One of our foxes asked if we’ve ever been to a book convention.
I’ve never been to a super huge convention like the Romantic Times event, although one of the authors in my local group is trying to talk me into going next year. I have been to two book events that took place closer to my home.
In the fall of 2015 I participated in the very first Great Lakes Book Bash, held in Kalamazoo, MI. Since I’m leery of spending lots of money on promotions, I split the $180 cost of a table with two other authors. I’m so glad I did – I sold exactly two books that day. Although there were plenty of people shopping, it seems the only authors who could call the day a success were those who wrote paranormal and fantasy. Romance writers were left to twiddle our thumbs. The organizers are gearing up for the second Book Bash this coming October, but I didn’t reserve a table this time.
In the spring of 2016 I attended the Spring Fling Conference hosted by the Chicago North chapter of Romance Writers of America (RWA). This time all of the approximately 60 participating authors wrote romance. We got our tables set up with all our goodies, and when the doors opened, the people came pouring in. They swooped through the aisles of tables, picking up all our freebies – candies, pens, notepads, and other trinkets – but hardly any books. Well, the big name authors seated at the front of the room (Robyn Carr, Lauren Dane, and Courtney Milan) kept busy signing their books, but the rest of us were sort of ignored. I did pick up a bunch of free books during the conference, as well as some good advice and ideas for books, so the trip wasn’t a total waste.
As I mentioned, a good friend is trying to talk me into going to the Romantic Times convention next May in Reno, NV. I’m not going to hope that I suddenly become famous enough to have people lining up to get my autograph, but I’ve heard about some of the fun events that take place, and it might be nice to participate. I’ve got a year to save up for it!
As for the local events, I suppose I would go again, but probably only as a reader, not as an author.
Have you attended a major book convention?