The view of "Nick's office" from the release party location.
I was busy doing my thing, but since I know the author I was hearing little details about the readers that were coming in. A few came in early to tour and look for locations from the books. (Hello authors, research is important!)
As you know, I'm chairing the Emerald City Writers' Conference this year and have attended for the past few years, but a readers event is much different than a writers event. For one thing, as big as the romance industry is, everyone knows someone. Especially the readers. They connect with authors in a way that is impossible for us to connect with each other. And, at an event like this, they like to talk about who they know, who they read, who they don't care for, who wasn't so nice to them when they did meet them before...it all gets around.
But more than anything, I kept realizing that so many new authors see these events and think, "That is what I want." while missing the larger picture. The readers are there, first and foremost, because of the books. Because of the quality of work that they enjoy, that provides them a release-that little moment to escape from reality and take them away from their own troubles. We, as writers, need to concentrate on the books and the quality of our work. Let's not rush that part, the most important part, in order to have a cool release party. Because if we do, it may be the only one we ever have.
I had a fabulous time meeting everyone and hope to do it again soon! For those who want the dirty details, the party I attended was for Marie Force's FATAL MISTAKE, the sixth book in her FATAL series, which is set in DC. The first book in the series (FATAL AFFAIR) is free until the end of the month-as are the other first books in her other series.