Here was the plan. To crash the conference floor on Friday and take it easy on Saturday. Of course, the floor wouldn’t open up until Saturday so my well-laid/poorly researched plans went ah-skittering across the floor and out of sight. Convention floors are only open three days of any given conference. This is done, I am led to believe, so that publishers and marketing directors can retain a single dangling thread of their sanity by the time the conference ends. So on Saturday, bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, I skeedadled down to the conference center at the ungodly hour of 8 in the morning. Heaven forfend, sayeth I. Still, it’ll be worth it when I find the conference floor and find…
that it doesn’t open until 9:00.
Fortunately, there are many things to see in a conference center aside from the floor and I was able to amuse myself adequately until the time in question. Here, then, are some things I saw that amused, befuddled, and astonished me once the doors open and I ran down like a crazed Day-after-Thanksgiving shopper.
#1: Actually, this was what I saw before the doors opened. Everyone who approached the Conference Center was accosted on the street by a group of hearty volunteers shoving Exhibitor Guide & Coupon Books at them. For the most part this was just a fairly standard listing of ads and things you could "win" if you moved fast enough. Ho hum. Then I saw this: The Velveteen Principles: A Guide to Becoming Real. That made the whole booklet worth it, to my mind. And don’t forget the sequel: The Velveteen Principles for Women, with the subtitle, "How to shatter the myth of perfection and embrace all that you really are." Nuff said.
#2: Covers. Specifically, new covers on old books. First up, Squarefish. A new imprint from Holtzbrinck Publishers (it’s not their fault but "Holtzbrinck" sounds like the name of an evil corporation bent on world domination in a poorly written children’s film), Squarefish started small with those new covers on the Wrinkle in Time series. Now they’ve moved on to Natalie Babbitt. There’s the new cover for Tuck Everlasting and it has class. The marketing folks got clever and decided to hand out copies of the cover. Copies that, insofar as I can tell, aren’t online yet. Copies that also don’t credit the artist, which is a pity. It’s a disembodied female picture, but just her head’s cut off. The image is of Winnie holding the Invincible Frog (as it should really be known) in an almost photo-realistic setting. Very grainy with soft browns and greens and pinks. Pretty really. The tagline is, "What if you could live forever?’ As I stared at the cover, though, I got to wondering. Does Babbitt ever actually say what the time period is for this book? I liked high-buttoned shoes and all, but is it really that historical a novel? I hadn’t thought of it that way until I saw this picture. Now I wonder.
Other covers come via The Dark is Rising sequence. While scanning their website (hey, a new Victory paperback cover!) I found some of the new covers they’re doing. We’ve already discussed the new Simon Pulse pics (i.e. Why does The Rider have glowy green eyes?) but were you aware that there’s a whole separate set of new covers coming via Aladdin Paperbacks/McElderry Books? Check it out.