ICRS is a great place for authors. Retailers love to meet authors and there are book signings happening all over the floor. Spend a few minutes walking the floor, and you have the opportunity to rub shoulders and even grab a coffee with some of the industries most popular authors and artists.
Tomorrow, I head to the International Christian Retail Show (ICRS). This will be my 14th ICRS (it used to be called CBA International), and it is always a great time to get caught with the industry and old friends and colleagues.
My first CBA was in Atlanta Georgia. I had joined the Christian Coalition the fall before, and we were working with an advertising group called Dunn and Associates, to sell magazine advertising. I had never been to a trade show before, and it was a wonderful experience. I remember walking around, up and down the aisles, trying to take it all in.
A few of the stories that year:
- Ingram acquires Spring Arbor (largest mainstream distributor buying the largest Christian distributor)
- 13,599 people attend the 48th CBA Convention in Atlanta
- Billy Graham’s biography, Just As I Am, is released with pre-sales of nearly 1 million books
- Bob Carlisle’s Butterfly Kisses becomes the first-ever song by a Christian artist to reach No. 1 on Billboards Hot 100 chart
- Rich Mullins dies in a car crash at the age of 41
- Nine of the 10 best-selling videos for 1997 are “VeggieTales”
It will be interesting to see what the story lines will be like this year. The industry and the show have changed. The numbers are down considerably in store counts, exhibitors, and attendees, but yet, there were more than a million new books published last year (both mainstream and Christian). There seems to be a renewed sense of excitement as those who have weathered the economy shakedown look ahead.
I will be going this year as part of the Snowfall Press team. We are especially excited to be working on a new marketing and sales alliance which could bring our digital print-on-demand technology together with world class distribution in addition to a streamlined long run printing option, to give publishers a cradle to grave printing and distribution system for their books. As the details firm up and the agreements are signed, we will formally announce the players and the structure, but for now, it is incredibly exciting to consider the opportunities
Who knows, maybe Snowfall Press will be one of the footnotes in the 2010 ICRS history books!