Sunday, 17 April 2011

Gail Delaney shares her thoughts on this year's RT Convention

Gail Delaney & Jenifier Ranieri at RT 2011

STEPH: As a publisher, what's the appeal of the RT Convention?

GAIL: The beauty of RT is the diversity of attendees. There are conventions
specifically for networking of publishers. There are conventions for writers
to improve their craft. There are conventions for distributors.
RomanticTimes is an all encompassing event for anyone involved in the
industry of romance novels. I can network with other publishers, speak to
distributors and others in support or service industries. I can meet with
potential authors, and meet authors who already write for me. I can talk to
art people (or more to the point, Jenifer can!), and we can draw in new
readers. We can accomplish a lot of goals in one place.

STEPH: How many times have you gone?

GAIL: This marked my sixth RomanticTimes convention. My first was as an author
only, my second and third as both an author and an executive editor for
another publishing house. Then I skipped a year. The last three conventions
have been as owner of Desert Breeze Publishing.

STEPH: Do you meet a lot of romance readers at RT?

GAIL: Very much so, yes. Actually, it surprises me how many pure readers we meet
at RT. I still think of it as very much an industry-oriented event, but
there are people who go purely because they absolutely love romance novels
-- print, ebook, they don't care -- and they want the chance to rub elbows
with the authors and cover models they read and see on their books.

STEPH: How beneficial are the workshops?

GAIL: Sadly, I haven't had much of a chance to get to workshops in the last couple
of years, but when we go we tend to get a nice punch out of them. This year,
Jenifer attended workshops on marketing and hooking the reader. And I was
able to attend a workshop on the genre of Steampunk, something I'm very much
interested in learning more about. I absolutely believe the workshops can be
both beneficial and fun.

STEPH: What's your favorite aspect of the RT Convention? The workshops? The
dance & dinner? Mr. Romance?

GAIL: One of my favorite things is being able to meet authors who already write
for me. This year, I was able to once again see Vijaya Schartz, who I knew
from years past and who came to talk to us at our first RT as DBP. I also
was able to meet Toni Noel and Jackie Leigh Allen -- both newer authors with
us. And although I've known Tamara McHatton for a few years, this year she
was also a DBP author. Getting together with people already with us is

Gail, Jen & Author Katie Charles

STEPH: Did you have any goals you wanted to accomplish at the convention?

GAIL: Expanding on our reputation, getting our name out there to draw quality
authors. And while time will tell, I believe we accomplished that goal.

STEPH: Did you feature any book readers in your display? What one did readers
seem to look at more? What genre appeared to generate the most interest?

GAIL: We had a Nook, a Kindle and two kinds of iPads on display for people to
'play' with. We used to have a Sony, but it went kapoot last year at RT and
hasn't recovered yet. People love to have hands on opportunities to play
with each kind of reader, and to be able to ask us about them. People were
definitely interested in the iPads. J As far as genres, we had a wide
variety of interest. I often ask people who stop "What's your favorite
genre?", and based on their answer I give suggestions based on the postcards
we have on display. A lot of Paranormal and Historical interest. Luckily, we
can offer books that offer both. J

STEPH: What does the Desert Breeze display consist of?

GAIL: This year we had two large racks displaying 24 postcard/cover art cards
each, for a total of 48 options. We also had free sample cds, goodie bags,
raffle items and mugs we gave away to readers. Also, the ereaders to play
with. We pack a lot on a small table.

STEPH: Did you have a lot of opportunities to network?

GAIL: Yes, in a variety of ways. We talk to other publishers, with authors,
publicists, all types of people. Not every mix and mingle results in an
opportunity, but every once in awhile something great happens.

STEPH: What did you enjoy the best about the convention this year?

GAIL: This year, I took my daughter for a day. She's a published author, but I
don't think it's ever really sank in for her. I loved watching her absorb it
all, and the pride in her eyes when she could tell someone she had been
published, and has another book coming out. And I enjoyed the pride I felt
when I could tell someone she was my daughtger. That was the best part of
this year.


  1. Gail,
    I've never been to a RT Convention so this was great reading about your experiences attending as an author and now as a publisher. Your display table sounds awesome and I'm sure it generated lots of interest for DBP books. That's wonderful Katie attended with you.

    You asked great questions and so much fun learning more about what goes on at RT Convention.

  2. Gail, I've attended several RT conventions and you brought back a lot of memories. I would say if an author wants to meet readers and could choose only one large con, then go to RT instead of RWA. Many more readers there. Linda

  3. Sounds like a wonderful convention full of opportunities. So glad it was so enjoyable.I enjoyed all the pictures. BJ

  4. Diane, thanks for popping in! I just wish I could have gone but the stars were not aligned! Sigh...

    Linda, good to hear about RT being a great place to meet readers.

    Thanks for popping in!
    Moderator Steph

  5. Gail's right. Of all the wonderful things RT does for us, the ability to meet our authors in person is one of the tops.

    Because RT is a valuable tool for both us, DBP proper, AND for our authors we can feel free to push to have our authors attend. ;-)

    Some conventions wouldn't benefit us both as RT does so it wouldn't be worth the investment, and we understand that it IS an investment.

    One of the best things about this convention would be the times we got to have breakfasts with our authors, Tamara McHatton, Toni Noel, Jackie Leigh Allen, and Vijaya Schartz.

    Oh, and we should note that Vijaya was a powerhouse promoter this year! Every time we were asked what publishing house we represented and said DBP and got, "OH! I KNOW DBP! Vijaya!" we saw the efficacy of her promotion. Well done, Vijaya. :-D

    I also loved having Katie show up. Watching her take it all in was like being introduced to the convention again for the first time - kinda like taking your kids to Disneyland. :-)

    We also got to have Patrick Delaney, Gail's husband and DBP's CFO, dip his toe into RT for a couple days. It was quite amusing to have one of the Mr. Romance contestants sign a photo to Gail just a tiny bit racy and have her say, "By the way, this is my husband." HAHA. When he went to sign mine, he looked at the man manning the booth beside us and said warily, "That's not YOUR husband, is it?" **snicker**

    Patrick also managed to get another bump in on him when Katie showed up, with a "It's not bad enough you're hitting on my wife, now my daughter?!" which the contestant took with good humor and only the minimal amount of embarrassment because he realized he'd been set up. :-D

    See all the fun you missed? ;-)

    These are all great things but one of the most important to me is the re-energizing that comes from seeing our company out there, being recognized as a wonderful, professional, PROMISING publishing house. It makes all the hard work worth it. :-D


    PS. Thanks so much to Steph who, in my opinion, doesn't get thanked enough for her work on this blog. **hugs**

  6. Jen,
    Aww... it's great to have your perspective, too. Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts. I would have LOVED to have gone but it was bad timing. The boys were off from school and we planned a week of family activity - a week we rarely have to have quality family time and that had to come first.

    I would have loved to have fit RT in.

    Thanks so much for your support about the blog. I appreciate it.


  7. Sounds like it was a wonderful conference. I hope to go sometime and meet many of the other DB authors. The Desert Breeze table looked amazing!

  8. Jen and Gail did us proud. They provided a professional-looking display and manned it faithfully, promoting all of us full time. I should have stayed at their table instead of attending workshops, where I never ran into a single reader.

    Toni Noel

  9. I wish I could have been there, Gail. Next year, I'm taking the train to Chicago. It's a straight shot from here... and I won't have to drive or fly.