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.