October 3 is the Day of German Unity, which commemorates the German reunification on October 3, 1990.
Since it’s a fairly new holiday and one that never really had an emotional connection for many people (I explain why here), there is not much of a celebration culture apart from the rotating official celebration which is held in a different state capital every year.
However, if you want to celebrate this day and are looking for a suitable read, then I have something for you: My novelette The Other Side of the Curtain is a spy story set in East Germany in 1966.
Bob Mayer compares how various writers’ organizations determine who is and isn’t a professional writer and how even the most successful of self-published writers are still excluded.
Indeed, I remember that when Amanda Hocking’s success was making waves this spring, someone called out John Scalzi, currently president of the Science Fiction Writers of America, on whether the SFWA would accept Amanda Hocking as a member. Scalzi’s response was something defensive along the lines of no, because that’s against the SFWA guidelines. However, considering how successful many indies are on their own, I wonder how useful a traditional writers organization like SFWA or RWA or MWA will be for them anyway.
At the romance site Dear Author, Jane Litte asks whether readers who buy an indie-published book at 99 cents then go on to buy the author’s other books.
I find it interesting that one of Jane’s complaints with the indie books she tried is that the author may have multiple books out, but since the books are in different genres, she doesn’t want to try them. The advice she offers is the old chestnut not to change genres and to use a pen name, if you have to. Ah, but the beauty of indie publishing is that we can write whatever genre catches our fancy and don’t have to bother with pen names except in very extreme cases.
Dean Wesley Smith wonders why some writers would not spend the time to learn about indie publishing. I wonder the same thing, when I see how many writers just let their out of print backlist languish, when it could be earning them money and gaining them new fans.
Because while there is a bit of a learning curve and the first few e-books take time, it’s not all that difficult. Not to mention fun. Never mind that there are plenty of great free resources out there for anybody who wants to give indie publishing a try. Actually that’s a subject for a future post.