I was up at an ungodly hour this morning. Well, I wasn’t actually, it just felt like it. Then right off the bat at 10am I sat on a panel all about publishing options in this brave new world. I’ve rattled on enough on this blog about those things so I’m sure you can all imagine some of the things I was talking about. It was a really interesting panel and slightly bizarre when I found myself sitting next to Jim Minz, Senior Editor of Baen Books. Also on the panel were Chris Barnes, Felicity Dowker and a fellow that my fatigue addled brain is refusing to remember. I’m sorry if you’re reading – it’s been a long weekend! (I could draw you a picture, but his name escapes me.) Even more bizarre than sitting next to such a publishing giant as Jim Minz was that he agreed with a lot of what I said about small and indie press and then gave the Baen position on similar issues. Then again, Baen has always been something of a visionary publishing house when it comes to modern options and a changing world (DRM free ebook catalogue, anyone?) At some point when my brain is working again I’ll try to write up all the things that I’ve learned on the various panels here (those that I attended as well as those I’ve sat on, of course).

After that was the thing that’s had me the most nervous of this whole con. The official launch of MageSign. I’ve never had a book launch before and while I’ve done readings and panels and workshops and begun to get a bit used to how some of this whole thing works, the thought of a book launch had me very on edge. I’m happy to say that it couldn’t have gone better. The ever wonderful Gillian Polack did a great job of telling people how great MageSign is and she delivered a truly cunning sales pitch by telling people that the book has the best one liner she’s read in over two years. And she wouldn’t tell people what that was. And no, I’m not going to tell you either. You’ll have to read the book too. I also had sterling support from the lovely Cat Sparks, who did a brilliant job of popping “champagne” bottles and keeping everyone’s glass full. Apparently, though it wasn’t real champagne, I was complimented on the quality of the booze on offer. Have I set a precedent? Another great turn was done by Bill Congreve, who did the selling business at the launch while I sat and signed copies. I can’t thanks Gillian, Cat and Bill enough – truly wonderful friends. And I sold quite a few books, which is also fantastic. I was nervous, but it couldn’t have gone better. Apparently even my reading was good.

After that I was on a “Whodunit” panel playing the part of a Chinese submarine captain. Ridiculous fun but a bloody good laugh. Then I got to go to the launch of Gillian’s book, Life Through Cellophane, which I’m really looking forward to reading and then the launch of Paul Haines collection of short stories, Slice Of Life. Which I’m also really looking forward to reading, though slightly trepidatious. His work was described to me as “stories you can smell”.

Oh yes, it’s been booklauncharama around here.

This evening we had the truly mental band Ninjaz With Attitude regale us with truly mental music, and that was followed by a 50th birthday party for artist extraordinaire Nick Stathopoulus.

What a strange day, but what a good day. One more day to go.

(Incidentally, I’ve had a couple of emails asking for more photos. I haven’t had a chance to get many photos, but many have been taken, especially by Cat Sparks and Felicity Dowker. I’ll ask those ladies nicely if I can have copies of a bunch of shots and I’ll do a follow-up Photos Of Conflux 6 post at some point soon).