I attended the 2010 American Association of Journalists and Authors (ASJA) conference in New York City this past weekend and learned quite a bit about the highly competitive publishing market, working with agents, developing proposals, expanding one's platform, etc. My purpose was to push forward on my book idea on men's style.
Apart from learning the business of writing and publishing books, I had some great conversations. On Saturday, I had a chat with Laura Read, a freelance writer and photographer from California. One thing men can learn from women is the ability to improvise after the fact. Laura had carefully planned and packed several sets of clothes for the ASJA event but realized they were not quite right and ended up wearing a mix and match of separates. In my view, it is this combination of both planning and improvisation that sets apart the confident dresser.
Another highlight occurred during the proposal panel when I walked up to the podium and asked a question. Chris Parris-Lamb of The Gernert Company said "I like your blazer" (actually I was wearing my Teba jacket but it's the thought that counts as they say). Great panel and I went away with some constructive feedback. Note to self: My elevator pitch of the book as the "first real intellectual history of men's style" probably needs to be refined.
I met a number of other helpful, interesting writers and journalists but special thanks to Sondra Forsyth for her feedback during my mentoring session. The lunchtime keynote by Peter Shankman on social media (four principles of, the future of) was also superb - probably the best I've heard on the topic.