Total-E-Bound at the Romantic Times Convention in Chicago

Thumbnail image for Heidi and Claire at TEB stand.jpgThis week, Total-E-Bound's Heidi Blakey gives us the lowdown on the Romantic Times Convention in Chicago! Read on for more...


Romantic Times - Does it get any better?

By Heidi Blakey

Working in this industry can be quite isolated, sitting down at a computer every day, emailing authors, dealing with distributors, searching the internet to see what new eReader is being launched and keeping things fresh and new. It is not often that you get to go out of the office and meet those authors you write to on a daily basis or get any outside interaction.

Until.....the Romantic Times Convention.

This is probably the biggest annual convention in our industry and this year I got the chance to go along and see what happens. It is always held in the States and this year it was in Chicago, (next year in Kansas) held at the fabulous Hyatt Regency O'Hare Hotel.

We had been organising for the event for at least 8 months and finally all the hard work was due to pay off. There had been months of ordering artwork, gifts to give away, arranging for print books to be delivered, liaising with authors to organise a restaurant and much more. I thought we had a busy schedule leading up to the event but meeting with Jo Carol Jones (the main organiser) the day before the event started gave a clear indication to me that this event was no easy undertaking, and she has been doing it for years.

RT Print Book Fair (1).jpg

Club RT is where we were stationed for the majority of the week - the place for publishers, authors and vendors to market themselves and interact with other authors and readers. We had our stand and posters with print books for sale and our 'swag of the year' (awarded to us by Romantic Times) - diamante heart shaped USB's. People were actually running to our stand to look at them and see what they were. We had filled them with free books by our authors and were giving them away.

We met a huge number of readers and it was brilliant to speak to them about our books, what they enjoy reading and who their favourite authors were. We also met a number of our authors and got to know them well and had a great time at our Total-E-Bound dinner which has become an annual event whilst at the convention. We went to a local Italian restaurant and had some delicious food and I have not laughed so much for a very long time. Everyone was at ease, chatting about their books, how the convention was going for them and it was fabulous to see our authors benefiting from the convention and how they appreciated their UK publisher being at the event.

There were a couple of hiccups throughout the week, but then that's expected otherwise where would the challenge be, or the excitement and adrenalin rush! However, not being able to locate print books on the day they should be on tables for their authors did not feel exciting at the time.

Next year will be the 30th anniversary of the convention and it looks to be bigger and better than ever before. Keep checking back to our website for more promotions throughout the year and what we will be doing at RT next year, and check out the RT convention website to keep up to date with organisation for next year!

We will be back on the 9th May for another post by Morticia Knight, who will be exploring 'What drives female authors of erotica and erotic romance?'

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