Saturday, October 23, 2010


I've recovered from Bouchercon and am now ready to spill.

I had no expectations of going but my girlfriend sprang for the very expensive lodgings (Hyatt Regency!) and I got registration half price on the Internet from a guy who couldn't attend. For me, the trip cost less than $100.

Although reservations got messed up for lots of us, Dorinda and I wound up on the exclusive 17th floor with a beautiful view of the bay. There was even a TV screen embedded in the bathroom mirror! A little excessive, but hey!

What stunned me was how generous the publishing houses were. They GAVE AWAY boxes of books--I came home with 32. Good thing we were driving. They also fed us prime rib and put out an ice cream bar. Free alcohol. Lots of things weren't announced, we sort of stumbled upon them.

I hung out at the hospitality room and connected with my Sacramento Sisters in Crime. Also had a "moment" with handsome Barry Eisler, hugs from Kelli Stanley, flirted with Christopher Rice (Anne's son), rode down the elevator with Laurie King and got a photo of the reclusive Martin Cruz-Smith.

I also did a bit of networking for Oak Tree and gave out business cards for future acquisitions. On several panels authors moaned about how their publishers were discontinuing their series. I love knowing that we don't operate by the numbers and have a lot more faith in our authors.

For me, Bcon was one big party. I love seeing familiar faces of authors I've met at other conferences and conventions. The next Bcon is St. Louis, I won't be there. However, it comes back to California in 2014: Long Beach.


Holli said...

I have always been grateful for having Billie as a publisher, but reading about other authors who are having their series discontinued makes me even more so. To me, independent publishers have way more pros than cons with the publishing economy being what it is.

B-con may be a little too busy for me to get around at, but it sounds like you had a great time!

Holli Castillo

Marilyn Meredith a.k.a. F. M. Meredith said...

I had a great time at Bouchercon, much different than Sunny's. Ran into a fan who was upset because he hadn't received a book he ordered from my other publisher, smoothed his ruffled feathers, and when I got home sent him the book he hadn't received plus another. He emailed me with thanks and a promise that he was saving money for Long Beach so he could see me again. (More to the story that I'll tell anyone who asks.)

Holli, B-con would be difficult for you especially this one since things were on all different levels and hard to find at time.

I am very happy with my two small publishers.


Sunny Frazier said...

When I hear authors lament about their series being dropped, despite readership, I see it as an opportunity to snap them up for our house. Do you know that we are one of the few publishers that welcomes reprints? Give a series another chance!

I think publishing houses are losing good authors with this ridiculous bottom line for sales. Of course OTP wants to make money, but it's always been Billie's intention to support authors until they get their footing. We all know that it takes time to get a fan base.

I always describe us as a "family" and push the fact that we nurture talent. So, Big Publishing's loss is our gain.