After around 2:30pm, both of us were beat, but the shuttles weren't running until 3:30, so we decided to sit in on a session about reinventing one's literary career. It seemed on paper to be geared only towards those authors whose careers needed reworking, but it turned out to be very interesting. The five panelists - one publicist, one marketing director, one agent, one publisher, and one author - all discussed specific examples of authors who were able to reinvent themselves or their careers after their first (or second) novels failed to earn enough sales. The agent of the group, Marly Rusoff, gave Robert Alexander as an example of someone who managed to segue well into another genre (she called him a "historical suspense" writer; he's written two novels about the Romanovs for Viking, and has a third in progress). As Ms. Rusoff told it, as R.D. Zimmerman he had sold a small but respectable number of mysteries - in the thousands of copies - but as Alexander, the sales figures reached for The Kitchen Boy reached over 100,000 copies. Has anyone read his R.D. Zimmerman novels? I may check them out when I get home.
After a delicious dinner at a local Ethiopian place, we were exhausted and decided to turn in. Another long day tomorrow.