Wednesday, August 8, 2012

RWA and Blog Bounce!

As a special treat today, we have one of Omnific newest authors guest blog and telling us about her experience at RWA. So welcome  Marian Vere!

A few days ago I returned from the RWA conference held this year in California, and besides from the grudge my feet are holding against me from overuse, it was a perfectly amazing trip!

RWA, or Romance Writers of America (which Canadians can also join, by the way) is a nonprofit trade association for writers of any facet of the romance genre. They provide news, classes, promotional opportunities, and loads of other perks designed to advance interests of the serious writer. Each year they hold a national conference in a different location, where the more than 10,000 members, as well as non-member writers can meet, learn, and hone the craft.

This was my second year attending the conference, and if was even more amazing the second time around. I was trying to come up with a way to tell you all about it, but wasn’t sure how I would be able to cover such a huge event. Statistically, people prefer reading lists over articles, and since I learned that little tidbit at a blogging workshop at RWA, I figure what better place to apply it then my RWA recap! So without further chit-chat, here we go…

First, about the conference:

·         Romance Writers of America
32nd Annual National Conference
July 24th – 28th 2012

·         Location: Anaheim, CA at the Marriot Resort and Convention Center. Right next to Disneyland, which is connected to California Adventure park, which has just opened Cars Land, a whole section of park dedicated to the Cars movies! The whole thing was a life-sized Radiator Springs! It was so cool! Umm… *ahem*… But I digress…

·         2,500 attendees, including writers, agents, editors, publishers, and other industry professionals

·         150 Workshop Sessions

·         Over 500 scheduled agent/editor one-on-one pitch appointments

·         11 Publisher Sponsored Book Signings, with a total of more than 400 books, all free to conference attendees

·         A promotional room where more than 400 authors displayed free promotional items for the attendees to peruse and take

Next, what I learned:

·         The romance genre sells above and beyond any other genre of writing, and continues to grow exponentially each year, thanks in no small part to the e-reader. (No more embarrassment about buying racy novels in stores. “God, what does the checkout boy think of me?!”)

·         More than 20% of all romance writers are men, most of whom write under a woman’s name. There were several men signing book at this year’s conference.

·         More than 25% of all romance readers are men. (I know, right!) This number also grows every year which is also thanks to the discretion of the e-reader. (Yeah, I’ll take this one. It’s um… for my wife…)

·         The original title of ‘Gone With the Wind’ was ‘Tote the Weary Load’, and ‘Scarlet O’Hara’ was originally ‘Pansy O’Hara’

·         Agent’s sign less than 1% of the projects that cross their desks. (This one I had already known, but it’s still mind blowing to think about.)

·         More than 30% of published authors, after publishing their first book, never write again. (And not because they made enough on their first book to retire.)

·         Agents and Editors do not expect perfection, but they do expect to see your best.

·         You should only pitch to agents at appropriate times and never, ever, follow an agent into the bathroom. (Yes, this one might seem like a no-brainer, but I volunteered at several sessions of the agent/editor pitch appointments, and yes, we had to physically stop a pitching author from following an agent into the restroom. *facepalm*)

·         Never send a query or submission in to an agent or editor in a font color other than black. No pink, no blue, no red. (Again, no-brainer, right? Apparently not.)

·         Nora Roberts—under that name alone—has in print, right now more than 420 million copies of her books worldwide. If you laid all the words in those books end to end at an 8pt. New Times Roman Font (the average size for one of her novels), you would have a line of text long enough to wrap around the equator 8,558 times!

·         I also learned the most successful formats for author blogs, how not to look in your author photos, how to write a back cover blurb that sells, what character traits readers love—and which ones they are tired of, and got to meet Lauren Willig, Nora Roberts, Kerrelyn Sparks, and Julia Quinn, just to name a few.

·         Last, but certainly not least, I brought home $652.00 worth of brand new books, including hardbacks, trades, mass-market, and even a few e-books! 61 in all. Yay!

Too bad you don’t have all day, as there is so much more I could tell you! However, I know you don’t, so we’ll just suffice it to say that this year’s RWA National Conference was a fantastic, enlightening, and inspiring event—as it is every year—and I can’t wait for Atlanta in 2013!
Hope to see you all there!

And Marian was nice enough to support all her Omnific family setting up some great opportunities for us - check out these pictures!

 Thanks so much Marian!! Glad you had a great time and that you shared with us. And now it's time to BOUNCE!!

Here's how this works:

If you are an author, click on "Get the Code Here" to get the link. Copy and paste that link in your blog post. Then hop right on and add your blog url to get added to the list.

If you are a reader, you get to bounce from blog to blog and meet some great new authors and maybe find some new books to read.

So everyone hop on and go for a bounce!


  1. Good day! Would you mind if I share your blog with my facebook group? There’s a lot of people that I think would really appreciate your content. Please let me know. Many thanks
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  2. Great post, Marian! I can't find the linky code to add it to my blog?

  3. Yeah, me either. Must be down today. Thanks though! :)

  4. Tote the Weary Load? That's...well, good to know it isn't just me that comes up w/ the lame titles on a first try, hehe.

    I'd also love to know more about what not to do in an author photo - I'll go pester Marian at her blog. ;)

    Sorry I missed the hop yesterday. :(