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Book-signing event in Melbourne

27 September 2015

BSE5 picsOn Saturday 22 August romance readers descended on the Park Hyatt Hotel in Melbourne for ARRA’s 9th book-signing event. Every time we hold one of these events we have a new set of challenges to deal with. This time it was a round room! The room was quite big, but the shape didn’t work very well with tables, so we were limited to 73 authors. It didn’t take any time at all to fill those spots!

It felt like a very long wait until it was the day, but once we got into the room our setup time was over in a flash. We had some 30 boxes of books to be unpacked, sorted and arranged on the signing tables. Luckily we had some extra helpers. Many thanks to Jane, Robyn, Toria and Ophelia for their help on the day.

We had a huge line up outside the room waiting for the doors to open at 5 pm. After a circuit of the room to make sure everything was ready, a quick photo of all the rural romance authors, and then a final check to make sure all authors were in their place, it was time to let everyone in.

The room was filling up nicely in no time, and it kept buzzing for the whole hour and a half (even a bit longer). The venue, despite being round, was lovely, and everyone had a great time. Feedback from both authors and readers has been really positive.

The winner of the signature hunter prize was Anita-Maree H (who was also one of our Treasure Hunt winners). She brought her kids with her from Tasmania and had them running around collecting signatures and also carrying bags of books for her. They were the only people who managed to secure a signature from each attending author.

The following day ARRA had a trade table in the foyer at the conference. Authors and publishers dropped by throughout the day to catch up. This was also a great opportunity to hand out some membership forms.

We were also impressed with the bookstore area that Louise from Dymocks had set up. With books set out on bookcases that she had brought in specially it was a great area. Louise worked tirelessly over the weekend, both at the conference and at our signing. And after the conference she still had all the packing up to do! She really is a superwoman.

It was a really fun and busy weekend and we felt so lucky to be able to be part of the amazing buzz that is the annual RWA conference.

The RWA conference will be held in Adelaide next year and we have already started planning for an ARRA signing there. Stay tuned for details.

[This article first appeared in the September 2015 ARRA newsletter.]


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