by Danielle Jackson
|2012 Conference Logo, from RWA.org|
At the end of last month, I, along with 2000+ other romance authors, publishing professionals, agents, etc. descended upon the Anaheim Marriott for the annual RWA National Conference. It was an incredible experience! I am always amazed every year how supportive of a group this is—it’s not every day that you can rub elbows with nationally bestselling authors and people attending their first conference ever. The atmosphere is dynamic and inspiring… I always leave with ideas and thoughts about the things to come for our publishing line and our authors.
However, I have to say—when compared to other writers conferences and/publishing trade shows, RWA is a different breed. Of course there’s networking and pitching and workshops sharing valuable information… but there are also parties and reunions and, this year, trip to Disneyland! I always have a hard time explaining exactly what I do at RWA, but I thought I’d try, along with some photos from our trip!
|Sourcebooks Spotlight Presentation|
1. Meetings. I spend a lot of time meeting with people—authors, a few agents, media contacts… I love having the opportunity to spend just a few minutes with people I usually talk to via email or on the phone. Meeting face to face changes things, don’t you think? This year, while I accomplished a lot at my meetings, I also had a great deal of fun catching up with people!
2. Workshops. I do attend workshops! I’m a dork, remember? I like learning new things. I also like attending PR and Marketing workshops to see what the hot new thing is. This year, I heard a lot about Pinterest. But above all, I think authors are realizing that without a well-written book that moves readers, all of that social media doesn’t do a thing. And a well-designed, consistently updated website should be the anchor for everything you do on the web. AND, of course—remember that once it’s on the internet, it’s there forever.
|Cheryl Brooks at the Sourcebooks Sponsored Signing|
3. Spotlight. Publishers are given the opportunity to give a spotlight presentation, which is an overview of the company, what is done for their authors, and what editors are looking to acquire. Deb Werksman, Leah Hultenschmidt and I gave the Sourcebooks spotlight, and had a lot of fun doing it! We’re so proud of our authors and love bragging about them. And, I think one of the coolest things about Sourcebooks is the variety of authors we publish, and this spotlight is a great way to showcase that.
|Overlooking the ocean at the Sourcebooks Author Dinner|
4. Signing. Publishers are also given a chance to have sponsored signings—where we donate a LOT of books and our authors attending the conference sign them to long lines of adoring fans. We had a great signing this year! Everything went off without a hitch (the room was open early, the books were delivered to the room early, author showed up early… we were ready to go a full half an hour before the doors opened) and we gave away around 2,000 books!
5. Author Dinner. By far, my most favorite tradition that Sourcebooks has at RWA is taking our authors out to a fabulous dinner. This year we went to Mastros in Newport Beach, which was right on the ocean. We had a private room with a private patio! It was an amazing way to unwind and mingle with such a great group of talented and driven authors.
|Author dinner party favor-leave a comment to win one of your very own!|
Did you attend RWA? What was your favorite part? Or what’s something you’d love to attend that you haven’t had the opportunity to go to yet? I have a special candle party favor from our Author Dinner that I’ll give away to a lucky commenter (US and Canada only, please leave an email address so I can contact you easily)—just answer one of the questions to be entered to win!