Takeaways from RainbowCon 2014 Day One

The first day at RainbowCon has been enlightening!  I’ve attended three workshops so far–one on marketing, another on tropes that will not die, and a third on writing diverse characters.  Here are some of my favorite takeaways from them:

  • Pen names–consider how easy it is to pronounce and spell for marketing purposes
  • Multiple pen names lead to multiple marketing responsibilities but multiple genres under one name can confuse and even anger readers
  • Pick a pen name that readers won’t be embarrassed to have on the paperback cover they are reading at the beach
  • Look for reviews of books similar to yours and then offer your book to the reviewers as something they might like
  • The Goodreads M/M Romance Group has a yearly short story event that is a good place for authors to get their name in front of readers
  • Goodreads has a program called Don’t Buy My Love in the M/M Romance group that allows authors to sign up for reviews
  • Your fans enjoy teasers and snippets or even posts from your characters
  • Going to conventions outside your normal genre can gain you more readers. For example, if you write science fiction erotica–go to erotica conventions and science fiction conventions
  • If you decide to use a book marketing service – Get References!!
  • Pen names are good for keeping YA readers from stumbling upon your erotica
  • Goodreads M/M Romance Group has a Gayology 101 thread where you can ask any question about gay culture and get an answer
  • Tropes get a bad name because of poor execution and new authors that rely heavily on them
  • Tropes are often not very realistic but are sometimes comforting for readers
  • Once a reader recognizes a trope, it can take them out of the story
  • A self-discovery story is different from a Gay For You story
  • An Out For You story is the realistic version of Gay For You
  • Gay For You tropes are bad because being gay is not a choice. Being out is a choice
  • The Hurt/Comfort trope is a wish that the person you love will love you at your worst
  • Diverse characters in terms of race and religion makes for a richer book
  • The ethnicity and religion of a character informs their decisions in the story
  • If you are LGBTQ you can hide in the closet but you cannot hide your skin color
  • If your book has characters from a different background than yours, do your research and be respectful
  • Book covers are designed to get you to buy the book not necessarily reflect the inside characters
  • Racism in fiction can be written subtly because racism in real life is not always overt
  • Don’t be afraid to put characters together that don’t “fit” – those are often the best romantic couples

That’s it for the learning!  I’m off to the Welcome Event (complete with male strippers!!) and then on to the Porndrome to find out what separates Romance, Erotica, and Porn (although I have a pretty good idea already).


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Aidee Ladnier

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