So it’s begun. The time some writers wait for all year and others (like me) … dread.

It’s conference season.

Not that you can’t find a conference or writing retreat any time of the year, but it seems to hit high gear in another month and run through the early fall. A writer can find any theme or genre from mystery to romance and from large to cozy and everything in between.

There are conferences designed for authors to mingle, network with editors and agents and learn their craft and just as many conferences designed to let them reach out to readers. If a writer has a need, there’s a conference out there to accomodate them.

But you know what? They’re expensive. And for me, not only is the travel difficult, but maneuvering around a conference with MS is such a pain. I’m an extrovert and love being around people, but it’s overshadowed by mobility issues. Conventions are so not my thing anymore.

But I worry I’m missing out.

Do editors and agents expect you to show up at these events? Am I missing opportunities to meet new readers if I don’t go to some of the reader conventions like Authors After Dark or Lori Foster’s Get Together (which I highly recommend) or even Romanticon (if you’re an erotic romance reader)? Are marketing opportunities passing me by if I don’t sit on panels?

I don’t know. But I’d love to hear what you think. As a reader are you more likely to buy books from an author you met at a convention or do you tend to only seek out authors you know? And what about you writers? Are there opportunities you’ve stumbled upon at conventions that you know you wouldn’t have found otherwise? Because you know me … I’m curious about this kind of stuff.

13 Responses to Missing Opportunities?

  • I can’t wait to hit my first one as an author. Although I will admit I have never, ever attended one as a reader. Don’t know how that answers your question though as I realized how well attended the Big Ones are by readers/fans. I plan to start going in 2013. my 2012 “Con Calendar” is full of “beer ones” (now THOSE…are fun.)

    • Liz – You’re going to enjoy the writer conventions since you have so much experience already. Not too early to start making plans for 2013. There are so many to choose from.

  • I love conferences, and I think they DO offer good promo opportunities, but I’m pretty sure you can get as much if not more bang for your buck in other ways. The big thing is human contact, and for that reason, I wish you could be there!

    • Cindy – I have to admit, I miss not being able to see/meet all my friends on the internet. If Mr. Nina and I can figure out how to more easily transport my electric chair, I suspect I’ll be attending more.

  • I would love to go to all the conferences but sadly that is not possible. I think they are a great way to meet other authors and you also have the chance to learn more about what is going on in the industry.

    • Savannah – It’s more the social part that I enjoy. Hanging with other authors is definitely so much fun. And it’s hard when there isn’t a choice not to go. I hear you on that.

  • Vicki – I’ve never been to RWA, but I know so many people who enjoy it. One of these years I’m going to have to bite the bullet and make the effort. I suspect I will enjoy it as well.

  • I love conferences. I’d go to more if I had the money! I’ll be attending NEC and possibly RomantiCon this year. 🙂

    • Amber – I will be at NEC. If all goes well I’ll have my electric wheelchair there. It’s a test run to see how it goes. I loved Romanticon the first year I went. One of these years I’ll get there again.

  • Nina,

    As a reader and a former Marketing Director for a e-publishing company, I enjoy to conferences. I’ve been to several, Authors After Dark, Lori Fosters,Dragon Con. The UnDead Con in New Orleans.

    It’s been a real thrill for me to meet some of my favorite authors. I’ve made some great friends and learned interesting things about my favorite authors.

    I’ve never been to Romantic times, I think and feel the cost is just too much and I refused to pay it. Even though most authors go to that one. The ones I have attended the cost was reasonable and they have some great workshops and panels. Great resources for people who would love to get into writing.

    All the advice you give the future writer is wonderful and I believe these conferences give us the public a chance to peer into the writing world and see the process of what it all entails.

    I personally want to thank you for all that you writers do with your talents and thank you for giving us the readers an escape from the real world.

    Teresa K.

    • Teresa – I’ve been to Lori Foster’s Get Together. It was one of my favorite conferences. I’d like to get there again some day.

      And I have to say, writers are some of the most giving people I’ve met … always willing to share and help. It’s a wonderful community to be part of. I’m so glad you’re finding it welcoming as well.

      And thanks for mentioning how much you enjoy our books.

  • I wish I could go to RWA but alas, its way too expensive. To me RT is way too big and its also VERY expensive. That said I would love to go to meet authors but unfortunately, the cost is the deciding factor. 🙁

    Marika

    • Marika – There is definitely a cost factor that makes many of the larger conferences impossible for some of us. But I’ve found some wonderful smaller ones that allow me to meet up with author friends.

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