Book Show, Now Norway

Not to be supremely trite, but I do love New York! It was so great to be there — the weather was superb, my agent David Nelson did a magnificent job moving us toward an I-Ching book deal, and I treated myself to a stay at the famously elegant Plaza Hotel right on Central Park for a few days around my birthday (like Jack Benny, still 39 :-).

The BEA book expo was a huge show, but at least 20% smaller than last time — according to the size of the publishers’ booths and the number of attendees. Nevertheless, it is very cool to be in the publishing capital of the English-speaking world at its biggest event. Although I have been a publisher (of software and web apps) for over 20 years, meeting with book publishers really changes your perspective as an author. With 80,000 or so new books being published every year, the thinking is so short-term and hit-oriented.

And this nasty recession has not spared the publishing industry, not by a long shot. I learned that there are a number of successful authors who are finding it impossible to get a publishing house to pick up their new work this year. But then again, they don’t have David Nelson as their agent!

David has been a true veteran of the publishing industry for some 30 years now. I met him when he was on the other side of the fence as an editor in charge of acquisition for Barnes & Noble Publishing. So he knows the view from both sides. We had some great meetings. If anybody can help me close a deal on the publishing of our illustrated spiritual decision-making I Ching, David is the man! The way we are going to do it will also bring more users to

Just today I arrived in Oslo, Norway where tomorrow night I give a class on the subject of spiritual decision-making itself. This country is probably the most solvent (and environmentally conscious) nation on earth … and it is just gorgeous. I’ll tell you a bit about my Norway experience — and my class too — in my next installment. Right now I gotta go have some herring!