Sunday, August 7, 2011


By Maria C. Ferrer

493 authors participated in the Romance Writers of America’s 2011 Readers for Life Literacy Autographing on Tuesday, June 28, at New York’s Marriott Marquis Hotel.

I wanted to be a part of the event so I volunteered to help setup the literacy autographing. I set out books, books and more books; organized some of the chapter baskets/totes for the raffle; put out the RITA finalist banners, etc. At 5:00pm, authors started arriving to find their seats and put their own touches to their seats – pens, bookmarks, posters to name a few. At 5:30pm, the doors opened to the 2000+ romance fans waiting outside, which comprised of RWA members, conference attendees and the general public.

And then organized chaos reigned. The first person on line arrived at 9:30am for the 5:30pm event. Is that a Romance Fan or what?!

One big lesson I learned from watching the authors is to be prepared with lots of promotional materials. Remember, that writing is a business, and you are your own Publicist. So an author needs to put herself out there and make her materials stand out.

Best promotion I saw – a man wearing a t-shirt that read: I Sleep With The Author. He claimed he was the inspiration for pages 274-277!

Best promoter – Caridad Pineiro. Boy, was she prepared. She had bookmarks, pens, flyers, excerpts, a banner for the table skirt and her laptop to run her book trailer. The video stopped people in their tracks and generated a few sales, and isn’t that the name of the game – to sell?

At the end of the evening, authors were ready to stop writing and start partying; Readers were ready to start reading; and RWA raised $47,000 for literacy. ♥

Maria C. Ferrer is a meeting planner by day and a romance writer by night. One of her short stories was published by Star magazine. Currently, Maria is working on a secret baby book and a romantic suspense. She is also the founder of The Latina Book Club, which just won the 2011 Favorite Literature Blog Award from Blogs by Latinas. Visit Maria at and at

This article was first published in the RWANYC blog at