I'm away at Romanticon, but hey! I'm remembering to blog. So far, the con has been a blast and I'll post some pictures below, but being here reminds me of my "published author rules for conferences".
1. Remember your promo - and make your promo memorable. At every conference, we get bags and I always make sure I have promo with me as I walk around (and of course at my book signing table). The best thing in the world is to have a conversation with a reader or potential reader then offer them your cool promo item. I have paper products at my book table, but I always make sure to have something "keep-able" for readers to take some. Give things people will take home and not throw away in the hotel room and MAKE SURE it's personalized so they don't wonder who gave it to them.
2. Be friendly and personable, but do not be friendly like a used car salesman. Let's face it, as published authors, we go to conferences to sell books. It's the nature of the beast. But really, when I'm at a conference, I generally act as if I couldn't care less if I sold a single book the whole conference. I am here to meet readers and give them access to the author, the person not the author, the salesman. When readers go home, I want them to remember that cool, nice author they met, not that person who wanted to push books on them then didn't remember their face the next day.
3. I worked really hard to have my pen name and "published author" on my name tag, but a lot of times, particularly at the beginning of the conference, I won't wear my badge. This is because many readers are afraid to talk to me. At every big conference I've attended, I've had lengthy conversations with people before they discovered my name then went all white and stutter-y. I've been told "I would have been too nervous to even talk to you!!!" but by then they feel comfortable with me and we chat the whole conference. That's what I want -- I hope that's what every author wants -- to have readers feel comfortable with them.
I know that I am here for the readers and every author needs to remember that. I genuinely appreciate the people who buy and read and hopefully love my books -- I want them to know it!!!
And now...the pics from day one (including a terrible one of me):
Have a fun day!