Reading over what I wrote about the National conference, it does seem like a list of "people I talked to." But this conference, that's exactly what I needed. I had good one-on-one time with editors. I had discussions with authors and booksellers about what is really going on in the industry.
Sometimes you can glean more from standing in the hall (or in this case, the atrium), and chewing the fat.
What did I learn about the industry? Several things:
1. I heard a lot less moaning about the book market in general. Romance sales are up. Erotic romance is doing very well.
2. Romance sells better in stores where the bookseller understands the romance reader's needs and tailors the section to those needs.
3. Ellora's Cave posted record sales in May or June (can't remember which now, but one of those).
4. Paranormal romance sells strong, but editors are overbought in it. (I'd recommend new authors try to sell a historical or contemporary just to catch their attention!)
5. Historicals are strengthening again. (I've seen that for the last year or so, but when a bookseller says it, then everyone listens. :-) There's a reason I stay in that market.)
6. Editors and agents are always looking for new authors/new voices/new marketable ideas.
7. Romance readers are the best! (I knew that, too.) Many romance readers will readily read outside their genre, but always return for more romance. Readers of primarily other genres are on the whole not as adventurous.
8. Romances still kick butt in the publishing world.
That's my not-so-technical wrap-up of market news from RWA. :-)