Hey all! Cheryl here with a recap from the 2011 Romantic Times BookLovers' Convention.
For giggles and grins, I'll begin by telling you that trouble always finds Camy Tang and I when we tackle road trips together. Last time, we almost (accidentally!) stole a car. This year, we apparently broke a ritzi elevator.
These are the notorious Bad Elevator Pictures: Bad in the sense of terrible (aka hilarious) pictures of us because we were close to giving the elevator a kick of Camy's Wasabi.
Alas, we escaped and the elevator was spared our wrath.
The only thing worse than getting stuck in an elevator, is getting stuck in a GLASS fronted elevator 22 floors in the air so the ENTIRE CITY OF L.A. can witness your stuckage and the frantic button-pushing that follows. And cackling. Lots of laughter on this trip.
RT's convention is unique in that it caters equally to readers and writers alike. Check out Club RT for instance:
Readers sit with authors at round tables and chat for a few moments before moving to the next author. It reminded me of speed dating, only without the speed. LOL!
I met some wonderful readers, like this woman, who downloaded my books onto her e-reader as we talked. How cool is that!? I took pictures of her wolf print tattoo for my daughter, a wolf fanatic.
I also met aspiring authors who hadn't heard about Seekerville who plan to visit the island. How exciting to make more Friends of Seekerville at RT!
In addition to meeting readers, fellow authors, aspiring authors and some of my favorite published authors, a group of us Love Inspired authors presented a workshop on Inspirational fiction.
We (LI authors Janet Tronstad, Jillian Hart, Pamela K. Tracey, Camy Tang, Kim Watters, Cheryl Wyatt) were treated to lunch by Harlequin Editors Dianne Moggy and Glenda Howard (also pictured with us above) who have some wonderful things in store for readers and authors alike. Stay tuned to www.eharlequin.comfor more info.
The convention provides many giveaways too.
Check out these awesome themed baskets!
Isn't the umbrella cute? It was FILLED with chocolate.
I loved the creative ways authors made the baskets so people could easily get them back home via air travel such as foldable umbrellas and soft-sided book-themed satchels like this:
Below is a romantic themed Cinderella basket from author Pat Simmons who is a wonderful friend, devoted Christian and awesome author.
She's also RT's longtime publicist. Pictured below with me, Pat and Camy is RT's publisher, Carol Stacey. We appreciate her devotion to promoting and reviewing romance!
The RT convention is growing its Inspirational presence. We hope you will help make that happen in 2012. RT 2012 will be held in Chicago on April 11-15 at the Hyatt Regency O'Hare. www.rtbookreviews.com. This convention has some really great workshops, such as FBI agents who brought in real FBI dogs! VERY COOL! Another workshop host brought in any kind of weapon you could imagine and let authors hold them to get a feel for research purposes. I'd LOVE to know how that presenter managed to get all those Uzis through airport security. LOLOL!
While ACFW is the number one conference I never miss, RT is also a great place to meet prospective editors, agents, authors and readers as well as booksellers and librarians. Oh, and not that I noticed or anything, but there are cover models running around too. Ahem. :-)
--Readers expressed in panels that they want authors to provide simple bullet-style lists of their books in order on Web sites that they can simply copy, paste, print and take to the bookstore or have in front of them when they log into online booksellers.
--If a book is part of a series, readers want the books numbered.
--Readers, booksellers and librarians want excerpts! They couldn't stress this enough. The more of the book they can read on excerpt, the more likely they are to buy because the more vested they become in the story.
--Readers said unanimously that if they had to choose between two authors' books where one provided and excerpt and another didn't, they would nearly always purchase the excerpted book.
--Publishers are working furiously to digitize as many back listed books as possible. Great news, eh!
--Editors say publishing has changed more in the past 7 months than in the past 27 years cumulatively, due to the digitization of books. Wow! Do you own an e-reader yet? If so, which one and how do you like it? If you haven't purchased an e-reader yet, what is the one print book that you own that you could never part with should you decide to go digital with your library?
--Inspirational sales are up...many thanks to YOU who support us and our publishers with your readership. WE APPRECIATE ALL OF YOU WHO BUY OUR BOOKS because it makes it possible for us to continue writing. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!
Here is a happy elevator picture once it FINALLY started moving again:
I'm curious about your take on e-readers. Comment away! I'll give one commenter a free copy of Ready-Made Family, which won last year's Romantic Times Reviewers Choice Award for the best series Love Inspired of 2009.