Last month I had the opportunity to attend the BookExpo America in New York City with my publisher and friend, Lisa Akoury-Ross. This was my first professional trade show, and it was quite the experience! The BEA is one of the largest annual publishing exhibitions in the industry, and I was grateful for the chance to display, sign and distribute my book, as well as network with lots of other authors and industry professionals. Among the celebrity authors in attendance were Mike Holmes from HGTV's "Holmes on Homes", Kathie Lee Gifford, Julianne Moore, Ice-T and one of my favorites, The Food Network's Ellie Krieger (who is just as sweet and beautiful in person as she is on her program, "Healthy Appetite"), just to name a few.
By far, the most memorable new author I met was 6 year-old Finnoula Louise, who was signing copies of her new book, "'Aminals', Animals". The line for Finnoula's book went on for yards, and her next book, "Cookies, Cookies", which includes recipes for delicious kid-approved, gluten-free treats is coming out this fall!
Lisa and I managed to balance work and pleasure, and took advantage of our hotel's proximity to Times Square and "Restaurant Row". The first night we enjoyed a terrific dinner at a little French brasserie called Pigalle, and took a stroll by Radio City Music Hall on the way back to the hotel. Tuesday night we walked down "Restaurant Row" and found the perfect little Italian spot, Cara Mia. We grabbed a table right next to the open shutter doors where we could people-watch during dinner.
By far the best meal of the week was at Trattoria Dell'Arte on 57th and 7th. Steve and a few other friends highly recommended the restaurant just a couple blocks from our hotel, and we definitely saved the best for last. The food was incredible, the wine fantastic, the waiter adorable, and the service was stellar. After waking up at 5:30 a.m. three mornings in a row, networking nonstop and eating on the fly, it was great to enjoy a memorable meal to cap off the trip. Here's me and Lisa standing next to Katie Couric's favorite table, underneath just one of the many "body part" sculptures adorning the walls at Trattoria Dell'Arte:
The BEA is so huge, that it took me over an hour to walk from one end to the other, as I browsed the booths. Practically every publishing house you can think of had a booth, and I was looking specifically to see if any of them carried a children's book similar to WDMSG? I remember years ago when I was searching for an appropriate picture book to read with Jason, I didn't have any luck either in stores or online. I thought for sure somewhere in the ginormous Javits Center exhibition hall I might find a book like mine to compare to. Would you believe in that entire show I couldn't find a single title that was not disease-specific? I did find a couple of lovely books for families dealing with breast cancer, Alzheimer's, grief, and parents injured during military duty. But for children coping with a parent or family member facing any type of serious illness, I found nothing.
While I was certainly happy to see how unique my book is, I was concerned that it still might be difficult for families to find it as they search online. While I'm working hard to spread the word about my book with my monthly newsletter, Facebook page, and this blog , I'd like to increase the visibility online to families out there who could use a book like mine and can't find it. If you wish, please feel free to post a brief review of WDMSG? on Amazon and/or Barnesandnoble.com (these links go directly to my book's page). Any feedback, comment or criticism you can offer may be useful in helping the book "pop up" when certain search terms are used. Thanks so much, I really appreciate it!