Monday, July 31, 2006

RA and writing conferences

I got home from the Romance Writers of America conference yesterday afternoon. In case you haven't been reading this blog from the beginning, I am a huge romance fan. I'm not going to get all into statistics about how romance is the largest selling genre for mass market books, but I will happily talk with anyone, at length, on why librarians, especially public librarians, and ESPECIALLY readers advisory librarians need to not only be aware of this genre but respect the power of it.

Getting back on topic though, I think that every librarian with an interest in or job description with RA needs to attend a writing conference. At least once, if not once a year. The number of readers and authors and librarians I connected with at RWA was invaluable. I got to talk about the market with industry professionals. I got to talk with readers about what they look for in libraries. If they even use libraries (why or why not). I got to talk with authors about how they use the library. I got to talk with other librarians about issues in stocking and shelving genre fiction. I got to immerse myself in a genre that I love.

If I could afford it, I would attend a writing conference for every genre at least once a year. But I can't. If you can't go to every genre's writing conference, at least go to one for the genre you love. Try to sprinkle in conferences for other genres when possible. It is an experience like no other.

Plus, I brought back a huge bag of free books for my library.