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Posts tagged with: RWA National

Awesome #RWA14 SWAG!!

Frequent Ruby Readers may remember that I’m one of those annoying people who doesn’t seem to be influenced by most promo and marketing approaches, and alas, swag is no exception. I know, I’m horrible. But that doesn’t mean there wasn’t some awesome swag on hand at the Romance Writers of America’s National Conference recently held in San Antonio. It also doesn’t mean I didn’t pick some up. 😉

Following are some of the items I collected at RWA National. If I notice a trend in the swag I picked up, it’s that the swag was a) useful/edible, b)  eye-catching, or c) it tickled my funny bone. 

Clockwise, from 12:00-ish:

SWAG HAG

A purple mini-notebook and orange breath mints from Aliyah Burke. I love purple, and orange is my favorite citrus flavor. (Useful/edible)

A bottle opener from Sarah M. Anderson, cleverly branded with “Percheron Drafts”, a setting from her Beaumont Heirs series. (Useful)

An unusual and beautiful mirrored compact from Susan Sheehey. (Useful/eye-catching)

More orange mints. Yeah, I took two. I told you I was horrible. (Edible)

From our own Ruby Sister Sara Ramsey, a sticky notepad that still makes me snicker. It reads: #regencyworldproblems

napoleon took me to russia and all I got was typhus (Useful/hilarious)

At the center, more mints – these ones reflecting book covers. Love the black containers, Dina Haynes  and Lynda Aicher!  (Edible)

Tasty mint gum, with book cover, from Teri Riggs. (Edible)

Lip balm from Annie Oortman of AnnieEdits. The label reads, “Editing is a bitch. I’m not.” LOVE IT. See Me: horrible, above. (Useful/funny)

More lip balm, and other awesome stuff, from Melody Anne, who I’ll talk about more in a bit. 

No conference attended primarily by women would be complete if people weren’t complaining about the temperature. 😉 The meeting spaces seemed to be either too hot or too cold, hitting very few attendees in that “just right” Goldilocks Zone. But never fear! The Goody Room had us covered. 

Cold hands, warm heart?

Bless you, Amylynn Bright, for including the life-saving Hot Hands chemical heating pads in your goodie bag! I should get brownie points for restraint because I only took one. (Useful – to me!)

For the women who were too warm, there were a number of awesome fans to choose from, including this clever cowboy-themed fan from Linda Gilman. (Useful – to most!)

If I had to choose a single promo and swag MVP for the conference, it would have to be New York Times best-selling indie author Melody Anne. In addition to outspending some publishers by supporting the conference at a platinum level, Melody’s name was visible everywhere: on the small, exceedingly useful notebook found in everyone’s conference bag. On a glasses/screen cleaning wipe (at about 10:00 in the first pic). Her latest release was advertised on elevator clings. Somewhere along the line, I picked up a bookmark advertising free downloads for four of her books. I picked up her swag in the Goody Room, a bag containing the cutest little black book holding sticky notes and adhesive page tabs (10:00 above, half-covering the glasses/screen cleaning wipe), name-brand lip balm, and a good quality pen, all emblazoned with her name. Being an indie author, she also bore the cost of furnishing her own print books for both the Literacy Signing and the Indie signing.

Melody Anne? I think brand name domination has been achieved!    

Did you pick up any swag at RWA National? Tell us about it! Did you have a favorite item? Did any item strike you as cool or unusual? Will any item increase the chance that you might actually buy someone’s book?

Let’s dish!    

 TamaraHogan_TemptMe_100px

TEMPT ME, Book Three of Tamara Hogan’s award-winning Underbelly Chronicles paranormal romance series, was nominated for a 2014 Daphne du Maurier Award for Excellence in Mystery/Suspense, and for a 2014 Booksellers Best Award.  Learn more at www.tamarahogan.com.

Buy yours at:  Print | Kindle | Nook | Kobo | iBooks  | ARe | Smashwords | Createspace

 

 

Free-for-All Friday: RWA National Tips and Tricks

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Can you believe the 2013 RWA National Conference starts next week? It seems like just yesterday that the Rubies were all named 2009 Golden Heart finalists, but if you look at the right hand side of our website’s home page, so much has happened since then.

