Wednesday, July 6, 2011

RWA 2011

Had a great time at RWA 2011 in NYC. The city is lively and full of things to do. We ate on "Restaurant Row" at both Becco's and Bourbon's and had great meals at both places. The nice thing about NYC is that besides a Zagat rating, the city makes restaurants post in their front windows their sanitation rating. Hint: go for the A rated!:) One of our group got caught up in the "deal" one restaurant was offering until I pointed at the C rating glaring from the window. Being we were in the heart of the theater district we also got out to see The Addams Family musical--cute and fun!

But enough on NYC. About the conference. Got to see some of my favorite authors like Rachel Gibson, Jodi Thomas and Susan Elizabeth Phillips at the Literacy signing--a book sale for charity.

Went to several great workshops including Michael Hauge's Scriptwriting for Novelists and one on Contemporary Romance with Susan Anderson, Robin Carr and others. I'm in the back on the aisle on the left.

 Here are five things I learned at RWA:

-Self-publishing is no longer a "dirty word". Many big name authors are thinking of going that route for their back list and new authors are exploring it. Some of those doing it are making decent money at it; many are not. But as one agent said, authors now have a lot more options.

-E-publishers are now taken seriously. It's not even a question any more.

-Two years ago publishers were saying the sexier the better. In the workshops I was in at this conference it was "whatever fits the story." I suspect that's how it really has always been.

-Publishing houses are looking for contemporary cowboy westerns (yay!); not so much historical westerns (boo!). It saddens me but unless new readers find historical westerns interesting, that's the way I fear it will stay. If you love western historical romances, as I do, share a book you love with someone new to the genre.

-Romance authors and readers are the nicest people. Can't tell you how helpful other authors were, how easy it was to make conversation with someone I didn't know, and how happy everyone seemed just to be there.

I learned a lot more, of course, about writing, readers, and publishing but the above is what I thought you'd be most interested in. :)

Hope everyone had a very happy 4th of July. Parades, fireworks and family were how I spent my weekend along with saying thank you to those who have helped to keep us a free people.