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2014 RTBookLovers Convention takes New Orleans to heart

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The 2014 RTBookLovers Convention has gotten off to a fast start with panel discussions and meeting opportunities overflowing the New Orleans Marriott Hotel attempting to contain it. RT Book Review staff report more than 2400 people registered for the event ahead of time, with walk-ins registering on a per-day basis to bring the total even higher.

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Romance authors from around the world have come to the Crescent City to get face to face with their fans and supporting characters. Editors, publishers, graphic artists and agents mingle in the conference rooms and corridors of the hotel. Many guests are in costume befitting their preferred romance theme.

The event has the hotel plastered with bare-chested men and scantily clad women as posters promoting various books and authors greet attendees at every turn. Some of the posters offer free or discounted downloads of books, such as Marilyn Kelly’s “All the Boys I Ever Kissed,” available as a free Kindle download from Amazon through May 18. The book features a choose-your-own-ending motif.

A Goody Room offers tables of inventive marketing tools. The ever-popular pens and sticky note pads are present, along with bookmarks and magnets. Other items included door hangers, lip gloss, candy, and rulers. Author Karen Stivali took a novel approach with a measuring spoon, tied to the cooking themes in her books.

With more than a dozen breakout sessions available each hour, conference attendees have difficult choices as to where to spend their time. Topics cover every facet of the romance novel industry.

Club RT, a room dedicated to making authors available to their fans, also contains some special activities. Authors Cherry Adair, Tina DeSalvo and Stella Barcelona-the ladies of Friends Fight Together- are raising funds for the special needs of breast cancer victims with a combination of raffles, photo opportunities and special sales.

The RT Booklovers Convention runs through May 18.

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