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ARR2019: wrap-up

23 April 2019

ARR2019 wrap-up

In March we hosted our first-ever multi-city, multi-author signing events. A Romantic Rendezvous 2019 started out in Brisbane on 23 March and then took in Sydney (24 March), Melbourne (30 March) and Perth (31 March). Our special guests at the signing were Celeste Bradley and Keri Arthur. Sherrilyn Kenyon was originally our second guest author, but continuing divorce proceedings meant it was impossible for her to travel to Australia at this time. (We will be keeping in touch with Sherrilyn, and we will have her out to Australia again.)

Luckily for us, Keri Arthur graciously agreed to step in and fill the second headline spot—and her fans were very grateful. Despite a small number of refund requests (only 17!), ticket sales continued to rise after we announced Keri would be appearing in all four cities. We are thrilled to say that, overall, we sold 322 reader tickets to the signings. This is by far the most tickets we have sold to readers for any event we have ever held, including the conventions. So we are really pleased with this result—we have, in fact, achieved exactly what we wanted to: an event that more readers could attend, at minimal cost.

Each event started with a special members-only talk by Celeste and Keri (with Nalini joining them in Melbourne). These events were small and intimate, so the members had the opportunity to chat and ask questions.

Readers with Keri and Celeste at the Brisbane members’ breakfast (Photo: Ann-maree Howarth)

Sydney breakfast talk (Photo: Charlotte Anne)

Nalini, Keri and Celeste at the members’ breakfast talk in Melbourne (Photo: Heather Kopp)

Celeste and Keri with Linda Christie for the members’ talk in Perth (Photo: Kamaleah Lazit)

Brisbane was a big room, with lots of authors, but it was small in terms of readers. The photo below shows half of the room. We had 28 authors signing in Brisbane.

Half of the signing room in Brisbane

Elizabeth Ellen Carter and Jennie Kew (Brisbane)

The authors went all out in terms of promo and the room really looked great. The readers who went through had an awesome time. (Most of them stopped at the desk on the way out to say so!)
We hope that next year we can increase the reader turnout in Brisbane significantly.

The room in Sydney was even bigger. We can’t show all of it with even two photos. The two photos below each show about a quarter of the room. We had 36 authors signing in Sydney.

Half the room to left of entry (Sydney)

Half the room to right of entry (Sydney)

I tried several times to get a ‘crowd’ photo in this room, but it was so big that it just wasn’t possible!

Again, the authors went all out in terms of promo, so the room looked amazing. The readers and authors both had an awesome time, and there were reports from several authors that they nearly sold out of books they had brought.

Melbourne and Perth were both much smaller in terms of the number of authors signing. We had 17 authors in Melbourne and 16 in Perth. But we had more than 80 readers through each of these events (as well as Sydney).

You can see the Melbourne room was quite small, but we still managed to pack in a lot of readers.

Signing room ready to go (Melbourne)

Signing room with queues for Keri, Nalini and Celeste (Melbourne)

As with Brisbane and Sydney, the afternoon was quieter, but there were readers who were there pretty much all day long (and who had an impromptu lunch in the café next door).

At each event lots of readers came along with bags full of books to be signed, but I was surprised by how many didn’t have any books with them—they were there to check out all the authors and find some new ones to read. Hopefully that translated to lots of books sales!

Jadyen Ebony’s Nalini Singh collection, now all signed!

The Perth room was bigger, and we made use of that by including casual seating in the centre of the room. This was a big hit with readers.

Room set up and ready to go (Perth)

Readers and authors chatted for hours (Perth)

Perth was the only event that was a half-day signing, and honestly we think that was probably more than enough time. We will be looking at cutting back the time for all events next year, which should allow for a slightly less frantic schedule.

A huge thank you to Celeste Bradley and Keri Arthur for doing these events for us. Thanks also to our local organisers: Amy Faulkner, Heather Kopp, Helen Sibbritt, Diane Robson, Pamela Diaz and Linda Christie.

Special thanks to our two official bloggers—Ann-maree in Brisbane and Charlotte in Sydney. Here are their articles, along with some others about the events:

Reading for the Love of Books
First Romance
Laura Boon
Keighley Bradford
Cathryn Hein
Claire’s Reads and Reviews
Miranda at Breathless in the Bush

Thank you to everyone who came along to the events. We were thrilled to see so many happy readers and authors, all in one place!

Stay tuned for 2020 details 😉 (Authors: the EOI form for ARR2020 is now open!)

[This article first appeared in the April 2019 ARRA member newsletter.]

3 Comments leave one →
  1. 24 April 2019 11:48 pm

    Thanks to everyone involved in the organisation of this event. It was a fabulous day here in Perth and wonderful to see so many readers and authors together in one room. Keri and Celeste were awesome in their guest roles. I’m already a Keri Arthur fan, and I was thrilled to add Celeste Bradley to my bookshelf too. I look forward to next year.

  2. Veronica The Burgeoning Bookshelf permalink
    23 April 2019 11:09 pm

    Looks like everyone had a great time and everything went smoothly. I hope i am able to attend next year.

  3. 23 April 2019 1:23 pm

    Thank you Ladies for a fabulous event, it was so much fun and as always I look forward to many more 🙂

    Have Fun

    Helen

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