Tuesday, July 25, 2017

So you are NOT going to a Romance Conference...and it's Okay #Opinion @KarynGerrard

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So you are NOT going to a romance conference. Its okay, and you are one of the majority. Most romance authors do not attend for a variety of reasons.

You start to see the tweets, about packing, shoes, wine, etc and you wonder if you are missing out on all the fun. Here's the thing, it's not for everybody. It really isn't. Shyness, anxiety, depression, illness, all factor into why some people cannot attend. Distance, cost, family illness and/or obligations are other reasons, and all solid ones.

The positives? Networking, workshops, drinks and socializing. Agent and editor appointments to plug your book. Fun. More networking.

The RWA (Romance Writers of America)  and RT (Romance Times) conventions are huge. Overwhelming. They can be stress inducing for some. If you are a convention/conference virgin, you may want to try smaller venues first before tackling these monster events. Or you may want to check out the newbie session at the RWA conference. There is a two hour first timers orientation which is helpful.

Conferences are NOT cheap. We are talking thousands of dollars for air, hotel, convention fees, swag, meals, and other assorted costs if you wish to do any sightseeing or barhopping.

I read a long thread on Facebook last month and various authors bemoaned the fact the cost is not worth what they took from the events/conventions they attended. That may well be the case for many authors. Whereas others adored it and took a lot from it. This is a case of how an experience can have different results for people.

Readers who attend these conventions are coming to see the huge authors, let's face it. If you can garner a little exposure from that, it may be worth it to you. There are people/authors who thrive on this sort of event and I say more power to you. But most of us would just as soon stay home and write.
And that's okay, too.

It is an individual choice. Don't feel you have to attend now you are published. It isn't a rite of passage. (At least it isn't to me) Always check the workshops to see if there is anything that catches your interest. Check the venue and city. I mean, Orlando in July? Been there, done that, and I almost perished from the heat and humidity. Too much for this Canadian, lol. But if you plan to stay within the air-conditioned hotel/conference centre, it should be fine. And if you thrive on heat, bonus!

It all comes down to this, there is no right or wrong decision. Only YOUR decision. And what is mine? Cost, distance, and family illness/obligations = no. It is just the way it is.
To those going to the RWA conference, stay cool, have fun, and network!

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