Monday, May 3, 2010

What I learned at RT

Happy Manic Monday! It’s a very slow start for me. I’m on my third cup of coffee and can’t get my body to move but my mind is racing with new writing ideas.

The Romance Times convention was last week in Columbus Ohio and I attended it with J. Hali Steele. It was my first time and didn’t know what to expect. Seminars, workshops, parties, costumes, and Mr. Romance contestants were some of the things to experience.

My first day, I spent trying to orient to the large building and meeting people. I knew others who would be attending but never met them face to face before. Finding them was not the easiest thing. Ask poor Joann who had to play hot and cold with me at the Ellora’s Cave party over the cell phone as I tried to find her table. LOL
Most of the classes I attended on Wednesday were about marketing.

• Have a website that is easy to navigate

• Have a blog and do blog tours

• Swag (promo items) is not for selling your book but to drive the readers to your website

• Cross promote such as if your book contains racing you can try doing a signing at the race track

I think the most important thing I took from those classes is than you don’t get a second chance to make a first impression and your website is usually the first place someone gets to meet you. They didn’t encourage spending money on the site but to keep it clear and express exactly what you are about. Writing. Also professionalism was discussed. What is said on the net, stays on the net forever. Even aspiring authors should be careful. Agents and editors do google you on the net to see if you have professional attitude toward your career.

Thursday I focused on the craft of writing and attended a wonderful class on plot. This class changed me. I wish I could have recorded it. James Scott Bell spoke about the acronym L.O.C.K.

• Likeability of your main character

• Objective

• Conflict

• Knock out ending

I will focus a blog on this class in a few weeks.

On my last day, I decided to attend the erotica panels run by editors, agents, and writers. It was interesting to see all their points of view. In my opinion, it sounded like NY is becoming more accepting of the genre, steam punk is growing, and it doesn’t matter what genre you write they all want a WELL WRITTEN story.

The most important thing I took from this convention is a renewed love for writing. I live in a rural area and never get to talk shop with other writers except on the net. What a treat to spend three full days with both writers and readers discussing what we loved.

I’ll be posting more pictures on my personal blog with a few more stories.


Sandra Sookoo said...

Glad you had fun Annie!

Victoria Roder said...

Thanks for sharing what you learned.

Rebecca Royce said...

Thanks so much for sharing Annie!

Fedora said...

Glad you had a good time, Annie, and thanks for sharing what you learned!

Kristin Daniels said...

It was great meeting you, Annie!

Wendy S Marcus said...

Thanks for sharing! It's learn something new everyday. Like...bookmarks and such aren't to promote your book but your website. Good to know.

Stephanie Burkhart said...

Thanks so much for sharing your pictures and thoughts, Annie. I agree that's good to have a professional net presense. RT looks like it was a lot of fun.


Kristabel Reed said...

Thanks for sharing. I've never been to RT (or any romance conference for that matter) and it sounds like this is a great way to get new ideas. I especially liked your bit on professionalism and hope you share more about what you learned.

J Hali Steele said...

LOL, I should have borrowed some of Annie's pictures!