So you are back from Bouchercon, having gone there to work and promote and spend a good deal of money. I don't think my two Bouchercon visits generated more than a handful of sales. The second time, I had at least a good time. Chicago.

The man who has promoted himself more than any other living crime author, J.A.Konrath, has been dropped by his publisher. I was shocked and sad to see it. It seems like such a cruel thing to do to an author who tried so hard to help his publisher. Joe plans to get back at them by making his money in the future via electronic publishing. I hear this reaction over and over again: traditional publishing will not last. They have dug their own grave. Authors are flocking to new publishing models.

But however you look at this sad news, it means that I don't have to blame myself for not being J.A.Konrath, for refusing outright to do all those miserable book tours, signings, telephone meetings with book clubs, expensive mailings of freebies, etc. And conventions. None of that saves an author from being dropped by the publisher. Presumably because none of it generates the sort of numbers they like to see.

Consensus among comments to Joe's announcement was that success in traditional publishing is a matter of luck. It takes that one person who can change the picture to read the book and decide to support the author. And that doesn't happen very often.

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Thanks, Anne, for this. It certainly is information we badly need to know about. As for the reversal, can't your agent handle this for you? Or can you e-mail them a copy of the reversal letter? I imagine you'll see Eric's post below. Maybe $ 1.99 is a figure above which customers don't rise.

I have only a 49 cent short story on Amazion Kindle. It's been there for about 3 years and is still selling pretty steadily (staying among the top bestsellers for hist. myst), though I doubt I've made more than $ 15.00 in those 3 years. :)
I emailed Amazon a copy of the reversal letter with fully documented info stating the reversion of ALL RIGHTS. The Amazon reply was a scripted response. Oh, we see this book is published by Penguin, and we need proof that you retained the ebook rights. I resent the reversal letter with more explanation, but no response. They aren't equipped to deal with this. As far as an agent -- I have a new agent, and wouldn't want to contact old agent to handle this. Not sure I'd want to involve agent regardless.
That's a shame about Amazon's policy and Penguin not doing the legwork. I wonder if a number of authors could get together and ask the publisher to contact Amazon in bulk? I dunno, just brainfarting here.

Anne, I have to wonder if 'shelf space' works in the digital realm. I expect it would. Joe has a number of books and short stories in the format and that must help when it comes to searches.
B.R., I would, but the link don't work!
Well, I acquired 21 books at Bouchercon and three of them were DIRECTLY because of the authors' appearance on panels (Chris Knopf, Tom Schreck and Michael Wiley). I would also have bought one by Michael Lister, who was also excellent on a panel, but I couldn't find one in the book room when I looked afterwards. And I know that other people were doing the same thing. There were big queues at the signing tables for some authors - and not just the major ones. There were several authors whose books I noted down to buy at a later date (my luggage was already overstuffed) and one author whose books I will NEVER buy, based on his panel appearance :o)
I can testify that this wasn't me. Donna was not in the room while I was making an ass of myself at the continuous conversation!
I can confirm that it wasn't Jon :o)
I'm laughing. Seriously, I think the book give-away at Bouchercon is not a bad idea, even without the author on a panel. I found the first of Alexander McCall-Smith's series at a Bouchercon and was hooked. On the other hand, I also abandoned most of the other books as being too heavy to cart home. I wonder why we cannot have a freeby book stall where people can pick out books they are interested in.
IJ - this year there were no books in the book bags, instead there was a book giveaway on the Sunday. I bought 2 of the 3 books I mentioned and got the other in the giveaway (the Schreck - there were none left in the bookroom when I went to buy it). The booksellers seemed to be doing a pretty good trade - to me it seemed as though there were more books being bought than in previous years.
so glad to hear there were no book bag books. ugh. i felt so sorry for the hotel maids (madison). their carts were overflowing with multiple copies of hardcover giveaways. open hotel rooms revealed stacks. piles were left in hallways and on tables in the lobby. i wanted to dump mine somewhere as soon as i got them because my hotel was a mile walk from the main hotel.
Well, that's probably a great improvement. I really hated to abandon all those books. But don't most people catch the first plane out on Sunday morning? They should have the giveaway earlier. Saturday afternoon?
I was in Jon's audience at the Continuous Conversation (for a few minutes I WAS Jon's audience), and his unscripted time went very well. It's too bad he didn't pull a panel assignment.


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