Cup of Tea and a Blog

Welcome to my spot for musing about all things tea. Here you'll read reviews of quality teas, click through comments on tea rooms and shops I've visited, and see photos of leaves and cups. You’ll also find things I might talk about over a cup of tea, like philosophy, literature, current events, or fun ways to pass the time.

Location: Pacific Northwest, United States

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28 March 2006

Live from the Expo: “Is There a Book in You?”

This morning I attended a seminar by Elizabeth Knight, tea sommelier at the St. Regis Hotel in NYC and author of three books. She was a well-prepared and thoughtful speaker. A booklet with small images of her slides (and plenty of room for notes) was handed out at the beginning of the session. Knight's talk went through several points, from the demand for tea books to researching competition to writing proposals for publishers.

My own experience with publishing has been mostly in the academic world, and much of my actual writing has been multimedia and/or online, so it was interesting to get a more traditional approach to publishing. Some of what Knight had to say was similar to academic publishing:

  • Locate your niche
  • Research previous texts
  • Define your potential audience
  • Write a proposal

One large difference that I hadn’t thought about, though, is finding agents. That’s definitely a new slant for me.

I didn’t really need any of the writing tips she presented, since I’ve taught writing classes for nearly 20 years, but it was good to view the writing process from a new perspective. Most helpful for me was a series of questions designed to help focus, plan, and to define one’s personal goals. She also gave insights into marketing and promoting both books and yourself.

This was exclusively about the U.S. publishing market, and much of it was focused on very localized or regional marketing. If you are writing a book in the U.S., or even considering writing a book, I’d recommend taking this seminar if she offers it at next year's Tea Expo (in Atlanta instead of Las Vegas). In addition to the great information she provides, you’ll have a chance to meet many business owners who just may be the ones selling your book in their stores.

That’s all for now. If I get a chance tonight, I’ll post a few more notes from the tea tastings I’ll be attending. However, if my exhaustion level isn’t too high, I may just spend the evening at the Star Trek Experience.

Live Long and Prosper (and drink lots of tea!) :)


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