Well, I had an amazing and exhausting time at the Romantic Times Booklovers Convention in Dallas last week. Because when they say "booklovers" they mean it. I was stunned at the amount of freebies that were handed out. But the cool thing was those free books are leading me to new authors, some of whom I'd never heard of before. And that's always a plus. In my book haul photo (I paid for two of the books shown), the postcards in the back are for free ebooks.
Anyway, I went to panels on writing fast, research, and the power of extra content in marketing your books. All gave out valuable information. I'm still trying to process everything. I also had fun being around the kids who attended Saturday's Teen Day. And the book signing was huge. Massive. Ginormous. I believe over 600 authors signed that day.
So, here's my advice for anyone planning to attend an RT convention in the future.
* Convince a friend to go with you. I attended on my own, and though most of the people were super nice, it would've been more fun if I'd had a pal along.
* Suck up the cost and stay at the convention hotel. I saved money by staying with friends in Dallas, but it would've been so great if I could've gone up to my room occasionally to drop off books or take a brief nap.
* If you're an author, bring more swag than you think you'll need. People seem to love that stuff. Though I'd be interested to see if swag actually translates to book sales. Anyone know of a study that's been done?
*Be prepared to stand in lines—or I should say, sit in lines—because when people are excited about an event, there will be a line. And amazingly, those lines were some of the most fun, purely because of the people you could chat with.
So, there's my report. Next year's convention is in Las Vegas. It's sure to be a wild time. :D
People in YA Alley at the RT Booklovers Convention book signing. (There were more YA tables than I've shown here.)