This year, I have three conferences on my agenda. As there are many to choose from, I had to made difficult choices. Which brings me to the topic of the blog: Which gatherings are the best to attend as an up and coming author?
My first conference was Lori Foster's Annual Readers and Authors Get Together. I wasn't sure what to expect. There were a lot of e-published authors in attendance, as well as NYT authors I really wanted to meet. After I got settled with my partner in crime, Madelyn Ford, we sat back and observed. I can say that it was a fantastic experience, which is why I decided to return this year. However, I feel it's only fair to state that it's not necessarily a prime venue to promote your work.
To make myself clear, there are promotional opportunities. You can send along promotional materials for the goody bags, you can create a gift basket that will be sold for charity, there was a film crew available to talk with authors, and there is also a signing. All of those things are extremely helpful if you're trying to gain recognition in the community. However, the big authors are the ones readers want to meet. That isn't to say you shouldn't attend the event as, in my opinion, it allows an author to do something better than promote -- it allows you to get your name out there. By chatting with other authors, agents, editors, etc, you can get a feel of the community and where you want to go. It also doesn't hurt that you get to rub elbows with some of your favorite authors (did I mention I got to meet Joey W. Hill? I was in HEAVEN). As for the big gatherings (RWA, RT, etc) I've never been. Fortunately, Madelyn Ford has, and she says the information gained is invaluable.
So when it comes to penning out your schedule, keep in mind that different events will offer different things. It's all about what you're looking for. I personally enjoy meeting up with friends in the community to relax and unwind, which Lori Foster's Author and Reader Get Together is perfect for. I would suggest that if you're looking to promote that you look into the larger functions, such as RWA and RT. Either way, it's always nice to be surrounded by people who love books and writing as much as you do.
Have a fantastic hump day. Your eye candy of the week waits below.