By Tara Cremin
Last month, thousands of romance writers and fans converged for the annual Romantic Times Booklovers Convention. What most people didn’t know upon arrival was that this was to be the last time RT would be hosted, after 35 consecutive years. This made it even more special for many people in attendance and I was honoured to have the opportunity to be there to speak about self-publishing with Kobo Writing Life and let people know, in person, the exciting new initiatives we have planned for this year.
RT Booklovers is described as the book lover event of the year, and I can see why. It’s a massive conference that brings together authors, fans, bloggers, and industry professionals. There’s a jam-packed agenda for writers of more than 200 workshops covering craft, media & marketing, self-publishing, social media and business. RT is also a great opportunity for authors to meet their readers directly, more than 2000 readers to be exact! Oh, and there are cover models wandering about everywhere, what’s not to love?
I had the opportunity to connect with lots of KWL authors at RT, and it was really lovely to chat in person. Everyone was very excited about Kobo’s upcoming partnership with Walmart, and it was great to be able to bring that feedback to Kobo HQ in Toronto. I also had the pleasure of participating in a panel on YA self-publishing with the delightful C.C. Hunter, who offered great advice as a hybrid author.
What stood out the most to me about RT (other than the previously mentioned cover models) was how friendly everyone is, and how generous everyone is! There is a lot of swag—between goody rooms filled with books, to promo alley, to sponsored themed events with giveaways. It really is the ultimate book-lovers dream!
While you may be concerned about a conference-shaped hole in your 2019 schedule, worry not! Though this was the last year of RT, next year will see the launch of BookLoversCon in New Orleans in May 2019.
If you missed RT but want to be up to date with all things romance, you may want to check out Romance Writers of America 2018 that takes place in Denver in July. If you’re there, be sure to say hi to KWL director Christine Munroe!
Tara Cremin oversees the content processing for KWL. Her focus is to ensure that the books are on site without issue and that any reported bugs are fixed. Tara has an MA in American literature and film from University College Cork, Ireland. She originally moved to Canada because of her love of American literature.