A First Timer’s Look at Malice Domestic

This past weekend I attended my first mystery conference. Malice Domestic is held annually in Bethesda, Maryland and is deemed by many as the conference to go to if:

  • You are a fan of cozy mysteries.
  • You want a “fan conference” where the focus is on author / reader interaction.

Below are my reflections on the conference. I hope they are helpful to anyone who may be considering a conference like this in the future. 

Make Your Plans Early

I know it’s easy to drag your feet on making plans for an event like this, but planning ahead can save you some serious cash. The conference offers early bird pricing, as well as a hotel room block rate. The block rate this past year was an amazing deal – about half the price of the rate to book the room on a regular night. Booking early is a great way to save some money.

Splurging on the Banquet is Worth It

When you register for Malice, there is a regular registration cost and one with the Agatha Awards Banquet. This was a wonderful experience and worth the money. Each table has one or two authors as a host and they do a nice job of making you feel welcomed and celebrated.

Leave Room in your Suitcase for Books

There are a lot of author signings at this conference. It’s a great place to bring books from home and have them signed by your favorite authors. You also will have the opportunity to purchase books at the conference. The conference bag was full of free books, as well as several publishers were very generous (Kensington and Midnight Ink in particular) with bringing free books for authors to sign.

You Can’t Do It All

There were so many great events and many happen at the same time. It is very easy to keep yourself booked from breakfast until well into the evening hours. If you are one who needs a little downtime in your day, don’t forget to put it in there. Whether it’s a walk outside or a quick nap in your room. Your body (and your sanity) will thank you as the weekend goes on.

You’ll Meet Some Great People

From authors to fellow readers I met so many wonderful people over the weekend. People who were kind and generous with their time. The community was very supportive and so many were willing to take an extra minute to chat with me and give me tips for my first Malice.

Allow Time for Extra Fun!

The conference hotel is just a block away from the Metro Station and Bethesda, Maryland is in the greater, Washington, DC area. This is a great time to plan an extra day and go visit the National Mall, museums, or even take in a Nationals baseball game (that’s what we did).

If you are a fan of cozy mysteries

… and have been on the fence about attending a mystery book conference, Malice Domestic is a great one to try. It was a good group of people, lots of exposure to authors, and enough free books to keep you well read for months to come.

Have you attended a mystery book conference before? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below.

Did You Catch My Author Interviews?

Another cool opportunity I had at Malice was to sit down with some wonderful mystery authors and get the inside scoop on what is going on with them and their books. If you missed any of my interviews, they are up on the Cozy Experience Facebook Page. Click on the image below to head over and watch them now.

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Christi King
Christi King
4 years ago

I watched several of your interviews and really enjoyed them!

Tammy (aka the diyhomegoddess)

I think you did a really good job for the blog, as well as being a n00b. Thank you for letting me watch the interview with Amanda Flower. I have attended Malice off and on since 2005. What always amazes me is the authors will remember their fans come next year. Elaine Viets always says hello like she remembers me. That means something. A not to be missed event is the live charity auction. I am a mad woman! And yes, when you attend any kind of conference, allow for melt-down time. I was taking pictures all weekend, and forgot… Read more »