I’m back in Denver, all the laundry’s done, and I have had a little time to reflect on RWA.
First of all, I had a fabulous time. I’ve been to RWA twice before: Denver 2002 (my own backyard) and Reno in 2005. So it had been a while for me. This was by far my best experience. First of all, I loved the hotel and the surrounding area. I am a person who needs some solitude occasionally, especially during a non-stop conference where you are meeting people all the time. Orlando provided perfect opportunities for scenic morning work-outs and quick escapes. I also noted that people were much happier at this conference. The two previous ones I attended both involved upheavals of one kind or another. This one was more about parties, fun, and celebrating the romance industry. Who wouldn’t want to get behind that?
I attended fewer workshops than in previous years, but did hit a couple of publisher spotlights (Pocket and Avon), as well as a Harlequin workshop about worldwide sales and distribution. I learned some things that I probably could have guessed: The average age of a direct to consumer subscriber (you know, those Harlequin book clubs?) is 68. They prefer traditional and Inspirational stories, as well as westerns and Christmas stories. Does anyone even know who subscribes to those? Younger readers prefer sexier stories with fewer weddings, stories that concentrate on the power dynamic between the hero and heroine. That makes sense. What didn’t I guess? That Japanese readers love Harlequin manga, and do most of their reading on their cell phones. Apparently the market for romance manga is huge.