What’s up with Bouchercon?

Tania over at I Love a Good Mystery offers up one of the biggest gripes going right now: the ridiculous lack of information on the official website:

I know that Bouchercon (in Madison) is still 6 months away, but shouldn’t there be more information on the website

by now?  My memory might be faulty, but I really thought that in past

years, the website had more information by this time.  I’d love to see

a list of registered attendees, and perhaps a note to the effect that

at least two of the hotels are already fully booked.

I’ve also tried contacting the webmaster (or whoever is behind the

general contact email address) twice, but never got a response.

Along with the news that pretty much all the major hotels have been booked solid and that registration might be capped (which, sorry, is a really dumbass move — you’re going to turn away authors, editors, agents and fans at the last minute, because many people do register only right before the convention starts? Yeah right) and things are looking, shall we say, a mite disorganized.

Now, let me add the caveat that many, many things occur behind the scenes that attendees simply aren’t privy to. But when I know more about what’s happening with the 2007 and 2008 conventions than I do for this upcoming one, I’m not encouraged.

Of course, Bouchercon is in a very strange state at the moment. Because even though Baltimore promises to be excellent, what’s on the horizon afterwards? There’s been no news about future bids. The trademark is owned by one person and the convention passes from one bidding group to another. And then there’s the name — because how the hell do you promote a mystery convention to real media and try to attract the fan base that attends a WorldCon or a ComicCon when a) no one can say the name right and b) hardly anyone remembers who Anthony Boucher is?

Or more to the point, when the genre has never sold more books and attracted so many fans (especially in the UK, where crime & thrillers are the #1 genre there) why can’t its main convention keep pace with the present, let alone with the future?