Coming to New York

Dear Font of all that is wise and snark

I live in New Zealand, far away from the excitement of the New York publishing world. As luck would have it, I have the chance to visit your fair city early next year (yay! – I can’t wait). I have had some success with a picture book published this year in NZ, and another due out in 2008. I also have a junior novel due out in 2008 with considerable interest in the sequel I am currently working on. I have asked for the chance to meet with publishers in the US to which my publisher has agreed. I have been a devoted reader of your blog for the last year and can see that the US publishing business is wildly different to our own. I don’t want to waste this opportunity so please, please are there any tips you can give me that might help me win them over.

Not seeking world domination, just a toe in the door

You want to get hooked up with Media Bistro and their Avant Guild membership. They sponsor parties and you might be visiting on one of their dates. You'll also want to look around for groups that sponsor educational events (like NYPL) and attend those. And go to readings. And meet bookstore owners.

You're not going to have much luck setting up meetings with agents or editors because we don't know yet if you've got something you want. You can start building up your network of friends and acquaintances though, AND you can have a good time doing it. That's the best part.


Kelly Jones said...

Since you're focusing on children's publishing:
If you aren't already part of SCBWI, you might want to check out their events listings, or even contact the New York chapter contact folks... http://www.scbwi.org/regions.htm
(I'm not a member, but have heard good things about the organization from lots of folks.)

I. Myte said...

What wonderful advice. How I enjoy and profit from this blog.

Ski said...

Welcome to the other side of the planet. I hope you have a great time in the U.S.A. New York should be a wonderful experience.


~Nancy said...

I can't give you any NYC publishing advice, but I think you should get in some regular sightseeing; you don't know if you'll get another chance, so I'd make the most of it!

Hubby and I were in the 212 last week, and like other big cities around the world, NYC has doubledecker sightseeing buses:


We did one of those that last day we were in London a number of years back, and thought it was a nice, leisurely way to see stuff without having to walk around (we were pretty tired that last day).

And if you can, I'd take a tour of the Empire State Building (the Art Deco lobby is out of this world). I'd suggest at least the 86th Floor observatory; the 102nd Floor observatory (where King Kong was, heh heh) is also cool to check out because it's smaller. When hubby and I went up there last week (1st time to the 102nd for me), it was only us and a guide. Nice.

Here's the website for info on the ESB tour and other things:


Oh, and if you're into microbrewed beers, there's a fab microbrewery, Heartland, just inside the front door on the right:


Welcome to the States! And above all, have FUN!


F.R. said...

You guys don't find mediabistro a little bit scammy in that "pay us 500 dollars and we'll teach you how to get a book deal" kind of way?

Anonymous said...

Thank you all for the fantastic advice. Its a bigger opportunity then I'd first envisaged. And many thanks, Jersey girl, for the Empire State Building suggestion. I'm a major art deco fan. I'm hoping that the Daily Planet Building in the Superman Returns movie is not just a set and I can find that too when I am in NY.

I don't know what my chances are, but as my publisher in NZ is part of an international group, they are looking at arranging a meeting with the international division of the US office. I'm keeping my fingers crossed.

You NY locals might recognize me when I'm there. I'll be the giddy Mary Tyler Moore type throwing my hat up on the corner of a busy street.

Melinda Szymanik