So, I just got back from the RT Booklover’s Convention in Atlanta. This is my second trip to RT. I went two years ago in 2015 in Dallas. If you’ve never been to RT, this is a fun conference where you get to meet authors and other book lovers. This year, you could even meet a ton of narrators, which I loved. You can read more about the Audiobook stuff on Hot Listens. Here, I want to focus on the non-audiobook stuff.
Well, the main thing you hear about going to a book con is the authors. There were around 600 authors at the con (even if they were only at the book signing, but more about that to come). You will get to meet up with many of your favorite authors at parties, panels and the signing. You can even run into authors just in the hallways.
The panels are a lot of fun. You will hear many different stories. I highly recommend that you go to panels, even if they are geared towards authors and you have no intention of writing a book. I have no desire to ever write a book, but if an author I love is at a “craft panel”, I will still go, just because I love that author. You can hear great stories and learn more about that author’s writing process. There are also reader geared panels and small parties. You can win free books and other great freebies from authors. I played several different types of trivia, some about geeky topics, others about books and authors that I love.
There are also events setup by the publishers where you can get free signed books by authors. This is a great time to find new-to-you authors. You can also get some great books from authors that you already love. They are usually pretty busy and you don’t get much time to talk with authors, but you can get some time with them and even a picture.
There are also the larger evening parties. There might be freebies and prizes at these. I went to two of these parties. There was a Romance Rockabilly Street Festival and the Spec Ops, Spies & Speakeasy: Roaring 20’s Costume Party. There is always a costume party at RT, but don’t feel like you have to dress up. There were just as many without costumes as there were with costumes. Everyone is just there for fun. There were also prizes and freebies. Oh, and dancing. The Rockabilly band was really good. For the Roaring 20’s party, they brought in a DJ, who was a lot of fun too.
The big author signing is a fun thing too, albeit very crowded. There are rows and rows of authors there with swag and books for purchase. You can also bring in your own books to have signed. I recommend buying books before the signing (as in bring them with you from home), if you want to ensure that you have all the books you want. Many authors bring books, but which ones are available is not always known ahead of time. Usually it is the first books in a series and the most recently released books. You can also get tons of swag and maybe even free book downloads. This is also a great time to meet up with any authors you’ve missed throughout the week. Pictures are harder because you have a table between you and the author, but it can be done.
While I loved spending time with authors, (narrators too), it was seeing my book friends that I’ve met online that I loved the most. Many of them I had already met at RT15 in Dallas. It was great to see all of them again. I also met a few more people in person.
So I stayed in a room with Lexxie from Unconventional Book Views, Bookworm Brandee and Brandee‘s best friend Denise (somehow I don’t have an image of the four of us). I also got to spend a lot of time with Felicia, The Geeky Blogger and her friend Beth. I can’t forget Mary from The Book Swarm. Anne from The Book Nympho came in for the day on Saturday. I even spent time with Angela and Francesca from Under the Covers Book Blog, though I didn’t realize it at first (we still had a great time before we even realized we knew each other).
I was having so much fun just hanging out with everyone, that I completely forgot to take pictures. I have a few (as you can see), but I missed pictures with a ton of people.
I didn’t get nearly as many free books as some of the other people. I didn’t want to spend all my time in lines (there are several events where the first XX number of people get a bag with swag and/or free books). Some people start to line up hours before the event starts. I decided that I would rather hang out in the bar with my friends than stand in many of the lines. I still got a ton of free books and got to meet a ton of my favorite authors.
I talked to several authors, but completely forgot to take pictures. Authors including Jennifer Estep (She hung out with us at Petticoats & Pistols, which was a social event that included cover models, author signings and giveaways), Diana Rowland, Molly Harper, Chelsea Mueller, Amanda Bonilla (aka Kate Baxter), Darynda Jones and more.
Oh, one thing I recommend attending if you can is Tuesday night Cinema Craptastique. They watch a horrible movie and make fun of it (MST3K or RiffTrax, if you’re familiar). They live tweet the event and even get their hashtag trending worldwide. I came in at the end of it this year (my flight was late Tuesday night). They were watching Glitter with Mariah Carey. Author Damon Suede was hilarious. There were a ton of prizes and laughs. I’m actually sad that I missed this when I was at RT15 (I wasn’t really aware of what it was).
Last but not least, I have to mention my duckies. Eve Langlais was giving out different duckies at different parties and I was obsessed with collecting them all. Then I saw that Asa Maria Bradley had viking duckies, so I had to go get one at the big author signing.
Don’t forget to check out Hot Listens to learn about all the audiobook stuff in Atlanta.
UPDATED: Lexxie sent me a picture of me with my roommates. 🙂