RWA Nationals is Over, But My Work is Just Beginning

As you know from my blog post last Monday, I was heading to RWA’s 2014 National Conference. 2000+ authors and industry professionals gathering for a conference filled with workshops and publisher spotlights and book signings and key-note addresses and…well, the list goes on.

This year, I went in with a plan in place to get ready for Mind Sweeper, my debut novel’s release in September (See https://aejonesauthor.wordpress.com/2014/07/21/off-to-nationals-i-go/)

For the most part, I accomplished what I set out to do. And when I arrived home yesterday, exhausted and exhilarated (can you be both at the same time?) I told myself I would think about what  I learned ‘tomorrow’. Well, it is ‘tomorrow’ and after sleeping twelve hours (yes, you read that right) I am thinking about it.  

What did I learn? That while I understand the fundamentals of creating and preparing a book for release, that I have to now connect with all of those potential readers who I HOPE…beat it, self-doubt…who I KNOW will like it. So I need to market, market, market.

At Nationals there is a room called the Goody Room where authors put all of their various swag that they want to hand out. It can be bookmarks, postcards, books, buttons, can openers, chip clips, etc. Items that advertise their books and get their names out there. This year I decided to participate and so I had some postcards made. But I also wanted to do something fun and a bit different. I found some great customizable lollipops (or suckers which seems more appropriate when you look at the picture below) and gave those out at the conference. Memorable? Fun? That was my plan.

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But I also need to  connect with readers through various social media tools and get my book reviewed. Because reviews help sell books, right? We live in an age where readers have more power than they ever have before. They can read a book and post it on various sites where dozens, hundreds, thousands, millions of people can see it.  And that is amazing and humbling as well. So over the next 7 weeks or so, I hope to find readers and bloggers who will be ready for my book…to read and review. And also to form relationships. To form bonds with people who love to read as much as I do. Who escape into a character and story and share that enthusiasm with others. THAT is why I started to write in the first place!

As I unpack my suitcases, I thought you would enjoy a snapshot of one of them. Besides new friends, and ideas, and plans, I also came home with this!

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