Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Things to Learn at a Convention

Ahhh. Romance! Where better to get in the mood as a writer than at a convention? Last weekend several friends attended the Australian Romance Readers Convention in Melbourne and over the past few days some Ellora's Cave writers have been filled in on all the cool details.

Apparently the event was well attended and there was a line that stretched forever to grab up all the great stuff available in the Goody Room. I sent a few things to the convention and I'm hoping they lead to hits to my website and maybe some sales. I always wonder how our stuff sells in other countries, don't you? From what I gather Aussie readers are big fans and are very progressive in their attitudes toward e-books. As a writer for Ellora's Cave, it's, of course, great news.

Buying things, especially books on the internet, is convenient for the romance readers Down Under. I even learned some of their bookstores will soon be selling ebook readers. I don't live in a big city by any stretch of the imagination but even my local bookstore is selling the Sony reader these days. So I just have a feeling that as the quality of devices improves and the prices begin to go down, we'll start seeing an upsurge in sales.

Other bits and pieces that I picked up from attendees? They loooooove a Happy Ever After ending. A happy for now? Not so much. Some even remarked they tended to avoid movies with tragic endings. I have to admit to being a devotee of the HEA and I ruthlessly look at the back pages of every book just to make sure I'm not wasting my money. I want the fantasy and the good feelings that a HEA brings, Call me a sap but that's just the way I am. Apparently, I'm not alone in this.

Favorite genres? Aussie readers are like Americans in their love of all things paranormal. No big surprise. Looks like paranormal is here to stay and not just a trend that will fade away. That's a relief for those of us who write vamps, shifters, and other otherworldly creatures. One big surprise for me was to hear that historicals are bigger and better than ever in OZ. I began my writing career writing regency and it is wonderful to know they are still a hot item.
I'd begun to think I might not write many more historicals because they are so much more time consuming to put together but now I'm rethinking that decision.

What is some of the best information you've gotten at a convention? Readers and writers glommed up together at events, panels, and discussions can really provide lots of little tidbits that can be useful when coming up with ideas for future books. This year, I'll be attending the Ellora's Cave Romanticon and I'm really looking forward to meeting writer friends, my editor, and readers. Do you have convention plans this year?


Kelley Nyrae said...

Not many convention plans this year. I hope to hit some next year.

Regina Carlysle said...

You did Lori Foster's last year. Did you feel psyched to write afterwards?

Genella deGrey said...

I'll be at RT in Orlando, FL this year! This will be my second time and I just love, love, LOVE RT!

Readers are invited to attend, thank goodness. They are the most important piece of the puzzle for me. I hear from the readers what kind of H & H they like, plot lines they despise, what they look for on a cover and does that cover reflect what is inside the story . . . I get to encourage them to voice their opinions to the publishing houses to REALLY be heard.

Historical readers will always crave historicals, weather the publishing houses are producing them or not. The same goes for paranormal and contemps.

When there is a lull in what's popular with readers, could the reason be that the publishing houses aren't putting out as many of each genre— and therefore, the sales have "gone down" on paper? I could see that situation stirring up a rumor that "such-and-such" genre isn't hot anymore.

Hmmm. Something to ponder.

PS - If you are interested, I blogged about "how the ebook shall endure." You can find it on my website: genelladegrey.com

Regina Carlysle said...

I would loooove to go to RT but I had to choose. Since this is the first EC convention and I write for them, it was a no brainer. But meeting up with readers to see what they REALLY LOVE is just huge, I think.

J.K. Coi said...

One of the best things I learned from a convention was at a workshop I took about conflict. It was AWESOME.

Anne Rainey said...

I've never been to RWA and I've never been to RT, so I can't really answer this one. The one event I never miss is Lori Foster's Get Together, which is held every June. I think the best thing I've gotten from it is simply spending time with the readers, getting to know them and letting them get to know me. You're promoing without really promoing.