If I had to summarize the RWA Nationals in one word, I’d have to use this one: Whew.
Fortunately, I don’t have to do that. Even in an entire blog post I can’t possibly sum up all the highs and lows and in-betweens of the conference. It was a lot like a roller coaster. A lot of buzz about the future of e-publishing. A little talk about how self-publishing an ebook is a lot like the old vanity publishing. Very difficult to make a success of such a career. However, in whispers, some writers talk about how other writers have done it. How they don’t have to share the proceeds with anyone else, so they make more money from each sale.
However, I didn’t go to the RWA Nationals to learn about e-publishing. It’s a definite trend to watch and I almost always read ebooks on my Nook (I love that thing), but I went to RWA to sell my book. To a publisher or an agent who will know how to sell it to a publisher. On Friday, I haunted the editor/agent appointments looking for appointments with someone interested in single title romances. I was rewarded for my efforts and three hours later walked away with two agent requests for additional material. Both agents are extremely well-respected and successful in the romance industry and I would be honored to work with either one. So, I’m keeping my fingers crossed and working hard on my synopsis this weekend.
Because you see, I found out something in one of my workshops. I’ve been writing my synopses all wrong. (Aaaargh!) Angela James of Carina Press said in a workshop I attended that when she reads a synopsis, she wants to feel like she’s read the book without having to read the book. Oh no, I thought. That doesn’t sound like what I’ve been sending out.
I’ve always thought of a synopsis as a book report. It’s not that. It’s more like Cliff’s Notes of your book. It needs everything, not just the main characters, conflict and resolution. You need to be able to summarize the entire journey the characters take in your book. And you need to do all this in three to five pages.
So needless to say, I have my work cut out for me. Fortunately, I only have to do it once. I hope.
Biggest thrills of the conference: Riding in the elevator with Steve Berry and talking about Junior’s Cheesecake; walking past Diana Gabaldon—I didn’t have the guts to stop and say hello, but I did pass within three feet of her; hearing Harlequin editor Paula Eykelhoff talk about her years of experience in the romance industry; pitching my story to anyone who’d listen, but especially to an agent I’ve queried at least three times; discussing the Mills and Boon line of medical romances with Harlequin editor Bryony Green; in fact, meeting anyone from Harlequin from the writers to the editors. I’m not just saying it because I’m a fan, either. They were all wonderful, friendly people. Maybe working with romance does that to you.