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Z Sales Meeting

Captain’s Log, Supplemental

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My trip to Grand Rapids:

My trip went so great! I’m hoping I remembered people’s names correctly.

I arrived in Grand Rapids around 3 in the afternoon, and Joyce Ondersma (Author Relations) picked me up at the airport. I’d met Joyce last year at ICRS and she’s a wonderful person. She has glorious red hair that I totally envy.

We had dinner with Sue Brower (Senior Editor) and Sherry Guzy (Marketing Director). I also met Marla Bliss and Karwyn Bursma (Marketing Director for Fiction Inspiration) and Joe Questel, who’s part of the Sales department.

We had these Bang-Bang shrimp appetizers that were a blast! (heheh) They were really spicy but really good. I fought Joe for them.

The day at Zondervan was fabulous. First I was shown to a separate “author lounge.” Now isn’t that just way cool? They actually had my name on the door—well, underneath John Ortberg, pastor of Menlo Park Presbyterian church (I had gone to Menlo Park Pres a few times when I was in college) who had spoken to the Sales Team that morning.

I spent the morning doing videotaping with Josh Green and Adam Stiestra, who’s the brother of Greg Stieltra (Greg wrote Pyromarketing). They were fun guys! They made the videotaping fun. It went really quickly. I hope I looked okay (wish I could’ve lost another 10 pounds before doing the taping, but oh well).

I also met Becky Shingledecker, who’s my developmental editor. She does figure skating for fun! Isn’t that way cool?

At lunch, I met Bill Oeschler (Executive VP of Marketing) again—I’d sat at his table at the Christy Awards last year. I also met Mark Rice (VP of Book Marketing) and Scott Bolinder (Executive VP of Publishing over books and Bibles).

Sherry was there, as well as Karwyn, Samantha Griggs (National Account Rep for Books a Million, B&N, Borders), and Jaime Seaton (General market sales account manager, Costco SamsClub). Samantha is expecting in a month, and she was at work! Jaime sat next to me and she was a riot (she has a cute pink phone too).

I also met Michelle Langer, who is the brilliant art director who did my book cover!!! Blame that fabulous Memoirs of a Geisha look all to her. I also met Karen Statler, the Editorial Manager who was responsible for getting my book out quickly (see below).

I also had a chance to chat with Karen Campbell again—I met her at ICRS last year, and she’s the Senior Manager of Publicity for all of Zondervan. She’s really excited to push my book!

The Sales Meeting segment went well for me. I had brought chopsticks laser inscribed with my name, tagline (Romance with a kick of wasabi), and website address to give to all the sales people (Sherry left them on each seat).

Dineen Miller had designed bookmarks for me (Dineen is a professional graphic designer, and by the way, D, I got lots of compliments on them) which I also gave out.

Karwyn and Sue and Karen Campbell gave a great presentation, and then Sue introduced me. I stood up there, shaking like crazy and my facial muscles twitching like a rabbit (I’m sure I looked just lovely—not).

And then I noticed the video camera trained on me. Wonderful.

So I was my normal irreverent, flippant, talkative, loud self. Very un-professional. They probably wondered if I was really an author or just some crazed person they brought in off the street.

They didn’t have many questions, but Sue and Scott Bolinder saved my behind by asking questions for me to answer. They laughed at all the places I wanted them to, so I was happy with that.

I met the new CFO, Gary Wicker, who made me feel better that I’m not the only new kid on the block.

Last but certainly not least, I met Doug Lockhart, President and CEO of Zondervan. He’s very nice and very tall. I only babbled a little. He didn’t give me any strange looks so I must have come across as somewhat sane, for a change.

Late in the afternoon, I spend a few hours chatting with Sue and Sherry in Chili’s. It was fun—we got to discussing our respective dogs. Sue just got a new puppy who’s absolutely ADORABLE.

I also have good news—my book is going to be out in time for distribution at ICRS in July! This is thanks to Karen Statler, who pushed to get it out earlier. Official release date is August 1st, and it’ll be in stores September 1st.

So, I’m going to go to ICRS to sign copies! I’m also going to give away more imprinted chopsticks and bookmarks there, too.


  1. Love the chopsticks! (But the bookmark pic didn't show up.) :( Glad the mtg went well!

  2. Great report, Camy! I love the chopsticks too - wonderful idea. Wooo-hooo on the early release - can't wait to read it.

  3. That bookmark is perfect, and the chopsticks! What a clever idea! It sounds like you had a great time.

  4. Camy, the chopsticks and bookmark are wonderful! You've got a great marketing mind. :-) And you trip to Z sounds fantastic! I know they just loved you.

    I'll see you at ICRS... will you save me a signed copy???

  5. Don't let Camy fool you. She did a great job and wowed the sales reps. She learns fast too--it only took one stab of the chopsticks for her to learn not to steal Joe's Bang Bang shrimp!

  6. It sounds like you had a great time and you did really well. We all knew you would.

    The chopsticks and the bookmark are both really awesome ideas!

  7. Sounds like a great trip, Camy! And I love to hear I am not the only one who is afraid that once I open my mouth, no one is going to take me seriously as a writer. LOL

    And that weight thing, ugh, I totally agree. I have to be in front of the camera this weekend and I am dreading it. How shallow of me, I know, but I just can't help it. And I'm sure if I didn't have ten pounds to lose, I'd still obsess over something else. Like my outfit or my shoes.

    But I LOVE the chopsticks. Too cool!

  8. Camy, it sounds like you had a fabulous time. I'm sure you wowed them!

  9. If you smiled, girl, you wowed them. 'Nuff said.

    : )

    Camy :)

  11. Sounds like an awesome time Camy! I love the chopsticks with your name and site - too cool! The book mark looks awesome too (she did a great job with the design)!

  12. Camy, thanks for letting us live vicariously. And have to ditto what everyone said--the bookmark and chopstick are awesome!


    ROTFL!!!! You are too funny, girl!
    Congratulations on a successful meeting, but I will slap you for not reminding me you would be gone so I could pray for you. (JK)

    So glad the bookmarks were a hit. The chopsticks are perfect! I'm so excited for you, going to ICRS! How cool is that?

  14. The bookmarks are really nice, Dineen. They look *fabulous*. A lot of people I gave them to complimented on them and think they are tickets to a show or something :-)

  15. The bookmark looks fab! Are you giving away book thongs too?

  16. will you be giving away bookmarks on here too? i'd love to help pass them out to help promote your book!

  17. Wow! Your trip to Z sounds like you had a blast. Love the props you brought for the teams. What a great idea, Camy. And Neen's bookmarks are WAY KEWL!!

    So excited for you, woman!!

  18. Um--I thought the chopsticks were the bookmarks----------!!!!!!!! Great idea , either way---------

  19. Love the bookmarks and chopsticks, camy!! So glad you had a great trip. I bet you felt like royalty. :)


  20. Michigan is the place to be. I'm so happy for you!!!

    I thank God almighty for giving the world some Christian Asian-American authors. I'm really excited about your book and I hope it's a GREAT success!!!

  21. Coolness, Camy! I can't wait to get my hands on the book!

  22. Wow, Camy!! This sounds really exciting. Love the chopsticks! Can't wait to read your book. :)

  23. Speaking as your macro editor...

  24. Hey Camy!

    You are such a sweetie! :: smells roasted coffee and swoons ::

    Yes, that was me that commented on your blog...during sales conference {shhhhh}

    :: looks up to Sue's comment and hides ::

    Glad you like my phone!


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