This was my second ICRS (International Christian Retail Show) as an agent with The Steve Laube Agency. Once again, the show proved to be a marathon of information, entertainment, new connections, and strengthened friendships.
On a personal note, this year marked my younger daughter’s eighteenth birthday so our family devoted Sunday to her celebration. Armed with a new camera, she took many photographs at the Harry P. Leu gardens in Orlando. These gardens are gorgeous!
The bulk of the show is condensed into Monday and Tuesday since the floor closes in mid-afternoon on Wednesday. Our schedule was packed on both days, and once again I enjoyed attending meetings with Steve Laube. To combat hot and humid weather, our hosts plied us with soda, tea, and water. I told Steve that Christians have added new meaning to the term “social drinking!”
The people we spoke with agreed that the floor seemed more sparse than usual, and some publishers occupied smaller booths than in the past. However, most of the best and brightest publishers were represented, often by their executives and owners. Amid hugs and laughter, Steve and I gleaned information we will use as we strategize how to present properties that best fit their current needs and interests. We were glad to have our first face-to-face time with Daisy Hutton, the recently-appointed Vice President and Publisher of Fiction at Thomas Nelson Publishers. She had already signed one of my clients before the show, so it was great to meet her in person. She will be the ideal successor to Allen Arnold’s excellent work.
I didn’t expect to learn much on Wednesday, but Steve and I spent most of the day in scheduled and impromptu meetings. I enjoyed the latter part of the afternoon with a couple of my authors. And with the this blog post coming to an end as I compose it the evening before I leave Orlando, I am shutting the lights on another wonderful, exhilarating ICRS. Next year, won’t you meet me in St. Louis?
On a note close to my heart, on Monday, during the convention, the finalists for the ACFW Carol Awards were announced. Please join me in congratulating my client Connie Stevens for being a finalist in the short historical category with Revealing Fire! Congratulations also to her editor at Heartsong Presents, Rebecca Germany (who is a finalist for five books that she edited!). Our agency has a total of four finalists this year. The winners to be announced in September.
Carol Award Finalists from our agency:
Long Contemporary Romance:
My Foolish Heart by Susan May Warren (Tyndale – Karen Watson, Editor)
An Accidental Christmas from A Biltmore Christmas by Diane T. Ashley/Aaron McCarver (Barbour Publishing – Rebecca Germany, Editor)
Wolfsbane by Ronie Kendig (Barbour Publishing – Rebecca Germany/Julee Schwarzburg, Editor)
Revealing Fire by Connie Stevens (Heartsong Presents – Rebecca Germany, Editor)