Saturday, July 20, 2013

RWA Day Three: Wendy Ties One On

OK, I'm blogging at nearly midnight - so a wee bit of latitude will be required here.  Especially considering I had just a teensy bit of fun this evening.  This is how much I love this blog.  I'm blogging when I should probably be drooling on my pillow.

Today started bright and early with a lunch date with my FanGirl Squee Of The Conference, Jessica Hart.  Hart lives in the UK, is up for two RITA awards this year, and I love her Harlequin Romance like whoa!  Seriously, I was probably a blathering moron, I was so excited to meet her.  For those of you who haven't read her books (why?!??!), her HRs are what I call "chick flicks on paper."  Seriously?  Hollywood?  Start buying the rights to Jessica Hart books.

After breakfast, I made my way down to two Publisher Signings - Harlequin and Avon.  KristieJ was at a workshop, so I agreed to score her any Harlequin Historicals, SuperRomances, and single titles that looked promising.  I also managed to get a few things for myself.  After that I went to Avon.  Oh.....Avon!  I told myself I was just going to walk around and pick up maybe a couple of books.  I stopped by Beverly Jenkins' table and she said, "Wendy, so nice to see you again!  Would you like a print copy or an ebook?"  Upon hearing these options I may have said "Shut up!"  That's right kids - for many, many, many of the authors there Avon not only had print copies but also free digital downloads.  So what started out as Wendy taking just one or two books turned into an ebook orgy.

At the Harlequin signing - Holy cow!  Maggie Shayne and Brenda Jackson!  
I had a few authors ask me if I still read print, and the answer is emphatically yes.  I still do.  But here's the thing - this conference is in Atlanta.  I have to ship any books I get back home - and shipping from the hotel (which uses FedEx) isn't cheap.  Coupon cards?  Yeah, can be tossed in my luggage.  So from a promo perspective?  A getting people to try their authors perspective?  Avon wins.

After that it was Awards Luncheon time.  I was so happy to see that this year's Librarian Of The Year got a wee bit overcome on stage accepting her award - if only for the fact that it made me feel better about my own Librarian Of The Year year (I. Was. A. Mess.)  Kristan Higgins was the luncheon speaker, and she was fantastic.  She really brought home the value of the romance genre, and what it means to readers - especially during trying times in their lives.

My ebook orgy at Avon
The afternoon was fairly low-key for me.  I wandered into the Berkley and Pocket signings for a little bit, and then it was up to the room to get gussied up for the evening.  One holdover from the Librarian Of The Year year?  I still get some party invites.  Boroughs Publishing had an open house, which I stopped by for a bit since they've been splashing my quote all over the upcoming Jami Davenport Seattle Lumberjack football books.  Then it was on to the St. Martin's Press cocktail party, where I  hung out with fellow Heroes & Heartbreakers peeps, Kwana (author K.M. Jackson), Limecello and Megan Frampton.  I also ran into Harlequin author, Donna Alward, who has a single title series with St. Martin's coming out in May (yippeee!)

After munching on the tasty nibbles at St. Martin's, Limecello and I shared a cab to the Avon party.  I mixed and mingled - once again running into Lynne and Blythe from All About Romance, and getting stopped by Laura Lee Gurhke who proclaimed she was seeing me everywhere.  I had a great time, which I'm sure I'll be paying for tomorrow (when this blog post goes live).

(ETA: Rosie, bless her heart, gave me two bottles of water upon my return last night and I slept in this morning)

It's been a great conference so far, and I've had a chance to reconnect with so many awesome folks. Tomorrow is the final day, and RITA night.  It should be fantastic!


Miss Bates said...

Thanks to you, PROMOTED TO WIFE AND MOTHER is a favourite category romance. Jessica Hart ... and she lives in York, my favourite place to visit. I'm envious, but happy for you too. Lucky lucky you!

Marguerite Kaye said...

Thank you so much for losing sleep and posting Wendy, I almost feel I was there. So jealous, maybe one day....

nath said...

Ohhh, that is awesome about Avon's publisher signing, Wendy! Ebooks! hope that will become the norm in future conferences :)

Yay, meeting Ms Hart! That is awesome! I love it when I get to meet authors who have come from so far :P

Looks like you're having a wonderful time! :)

Jami Davenport said...

I love the Avon idea. I wouldn't pick up print books anymore as I don't read them (old eyes and bad lighting in the house), but I'd definitely be snatching up the ebooks. How did they give them to you? On a flash drive?

You've convinced me to go next year. I've been on the fence about it. But I'll be in San Antonio. I hope I can meet you there.

Wendy said...

Miss Bates: I was so excited to meet all the authors who came from outside the US. Not only Hart, but also Sarah Morgan and Bronwyn Parry :)

Wendy said...

Marguerite: I did better this year - at least I was writing blog posts around midnight and not at 2AM like in past years.....

Wendy said...

Nath: It was a good conference. Plus I hadn't seen KristieJ since New York - so that was SUPER awesome!

Wendy said...

Jami: ebooks were done several ways. At the Literacy Signing many authors were selling them loaded on CDs (I bought Susanna Fraser's upcoming Carina historical this way). At the Avon signing they had cards with coupon codes on them. Go to website, put in coupon code, download book for free. Those were EPUB (or maybe PDF) only though - so I'll need to use Calibre to convert if I want to read on my Kindle!

Avon also had a "digital signing." Authors used a program called Autography. Authors had iPads. You typed in your e-mail address, author personalized and autographed the blank screen that came up afterward, then hit OK button. Then you got it right in your e-mail - with the option to download in whatever format you read in. I just did those last night! It's really cool! ebook includes the autograph. I got them into Calibre just fine - but haven't loaded them on my Kindle yet.