Sunday, June 12, 2011

Battle Stations Ready!

In just a few weeks, Romance Writers of America (RWA) will be holding its national conference in New York City.  A highlight of the conference is the "Readers for Life" Literacy Autographing, a book signing featuring more than 500 authors which is free admission and open to the public.  Authors happily pose for photos and sign books that are provided by publishers and sold to readers at face value with proceeds from the evening's sales donated to literacy charities in the city in which that year's conference is being held.  It's a win-win for everyone!

Right about now, your brain is probably giddy with delight at the thought of 500 romance authors in the same room.  Enjoy the sensation...before it slides straight into terror at the thought of the chaos that most certainly will ensue when you envision several hundred excited readers descending upon 500 romance authors!  It's pretty crazy!  But, it can also be a lot of fun, especially if you come armed with a "Battle Plan."

PJ & Christina Dodd - 2006
There are many strategies that people employ to make sure they get all the books on their list.  One is to be in line outside the doors of the room where the book signing is held at least three hours before they open.  (some get there even earlier)  Another is to go straight to your "Top Five" authors and make sure you get their books.  (I got the photo but missed out on the book I wanted from Christina Dodd.  The penalty for not going there first!) Once that need is satisfied you can wander the rest of the room at your leisure.

Julia Quinn - 2009
RWA helps by positioning the authors in alphabetical order by last name, so you know approximately where everyone is within the room, and listing who will be signing before the conference on their website.  I copy the list and highlight the names of my "must buy" authors.  Within that list, I note the "big name" authors, the New York Times Bestselling authors and featured conference speakers who will be positioned around the perimeter of the room...and who usually have lines out the door.  If one of the "big name" authors is on your list, I strongly advise getting to them fast before they run out of books.

Eloisa James, PJ, Connie Brockway - 2006
At my first Literacy Autographing, I had no idea what to expect.  I was not attending the conference and had driven into Atlanta for the day to meet Eloisa James and others from her bulletin board and attend the signing.  I wandered down to get in line about an hour before the doors opened and found myself at least 800 people from the front!  When I finally got inside the room I was faced with a wall of people but when I glanced to the left - voila! - empty spaces!  I beat feet to the last table and found a bevy of smiling authors whose last names began with W and T.  Like a little salmon swimming upstream, I slowly worked my way back through the crowd, stopping to chat, take photos and have books signed along the way.  By the time I returned to the upper reaches of the alphabet the majority of the crowd was down where I had begun and, once again, I was left with tables of smiling authors and not many readers.  Score!

Many of you are probably thinking, "Gee, PJ.  That's all well and good but I'm not going to the conference so what does this have to do with me?"  Plenty!!  You see, RWA National is where we Dishes refill the wondrous prize closet from which we pull books to send to you, our wonderful readers, throughout the year.  So, now's your chance to have a say in what books you will have an opportunity to win here at The Romance Dish.

Who are the top five authors from whom you would most like to win a signed book?

What are the five current books (published in 2010-2011) of which you would most like to win a signed copy?

That's all you have to do!  And, to thank you for helping us I'll randomly select two people leaving comments (between now and midnight Tuesday) to win a book from our current prize supply!

Happy Reading!


  1. I would love to win a signed book by Nora Roberts, Linda Howard, Julie Garwood, Loretta Chase and Stephanie Laurens. I would most like to win a signed copy of Pamela Clare's Breaking Point, Lisa Marie Rice's Into the Crossfire, Julia Quinn's Just Like Heaven, Barbara Freethy's At Hidden Falls and Loretta Chase's Last Night's Scandal.

  2. OMG! Thank you for looking out for your fans! The irony is that I'll be in NYC for a few days during the conference, but not for this event. So it would be terrific to have the chance to win a signed book of a favorite author from The Romance Dish! Are there any other book signing events that are open to the public later in the week that I might be able to attend?

    Here is my list:
    1. Eloisa James ANYTHING!
    2. Julia Quinn ANYTHING!
    3. Connie Brockway
    "All Through the Night"
    4. Stephanie Laurens
    "Viscount Brekenridge
    to the Rescue"
    (if available or ANYTHING!)
    5. Jennifer Crusie ANYTHING!

    Thank you all again!

  3. PJ
    Love the photos this is hard choosing 5 authors LOL I have been lucky over the years and do have a fair few signed books so I will choose from my favourites that I don't have signed books for
    Lorraine Heath
    Pamela Clare
    Victoria Alexander
    Anne Mallory
    Margaret Malllory

    As for books released this past year I would have to say any LOL I would be jumping up and down with them LOL

    Have Fun

  4. it's overwhelming cuz I pretty much would want 'em all! lol But if I had to pick my top 5 authors would be:
    Nalini Singh, Julie James, Carolyn Crane, Marie Force, Larissa Ione.
    And 5 books from this year probably would be:
    Kiss of Snow, Eternal Rider, Werewolf in Manhattan, The Orchid Affair, and The Vampire Voss. You may have noticed the 5 authors dont match all the 5 books, but I just couldnt help wanting to mention more than 5 people someway, somehow lol

  5. 1. Jaci Burton
    2. Samantha James
    2. Johanna Lindsey
    3. Lucy Monroe
    4. Diana Gabaldon

    1. A River in the Sky by Elizabeth Peters
    2.Corrag by Susan Fletcher
    3. When Beauty Tamed the Beast by Eloisa James
    4. Breathless by Dean Koontz
    5. The Last Song by Nicholas Sparks

    I had so much trouble choosing that I went with 10 different authors.

