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RT Recap Day 4: Saturday

Saturday was my last day and there were no panels for the day, only events.   The two events that I attended were the booksigning and the Mr. Romance competition.  

The booksigning was really large, although not as large as the RWA literacy signing.   There were digital authors with their print books and traditional published authors placed side by side.   Smart Bitches was sent with 25 books and sold out.   Alyssa Day brought cookies for Sarah and for me!

  

Sarah and I met with Sue Grimshaw after the signing and before Mr. Romance.   Borders is doing well. They had great sales numbers for romance last month and she feels like they are in a good position for the future.   We talked about Borders.com and how she wants to make Borders a place for readers, focused on what they are interested in and providing a platform for readers to interact with each other.   Sue is a very reader centric person.

Maybe in a nod to past criticism, Mr. Romance was surprisingly free of naked man titty.   There were only 7 contestants this year.   All of the expenses including the costumes the men wear are born by them.   Some are able to get sponsors, but it really raises the idea of why.   Mr. Romance is a title conferred by judges associated with Dorchester as the winner goes on an actual cover for a book at Dorchester.   The attendee choice winner gets $200.   

So why would you come to a conference of women to work your butt off for 4+ days in anticipation of winning $200?   It seemed odd to me.   There is no question that these gentlemen were nice guys but I would think that there are other ways to get cover contracts that don’t include this constant glad handing.   Maybe I am wrong.

I think the whole event is one that every romance reader should attend because it’s such a different experience.   I ran into one reader and asked her whether she would come back.   She said she would because it was a way for her to connect with one of her favorite authors.   

RT does make it easy for you to have access to authors in a variety of ways.   The social mixers place you, the reader, in close proximity to the author.   It’s a far more casual atmosphere than at RWA and in comparison, I would say that RT is more suited to the reader than RWA.

But there did not seem to be alot of discussion about the books, at least not panel led discussion, by authors. It’s much more of a constant social event for readers which can be fun and rewarding.

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

14 Comments

  1. Sandy
    Apr 26, 2009 @ 10:03:44

    I’m jealous, but I’m glad you had a good time. And thanks for all the great updates so I can live vicariously through you. I’m definitely going to have to make plans to go to RT next year. By then, I’ll have my books in print format and will, hopefully, have a few fans who might like to meet me. A girl can dream…

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  2. Jinni
    Apr 26, 2009 @ 11:49:11

    Though I was a romance reader years before writing, I never though of going to RT. But now I’m thinking that maybe RWA should join up with RT to provide a reader experience and work to make Nationals a more writer focused experience. I’m debating on Nationals this year (DC in JULY – humidity) because I felt there wasn’t a lot to do for the serious, career-focused writer.

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  3. Jessica
    Apr 26, 2009 @ 12:19:19

    @Jinni:

    now I'm thinking that maybe RWA should join up with RT to provide a reader experience and work to make Nationals a more writer focused experience.

    I think it would be fun to attend an event where I could meet some of my favorite authors and fellow bloggers and readers, and actually talk romance with them. But the RWA is for writers and the RT seems more social and zany. Perhaps there could be a a preconference event or a mini-conference at the RWA for the serious-minded, not to say uptight, introverts. Not that I would know any of those.

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  4. Sandy
    Apr 26, 2009 @ 12:29:44

    Author Lori Foster hosts a fantastic event in June for authors and fans to get together. It’s both social and a great networking opportunity. It’s also in the midwest, which is unusual. The only time RWA goes midwest is when Nashville hosts the conference. And I believe RT is always in Florida. Another reason I’ll try to go next year. ;-)

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  5. Zoe Archer
    Apr 26, 2009 @ 14:43:12

    @Sandy:

    And I believe RT is always in Florida.

    Next year, it’s in Columbus, OH, and last year was Pittsburgh, PA, so it does move around.

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  6. K. Z. Snow
    Apr 26, 2009 @ 14:56:48

    The booksigning looks like fun. Sometimes, I think I’d rather go as an anonymous reader — not that I’ve ever been to RT in either role. Must be kind of a tense situation for writers, as much as they might hate to admit it. Imagine sitting there and watching attendees glom onto certain authors while you’re essentially being ignored. (Yikes, that can’t do much for one’s confidence! But I’m sure it happens.)

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  7. KristieJ
    Apr 26, 2009 @ 15:45:11

    And I believe RT is always in Florida. Another reason I'll try to go next year. ;-)

    And the year I went it was in Toronto Canada.

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  8. Sandy
    Apr 26, 2009 @ 16:03:02

    Columbus? Super! That’s practically in my backyard! I’ll have to mark my calendar for that! Thanks for the info!

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  9. Evangeline
    Apr 27, 2009 @ 01:05:57

    Do you wish there was more discussion about books, Jane? One thing I find interesting about the romance genre is how RT and Nat’ls dominate the romance genre. Sure, Lori Foster hosts an event, Sherrilyn Kenyon did (does?), there’s Celebrate Romance, and the Romance Slam Jam for African-American romance writers and fans, but other than that, the internet is the only place where a variety of people within the romance community come together. It would be very interesting for a greater number of reader/writer conferences to exist for romance.

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  10. Terry Odell
    Apr 27, 2009 @ 07:16:45

    This was my first RT, although I’ve been to 3 RWA conferences and a number of smaller ones, including one that focuses on mystery. I’ve got to say, RT is a different game. I loved being able to meet readers (and was shocked when a few of them said, “I read your books and I love them”). I did both the e-book and the print book signings, and found the e-book folks tended to be very much into either the erotic or the paranormal (neither of which I write), but the print fair was a completely mixed bag. I did have to learn to get over my shyness and mention that my books were mystery-romances as people glanced at the display. A lot of them stopped to chat, and I sold more than I’d expected, so I felt good about the experience.

    Had to leave before the Mr. Romance competition, though. I thought that Konstantinos, who freely admitted to being 40, was the most interesting — most of the others schmoozed for votes, but he stopped and conversed. Good to see someone breaking the ‘only the young can be models’ mold.

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  11. Leeann Burke
    Apr 27, 2009 @ 11:13:38

    Hi Jane,

    Thanks for sharing your experience at RT this year. I lived vicariously through your tweets and blogs since I couldn’t attend this year.

    Also thanks for the information from Borders romance buyer on the good news about Borders. It’s great to hear.

    Will you be attending RWA Nationals this year in Washington/

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  12. Jessa Slade
    Apr 27, 2009 @ 11:18:59

    Thanks for the recaps. Between these and the tweets, it was… well, not like being there at all, but helpful still. And an incentive to make a way to go next year.

    See some of you in DC!

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  13. alisa sheckley kwitney
    Apr 27, 2009 @ 13:02:57

    Wish I’d realized you were at RT. Would have been nice to meet you. I wandered around trying to find my room most of the time, and was bemused by the musical chairs with male models dressed as Spartans. I personally don’t sit on Spartans — it would just make me want to make jokes about Trojans.

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  14. Jane
    Apr 27, 2009 @ 13:32:02

    @alisa sheckley kwitney I took your picture! I was too shy to introduce myself. If you are at RWA, I’ll be more pushy.

    ReplyReply

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