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Monday, April 18, 2011

Catching the Digital Wave

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I couldn't go to the Romantic Times convention, but I know somebody who did. Here's a guest post from Z.A. Maxfield. Z.A.,thanks so much for coming.

Last week I attended the Romantic Times Conference at the lovely Bonaventure Hotel in Los Angeles, California. This is right in my own backyard, and it was so nice to be able to simply load up the car and have my husband drive me there without worrying about luggage weight restrictions and connecting flights, or sending boxes ahead and then sending them home again.

I had a really, really good time, and I can honestly say that after two or three of these I might actually figure out what I’m doing! One thing came through loud and clear, though, and that’s “Romance Is Alive and Well.” Romance writing is hot and it sells. There were writers there that have been writing forever, and there were those that are just starting out. There were huge fans and bloggers, cover models and PR people. Romance rocked the house.

Romance is big business and if I took away any one thing it’s that epublishing, which felt like the bastard stepchild of the industry even as recently as last year, is gaining traction among even the hardest hearts. It seemed everyone was talking about it, and not -- like last year -- just weighing the pros and cons. More mainstream writers were asking how they could use self-publishing to enhance their careers. It’s no longer the province of new writers, because it seems even established authors are looking into self-publishing for those backlist books to which they have the rights, and more and more authors are asking how they can publish on their own.

Digital was the word of the day, and each panel I attended, whether it was about digital publishing or not, seemed to devolve into a discussion of the ramifications of the effect of digital technology as a whole and the subsequent consequences to writers and readers specifically.

Which only makes sense when you realize the unprecedented sales of new reading devices -- delivered as holiday gifts last year, and the number of people using Kindle apps on phones, tablets, and computers.

The times, they are a-changing, and the future is here. My only complaint is that when I read romance novels on my kindle it doesn’t display those hot, hot cover men in color, because some things never go out of style…

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