  6. I would love to get:

    Kieran Kramer - Dukes to the left of me, princes to the right

    Vanessa Kelly - My favorite countess

    Julia Quinn - Just like Heaven

    Elizabeth Boyle - Mad about the duke

    Sabrina Jeffries - How to woo a reluctant lady

    Or any other signed books by these authors.

  7. I don't know if I can decide!

    Shannon K. Butcher
    Victoria Alexander
    Christina Dodd
    Kim Harrison
    Cathy Maxwell

    1. "Seduce Me in Dreams" by Jacquelyn Frank
    2. "The Wild Road" by Marjorie M. Liu
    3. "Kiss of Snow" by Nalini Singh
    4. "Claimed by the Highlander" by Julianne MacLean
    5. "he Perfect Play" by Jaci Burton

  8. Jane, that's a terrific line-up. Stephanie Laurens, Julia Quinn and Barbara Freethy are all on the list for the literacy signing and I'll keep my eyes open for the others!

  9. Fsbuchler, unfortunately, the literacy signing on Tuesday, June 28th is the only one open to the public but the conference runs through July 1st. Send me an email at theromancedish (at) gmail (dot) com and let me know if you'll be in the Times Square area at all during the week. If our schedules mesh, I'd love to meet you!

  10. Thanks so much for asking what everyone wants. Here are some of the many books I want to have:
    A Lady's Lesson in Scandal by Meredith Duran
    Money, Honey by Susan Sey
    Secrets of a Proper Countess by Lecia Cornwall
    Just Like Heaven by Julia Quinn
    Wish You Were Here by Phillipa Ashley

  11. Helen, if you think it's hard choosing authors you should have seen me yesterday trying to choose from my thousands (yes, I said thousands) of photos! lol!

    Victoria Alexander was one of those authors I found with no line when I finally reached the top of the alphabet at my first signing. She was amazing. Warm, friendly and an absolute delight. She treated me like a treasured friend (though we'd never met or corresponded before) and we chatted for about 10 minutes. If I hadn't already been a fan, I would have become one that night!

  12. Bella said, it's overwhelming cuz I pretty much would want 'em all!

    LOL! That's how I feel when I walk into that room, Bella!

  13. Ten authors is just fine, Marybelle!

  14. Great list, Kirsten! All five of those authors are scheduled to be there.

  15. That's a great list, Sheree. I'll do my best to get as many of their books as I can.

  16. Thanks, Maureen! I've added them to my list!

  17. There are so many authors I follow now thanks to Facebook. It's hard to choose. Off the top of my head, and in no particular order, here is my list:
    Anything by Kristan Higgins, Susan Elizabeth Phillips, Karen Hawkins, Julia London, Elizabeth Boyle.
    Oops, I forgot to mention Setfanie Sloane!!
    Have fun at the RWA, wish I could go!

  18. Oh, it would be so much fun to be there and actually meet you all! I'm sure I would spend the day gushing all over my favorite authors. The total pleasure that all of these authors provide to their readers is endless. Since I cannot be there, I am hoping to be able to win some signed books so here we go. I would LOVE the following signed books:

    1. Julia Quinn's "Just Like Heaven"
    2. Connie Brockway's "The Other Guy's Bride
    3. Elizabeth Boyle's "Lord Langley is Back in Town"
    4. Tiffany Clare's "The Secret Diaries of a Governess"
    5. Margo Maquire's "Seducing the Governess"

    Hope you all have a wonderful time!!
    Connie Fischer

  19. Hi PJ! Great post. I will definitely be at the literacy signing, and Lady Jane's Salon the night before-hope to see you there. I would love to meet you! :)

    But my top 5 authors to get autographed books from would be (In no particular order :D):
    1. Just Like Heavy by JQ
    2. Scandal of the Year by LLG
    3. A Lot Like Love by Julie James
    4. Anything by Tessa Dare. :)
    5. 10 Ways and Eleven Scandals by Sarah MacLean.

