It was a time for catching up with old friends - too many to name – and meeting new people like debut author Tonya Alexander whose book Nymph (the first book in the Love Oracle series) was in my reading stack. It was on my to-buy list until I won it as a door prize at the South Coast Illawarra CBCA Annual Dinner.
It was also an introduction to the people who form the Publishing, Marketing and Sales sections of WBA. So brilliant to able to put a face to a name or Twitter handle. Each section overviewed what they did and the ways they could help their authors and illustrators. How terrific is that? I’ve always hesitated to bother anyone but they're happy to be bothered!
Paul McDonald from The Children’s Bookshop was inspiring, charming and knowledgeable (as always) and presented a session on how creators could interact with bookstores. The room buzzed afterwards as ideas and experiences were exchanged. A number of authors decided they needed to move house closer to The Children’s Bookshop.
Ruth Ellis, Children’s Book Buyer at Dymocks spoke about how Dymocks selects it children’s and YA list and the strategies and programs they use to reach their customers.
At lunch everyone played a networking “game” where two of each author/illustrator’s books were provided to be given to a fellow Walker Books creator, to encourage working together and co-promoting. That’s easy for me to do. Just at look at the awesome author and illustrator talent!
My “prize” in this game was Sally Murphy’s beautiful new verse novel Roses are Blue. I read it that night. Having cried in Pearl Verses the World and Toppling, I set myself a challenge with Roses are Blue. I failed.
The first Conference was all very wonderful - the people, the product, the creators. It was a thrill to be a small part of the wonderfulness.