Sunday, October 5, 2014

Author Conferences: A Recap of Hot Mojave Knights by @Emerald_theGLD #MFRWauthor #HMK2014

For this month’s post, I'm embarking on a timely deviation from my discussions about moderating the MFRW Facebook group to talk a little bit about a reader and author convention I attended last weekend. HMK (Hot Mojave Knights) is a romance reader event designed to bring authors and readers of romance together for a weekend of learning, interaction, fun, and ogling hot men (a.k.a. the knights). This year was its second iteration, and I attended the inaugural conference last year as well.

HMK is held in Las Vegas (which for me serves as a reason to go in and of itself!), and both the reader and author attendees tend to collectively represent virtually all genres of romance. For authors, the convention offers the chance to promote one's work and meet readers both familiar and unfamiliar with it.

But the real reason for HMK is the readers. The founders and organizers of HMK, Shannan Albright, R. M. Sotera, Johanna Riley, and Siobhan Muir (who did not organize or attend this year but was one of the founding organizers last year) developed the event to bring readers into direct and personal contact with the authors whose work they so enjoy. The convention is kept deliberately small, with attendance capped at 200 people if I remember correctly, to allow the kind of intimate interaction the founders envisioned to set HMK apart from the many other romance-oriented conferences that take place each year.

As an author, I consider my attendance at HMK an investment—as well as, I must admit, a blast. I have enjoyed it immensely both years I have attended, and I am already looking forward to attending next year. As an author, I get to promote my books and brand, have swag included in the swag bags handed out to all registered attendees, hear directly from readers (and meet many potential new ones), and display and sell books at the author signing.

The weekend includes craft-related panels for authors on topics such as how to write historical novels, understanding Kindle Direct Publishing, and tips for writing or researching kink-related topics. Evenings are filled with organized social events to give readers and authors alike the chance to enjoy each other’s company in an informal setting. The event is small enough that you’re almost sure to get the chance to meet or interact with any attendee you’d like to.

The author signing is one of the signature events of HMK and offers the opportunity for all the featured and spotlight authors to set up books and swag and aim to dazzle all the visitors that come through. :) Authors keep all the proceeds from any books they sell. This year, the signing took place on the Saturday afternoon of the weekend and was open and free to the public.

HMK 2015 is already scheduled for October 1-4. While the organizers are (I hope!) taking a well-deserved break before they delve head-first into the planning and organizing of next year’s event, there will be opportunities to sign up to be a featured author at it over the next few weeks (registration for featured authors will be open until February 28). If you would like to be kept up to date on that, I encourage you to follow HMK on Facebook and Twitter, and you may also check the HMK website in the coming months for more information. (And if you’re interested in checking out the action that occurred last weekend in Vegas, look up the hashtag #HMK2014 to get a taste.) I have already signed up to be a spotlight author and am looking forward to attending again.

As an author, do you like to attend events or conferences? If so, which ones? Does the idea of a smaller event like this interest you?

Thanks for reading, and see you next month!

Emerald is an erotic fiction author whose short stories have been featured in anthologies published by Cleis Press, Mischief, and Logical-Lust. She serves as an assistant newsletter editor and Facebook group moderator for Marketing for Romance Writers (MFRW), and she selects and posts the monthly inspirational quote on the MFRW Marketing Blog. Her first solo book, If... Then: a collection of erotic romance stories, is out now from 1001 Nights Press. Find her online at her website, The Green Light District.

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