    I would LOVE to meet Lisa Kleypas and get an autographed book by her but unfortunately, she's not scheduled to attend. :(

  20. 1. Julia Quinn's "Just Like Heaven"
    2. Elizabeth Boyle's "Lord Langley is Back in Town"
    3. Katheryn Smith's "When Tempting a Rogue"
    4. Vicky Dreiling's "How To Marry a Duke"
    5. Stephanie Sloane's - anything

  21. I don't know if I will ever have the opportunity to attend a RWA conference since I live so far. But if I had the chance I would love to receive books by:

    1. Tessa Dare
    2. Sherry Thomas
    3. Laura Lee Guhrke
    4. Lorraine Heath
    5. Julia Quinn

  22. What a fun way to let us give you our input. Thanks! My choices are below.

    Top 5 authors for signed books:
    Laurell K. Hamilton, Charlaine Harris, Linda Howard, Nora Roberts and Julia Quinn

    2010-11 books I’d love to have signed:
    Double Cross—Carolyn Crane
    Love You More—Lisa Gardner
    What I Did for a Duke—Julie Ann Long
    Nine Rules to Break When Romancing a Rake—Sarah Maclean
    Unveiled—Courtney Milan

  23. I would love to win any autographed book by:

    Maya Banks
    Shayla Black
    Pamela Clare
    Sarah MacLean
    Margaret Mallory

    Current books I would like to win:

    Defiant by Kris Kennedy
    Sweet Possession by Maya Banks
    Breaking Point by Pamela Clare
    Blood of the Wicked by Karina Cooper
    Addicted to You by Beth Kery

    Have fun! Thanks for the great giveaway!

  24. Who are the top five authors from whom you would most like to win a signed book?

    Nora Roberts, Julia Quinn, Sherry Thomas, Julie James and Susan Elizabeth Phillips.

    What are the five current books (published in 2010-2011) of which you would most like to win a signed copy?

    What I Did For a Duke by Julie Anne Long; A Lady's Lesson in Scandal by Meredith Duran (early copies should be at RWA); His At Night by Sherry Thomas; Just Like Heaven by Julia Quinn; A Lot Like Love by Julie James

  25. What a great idea! I'd love to win books signed by Julia Quinn, Jill Shalvis, Kate Noble, Elizabeth Hoyt, Diana Gabaldon, Tiffany Clare and so many more.

  26. Thanks for all the great names and titles! I had to work today so I've been away from the computer most of the day. I'll get these added into my spreadsheet.

  27. Dottie, I won't be taking my laptop this year (hotel charges too much for internet access) but I'll try to post photos to facebook and twitter from my phone. Plus, when I get home I'll be blogging about the conference with LOTS of pictures!

  28. Connie, the conference moves around the country from year to year. Maybe one of these times it will be close enough for you to go!

  29. Lisa, I'll be at Lady Jane's too! Hope to see you there! Of course, I have no clue what you look like (lol!) so you'll have to look for me. Or just going around the room calling "PJ!" "Yo, PJ!" *grin*

  30. I would love to win signed books by Ilona Andrews, Patricia Briggs, Nalini Singh, Kerrelyn Sparks, and Gena Showalter. The books I would like signed would be Magic Slays by Ilona Andrews, River Marked by Patricia Briggs, Kiss of Snow by Nalini Singh, Eat, Prey, Love by Kerrelyn Sparks, and Darkest Secret by Gena Showlater.

    smccar1 at hotmail dot com

  31. Karen Hawkins, Jill Shalvis, Carly Phillips, Rachel Gibson and Pamela Clare

    Latest by all of the above authors!

    These authors are all so prolific I don't know the names of their latest releases.

  32. Five you want me to pick only 5??? LOL I have so many favorite authors that is hard I will make it easy for you anything as long as it is comptempary or romance suspense is fine with me... I would like to try More Like Heaven since it sounds so good. I dont' usually read historical got kind of burned out on it a while back but am willing to try anything... thanks for thiniking of us!!!


  33. PJ, if 10 is okay I would love to add:
    6.Lisa Kleypas "Dreaming of you"
    8.Christina Dodd ANYTHING
    9.Karen Hawkins ANYTHING
    10.Loretta Chase ANYTHING
    11.Madeline Hunter ANYTHING
    12.Vanessa Kelly "My favorite Countess"

    I could go on and on!

  34. LOL @ fsbuchler! I know. I could go on and on too! :)

    Thanks everyone for your requests. I'm adding them into my spreadsheet and will do my best to pick up as many as I can from the list.

    Feel free to keep adding to this post. I'll check it periodically before I leave for NYC.

    And check back later this week to see if you're a winner!

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  36. There are so many wonderful authors and stories out there! Thank you for a great giveaway.

    Top 5 Authors - Signed Books:
    1. Brenda Joyce
    2. Melody Thomas
    3. Kristan Higgins
    4. Kristin Hannah
    5. Karen Marie Moning

    Top 5 Current Signed Books:
    1. Shadowfever - Karen Marie Moning
    2. This Perfect Kiss - Melody Thomas
    3. Night Road - Kristin Hannah
    4. Christmas Eve at Friday Harbor - Lisa Kleypas
    5. Waking Up With the Duke - Lorraine Heath

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  38. I would absolutely love:
    1. Christina Dodd - ANY!
    2. Jayne Ann Krentz/Jane Castle/Amanda Quick - ANY!
    3. Christine Feehan - ANY!
    4. Eloisa James - ANY!
    5. Susan Donovan - ANY!

    As well as...

    6. Jennifer Crusie!
    7. Lori Foster!
    8. Susan Mallery!
    9. Katie MacAlister!
    10. Rachel Gibson!