First up, Daddy Warpig, Dorrinal, and I finally discussed the long overdue topic of pen and paper RPGs on Geek Gab. Old school dungeon master DW instructed first-time GM Dorrinal in the finer points of player character physical torture, while I focused on how to break them down psychologically. I'm sure Dorrinal found our tutelage elevating and enriching.
Then, on Sunday, I took part in a Superversive SF round table convened to discuss whether the golden age of publishing is upon us.
I was really looking forward to this one. Jason Rennie at Sci Phi Journal managed to round up two publishers, two editors, and a bunch of trad and self-pubbed authors to discuss a subject of great personal interest to all of the panelists.
The conversation was lively, and tended to meander a bit as panels are wont to do, but we managed to tackle most of the questions we set out to answer. Since we didn't explicitly state our conclusion, I'm pretty confident in summing it up like this: thanks to indie and micro press publishing, now is the best time in history to be an author--or a reader. But how long the golden door stays open is anyone's guess.
So if you're an aspiring author with a trunk full of unpublished novels who's frustrated with the submissions carousel, now's the time to polish up those manuscripts and get them on Amazon. Start earning some compensation for all those hours of toil in the word mines before the Kindle loses market dominance, or a new format makes eBooks obsolete, or the Big Five somehow shake off their stupor and crush Amazon. Or a comet strike wrecks civilization.
Of course, even if Amazon goes the way of, well, traditional publishing, I'm not ideologically tied to the Kindle. Capitalism has a way of satisfying under-served markets, and it's highly doubtful that indie authors will ever go back to legacy publishing under the old unconscionable terms.