I’m back on my soap box once again. On DorothyL, the premiere list for mystery fans and authors, they’ve been discussing the fact that Bouchercon has voted against discriminating against small press as far as allowing their authors to serve on panels. (They won’t let self-pubbed or those who paid to be published unless they’ve won a prestigious prize.)
Left Coast Crime on the other hand will not allow any author published by a non-MWA approved publisher be on a panel. (To add to the insult, they talk about real writers as opposed to the other kind. Real writers meaning those published by New York publishers.)
To be an MWA approved publisher, the publisher must print at least 500 books at once (something most small presses who use print on demand technology don’t do) and give an advance, two things my publishers don’t do though they meet all the other criteria.
Though going to mystery cons is an enjoyable experience, they are very expensive. If you can’t be on a panel, your books will not be in the book room. If you’re not on a panel of course no one will be able to purchase your book. For an author, part of the reason to go to a con is to let people know about your book.
I’ve decided to only attend mystery cons and writers conferences where I can be on a panel or be a speaker, for several reasons. I want the most for my promotion dollar. I also want to be able to take the trip off my income tax. And most of all, I’m really tired of this discrimination against authors who aren’t published by MWA approved publishers.
Another big decision I’ve made is not to pay my next year’s dues to MWA even though I’m a full member–something I’ll never be again once I quit paying my dues. I’ve been a member for years–but they haven’t really done anything for me except to discriminate against me. I get far more out of other organization I belong to such as Epic and the Public Safety Writers Association, and the San Joaquin chapter of Sisters and Crime as well as the Internet chapter of Sisters in Crime.
Now I’ll climb off my soap box.