As usual Epicon was great–even though I didn’t win an Eppie, at least Judgment Fire was nominated. I seem to always be a bridesmaid, never a bride–or maybe I've caught the Susan Lucci syndrome.

One of the best things about any of these events is connecting with friends and making new ones. Lorna and Larry who wrote 31 Months in Japan; Lee Emory, publisher Treble Heart Books; John Schembra, a friend from PSWA; Murdock Hughes, who often looks like a werewolf and writes about one too; and way too many more to name.

The highlight of the conference for me was hearing Mike Powell of Powell’s Books (Portland OR) speak. While many independent bookstores are disappearing, Powell’s keeps on growing. No doubt the largest bookstore anywhere, there are also four other speciality Powell’s in Portland and two that I saw in the airport!

First, he spoke quite positively about e-books, including the fact that 18% of his business was in e-book sales and he expects that to percentage to continually increase. He buys from Ingram and Baker and Taylor, but he also buys directly from Lightning Source one of the largest print-on-demand printers of books. And he buys directly from publishers. He also told of the horror of big book warehouses that when they get too full, transport books to the dump. He predicts most books will be print-on-demand in the near future because it isn’t environmentally sane to continue printing books that may become landfill.

Of course this all goes full in the face of Mystery Writers of America’s and Sisters in Crime’s argument about e-publishing and print-on-demand being a “thing of the future.”

Portland is a wonderful town with a great system of public transportation, beautiful vistas–when it was clear we could see Mount Hood and Mount Saint Helens.

Besides authors, hubby made friends with the Chinese waiter in the hotel’s restaurant, and on the way home, we learned all about our cab driver’s life in Iran and here.

I took lots of notes at all the seminars I attended and had great audiences for the ones I taught.

It was a great weekend.



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