It's the small hours of Sunday morning as I write these words. The hotel is finally relatively quiet, after hundreds of Libertycon attendees occupied every public space all day long, and most of the convention center next door as well. It looks like everybody's having a good time.
Myself, Miss D., Old NFO, Lawdog, Tom Rogneby, John van Stry and C. V. Walter had an interesting two hours presenting a panel on the current state of self-publishing. There was a lot to discuss, from the burgeoning role of Amazon's Kindle Unlimited (which now appears to make up half to two-thirds of the income of independent authors using that service, at the expense of [more profitable] sales, but bringing in at least some income from readers who otherwise wouldn't have access to our books) to the growing demand for professionally produced books that rival professionally published works for quality and high standards. A couple of dozen present and wannabe indie authors attended, and asked good, intelligent questions. With a panel that large, all of us with extensive experience in the field, we were able to answer most of them. It was challenging and a lot of fun.
Last night Miss D. and I attended a get-together hosted by Baen Books for all its authors (Libertycon is, in a sense, Baen's "home convention", as the publisher is headquartered not far from Chattanooga and has always had a heavy presence here). Finger foods were provided, and several dozen authors and their significant others got together in a babble of conversation and gigglage. It looks like a good time was had by all. Grateful thanks to Toni Weisskopf of Baen for the invitation.
This morning we'll be packing up and checking out of the hotel, but not leaving right away. We have an eleven o'clock panel about writing in multiple genres, to try to encourage more authors to try it. (I'm currently published and/or writing in five genres: memoir, military science fiction/space opera, fantasy, Westerns, and - coming soon - historical naval fiction, dealing with the American Civil War at sea.) It's a new panel I pitched to Libertycon earlier this year, and Rich Groller (in charge of programming) decided it was worth trying. I'll be very interested to see who attends, and whether we can promote the concept. Larry Correia will be on the panel for this one, which always makes for lively discussion and much fun and games.
We'll head north when that's done, to the Nashville area. Our friend Oleg Volk (who introduced Miss D. and I to each other more than thirteen years ago, so we blame all that's happened since then on him!) has invited us to stay with him for a brief visit, which we'll accept with great pleasure. We were regulars at his previous home in Hermitage, and it'll be great to renew that contact after six and a half years in Texas.
After visiting with Oleg, we'll head homeward in a leisurely fashion, stopping at Beachaven Winery in Clarksville, TN to replenish our wine supply (they have great-tasting wine at decent prices, but ruinous shipping costs prevent us buying their products when we're in Texas, so we'll take advantage of our proximity to stock up while the going's good). We'll probably spend a day in Arkansas, visiting some of the tourist attractions there in passing, and get back to Texas by mid-week or thereabouts.
Please continue your prayers for traveling safety. They're always appreciated.