I attended the RT convention in Kansas City earlier in the month, and this is the first time I've gone to that conference via the Day Pass, and didn't attend the parties at night, etc. I found I liked it a LOT better that way. I really focused on the workshops during the day, and spent the evening with my sister (who lives in Kansas City and who let me bunk with her during the conference).
I caught up with my friends at the conference then left at the end of the day to relax in
the "normal world."
In the past, this conference has been all about the readers, but this
time I noticed a real focus on self-publishing and on authors.
were a LOT of workshops about promotion, social media, self-publishing
pitfalls -- all geared to new authors. Most of the presenters were very
good, but a couple left me shaking my head at the amount of work they do for the return (these weren't best-selling authors; most of them I had never heard of (which may not mean much, granted)). Some of them were spending a lot of time and money and admittedly breaking even.
As always, I have to take a bit here and there to use for my own
purposes, but overall, I thought it was a job well done and worth my
time and money. Will I go again? If it's convenient (i.e., within
driving distance). Otherwise, it's terribly expensive (as is RWA's
National Conference, which I no longer attend).
I think the influx of self-published authors is putting a real spin on
old-time organizations like RT and RWA, and RT is evolving to meet that
challenge. I'm not so sure about RWA, but I haven't stayed very current
with them so I may be wrong.
I came away feeling energized about writing and promoting, although I was surprised by how"Promo Alley" was ignored by people. It used to be that fans would descend on all the free promo items and take-take-take. That's the way it was last year. This year: not so much. I talked to several authors who were surprised by how few items were taken.
So maybe everything is changing -- and changing faster than we suspect. Here's hoping we can stay current with the changes!
30 books and counting....