The best thing about going to this conference was that we had all the right people in the right place. It was definitely worth the money we spent on the booth in order to make the contacts we did. The fact that now most of the major LDS booksellers in the US (and Honduras!) are aware of our book was invaluable. Felice and I did a meditation for prosperity each morning before the conference and it totally worked. So many times during the two day event we just felt like the Lord was pouring out blessings on us-- mostly in the form of good contacts and information. We learned so much about publishing and bookselling that we didn't know and it was awesome.
|Me giving "the pitch" to an interested bookseller|
|Felice Austin and I at our beautiful booth|
|By the end of the second day my legs were killing me!|
|Felice, Michelle (our next door neighbor booth) and I|
I also got the chance to meet Katherine Nelson, whose new album I recently reviewed and who wrote a post for me about her experiences portraying Emma Smith. She was at her recording labels booth to sign and give away copies of her CD to booksellers. We have exchanged several emails over the last few months and so it was so good to finally meet her. She was even more beautiful and gracious in real life than I expected.
Oh, and I have to tell you about the absolutely best part of the whole conference. When I was doing the speed dating event I felt really good about how I did, but I felt like I had blown one table because as soon as I started talking about the book this young woman and the woman next to her started to cry. The older woman even put her arm around the younger woman and I just felt awful. I was sure that this young woman had just had a miscarriage or had just found out she could never have children and here I was with a birth book. It was really awkward and I stumbled through my words at that table. I was sure I had totally offended her. Yet, later at the conference that older lady approached me, and thanked me. She told me that her daughter was young, pregnant and not married and that she had been struggling spiritually for a long time. She said that the reason they had started to cry was because as soon I pulled the book out they had both felt the spirit so strongly. She said it had been a long time since her daughter had felt the spirit and she knew that this book was a gift from Heavenly Father for her. She said she wanted me to have the statue to remind me that God had sent her manna from heaven in the form of our book.
It was such an incredible experience and as I watched this young girl just radiate joy as she took our book it just made me realize that somehow I had gotten to be an instrument in God's hands to remind her that she was loved and that God was aware of her and her unborn baby. I will be forever grateful for that experience, and it is so sweet to have this beautiful reminder of this little miracle in my home.
All in all the conference was such a good experience. It was two long exhausting days (and I missed my babies) but I am so glad that we did it. I am also so glad that Felice was there with me. I sure love that lady and it was wonderful to get to spend more time with her. It is amazing how she feels more like a sister now than a friend. I guess emailing someone multiple times every day for three years will do that to you.
I just love this picture that Felice snapped of us unwinding in my front yard after the first day of the conference. We were so exhausted that first night that we literally just came home and laid on the floor in my basement for about an hour. We had given it our all and just had nothing else! It actually really made me feel more sympathy for my husband and how hard it must be for him to come home and jump right into family life after having been away all day. I think it was also really good for me to have a few days away from my kids because it reminded me that I really would rather be with them all day than working somewhere else. Which is something I NEVER EVER thought I would say before I had kids, but these two days away just reminded me that right now I really have the best job in the world!
Thank you to everyone who has helped our book be a success! It has only been out for about 3 months and we have almost sold 700 copies already! It is just so amazing to see how the Lord has used it to bless women's lives and healed their hearts. If you haven't seen our book yet keep your eyes open for it-- it should be in a book store near you really soon!