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**** Rant Warning ****

I need to get this out.

Can’t we all just get along?

A number of ladies are discussing the fact that men aren’t reading their books, and that they aren’t being treated seriously enough.
The PI people think that they are not represented properly at conventions.
Thriller writters think they are over looked by awards.
Hard boiled guys want to know why they don’t have wider appeal.
The self published folks want to be seen as real writers.

I could go on and on.

Hey!! It’s all mystery. It all falls into this genre we love. It is making me crazy to see all this splintering off of little groups, getting smaller and more specific. What’s next? Transvestites who write cozy PI novel paperback originals translated from Greek?

Bouchercon to me is all about everyone coming together. And yet everyone is trying to seperate themsleves. Doesn’t it occur to anyone that by putting authors who write things a little different from each other you might bring in different readers? A thriller writer on a panel with a cozy writer is going to attract new readers for both, not just catering to the readers they all ready have.

There is speculation about why certain books are only in paprback and not hardcover. The reason? Because the publisher feels that is what the target audience will buy. If they were switched to hardcover they might lose readers. Better to sell 10000 paperbacks than 100 hardcovers.

And why should I feel guillty because Out of every hundred books I read 60 are men ond only 40 are women? I’m reading what I enjoy. I don’t get asked to explain why I like Coke more than Pepsi, why should I have to explain this? When I review I judge on one thing only, quality of writing. And that’s what it’s all about. Is there some bias in peoples reading habits? Of course there is. It’s the nature of humans to be that way. Is it a plot against what ever particlular writers grop you may be a part of? I doubt it.

Most things that seem like a plot can most liekly be explianed on a business level. How does this effect the publisher? Or the newspaper reviewing, or the store ordering? It’s simple economics. If the people involved aren’t making a profit, they can’t afford to do it, no matter jopw much they might like the author and the work.

Another thing….

Marketing. I got an email today asking if I would like torecevie a book in the mail. The emailer had seen my reviews on Amazon and thought that if I liked the book I could review it there.
I already reviewed this book. The author knows this as do his publicity people. And the truth is, the only people who really care about reviews on Amazon are the publishers. The actual anount of sales from Amazon is pretty low in the whole scheme of things, between 6% and 10% of overall sales.
I understand needing to market a book. I really do. It is very important. And trying new things is not a bad idea. MJ Rose’s idea of using an internet video was pretty clever. Did it sell enough books to justify the cost? I don’t know.

But there are some ideas that are just bad. People driving themselves crazy figuring out how to get their books into Walmart. Why? So they sell a bunch of books to a box store that want’s a 70% discount and only pays the employees a less than living wage? And don’t get me started on how they discriminate against women with their promoting policies…

I saw on a board I belong to a thread involving someone talking about going door to door and handing out postcards to his nieghbors. Months after the book was out I might add. Am I theonly person who thinks this would be a waste of time and postcards?

The truth is there are thousands of mysteries put out every year. Competition is a factor, but you can only do so much promotion before it just gets annoying or becomes a waste of money.

Ok, let’s wrap this up.

Be nice to each other, we’re all in this together!!!

And market wisely, not expensively.