Now that all of our books, cards and catalogs are delivered and the U.S. Commercial Service folks in Paris have completed the March 21-25 Paris Expo – Porte de Versailles, I’d like to take this opportunity to showcase the expo program and detail what we hope will happen afterwards.
The Paris show attracted more than 230,000 consumers and trade visitors, including wholesalers, distributors, agents, book stores, department stores, teachers and students. There were 1,100 exhibitors and 2,000 authors representing all the categories: literature, children’s book, art & design, gastronomy, social & human, and, of course our favorites, fiction mystery and suspense.
Killer Nashville authors and books were represented at the show by expert and highly dedicated U.S. Department of Commerce staff at the U.S. Embassy in Paris. Having worked 22 years at the U.S. Department of State, at many embassies around the world, I can tell you these folks know what they’re doing. They will do whatever is necessary to promote our books and the authors and, most important, will create some export successes for them and Killer Nashville. Their domestic teams in Nashville and Los Angeles will also work closely with Killer Nashville to ensure we get what we need–locally–to sell our books overseas…we’re in very good hands.
Representing Killer Nashville at the show is the key to success – At the Paris show, Killer Nashville books and materials were displayed in a lounge-area setup, where visitors came in and browsed through the books, sat in comfortable space, and took the time to enjoy the books. A senior Commerce Department staffer was onsite to meet with visitors, to explain more about Killer Nashville books and authors and America’s fast-growing indie writers industry, answer questions, and obtain as many trade leads as possible.
Processing trade leads right means business for everyone–our goal was to get as many trade leads as possible, from consumers that have a high potential to buy Killer Nashville books or seek business ties with the authors. During the show, such persons filled out trade lead forms to explain exactly what they are seeking, and from which author. After the show these trades are processed by the Expo staff in coordination with the domestic offices in Nashville and Los Angeles.
So this is what happens next: The commercial staff in Paris processed nine trade leads (including 29 book titles) and provided them to me and Killer Nashville staff on April 8. Over the next two weeks (April 8-19) the commercial staff contacted these persons, to let them know our timing of releasing this trade lead information to relevant authors. On April 22, an email was sent to each author privately, detailing the trade lead information and relevant contact information.
A note as we move on to other shows: We’re still be on a learning curve–The Commerce Department is always interested in knowing about your success stories, and from the Paris Show outcomes, they will be able to determine what works best for promoting Killer Nashville books and authors in future international shows. The Commerce staff in Paris will also continue to seek feedback from show visitors and will promote our books as appropriate. Because they will showcase our books at other events and invite literary representatives to review these books as often as possible, we should expect additional trade leads.
In preparation for the other international books shows coming up in in 2013 (next stop: Prague) I will continue to share suggestions with you. And, as always, I welcome your input.
Historical fiction writer D. A. Winstead is a former senior government official at the U.S. Department of State. Focusing in economic and security development policy, he traveled extensively during his twenty-two years of civil service in Washington DC. . . mainly in post-conflict regions in Africa, Eastern Europe, and Asia. Currently enjoying a slower life in Atlanta, Georgia, he writes fiction based on his travels and embellished by his experiences and cultures. www.dawinsteadbooks.com
(The Killer Nashville Guest Blog series is coordinated by KN Executive Director Beth Terrell (http://www.elizabethterrell.com/). To be a part of this series, contact Beth at email@example.com.)