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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It sounds terrible, but I can understand a publisher dropping a line to concentrate its marketing dollars on their biggest lines. Especially if things are tight.
I wasn't really referring to style but to content. It is entirely possible to write a Dan Brown-type book. It is also possible to have a vampire in the police department. And serial killers still do well, as do gross violence on one hand and cozy non-violence on the other. But I'm a tad hung up on keeping things real and believable.
Here-- here is Konrath's blog address:

He puts up some impressive numbers.


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