(This photo was taken by Lewis Wickes Hine and archived with the NYPL. Our offices are not this picturesque, unfortunately.)
"What do you have on your schedule tomorrow?" friends sometimes ask me when we are hanging out in the small hours of the evening. (Because the small hours of the morning are too late for me to stay up for. Mostly.)
My most frequently occuring reply? "Meetings."
Then comes the inevitable lamentations, pats upon the shoulder, and assorted commiserations. The general verdict? Meetings suck.
I don't agree with this consensus. My job, it turns out, contains a number of generally useful and interesting meetings that are essential to the process of me getting my job done.
One of them is today!
For every season of books we publish, we have a meeting called 'Marketing Preview.' In general, what happens in this meeting is that the First Second people sit down, the sales people who are going to sell our books sit down, and then we talk to them all about our plans for packaging and promoting our upcoming books, with illustrative images.
(image from Cornell University Library)
And then the sales/marketing people talk to us about new things that have come up in their respective markets that could help us promote our books, things that distributors and retailers are doing differently that will affect us, and, in general, tell us all about what they think will help sell our books better.
You know what?
This meeting is awesome.
Any time I get to sit down with all the people in this building who know the market inside and out and work with them to make sure our authors are going to sell the most books possible is an excellent time.
Even if it does require powerpoint presentations and hand-outs.