My return trip from the ABA's Winter Institute in San Jose this past weekend was like rushing to be at your local DMV before it opens, no matter how quickly you get through it, visiting the dentist is a more satisfying experience. I took off early to get ahead of the snow, which turned out to be a non-event for NYC airports. My attitude about my return trip was thanks to American Airlines losing my bag. Once found, it was then delivered to my house at 3:00 a.m. on Sunday morning, sans a burgled camera and GPS.
That aside, I did leave the Winter Institute motivated and optimistic. The ABA ran a fantastic event that provided great connectivity for authors and publishers with booksellers, not to mention terrific sessions. Not being tied to running an event or being in a booth like LBF or Frankfurt, provided the chance to be there for exactly what I needed to do was not only liberating, but a valuable use of my time for what I got to accomplish at the Winter Institute. The theory of If a little is good, a lot must be better can be flawed, especially applied to things like dessert, shots at closing time or butter. However I look forward to BEA being the positive intent of a lot being better. I walked away from the Winter Institute seeing how great the Author Reception and publisher pitch sessions were and envisioned how BEA is going to be a lot of a better thing. When I get excited about something, I have an odd habit (annoying according to my wife) of rubbing my hands together like you would on a cold day. Well - I was rubbing my hands together thinking of how BEA will be all that great was at the Winter Institute only a lot more of it!
P.S. We will be making our author announcements shortly and it is a GREAT line up. I can share one tidbit - we will be welcoming Sara Gruen to BEA this year.
P.P.S. American Airlines will be getting back to me in 8-12 weeks after they conduct their 'investigation'. If I am blue at BEA, that will be the result of holding my breath over that period.