I just returned from Lori Foster's Annual Reader & Author Get-Together in Ohio. I'd say 350-400 people attended. I met writers from several states--Arkansas, Oklahoma, Texas, Nebraska, Florida, Maine, California, Ohio, Pennsylvania and even Vancouver, Canada!
The conference is unique in that both writers and readers attend, plus agents and editors who are looking for the next new voice. Unique gift baskets were raffled off, book signings were held, agents took pitches, editors held a Q&A, and there was even a pirate-themed party.
At the conference, I asked everyone what they wrote. Here are the most popular genres: Erotica. YA. Erotica. Historical Romance. Erotica. Contemporary Romance. Erotica. Women's Fiction. Erotica. Cozy Mysteries. Erotica. Notice a common thread, here? Wow. If you write or read erotica, you must go to this conference. Even if you're like me and do not write erotica you will meet great writers and welcoming authors. It was also interesting to hear what the readers actually enjoy reading. Lori Foster has a great idea here in pairing the two.
I was lucky enough to pitch to both Jennifer Schober with Spencerhill Associates and Laura Bradford with Bradford Literary since there were a couple of cancellations. And...drum roll, please...both asked to see the first 30 pages!!! Yippee. I hope they fall in love with my manuscript and fight to the bitter end over who gets to represent me. You writers know what I'm talking about.
So...immediately, if not sooner, I must reengineer my query (yet again) and synopsis (yet again) and get them sent off to Jennifer and Laura. Oh, and I'll have to revamp those 30 pages, I'm sure. This time I won't tweak for a year, though. I'm giving myself 48 hours.
Finally, here's a shout out to the Marriott Cincinnati North which had the most accommodating, courteous staff I've ever encountered--and the food was great.
Hope to see you in Ohio next year.