I decided I could not miss any of the sessions on Day Four of Bouchercon. Deciding which to attend was difficult.
At 8:30 I went to the panel Sleuths at Every Age - Young, Old, or In-Between, They’re on the Case. The panel members each write using characters of different ages as their protagonists.
Moderator Andrew Gulli, managing editor of the prestigious The Strand Magazine, kept the conversation lively. The panel of agents and editors offered their views on marketing, writing, and the changing publishing industry.
Juliet Grames from Soho Press said they publish 25 – 32 mysteries a year. Her best marketing tool is to only publish good books. The number one most important thing about a book is that it’s ready to publish. There is pressure on authors to produce a book a year, but that is not her ideal. “Take the publishing out of writing and just write – art does not have a time frame.”
Pamela Brown of Mulholland Books told us that the author is a partner in marketing. She recommended joining a reading community such as Goodreads as a reader, not just as an author. Avoid the "buy my book" syndrome.
Lukas Ortiz from the Spencer Agency said, “Good writing speaks for itself.”
Jason Pinter from Polis Books emphasized doing things for the long run. It is worth the time and money to attend Bouchercon to get your name out there, although you may not realize a profit from the event. He pointed out the advantage of ebooks - they can be promoted year round, not just the brief time a print book is on the shelf. "You have digital real estate indefinitely."
I didn't take notes. Trust me, almost every word was a notable quote. I especially enjoyed Jeffery Deaver's story about stopping in a bookstore, offering to autograph his books, and being asked for an ID by the suspicious clerk.
My first Bouchercon experience ended, and it was time to go home. I hope I can attend another Bouchercon soon. Maybe Raleigh, North Carolina in 2015?