- If you've been following my blog and Facebook posts, you know that my husband and I recently moved in with my parents, so a few days away and a hotel room to myself was priceless.
- Being able to spend long leisurely meals talking about writing, books, marketing and getting to know people that I've otherwise only "met" via email or Facebook.
- The sheer spectacle of the whole event---hundreds of (mostly) women talking, laughing and having a great time.
- Great food in the French Quarter.
- Everyone was very friendly and even casual conversations with people I just happened to sit down next to were interesting and beneficial.
- Talking with Bethany Burke, the owner of Blushing Books, about the "business" side of things. She is a fount of information and shared generously.
I'm sure there are many more things to list, but I'm still recovering. I think you get the idea.
But, as a spanking fiction writer, is this the best venue? Sure, it was fun and informative, but were the readers there likely to buy spanking fiction? It's hard to say, but in general the conference was geared toward "Romance" in all it's permutations, but I didn't really see too much about anything kinky. I might have missed it.
I would have liked more reader interaction, but that might have been my fault since I didn't attend the book fair on Saturday. Sue Lyndon and Cara Bristol had a table on Friday morning where readers could meet them and while I was there, I met one reader who was very nice. Maybe she's even visiting my blog now (I gave her my ticket to the goody room and felt good about that because she was pretty excited).
Here's what Cara Bristol says: I think RT can be worthwhile, but like everything else, it depends on what you put into it. It is SO big, so chaotic that one's efforts can become lost among all the books, authors, swag, and advertising. The amount of "stuff" is overwhelming and it is hard for any one author to stand out.
But, having attended last year and again this year, I saw incremental improvements in my presence. Last year, nobody (other than the people I had arranged to meet in advance) came up to me and introduced themselves. This year, quite a few people did -- and I think face to face contact is beneficial for building relationships.
My spanking spoons were a huge hit, and hopefully stuck in people's minds. I don't think giving away a pen is the way to go.One's SWAG has to be stand out. I participated in the Book Fair for the first time and found it beneficial -- not to sell books--but to have a presence. This is when most of the readers come in. You have to have good SWAG. If I did RT again, I would do the Book Fair.
What I didn't like about the Book Fair was that RT relegates ebook authors to a second class status. Indies and epubbed authors were grouped together in a smaller room and squeezed three to a table. The print authors had much more space in the "Grand" ballroom. Why not just put everyone together alphabetically? If they have to split the alphabet into two rooms, so be it.
Spanking fiction has no presence at RT--but I think it could -- if more authors and readers made it a priority. As you know, Bethany of Blushing Books is trying to break in.
Would I do RT again? I'm on the fence. Before I did, I would like to try a smaller conference and compare the two.
What about the rest of you who attended? Do you think that RT is the best venue for spanking writers?
**Update*** Check out Cara Bristiol's Blog today for more of her thoughts on the conference. Click here.