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This past weekend, at the Hutton Hotel, Nashville hosted the 6th annual meeting of Killer Nashville.  

Killer Nashville?

Yes.  For the past six years, readers and writers of crime fiction (mysteries and thrillers) gathered for a three day fest, sponsored by Mystery Writers of America, that is devoted to the craft and business of writing.  Throw in a cash bar and a dead body in the parking garage (mock crime scene) and you’ve got a party. 

What was most interesting to me as an author was the ongoing and increasingly heated discussion of the future of publishing.  One thing’s for certain.  Change is the word of the day.  Not only are e-books on the rise but the digital form is pushing out the similarly priced mass market paperback.  (Ironically, several years ago, the publishing industry feared that this handy and cheap paperback version would bring death to the hardcover).  Here we go again.

My thoughts are this:  supply the book in whatever form the reader wants – e-books, paperback, hardcover, bring back the scroll – whatever keeps readers reading.  Any concern I may have about e-books gets squashed whenever someone tells me how they read RUPTURE on their Kindle or enjoyed PUBLIC ANATOMY on their Nook at the beach (although my favorite one is a reader of RUPTURE sitting on an airboat in the backyard).

But you relic lovers rest assured, there’s hope in (Killer) Nashville yet.  Vanderbilt Bookstore, under the auspice of Barnes and Noble, will move into the old Border’s site on West End (how’s that for irony).  And now with Parnassus Books set to open in Green Hills’s Greenbriar Village, those of us who like to feel the cover of a book, to actually turn the printed page, will live to fight another day.