Reflections on ICRS part One

This was my second ICRS (International Christian Retail Show). Last year, admittedly, I felt a bit lost. It was Joel Osteen’s year, his white-toothed smile plastered everywhere: busses, banners, billboards. Omnipresent, he watched me like those creepy paintings with the eyes removed in haunted houses. This year, no such haunting. There didn’t seem to one big book that wowed everyone. Instead, it was the news of Multnomah’s (demise? Sale?) that buzzed through the floors. I wonder if someday all the Christian publishing houses will be owned by one company . . .

I had the privilege of two book signings on the floor of CBA, the first for Watching the Tree Limbs on Monday, the second for Building the Christian Family You Never Had on Thursday. The first signing extended from 1½ hours to 2. We went through most of the books and I had the privilege of speaking to many readers. One man said something like, “My wife reads books for review—lots of them—and I’ve never seen her cry before. When she read your book, she cried.” He later found her and brought her to the booth. What a blessing to know my book has touched lives. The Thursday signing went well for being on a Thursday morning. I do pray that those who received the books would be blessed and that the people they pass them on to would be equally blessed. It excited me to be near readers, to be able to interact with them. This profession is so removed from the reader.

One thing that thrilled me was talking to one of my editors who thanked me for sending him the feedback I’d received on the book he edited. “I never really get to see the impact of a book I’ve edited because I’m so far removed,” he said. “Thank you for sharing the book’s impact with me.” He said he forwarded those emails to other folks who helped with the book. So, if you are reading this, and you are a writer, take this to heart. Send those positive emails to your editors. You’ll bless their socks off!

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