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RT Recap Day 2: Thursday

Thursday morning, Sarah and I held our blogging panel.   We actually thought the panel started at 2:30 but we saw Heather Osborn, editor from Tor, in the hallway and she mentioned that she would see us soon at the panel which started at 11:30!   Sarah and I owe Heather a lot of thanks for saving our bacon.

We started out the panel talking about some technical aspects of obtaining a domain name.   (Sarah likes Name Secure).   We encouraged authors to make their blog and website look like the author that they want to be and not the author that they are now, meaning that even if they are aspiring, try to make their site look as professional as possible.

We discussed the need for authors to limit the information that they put out online.   If an author invites intimacy by sharing personal details, then readers will not know where the lines are.   I talked about Laurell K Hamilton as an example of how oversharing can lead to uncomfortable speculation about personal life.

Sarah announced that authors do not need to have blogs and I agree completely.   If an author does not like blogging or finds it difficult, it often shows.   Instead, we believe that authors should use microblogging platforms like twitter and facebook to interact with readers and gain a following.   Don’t think it can be done? Sarah has 2300 followers on Twitter.   That’s 2300 people who read what she microblogs each day.   How many author blogs have that kind of daily traffic?

We also talked about monitoring comments and comment philosophy.   Sarah believes that comments by the original poster (called OP in some places) can suppress the conversation.   I believe that in some cases, particularly in regards the opinion pieces posted in that I’ve made my position/argument in the original post and now I want to hear from you.   When it comes to book discussions, though, most of the reviewers are good at interacting with the commenters which leads to more interaction.   We both agreed that we did not like moderating or preapproval of comments.

After our panel, we enjoyed lunch with CL Wilson, Kristen Painter, and Roxanne St. Claire.   Roxanne signed over a hundred book plates for a Australian bookstore owner.   Temptation the Romance Bookstore, is beautiful.   It is clean and white and bright. I wish I had a romance bookstore that looked like this.   I met a wonderful reader from Taiwan as well.

That evening I attended Deidre Knight’s Gods of Midnight party.   It was the first sighting I had of costumes and cover models.   It was interesting.   It does seem that most readers come here for the cover models and the parties.   Each day there are probably 5-6 panels for writers in every time slot and one event for readers.   The events for readers are primarily social mixers sponsored by authors.

The regular attendees love the conference however conference attendance is lower this year which might be due to the economy.   It still seems crowded, however, and each event seems to run very smoothly.

Jane Litte is the founder of Dear Author, a lawyer, and a lover of pencil skirts. She spends her downtime reading romances and writing about them. Her TBR pile is much larger than the one shown in the picture and not as pretty. You can reach Jane by email at jane @ dearauthor dot com

5 Comments

  1. (Jān)
    Apr 24, 2009 @ 15:21:19

    Thanks for the updates. It sounds like your panel was a good one. From what I’m hearing, maybe the readers come for the costumes and models because that’s just about the only thing offered so only those interested are showing up now? I guess it’s a chicken / egg kind of thing.

    I too think most author blogs aren’t necessarily a good thing. I read a couple that are industry related, but for the most part, I don’t want to know their daily lives, or their troubles writing. I want updates, maybe teasers for the next novel, basically things that go nicely on a website with RSS, or as you say, twitter. (Facebook is evil and I refuse to be a part of it ;P)

  2. Danielle
    Apr 24, 2009 @ 17:18:07

    Thanks for the update — I think there are way to many blogs are there and I have a hard enough time keeping up with the ones that I read every day. Facebook — I’m on it but not actively.

  3. Leah
    Apr 24, 2009 @ 20:24:08

    Thanks for your comments about author blogs. I keep reading that I should have one, even before I get published, because agents read them, and frankly, I don’t have the time, don’t need the distraction, and am prone to TMI. Phew! Pressure’s off!

  4. Elise Logan
    Apr 25, 2009 @ 12:57:31

    Interestingly, I prefer the sort of lackadaisical nature of blogging vs. microblogging. I can definitely see the traffic advantage of Twitter, though, and that has its own appeal.

    E

  5. CL Wilson
    Apr 26, 2009 @ 15:04:01

    Lunch was great. It was nice to put a face with a name :) and the conversation was terrifically funny. I will never look at a Swiffer quite the same again. :p

    Cheers
    CL Wilson

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