In those four years, there have been many additional Golden Heart finals and wins, several RITA finals, and one RITA win (Darynda Jones generously let us rub RITA’s belly for luck). A gratifying number of Rubies will walk the stage as nominees and presenters at this year’s awards ceremony.  But to me, the biggest metric of our success is this: since 2009, the Rubies have collectively published over 200 books.

OVER 200 BOOKS. Yay, us!

There’s a lot of experience here at the Ruby Slippered Sisterhood, from the sisters and from members of our community.  Whether you’re a RWA National newbie or an old hand, today, in true free-for-all Friday fashion, we’d like to learn everyone’s tips and tricks for navigating RWA National.

Here are a few of mine:

Don’t overpack! (You’ll need room in your suitcase for books!) I challenge myself to make it through the entire conference on four pairs of shoes. Four. I choose my shoes first, and build my wardrobe around them. Take it from a massive shoe hoor, IT CAN BE DONE.

Wear comfortable shoes – Yes, more about the shoes. Showing off our fierce footwear is part of the fun, but on the other hand, no one wants to hobble around with bloody blisters all week long. You’ll be on your feet a lot throughout the week, so plan ahead. Break in your shoes beforehand, and bring blister treatment products.

Dress in layers – I had an amusing chat with a hotel employee at last year’s conference about how, at an event like ours, dominated by women, ABSOLUTELY NO ONE is happy with the temperature!  I’m always cold in air conditioned hotels, so you’ll find me bundled up in long sleeves and a sweater. Other attendees will be walking around in sleeveless shirts, carrying battery-operated fans to battle hot flashes. As Grandma Marion always said, “It never hurts to carry a sweater.” Grandmas are wise.

Eat lunch with strangers – Get out of your comfort zone a little! Break away from your buddies and sit with strangers at the conference’s luncheon events. Everyone at the conference loves reading and writing, so you won’t be strangers for long.  It’s not unheard of to find yourself sitting next to, and making informal contact with, an agent or editor who might then ask for your pitch. The person you ask to please pass the salad dressing might be an influential blogger, someone you follow on Twitter, or an author whose work you enjoy. This is the easiest networking opportunity you’ll have all week long. Take advantage of it.

Take some downtime – for most of us, the conference is a marathon, not a sprint. Don’t feel like you have to attend every single workshop. Sometimes the best use of your time is to go up to your room for an hour, decompress or take a nap, and re-energize for the evening to come. For more on this topic, here’s a blog post I wrote in 2011:  Behold My P-Ness! Writers, Myers-Briggs, and An Introvert’s Guide to RWA National.

Some things I don’t leave home without:Deep water plug

  • earplugs, in case the room next door gets rowdy
  • bubble bath and my overflow drain cover – turns even the stingiest hotel bathtub into a soaking tub!
  • First aid kit, including Band-Aids, safety pins, the aforementioned blister treatment products, ibuprofen, tampons, etc. (Why pay inflated gift shop prices?)  I didn’t even NEED tampons during RT2013 in May, but I gave two away from my purse stash to authors in need. Is this sisterhood or what?  😉
  • NutriGrain bars, for breakfast or a quick afternoon snack
  • 6′ cheapo extension cord, for convenient gadget charging
  • Favorite book signing pen
  • Bookmarks and business cards – carry at all times!

 

What are your conference tips and tricks? Any items you don’t leave home without? If you’ve never been to the conference before, what questions do you have? It’s free-for-all Friday; anything goes!

Tammy’s latest release… 

TamaraHogan_TouchMe1

Touch Me…An Underbelly Chronicles Novella

Mere hours after human technology whiz Bailey Brown learns the truth about her Sebastiani Security co-workers—they’re all vampires, incubi, succubi, sirens, faeries, Valkyrie, and werewolves!—she’s thrown into an undercover operation protecting a siren singer at Underbelly, one of Minneapolis’s premier nightclubs. With pheromones saturating the air like sweet chloroform, starving for touch, and her inhibitions fading fast, Bailey has to avoid Rafe Sebastiani, her boss’s gorgeous sex demon of a brother, at all costs…

Because only his touch will do.

$0.99 at Amazon.com! Other digital formats available Sept. 2013.

 

Behold My P-ness! Writers, Myers-Briggs, and an Introvert’s Guide to RWA National

The Rubies had a fascinating discussion recently about personality traits,  and how those personality traits impact our behavior at large events such as the RWA National Conference, which is NEXT WEEK already!! This discussion very quickly turned to the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (R).

