Saturday, June 10, 2006

ITW conference update

I have the scoop.

The ITW conference committee orginally expected 40 - 60 writers to participate in panels and book signings. (wow, that's a low figure for a conference.) We were all given a three-title limit for the book room. They would supply the books as long as the titles were still in print. Now they have more than 150 authors on panels. In order to cut down on the amount of books that need to be transported, the committee decided to allow 2006 titles only. But this is June.... :D


Sandra Ruttan said...

I was sent a bunch of info by someone saying that the overflow hotels listed for ITW are overpriced, blah blah, and they wanted me to post a list of affordable hotels people could check out. It's from someone who lives in the area, but I haven't had a chance to go through it all.

Still, I think you've got to be careful about changing things mid-stream. Ideally, they should have had a cap on the authors, or they should have told you upfront what the reason for the change was.

Waiting until June is a bit crummy.

anne frasier said...

i'm sure they're overwhelmed with last minute craziness, but they should have allowed people who don't have a 2006 book out yet to choose one older book. i'm not even sure i'm completely buying that explanation, because 2006 would only cover six months of books. that would exclude a huge amount of participants.
i'm not even sure i could order my own books and have them in time. i'm fairly certain my publisher couldn't because they have a certain process they have to go through that usually takes at least 3 weeks.

i think i'll just use my plane ticket to visit my dad in florida....

angie said...

Yep, sounds like ThrillerFest needs to get its shit together. Still quite unhappy that you're not coming, Anne. I'll have to get over it, though. And I told Mindy that the hotels they had listed as alts. were crazy over-priced. I'm cheapin' it at the Super8 about 15 - 20min. away. There's other (much nicer, but still less expensive) places closer, but if you don't live near Phx (or have enough sense to use Mapquest to find out how close an alt. hotel is to the event) you're probably gonna spend a helluva lot more than you have to!

Whatever. Think you'll probably like Fl. better anyway.

Stephen Blackmoore said...

Hmm. Sounds like a pretty lame excuse, and very limiting. I can understand their being overwhelmed at the last minute. I think this is going to be huge.

Hopefully, they'll get their act together enough for the next one and not pull this kind of last minute crap on people.

Jeff said...

Obviously ITW had a bigger response than anticipated for Thrillerfest. This in turn has caused some major last minute shuffling and restructuring of the event. I'm sure you're not the only writer who has opted out of the conference for this very reason, Anne. It's really a shame because it makes ITW look unprepared and unorganized. Hopefully this first year will be a learning experience for them and the same mistakes won't be repeated next year.

JD Rhoades said...

Does 2006 titles include stuff that was released in HC in 2005 but the PB came ut in '06?

anne frasier said...

JD, this is exactly what i was told:

"The ITW and ThrillerFest organizing committee agreed that only books of
panelists published in 2006 would be provided directly by the booksellers.
All others would be on consignment and provided by the authors."

i would think it would mean just the paperback, but if that were the case i'd also think someone would have contacted you.

you might want to contact Maryelizabeth Hart of Mysterious Galaxy Books to find out for sure. i have her email address if you need it.

anne frasier said...

angie, guess i should have done a reading for myself.
:D ack. that never works. i don't know why.

jeff, i'm overreacting -- i do that! -- but i was already have a hard time justifying the expense, so when this came up it was easy to say that's that.

stephen, i don't know anything about mystery galaxy bookstore, but they are the ones in charge of books. i wonder if they are a tiny independent -- have to applaud ITW for using an independent bookstore, but it almost seems it's been too much for them.

Stephen Blackmoore said...

They used Mysterious Galaxy? That exains a lot.

Yes, they're a tiny independent in San Diego. Great people, and an amazing little bookstore. I try to hit it whenever I'm down there, which is maybe once a year. If I'm lucky.

If you ever come out to southern California for a signing, definitely they're the place to hit.

But I can see where they would get overwhelmed. They've got a pretty extensive mail order business, but they're still a very small independent. Glad to see ITW's using them, though.

angie said...

I didn't think it was a local bookstore. The Poisoned Pen is the big independent in Phx, but they haved their own press, so maybe that's why they weren't used??? Dunno.

And yeah, doing readings for yourself almost never work out. Can't decide if it's due to trying too hard, or not liking what I see.

anne frasier said...

stephen and angie: i didn't realize they weren't in phoenix -- which also complicates things for them and would certainly put a limit on the number of books they can transport. now it all REALLY makes sense.

i feel sorry for them. they were probably originally asked if they could handle 50 authors. yeah, it'll be tough, but we can do it. then that figure tripled.

Bailey Stewart said...

I echo Jeff - first time out, so maybe they'll learn something.

Yeah, Florida sounds like a good deal.

Sandra Ruttan said...

Yes Anne, I think it should have been one calendar year in terms of Thrillerfest being at the end of it. So a book, by participating authors, released between June 2005 and June 2006. That's fair. Otherwise, why should authors with books out this fall participate?

Personally, I don't mind paying to go to a conference. I'm not one who thinks all authors on panels should be compensated with a reduced entry fee (because someone has to absorb that expense, and that ends up being readers and authors who wanted to be on panels but couldn't get on one) but the compensation is that your book is available for sale. That just seems like a reasonable trade-off.

This is something I'll certainly consider next year when I'm deciding on conferences.

anne frasier said...

eve: yep. i expected some bumps, and i'm at least thankful they told me before i got there.

sandra: editors always say don't spend money on a conference if they won't have your book and you can't do a signing -- so that's always been the deciding factor for me.

Rob Gregory Browne said...

Well, I don't have a book coming out until 2007, but I'll be there just to meet and hang with writers, etc., and, of course, take video.

Sorry to hear you've decided not to go, Anne.

anne frasier said...

rob, sorry i won't get a chance to meet you! maybe next time.

Rob Gregory Browne said...


anne frasier said...

rob, i'm going to bouchercon, so i'll see you there if you're going!