For those of you unfamiliar with this convention, it's actually a reader's convention, but is well attended by authors, booksellers, librarians, reviewers, editors and agents. Not to mention, this is where the annual Mr. Romance competition is held. (i.e. ten to twelve hotties who compete for the title and hang out at the convention all week!)
There are beginning writer workshops, publisher spotlights, themed costume balls, a large book signing for both print and eBooks, and lots of great networking opportunities.
This will be my fourth year attending the Romantic Times convention, and my third year on the Faery Court, which is one of the themed costume balls.
Now, why am I telling you all this?
I've had more people than I can count ask me to give them the scoop on the RT convention, so I figured this would be a great place to post it from both an author and a reader perspective.
Authors: Not only do you have up close and personal access to a few thousand avid readers (including other authors - who, don't forget, are readers,) but from an author perspective, RT offers promotional opportunities every hour of every day. They have Club RT, which authors can sign up for on a first come, first served basis - where you can sit and greet readers in 1/2 hour slots at no extra charge beyond your paid registration to the conference. They also have promotions row where you can put out your promo items for readers to take. You name it, buttons, note pads, pens, bookmarks, bags of candy, temporary tattoos, stress balls, letter openers and just about anything else you can imagine can be found on this little section of the hotel. And don't think readers don't find them, usually I have to go refill my boxes at least a few times a day.
Editors, agents, booksellers, Mr. Romance contestants, librarians, readers and other authors all hang out at the bar in a friendly environment, which feels more like a relaxed happy hour than networking, but nonetheless, strong long-lasting relationships are forged in this environment.
Also, there are terrific panels on several genres and being asked to be on one of them is not only an honor, but great promotion since readers can hear you speak, get to know you, and your name is in the RT convention brochure and on the website. This will also be my third year on the Paranormal panel.
Also, there are tons of paid promotional opportunities. Everything from ads in the program, your book video showing during the book signings, being a sponsor for a mixer or sponsoring one of the larger events. Which, brings me back to Faery Court.
As I mentioned above, this is my third year on the Faery Court. What do I get for this paid opportunity? Throughout the year, my name, pic and website are promoted in the RT magazine as well as in the convention brochure as being a member of the Faery Court; several members of the court, including myself, have written interesting versions of fairy tales, which are posted on the RT site and each month, that Faery court member hosts the message board. So, stop by in February to read my story, HANSEL AND GRETEL'S REAL ESTATE VENTURES, and say hi to me on the message boards! Also, during the Faery ball at convention, my wonderful cover for my upcoming release, VISION OF SEDUCTION, will be flashed on the large screens, along with covers from my fellow fae; also, right now there is a scavenger hunt going on which will take you to all the fae's websites and allow you to win some great prizes! Not to mention, that my name is mentioned during the Faery Ball itself, and my sales always spike after the ball, and I hear from readers who found me there for many months afterwards.
The Faery Ball is only one opportunity among many at RT, and there's something for authors with every type of budget.
Readers: If you're looking for a week of fun up close and personal with many of your favorite authors, as well as a place where you can meet some new favorites, RT is the place for you. Raffles, parties, costume balls, prizes, FREE books, networking with authors and Mr. Romance contestants and much much more.
I urge all of you to take another look at RT and see what you've been missing!
And hopefully, I'll see you in Pittsburgh in April :)