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Ch Ch Ch Changes

Editorial from issue 57

As a kid I always dreaded the fall, it meant going back to school, colder weather and less free time. As an adult I love the fall, I enjoy the cooler weather, I love the kids being in school all day. And now it also means a load of new books coming out, fall author tours, all my TV shows are coming out on DVD and I actually have more free time in the fall to watch and read.

In years past fall also meant Murder and Mayhem in Muskego. Earlier this year we lost or sponsorship from the friends of the Muskego Library and we were a bit flummoxed about what to do. After exploring a number of possibilities we are back!

We’re having our first Murder and Mayhem in Milwaukee at the Potowatami Casino and Hotel. We have our line up of authors locked in and panels are set. T-Shirts ordered, coffee mugs on their way and registration is filling up. We’re really excited about the reboot and the people who have been reaching out just reaffirms my love of the mystery community.

One of the things I’m taking away from this is that change is constant. Usually change is good and it is inevitable. In this circumstance we rolled with it and should come through better for it.

The change in I-Phones doesn’t seem as good, I’ve read reports of the phones actually bending when people put them in their pockets. Seems like Apple likes to change just to have new product to sell, not because they have an actual improvement.

miiBrash Books is a change we saw this summer that I really like. Lee Goldberg and Joel Goldman founded Brash Books and these guys have been around the business for a while and wow do they have a great eye for what to publish. They are putting out books by damn fine authors and they are terrific looking books as well. Two recent books that crossed our desk are by Jack Lynch. THE MISSING AND THE DEAD and THE DEAD NEVER FORGET. What I love about what Lee and Joel are doing is that in a climate where so many people just want to bitch and moan about publishing these guys rolled up their sleeves and said let’s do this the way we think it should be done. And who wins? Authors who have a publisher that get it. And readers who now have a load of new books to add to their libraries.

Bouchercon is also changing and evolving. This year they are embracing technology changes and will have an app for the convention. They have been doing this at comic cons for a while and I think it will be a great addition to the Bouchercon experience.

And while we are talking changes I’d like to mention that Crimespree is putting out our first book, a cook book that is being published by Down and Out. We asked a lot of our friends for recipes and we picked the best from authors we love and contributors of the magazine. It should be out in November. We are looking at some more ideas including a collection of interviews and maybe collections of reviews.

One thing that isn’t changing is how much we love reading and talking books. For all the talk about the ever changing world of publishing and it’s impact readers remain constant. It’s the readers that really drive these changes or in some cases non-changes. Print books continue to sell well because people are reading them, ebooks sell well because people are reading them. Authors continue to write great books because readers want them.

I haven’t upgraded my phone in years, and I prefer to read print books. I’m not afraid of change, but sometimes I prefer old school. But even though I may not always flow with the changes they do make the things I like better usually. I’ve learned to stop stressing over change and just embrace it or at the very least respect it.

One last thing before I sign off, this fall try to turn a friend or co worker on to a new author, it helps the author and means they keep writing so you get to keep reading!