Reading and Signing at the OLA Superconference

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This post will be crossposted to The Unwritten Blog

So my mother and I attended the Ontario Library Association’s superconference yesterday, held in the Metro Toronto Convention Centre on Front Street. As the name suggests, this is the annual gathering of librarians and school librarians from across the province, and as this is a tremendous market for books, the book publishers come out in force.

Dundurn contacted my mother and I and asked us to sign our books — my mother’s book, The Ruby Kingdom is Dundurn’s latest young adult release, and they thought it would be neat if the mother-son team could sign pretty close together. If nothing else, we could carpool into Toronto.

Both our signings (I went first, at 11 a.m., and my mother followed a half-hour later) went very well, I think. We cut it a little fine in arriving, thanks to traffic on the 401, but I arrived on time and was started to actually see a lineup of individuals interested in getting their copies of The Unwritten Girl signed. I had to take a photograph so I could have visual evidence that this actually occurred. The forty copies available for signing went quickly, and a number of people had good things to say about the book. I was able to tell a number that the sequel was coming out at the end of April.

I was also attending because CANSCAIP, the Canadian association of children’s authors, illustrators and performers, had booked two hours at one of the podiums and had organized a “launch party” for those members who had new books released in 2006. Twenty authors had five minutes each to promote their book to the audience of librarians. To say that trying to sell The Unwritten Girl in less than five minutes was a challenge, but I think I did okay. But two author previous to me forced me to change my introduction, though; the first one went on about how hard she had to work to get into reading as she was a “reluctant reader” when she was young. The author that followed then read a small snippit of her book which involved her characters getting mauled by tigers.

So, I took the podium. “A reluctant reader? You don’t say! My book is about a reluctant reader, and the nasty things that happen to her after she throws a book against the wall — as she probably would once the tigers started mauling.

Hey, you grab whatever opportunities present themselves.

There was schmoozing, there were lots of displays, and free pens (I love free pens!). I also picked up a copy of Dundurn’s Spring/Summer 2007 catalogue. The junior/young adult version features Fathom Five prominently on page 3. It’s actually happening. And the second time is just as thrilling as the first.

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After the day was over, my mother and I walked up to the old neighbourhood and bought a mid-afternoon snack from the Yung Sing pastry shop of my youth, then we headed back to the car. Apropos of nothing, here’s a shot I took on the way home.

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