The RT Booklovers Convention (http://www.rtconvention.com/) is my first official conference as an author. I have been to a couple of other cons as a reader and had a blast. Meaning, I got tons of free swag and fabulous conversation with some of my favorite authors.
Book cons for me are a complete escape from everyday life. And as an added bonus I get to go as my alter-ego. Roxy Mews is my pen name, but I find she is much more me, than I am most of the time.
I get to go out, talk about books, and chat with other authors and readers about what they have on their e-readers that they can't turn off. That's right, I am addicted to ebooks. My kindle goes everywhere with me. It is overflowing with more books than I will probably ever read in a lifetime, and I still wait like a kid at Christmas for those Tuesday releases.
Although my book isn't out yet, I am taking some business cards and information about my book with me. My cover was recently finalized and I will be handing out some postcards to give readers a heads up.
Even though I am going in a slightly different capacity this round, I will have a lot of the same prep. Over the weekend I will be packing, making lists, realizing I forgot my underwear and starting over when I realize I don't have any room left in my suitcase.
For anyone going to RT, I have a few words of advice.
1. Don't worry about a big purse. There are tons of totebags that you will be given through the days. Carry one of those. Authors will be wandering everywhere, and you never know what there will be to haul around. Also, the totes are fab to get autographs on as a free souvenir.
2. Bring permanent markers. Seeing your favorite author's autograph in skinny, skipping pen is such a disappointment. Keep markers in your totebag and be ready for those completely inappropriate fangirl moments.
3. BYOB. This might not make me popular with the hotel staff, but if you are driving rather than flying in you can bring in your own alcohol, and save your money. Those cash bar tabs add up pretty fast. Bringing in your own can allow a little extra cash for books. BUT don't skip out on the bar totally! A lot of shenanigans go down where the alcohol flows. Make sure you don't miss out.
4. Keep a small clutch or wristlet in your totebag. This should have a bit of cash, your room key, and any necessities like medicine, glasses, or breathmints. When you are ready to head for an official party, this makes it easy to drop your larger bag off at the room and hurry to the next event.
5. Be ready to wait in line. RT is a HUGE con. And it actually sold out this year. Get in line for the big parties early, or make sure one of your group camps out to save you chairs. The big parties have big swag, and you want to get to a table close to the action.
6. Be ready to throw that carefully planned agenda out the window. Because if the author you go fangirl crazy for offers to take you to lunch, or if the publisher of your dreams wants to chat, GO WITH THEM! All the panels are wonderful, but the connections you make will be where you make the most impact.
Look for me at RT. I will be one of the authors with a silk flower on her badge. I can't wait to chat with all of you.