by Maggie Sefton
I arrived from Cleveland and the Bouchercon mystery conference late Saturday night, earlier than I would normally because daughters Serena and Maria had arrived the day before. Thank goodness they were able to drive to Denver's airport to pick me up so I didn't have to drag in from the airport shuttle in the wee hours of the morning. They came to visit me and my 92 year old mom who's living in a wonderful skilled care facility in town, Columbine West Health and Rehab.
Bouchercon was good conference, particularly because it allowed me to re-connect with authors and readers who only attend that conference every year. But it's also a wonderful opportunity to meet new readers and authors as well. My panel went very well, and I answered lots of questions about both the Kelly Flynn Mysteries and the Molly Malone Suspense series. Saturday morning, there was a signing in the Bookroom for several authors who are published by Midnight Ink Books. I sold out of all the booksellers' supply of DEADLY POLITICS, so that was a lot of fun!
But the Bouchercon Bookroom was not a fun place for most of the Cozy Mystery authors attending the conference. One of the biggest-selling vendors was unable to bring in his entire supply of books--through no fault of his own. The circumstances were out of his control. That was terrible for the bookseller who lost a LOT of money but it was equally terrible for all the Cozy Mystery authors as well. That vendor had ALL of the paperback books for the Bookroom! That means that NONE of the readers were able to buy their favorite authors books.
I sincerely hope the organizers of future Bouchercons and ALL the other mystery conferences heed this story--and take pains to re-think how books are shipped and delivered to future conferences.