From a YA novelist:
The Educators' Night from Hell
A very good local bookstore was having an educators' night; in other words, a night where they invite local educators to meet authors of books for children, teens and 'tweens, buy those books for their classrooms and hopefully book the authors into their schools for paid, in-school presentations. A good deal, right?
Wrong. I carpooled up there with three other young adult authors, and though this store is a bit of a schlep, the good company made the drive roll quickly by. We arrived at the bookstore to find that we, along with about ten other authors, had been positioned at tables scattered throughout the place, so the educators could flow through the entire store, passing other books, stuffed animals, educational toys--i.e., distractions. Luckily, I was stationed in an area with a bunch of other authors who not only had good senses of humor, but had brought snacks. Chocolate, even.
The event began, and there were maybe twenty educators there - teachers picking up free posters and book promo freebies that publishers manufacture for their BIG books. After a short time to mingle with authors, the teachers were called to a seating area where the woman running the event--a totally clueless marketing wonk--was going to give a short presentation on all the fall books these teachers might be interested in...AND NONE OF THEM WERE OURS.
In fact, none of us were invited to present our books. We were left at our outposts, gossiping, discussing the merits of blogging and, yup, eating chocolate. Not long after the presentation, the event was over. It was, after all, a school night. My fellow carpool authors and I, plus one, went to a local eatery and drowned our sorrows in pie.
And I still sent my damn thank-you notes, thank you VERY much!