over to the Bethany House office building. The sign in the picture above welcomed me as I entered. I couldn't have asked for a better greeting!
My first meeting of the day was with the ENTIRE marketing department. Picture me, trembling and sweating and seated at a long conference table with at least eight other people. And of course we were all there to talk about ME and my book. I can't even begin to relate how much I learned from the meeting, but I will try in future posts.
I had several more meetings over the course of the two days. I was able to chat with my editors about The Preacher's Bride and my most recent rewrite, along with the progress I'm making on my next contracted novel. They provided some valuable insights on a couple potential trouble areas.
I also met with the director of the creative department. He explained the process of developing book covers, introduced me to the talented woman working on my cover, and gave me a sneak peek at the ideas they've developed so far.
I did a podcast interview, spoke at a potluck in front of 40-50 staff members, chatted with many of them, hung out with my agent and the other authors, and so much more! But enough for today!
So what do you think of commercial flights these days? Pack of 10 peanuts or a bag of 3 mini pretzels? And tomato juice? Com'on! Who drinks tomato juice on a flight? And has anyone else ever had to sprint through O'Hare with ten minutes to catch a connecting flight? Can you explain to me why they don't have more moving sidewalks?
Oh, one more thing. Does anyone sit in an airport without talking on a cell phone anymore? I thought it was absolutely hilarious that the only people not talking on cell phones were the ones who were texting. *wink*
On a more serious note, I'd like to thank everyone at Bethany House for making my trip such an incredible experience. (Thanks guys! Now that I know you peek at my blog from time to time!)