Woke up at 6am and headed straight for Taft (!) on November 28, 2015 for this! Being a ReaderCon newbie, I was so excited to organize and man the #romanceclass booth, where everyone brought over paperback copies of their books to sell. There were also different panels and activities for the day, like talks about Supporting your Favorite Authors, Book Discussions and Free Books!
Some things I learned about managing a booth (which I'm sure will come in handy next weekend, wink wink):
- Browsing copies! We sometimes forget that people don't know what our books are about, so having a browsing copy helps them get more of an idea of what it's about.
- Freebies are great, but people are really there to buy the book, so if you're giving something away, it has to be small enough that people still see the summary at the back.
- The morning was pretty slow, but people really started buying after the Speed Dating Event set up by Romance Writers of the Philippines (more on that in a bit)!
- The more we talk about the books, the better! I love that our community is so supportive that we generally know what everyone's book is about so we can market it to people who ask.
- We were basically selling to each other at one point! Part of being in the romance writing community here is that we love each other's work, so an author would literally come by, pick up five or ten books and then get their money back when their own books sell! We were all basically exchanging books at this point and signing them!
- Calculators are the best thing ever. And notebooks. And friends.
- Everyone loves cookies, esp. when Liana bakes them! (I think that romance books + pie and cookie place is a golden idea, everyone.)
- The "hugot" books sold really, really quickly. Interesting.
Then in the afternoon, we had the Speed Dating event! Organized by Romance Writers of the Philippines, readers came to us and we had to talk about what books they would be interesting, what our books were about and why they would like it. The idea was nerve-wracking at first, but it was a lot of fun to talk to readers and get an idea of what they're into and how they can get copies of our work. I would love to do this again soon. :P
The one of the activities of the afternoon had everyone squee-ing with joy! Actors Rachel Coates and Gio Gahol took the stage to do some live readings of the books we've written. Oh gosh, the feelings were flying as they read off of Songs of Our Breakup, The Kitchen When It Sizzles, Finding X and The Boyfriend Backtrack! I'm sure everyone in the audience looked hilarious from the actors' point of view as we felt the love all over again. We did this to launch the Romance Class Podcast where they pre-recorded readings of some of the other books. It's a new way to bring our books to bigger audiences.
Needless to say, I'm exhausted, but so thrilled to be a part of this community. It's been one whole year of crazy things, and it's only getting better. Until next year (or sooner, maybe?)!