RT Post 7 – Book Chaos

In which books

Guys – the book fair. 700 authors. 2000 fans (at a time). There aren’t words to describe it.

here's the line-up to get in, though. Probably this says enough.

here’s the line-up to get in, though. Probably this says enough.

If you were following the #RT14 hashtag, or following along the news at home, then you probably heard a little bit about the distribution of authors at the book fair. There were two big rooms, one of which held traditionally published authors, the other of which held digital-first and independently published authors. This separation wasn’t made clear to either the authors or the readers prior to the bookfair, and it led to some confusion once in the rooms.

Also confusing: the sound of 3 million people squeeing at once.

Also confusing: the sound of 3 million people squeeing at once.

For my part, I had no issues, and moved back and forth easily between the rooms, speaking to both Escape authors and new authors, and the directions were very clear to me. This wasn’t the case for everyone involved, and there have been a number of people speaking out on the experience, both readers and authors.

I think Courtney Milan broke it down the best, including the administrative reason for the designations in the first place. If you read the comments, you’ll also be able to access the experiences of some RT volunteers, other authors, among others.

The bottom line is that there were too many people, too many authors, too many books, and not enough space, resources, or cash registers, and it marred what was otherwise a very exciting event.

SO MANY PEOPLE

SO MANY PEOPLE

There were highlights though:

This is Ruthie Knox. I may look normal, but I'm screaming inside.

This is Ruthie Knox. I may look normal, but I’m screaming inside.

Meeting Ruthie Knox has been on my To-Do list for a long time, ever since I found one of her Loveswept contemporaries through a friend’s recommendation. Ruthie has recently moved into the New Adult market, under the name Robin York, with a book called Deeper. I CAN’T EVEN TELL YOU HOW GOOD IT IS. SERIOUSLY, EVERYONE NEEDS TO READ THIS BOOK RIGHT NOW.I bought it, found myself a corner, and read straight through. I couldn’t put it down, even when some strange guy came and sat beside me and I was blushing because it is so darned hot and I was pretty sure he was reading over my shoulder. Seriously, this is one of my favourite books this year, and one of the best NA books I’ve read.

This is Tiffany Reisz. She is seriously tiny.

This is Tiffany Reisz. She is seriously tiny.

Tiffany wrote a free story, just to give away at the signing, and you know that I was all over that. She also said that she is desperate to come to Australia, and all we need to do is give her a time and a place, and she’ll be there.

Guys, she is also seriously, seriously tiny. At one point at a later party, I was talking with her and Keri Arthur (both of whom top out at, like, 5 ft (160 cm)), and I felt like Gulliver speaking with the Lilliputs.

Julie James, luckily, is much taller

Julie James, luckily, is much taller

Also pictured – my arms full of stuff. I had to find space in my suitcase for all of that. Julie James, by the way, is lovely, and wanted to know who else I read, because she’s always on the lookout for other good contemporary authors. I love authors who also identify as readers.

I also came away with a t-shirt that says ‘Reading is my Superpower’, which seems appropriate. I may never take it off.

Next Up: Harlequin closes down the conference.

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