UPDATE – Monday, December 12; 7:30 am: I got a call from Gordon Clarke with RootsTech 2012 this morning. They are adding a few more booths to the exhibit hall. I’ve been offered three. The FRPC booth will be smaller than usual, but we will be allowed to be there – so it looks like you will see some books at RootsTech after all.

Original Blog Post:
After waiting patiently for confirmation that Family Roots Publishing Company would again be exhibiting at RootsTech 2012, I received the following message from the RootsTech Exhibit Hall Coordinator on Friday morning.

Leland,

RootsTech exhibit hall is for technically related products and services. We are purposefully not accepting applications from genealogical studies, book publishers, book resellers or arts and crafts dealers.
Please call to discuss if you like.

Gordon Clarke
RootsTech Exhibit Hall Coordinator


The note came as a shock, since the Family Roots Publishing booth at RootsTech 2011 was one of the busiest in the exhibit hall. Now – with RootsTech on the horizon, and just a few weeks away, I find that we are no longer wanted. My first question was, why didn’t someone tell us this months ago? Why were we not told this before we made our investments, based upon the mistaken belief that our services were needed and appreciated? It’s my guess that the banning of publishers has been known for some time – but I may be wrong.

Ed Zapletel, with Moorshead Magazines Ltd, and the publisher of Internet Genealogy Magazine, shot me an email shortly after having received the same note from the RootsTech folks. He went so far as to make the phone call the the Exhibit Hall Coordinator, with seemingly no positive effect.

This issue certainly can’t be a matter of space. The Salt Palace is massive. Even with all the exhibits there last year, there was room in the building for many more.

I guess the upshot of all this is that books aren’t needed anymore. However, as a publisher for the last 29 years, I can testify that we’re selling more genealogy-related books now than any time in the last three decades. And speaking of technology, many of these books have a tech aspect to them. No new book is being written on the subject that doesn’t include hundreds of references to the Internet, and the new technologies that are emerging. And there’s a guidebook being published for all aspects of Internet genealogy research. We have books on Google, FamilySearch, RootsMagic, Legacy, etc. – and many more in production.

Most genealogy book publishers and venders sell tech products besides. Family Roots Publishing markets Flip-Pal scanners, and numerous softwares, DVDS, and CD-ROM products.

I have no idea how many book venders had applied for booths at RootsTech. I do know that my friend, Martha Mercer, with Maia’s Books, planned to come. The Salt Lake Plaza Hotel will have a booth at RootsTech 2012 however. They have free wireless Internet available throughout the hotel – and that’s pretty high-tech.