Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Fun at the RT Book Lovers Convention

Yours truly surrounded my romance
novel cover boys.
Post conference reflections and lessons ... here we go. First, you never know the "personality" of each conference. I had author Scott D. Roberts with me who was signing his brand new thriller Vengeance is Now. It was his first book conference, and he learned the valuable lesson, too -- each day of a conference is different. From sitting there one day with books selling like buttermilk pancakes at a Pancake Day to boring quiet, that is how it goes. Last year, the final day of conference was flat and boring with a trickle of sales. This year, we could barely keep up with sales we had so many people stopping and buying. We moved almost 150 copies of both Vengeance is Now and my second book in the California Girl Chronicles series, Brea's Big Break. I have done a number of conferences over the years. If you are considering participation in a conference, please keep these principles in mind.

#1 Conference attendance is key -- you want to ensure that if you're paying for booth space or a table, you will be assured of decent attendance. This year's Book Lover's conference attendance was down, but on the last day many people came in for the big-name authors. So, the last day of conference, the attendance numbers increased as did sales. New conferences are always a crap shoot, so you might want to stick with well-known conferences if you're running a tight marketing budget.

#2 Buying mood -- sometimes it doesn't matter how many people show up, they are just not in the buying mood. This can be driven by the time of year, economic mood, and even the weather. I know it's crazy, but realize you have no control over the mood of the attendees. One day of conference, they might buy like crazy and the next day, nothing. It's completely unpredictable. Just be prepared to go with the flow.

#3 People say the rudest things -- grow a thick skin. Some people have no sensor on what pops in their brains and out their mouths. I guess when people don't know you, they just don't care what they say ... mmmm-hmmmm LOL (and that is a private joke and shout for Scott D. Roberts to chuckle over).

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