Stephanie Mayabb (P&P's media relations manager) and I returned from the International Christian Retail Show in Atlanta a few weeks ago and I'm finally getting around to posting a recap. We complement Book Expo America every summer by heading to ICRS to meet with current clients, sit down with media contacts and take a pulse of fall titles from the country's largest Christian publishers.
Though we handle both CBA and ABA titles, we have worked very hard to establish relationships within the CBA that I truly value. As publicists, we spend most of our time building relationships with media contacts and clients over the phone and via email. Thus, we only get the chance to connect in person a few times each year. The key publishers within this segment of the book industry have some of the most gifted PR professionals around and we're fortunate to have the opportunity to work closely with them.
We kicked off the weekend with the "Power Media Meet & Greet" on Sunday afternoon. This panel discussion is always well-organized (thanks Nancy!) and this year featured CNN Newsroom's Sonya Houston and Gayle White of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. The panelists discussed packaging religious authors for secular coverage along with changes in religion coverage over the past year. Gayle discussed how her role at the AJC has recently changed, as her beat is no longer solely devoted to religion coverage. Unfortunately, it's a trend we're seeing with newspapers around the country.
This shift from unique, localized religion coverage is hammering home our belief that CBA titles need to relate to those "evergreen" general market media topics. We're excited to be working with a number of those books this fall.
Several of our authors had their new titles heavily promoted at ICRS and I thought I'd include some info about them:Illuminated
by Matt Bronleewe (Thomas Nelson, Aug. 2007) - This is one of the most impressive debut novels I've seen from the CBA in several years. I'm not alone in expecting big things from Bronleewe who, in addition to being a founding member of Jars of Clay is now a highly sought after music producer. Mark Parolini from CBA Retailers + Resources
(formerly Aspiring Retail
) proclaimed,"On a scale of 1 to 10, this goes to 11."Logged On and Tuned Out
by Vicki Courtney (B&H Publishing Group, Sept. 2007) - With apologies to several other clients, Vicki Courtney may be the hardest working author in the CBA. Only a few months after releasing the latest installment of her bestselling TeenVirtue
series, TeenVirtue Confidential,
parents of teens and tweens now have a resource to learn more about their tech-savvy children. CNN and Fox News have both looked to Vicki to provide a credentialed perspective on social networking sites in the past and we are eager to hit the ground running with this campaign.FaithGirlz! Body Talk
by Nancy Rue (Zonderkidz, Sept. 2007) - There's no doubt that today's girls are growing up faster than ever before. The FaithGirlz! series is a great resource for tween girls to get advice and help on issues that they're facing.FaithGirlz! Girls of 622 Harbor View
by Melody Carlson (Zonderkidz, Sept. 2007) - On Tuesday we attended the FaithGirlz! event at the Omni Hotel and I was quite impressed with the turnout. Local tweens were lined up for the opportunity to drink smoothies, decorate bracelets, play games and listen to a presentation from current FaithGirlz! authors Melody Carlson, Dandi Daley Mackall and Nancy Rue. Zonderkidz certainly knows how to throw a party! Life's Healing Choices
by John Baker (Howard Publishing, Aug. 2007) - This book is getting quite a bit of buzz, thanks in large part to endorsements from fellow Saddleback Pastor Rick Warren (who also wrote the foreword), Dr. Henry Cloud, Dr. John Townsend and several others. Publishers Weekly
has already reviewed the book, saying it will "galvinize Christians into action." We're very excited about this book because it addresses a number of great secular topics. I enjoyed sitting down with Baker, who has tremendous energy and passion. He's someone you can expect to see much more of in the coming years.Could It Be This Simple?
by Dr. Tim Jennings (Autumn House Publishing, 2nd Edition Sept. 2007) - This book is quietly heading to its second print run, thanks in large part to the tremendous word of mouth success. It's the first book from Dr. Tim Jennings, a practicing psychiatrist that also speaks and lectures widely on a variety of mental health issues. His publisher, Autumn House Publishing, is an imprint of the Review and Herald Publilshing Association.
We have several other fall titles that were promoted at ICRS and I apologize if I missed anyone, but these are fresh in my mind thanks to a number of great meetings. Look for these authors on the air this fall!
For more information about CBA or ICRS, please visit http://www.cbaonline.org/
Labels: CBA, Industry