This was my second time attending the Romantic Times Booklovers Conference. RT is a crazy, chaotic, cacophonous, overwhelming convention that brings together writers, publishers, agents, booksellers, bloggers and readers. Although I found many of this year’s seminars lackluster compared to RT13, I feel I got more out of this year’s because of the people and the networking.
The highlight of the convention for me was meeting fellow spanking fiction authors Celeste Jones, Sue Lyndon, and Alta Hensley. I’ve known these ladies for several years, but we have never met face-to-face. Being able to sit down with them and talk was wonderful. Blushing Books publisher Bethany Burke—which recently purchased LazyDay Publishing, one of my publishers—invited me to the Blushing dinner and to a get-together at her suite. Bethany provided very open, honest information about publishing. I learned a lot from her.
On the way to a voodoo museum, I got to discuss career options at dinner with literary agent Tish Beaty of the L. Perkins Agency.
I met author and Wizards in Publishing founder Kate Richards, who had edited A Scent of Longing, my Decadent Publishing 1Night Stand vampire romance, talked about audio books with Kellie Kamryn, and had breakfast with a group of my fellow Loose Id authors and Kierstin Cherry, LI senior editor. I also met authors Veronica Scott, Pauline Allan, Shoshanna Evers, and LB Grant. Lori, “LB” joined my Street Team.
Those types of interactions made the conference all worthwhile.
My goal was to learn more about self-publishing as well as marketing, and while I got that out of the conference, in general, I found most of the seminars disappointing for their lack of hard data, with a new notable exceptions: “The Millionaires Club, Secrets of the Best-Selling Indie Authors” and “How to Buzz Your Book in this new Crazy Marketplace,” moderated by author M.J. Rose were both good. And the very last session I attended, “Building a Sticky Digital Readership” by historical romance author Courtney Milan (who has a science and math background) was phenomenal. It was the best session of the entire conference and gave me exactly the information I wanted. I’ll be talking about what I learned in Thursday’s blog, “Why some books sell and others don’t.”
This year’s conference location was fabulous, and I pretty much ate my way through New Orleans.
Would I do it again? Maybe. I’m thinking I might try some smaller conferences before doing RT again. If anything, RT sold me on the value of conferences for the networking opportunities.
Come back Thursday to find out why some books sell and others don’t!