Tuesday, July 15, 2014

My Romance Novel Convention Experience in Las Vegas!!!


Ahhhh... The Romance Novel Convention in Las Vegas was absolutely everything I'd hoped it would be. Not only a great learning experience, but very entertaining. The classes were great and very informative. I took two of Mark Coker's (Founder & CEO of Smashwords) classes and came away with some valuable marketing information.

Later that day, I had to good fortune of catching one of Jimmy Thomas' classes about stock images. He talked about selecting them, cleaning them and editing and cropping them. Also about how important lighting and shadows are. Covers need to inflict emotions from readers and images must seem real, in other words, it doesn't make sense to use an image of a couple that was taken inside and stick them in a background that is outside. The lighting would be completely off. He talked about poses and how important hand placement is. I came away from this class with a much better understanding of what type of pictures to use.  

I sat in on an awesome class on Crafting the Best Seller Author Brand, presented by Fiona Jayde and Julie York and found out I already had some of this going on. It's not about a logo, though that is somewhat important as far as the colors and font you choose for your signature, but branding has to do more with your voice and writing what your readers have come to expect by being consistent with every book you write. 

Another class I took was presented by Mary Harris, Fiona Jayde and T.J. McKay of InD'Tale Magazine on Indie Publishing. In that class, they discussed the importance of reviews and how to use them to your advantage, even those not so great reviews you get every once in a while. There are two types of reviews; personal and professional. Get as many personal ones as you can. The professional reviews come from magazines and other publications and are the ones you should put on your book covers.

I took a class about the ARC, what it is and why it is important, by Victoria Zackheim, mostly because I wanted to find out if the ARC was what  thought it was and I was right. In every story the character must learn something, change in some way, or shift belief. It the character is XYZ in the beginning of a story, they cannot be XYZ at the end. Something must change. 

The last class I sat in on briefly was How to Adapt Your Novel Into A Screenplay, presented by Aaron Notestine. I was only able to sit in for a short time, but what I came away with was very educational. Writing a screenplay is so much different than writing a novel, and not something I really want to do, but it was good to know a bit of the technique.  

That was the learning side of the convention. Now for the fun. The signing! Oh the signing was so very exciting and fantastic! Thank you to all the readers and some authors who stopped by my table to chat. Thank you to everyone who picked up some of my swag and purchased books. It was more than I expected.

Oh, and my mom came to the signing. That's her on the left closest to my banner. Her dear friend Carol on the right. 
More Fun!! Oh my! I had such a great time hanging out with some of the authors that I've only known online from Facebook and Goodreads. Authors like Kym Grosso, Victoria Dannan, Brandy Rivers and Elle Bright. These ladies are awesome and we had such a great time dancing and well, this is where that old saying comes in; what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas. My lips are sealed!!

The limo ride to Thunder Down Under. That's all I have to say about that. LOL
Okay, okay, here we are with the sexy Aussies

This picture is from the Kick Off Party held on Wednesday night! Awesome ladies!

The Casanovas were super sexy!!!! Though I didn't get a picture with them, my bad!!! But here they are performing.

 The parties were so much fun. Here I am with Kym Grosso at the costume ball. Kym and I have been friends on Facebook for a while, but this was our first time meeting and partying together. She is a blast!


I snagged a picture with Jimmy Thomas who is the cover model on my banner as well as my new book, Beautifully Used, coming out soon.

Elle Bright and me at the signing. She is so fun.

 Victoria Dannan I love you!!! 

I want to send out a special note to G.D. Steel (Gwen Steel) who helped me out during a time of great need. Thanks Gwen. Here I am with Gwen. We've been friends on facebook forever too, but this was our first meeting. 
It was a pleasure meeting some wonderful authors that I know from online, like, Alexia Purdy, Katie Salidas, Sharon Hamilton, and Wendy Sexton. I had the privilege of sitting between authors Tanya Goodwin and Stephen Murray and had some great conversations with them.
 I had to get a picture with Alexia Purdy. We've known each other on facebook for the longest time and again, this was the first time we ever met. 

The awesome Sharon Hamilton. Yes, she is really nice. 

Well, that about does it.  Oh! Wait! Who is that masked man?

It's my wonderful husband who accompanied me and stuck by me no matter what I wanted to do. He is the reason I get to do what I love. Thank you, honey!

I hope to return to RNC next year.

That's all for now and remember to always,

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