In a totally baffling move, RootsTech 2012 has apparently banned genealogical studies, book publishers, book resellers or arts and crafts dealers from being represented at the RootsTech Conference. This includes long-time genealogy supporter and book seller Family Roots Publishing Company. See Leland Meitzler's blog post Book Venders Banned from the RootsTech Exhibit Hall.
I assume this also applies to BYU Bookstore's print-on-demand Express Book Machine that was represented last year. What about Software vendors that also sell books? Does this mean that Legacy Family Tree, RootsMagic and Ancestral Quest, all of whom both publish and sell books, will not be able to sell their books? Because Family Roots Publishing that sells both books and software, has the word "publishing" in its name, does that make it less of a "tech" seller than Legacy Family Tree and RootsMagic who both sell books as well as software?
Apparently, book selling, publishing and genealogy are not high tech enough for RootsTech. They are forgetting the "Roots" part of RootsTech. It is looking less and less about genealogy and more and more about Technology. As Leland points out in his blog post, many of the books he sells deal directly with technology. For my own part, since Family Roots Publishing has been selling my own book, The Guide to FamilySearch Online, it means that this book will not be available at the conference. The application for being an exhibitor at RootsTech says, "RootsTech exhibit hall is for technically related products and services.
We are purposefully not accepting applications from book publishers or
arts and crafts dealers." This statement is interesting given the fact that there are presentations listed in the schedule about publishing eBook online and self-publishing. If you do the publishing yourself it is "techy" but if you have someone help you it is not?
I guess I am extremely puzzled at the logic behind limiting vendors at all at the Conference. Does that mean that there will be no genealogy related booths at the conference at all?
I hope I am not endangering my status as a RootsTech Official Blogger by speaking out, but I am baffled by the distinction being made.