This was supposed to be done Friday but I had completely forgotten that I was going out of town. So now that I am back I want to do a final wrap-up of Readers n Ritas!
Overall: I was very pleased with this convention. It was smaller and I think it made it more intimate. I didn’t feel as overwhelmed or hurried as I did at a bigger convention. There was plenty of one on one time with my favorite authors. I could ask questions, talk to other fans, and not feel like I was missing something due to over-scheduling. I also was able to connect with a lot of new friends and that is always exciting.
Panels: Panels were very reader focused! There was a little bit of something for everyone. There were 4 to 5 panelist along with a moderator to keep everything on track. The rooms were small enough that everyone had a chance to ask questions and it didn’t feel like you were just one of the crowd. Also, the way they were spaced out gave you some downtime to visit the book exchange or just chill in the lobby.
Author Lounge: I actually really enjoyed this! Each author was given a time when they would be in the lounge to talk to readers. This was a non-signing zone so you just got to chit chat with them about their series, where their characters are heading, or just life in general. I actually used this time to get to know some new authors because there were a few I had never read.
Authors: Every single one that I met was very nice and down to earth. They were not pretentious and really seemed to enjoy their fans. They were friendly and never once did I see any of them just huddling with other authors. They all seemed to be fans themselves!
Fresh Fiction: The team that put this together really worked hard and it showed. Did everything go exactly as planned? No (when does it ever). They were quick, courteous, and very helpful in getting things resolved. This is a fairly new convention and it ran pretty smoothly. I think they did a fantastic job.
Readers: I loved the mix of people who came to the convention. It was just a joy to sit down with people from all over the US/CA (don’t think anyone came further than that) to talk books. You get a whole bunch of romance readers in one room and the conversations are at times wild, funny, and very serious. This is my favorite part of any reader convention and this one was no exception.
Festivities: Friday night was kind of the meet/greet/introduce time. I have a suggestion to anyone attending: sit at an authors table you do not know. I did this Friday night, Saturday at lunch, and Sunday at brunch. I now have 3 new authors that I am going to check out. It is a perfect opportunity to learn more about them and the books they write. Since most of the time you will be checking out your favs, this is a perfect time to meet new favs. At this convention, each mealtime was a perfect time to get to know new authors as each one was arranged so the authors each had their own table (you could win stuff too). I thought that was really well done.
Complaints: I missed the margaritas because I couldn’t drink 🙁 Next year that will not be the case. Barnes and Noble did not bring enough books or even cover all the authors there. So next year I will bring books to be signed but will buy on site if they are available. I will also be on the lookout for a readers lounge because I think it would be fun to have a place for all the readers to sit and dish about their favorite books!
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