Tuesday, August 21, 2007

My Interesting Week

I suppose the most challenging event to arise is Mystery Writers of American's decision to approve and disapprove publishers based on the number of books printed on a print run, advance, author not spending anything to be published. Because a lot of publishers are now using print-on-demand technology to print books (including some New York publishers) they wait to print books when orders come in. This is ecologically sound, but something MWA doesn't approve of. MWA certainly can make up whatever rules they so desire--but as a member of MWA I sure didn't have any input into these new rules.

My publisher is not approved, though Mundania has been trying hard to convince MWA they should be approved. They don't charge authors anything--they don't give an advance, but they do have a sound royalty system.

I'm a MWA member and have been for years and that won't change as long as I pay my dues.

The problem is now some of the mystery cons have decided that only those authors who are with approved publishers can be on panels. Mystery cons are fun, but if you aren't going to be on a panel you sure aren't going to sell any books. If you aren't going to sell books, the IRS is going to frown on you using the cost of the con and all that goes with it as a business expense.

Not all the cons have adopted this policy as yet. Those that I know about who have are Left Coast Crime and Mayhem in the Midlands. Some of the cons do have loopholes. If you find yourself in this dilemma, ask. One author I know was told she could get her money back from the con since she wouldn't be on a panel. Another was told that as a member of MWA she would get a panel.

This has been debated alot. Whether anything will change, I have no idea.

Saturday, Sunny Frazier and I had a booksigning in Hanford at the Artworks, a funky coffee and sandwich shop. We didn't have a huge amount of visitors, but those we had were wonderful. Among them was the librarina from Hanford who asked me to come and give a presentation next spring. Two of the West Hills College Faculty came and asked both of us to come to the college and give presentations to the students. Of course we said "yes."

I've done a lot of online promotion which take oodles of time. I need to be working on my latest Deputy Tempe Crabtree mystery which is only in the planning stages at this point. This weekend I'm headed to another book festival, this one at the Universalist Uniterarian church on Ralston in Ventura. I'll also be celebrating a birthday while I'm down there.

Doing blogs is another means of using up precions time, but I feel like I need to keep up with this one as much as possible.

Hope it's cooling off where you live,

Marilyn

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