Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Conventions: Do you or don't you?

With RT coming to a close this year, and after talking with a few friends about their experience I thought I'd throw the question out there to you today. Do you or don't you go to the bigger conventions every year? If so, what do you get out of them? Personally, I've never been to RT or RWA. I would love to go, it just hasn't been in the cards for me yet. I'd love to be surrounded by so many people who live and breath romance novels like I do. I'd love to meet readers and see what they want in their books. I'd love the chance to chat it up with an editor or an agent and you know, maybe throw my name out at least a hundred times (lol. Just kidding...kind of). I'd love to pitch. To see some of my favorite authors and to take advantage for the numerous workshops.

But the price? Wow. It's a little steep so I wonder, is it worth it for most authors? I don't know.

I have go to smaller conventions or get together. I went to Lori Foster's get together both last year and the year before. I had a blast both times. Hers are more centered around readers so I didn't have the chance to attend workshops but she always has editors and agents there for pitch appointments. I love her get together and the registration fee was only 35.00 when I went.

Playing around online yesterday I have a local conference being given my a local, RWA approved agent. She likes things so she limits it to the first fifty to register but her price is only 250.00 and that's for everything: hotel for the weekend, conference fee, attending all the workshops, etc. She gives editing workshops where you edit some of your MS and takes pitch appointments. I'm bummed I found it so late in the game because I'd like to go.

What kinds of conferences do you attend, if any? Have they been productive for you? Inquiring minds want to know!


Regina Carlysle said...

This is a timely post considering RT just ended. Heard from lots of friends that it was GREAT. Wonderful hotel, good workshops, pitches to editors and meeting readers. Haven't spoken with one single person who wouldn't do it again.

I've done the RWA convention but at the time I was unpublished. Tended to feel like a super huge outsider at the event although it was fun chatting with some of my favorite authors. This year I'm going to the Ellora's Cave Romanticon in Ohio (EC's headquarters) and I'm really looking forward to it.

Anny Cook said...

Last year I went to RT. After considering the incredibly cost, I chose not to go this year. Quite frankly, I wasn't terribly impressed last year. The workshops were so, so. The hotel was... bad. And the other stuff was not my bag.

This year I'm going to Ellora's Cave's Romanticon, looking forward to meeting fellow authors and my editor. And the price is right.

Koko Brown said...

RT was great last year, so it was the reason why I went again this year and also because it was so close to home. Next year, I'm going to skip. And I'm still in the air about Romanticon. And I will never attend RWA's national conference I refuse to give them any more of my hard earned money besides my annual dues in order to remain in my local chapter.

I guess any conference will be worth its money if you put yourself into it irregardless of the price.

Anne Rainey said...

I go to the Lori Foster Get Together every year. Three reasons.

1) The price is right $50 to register and it's close to home, so I don't have to fly.

2)It's friendly, and laid back. Jeans and t-shirst, I love it

3)I can meet with agents/editors as well as readers without paying $1000 to do so!

Next year I've been debating about going to RWA or RT, not both, but I'd like to give one of them a try. I heard RT is in Ohio next year, so it looks as if they win. LOL

Kelley Nyrae said...

Reg, I wish I could go to Romanticon. I bet it will be a blast!

Anny, yeah, I'd heard some bad things about RT last year too.

Koko, that makes it so nice when its close to home. Glad you have fun!

Anne, I'm going to miss hanging with you SOOOO bad this June. I'm bummed....

Desiree Holt said...

Never been to RWA and probably never will. Too much money for too little payback. And I'm not interested in having people look down on me because I'm not a NYT bestselling author. At Rt I get to connect with my readers, talk to other authors in a very relaxed environment and take in some great workshops. I agre with Any about last year's hotel, but this year was a big improvement. I plan to go to RomantiCon, and next year hope to go to Lori Foster's get together. I've heard great things about it.

Amy Ruttan said...

I'm gonna TRY to go to Romanticon. My DH has to go for out of country training in October and James will only be 3 months old.

I went to RWA in San Francisco and it was a BLAST! Wow to meet so many of my online friends.

I'm going to RT next year for sure. It's in Columbus Ohio and is only a 6 hr drive across the border for me. James will be 10 months by that time so I still may have to have him with me, but he can be my date to all the balls. LOL!

Regina Carlysle said...

I'm so totally WITH Koko and Desiree on RWA. They are so non-inclusive and I've been so offended by their behavior toward small pubs and epubbed authors that I dropped my membership. The single RWA convention I attended was very much a "tick tock the game is locked" kind of thing. Their whole attitude of dissing us at not real writers is offensive, especially considering many of them are epubbed too.

Mary Ricksen said...

I can't afford any of them. Ha!
But I am living it through all of your experiences.
Some day!

Kelley Nyrae said...

Amy, you'll have the cutest date there!

Mary, I'm with you!

Molly Daniels said...

I'm hoping to go to Lori's (driving distance) and Midwest Writer's (also driving distance) this year. I'm still holding out hope that hubby will go back to work so I can register for the EC event next October:)

Genella deGrey said...

I loved RT!
Will go again and again!
So much to do and see!
So many great connections/friendships made!

As soon as I have enough pix collected from various authors/readers, I will be blogging about it on my website by the end of the week.

Awesome time. Can't wait for Columbus!