John T. Schramm

Thoughts ... Grievances ... Mind Wanderings

Bouchercon 1
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Novel Wordage Since Last Entry: 300
New Novel Word Count: 40,000 (appx)
Reading now: THE DISTANCE - Eddie Muller
Listening to: Classical Mix


Being unemployed, albeit with a few promising leads on jobs, I wasn't going to attend this year's Bouchercon, even though it was in San Francisco -- which is close enough that I didn't need a plane ticket, but a bit far to commute every day. The cost for two nights, sharing a room, away from the convention hotel fell into the acceptable range, and soon enough I was packing my bag.

I had a blast! Even though I had missed three previous Bouchercons, I still saw a lot of familiar faces. And, to my surprise and delight, my face was familiar to folks as well. I met up with and talked with a lot of my favorite people, that I hadn't seen in some time.


I went to some really great panels, discussions, and presentations. Some of my favorites were the Eddie Muller interview, the Robert B. Parker panel, the Ten Mysteries To Read panel, and the reading of Declan Hughes's play.

Yes, I am finally getting around to reading THE DISTANCE. And it's an excellent book!


I attended a discussion (it wasn't listed as a panel, but a "continuing conversation") about the state of traditional publishing and self-publishing by alternative media. I don't remember the names of the panelists, but they were traditional pulishers, agents, and authos who were going the way of self-publishing.

I will complete the first draft of my novel soon, and be faced with this very decision. I've always felt that getting an agent is the way to go. A good agent will be able to present your book the way it should be presented. Hopefully, to a publisher who will like it, and susequently market it the way it should be marketed. And hopefully, it will sell.

It's not easy. And there are no guarantees. Trying to become a best-selling author is just like trying to be the best at anything -- like, perhaps, becoming a Major League baseball player. Many will try. Only a select few will make the Majors.

But it can happen.

Michael Connelly, Dennis Lehane, Eddie Muller, Laurie R, King, Sue Grafton, Janet Evanovich all started at the same place -- with a manuscript they wanted to publish.

I'm not saying that self-publishing is a bad thing. I'm not saying the only way to go is to get an agent. But whichever way you choose to go, one thing is certain.

It all starts with a good book.

More later...

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