The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator is a personality typing exercise based upon the work of psychologist Carl Jung, and it helps people assess their preferences for:

  • focusing their attention or getting their energy (Extraversion or Introversion)
  • taking in information (Sensing or iNtuition)
  • making decisions (Thinking or Feeling)
  • orienting themselves to the external world (Judging or Perceiving)

We can’t go into all the nitty-gritty details about Myers-Briggs here; if you’d like more information about MBTI concepts, go to “MBTI Basics” at The Myers-Briggs Foundation, Wikipedia, and the Cognitive Style Inventory at Personality Pathways.

After answering the MBTI’s questions, you receive a designation for each category which reflects your preferences. These designations combine to make 16 possible MBTI ‘types’.

I was exposed to Myers-Briggs as a team-building exercise at my day job, and going through this activity helped our work team understand and value each others’ task preferences and communication styles. For example, Jon (ESTJ) loves presenting, gains energy from crowds, is very verbal at meetings, and prefers phone contact. I (INFP) prefer to fly under the radar and work independently, find phone calls and instant messages distracting (email, please!), and though I’m quiet at meetings unless I have something specific to say, I’m the first to notice body language and emotional subtext.

This team building exercise also led to a plethora of completely politically incorrect “P-ness” jokes, but that’s neither here nor there.  😉

Some people report their MBTI designation shifting over time. While remaining an INFP, if anything my introverted tendencies have shifted to the more extreme end of the curve over the last decade or so.  I recently scored a flat zero on the free IPIP-NEO short form’s overarching Extraversion Domain – that’s zero on a scale from zero to 100 – so when I say I’m a massive introvert, I have data to back that up.

To quote from that instrument:

Introverts lack the exuberance, energy, and activity levels of extraverts. They tend to be quiet, low-key, deliberate, and disengaged from the social world. Their lack of social involvement should not be interpreted as shyness or depression; the introvert simply needs less stimulation than an extravert and prefers to be alone. The independence and reserve of the introvert is sometimes mistaken as unfriendliness or arrogance. In reality, an introvert who scores high on the agreeableness dimension will not seek others out but will be quite pleasant when approached.

Ding-ding-ding-ding-ding!

Looking at this through the lens of the RWA National conference… at times, I find the exuberance, noise and activity level of the conference to be very draining. Over the week I’m in NYC, I’ll recharge my batteries by occasionally slipping up to my room for an hour of silence and decompression time, or sitting in a quiet alcove with my headset on, blocking out the world for a couple of essential minutes.

Don’t get me wrong – like many introverts, I’m not shy.  I’m part of the “Road to Novel Completion: Potholes, Pit-Stops and Poppy Fields, Oh My!” panel the Rubies are presenting on Thursday morning at 8:30 a.m., and hope to see everybody there!  But you definitely won’t find me closing down the bar.  And while it might take conscious effort for me to initiate conversations in a cocktail party situation – exhausting! – one thing that’s completely manageable for me to do is to sit down and share lunch with strangers who like to read or write romance!  “Where are you from?” “What do you like to write/read?”  Easy peasy lemon squeezy.

I AM quite pleasant when approached! So whether it’s after the Ruby panel, at the “Readers for Life” Literacy Signing, the Sourcebooks author signing, or just milling about, flag me down! I’d love to talk about reading, writing, and of course, OUR VERY FIERCE SHOES.

How about you? At RWA National, will we see you dancing on the tables, or observing the debauchery from the sidelines? Feel free to share your favorite large-event coping mechanisms, and your Myers-Briggs type if you know it.

Tamara Hogan’s debut urban fantasy romance, TASTE ME, was released earlier this year by Sourcebooks. Underbelly Chronicles Book Two, CHASE ME, will be published in Spring 2012.

The Latest Comments

  • Vivi Andrews/Lizzie Shane: Conference was amazing – seeing the Rubies, watchig Darynda emcee for the fabulous...
  • Elisa Beatty: I really hope we’ll see you there!!!
  • Tamara Hogan: What amazing pictures! Everyone looks like they’re having such a great time. I tried to enjoy...
  • Bev Pettersen: So nice seeing these pics. But my heart gave a little twinge at seeing the Omegas and knowing it was...
  • Darynda Jones: This was such a fun conference! I love seeing the Rubies and had a great time welcoming the Omegas to...

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