Thursday, May 29, 2014

Gay Marriage Continues; BEA 2014

Gay Marriage Continues

I think this is one of the best articles I've read that talks about how gay marriage is gaining strength everywhere thanks to last June's SCOTUS ruling.

"With each one, it becomes harder for states to argue that these bans should be upheld, and it becomes harder for courts to uphold them," says Camilla Taylor, marriage project director at Lambda Legal, one of several gay rights groups juggling multiple court cases. "No court wants to be the one court that got it wrong and upheld the discrimination."

It becomes a legal issue, not a religious or moral issue, which is exactly what it should be.

You can read more here.

This comment is interesting:

"The test of success is not whether you win every single ruling in every single court," says Evan Wolfson, who launched the advocacy group Freedom to Marry in 2003. "The test is whether you have the right answers, whether you have a critical mass of victories and whether you are conveying to the judges and justices that the country is ready."

BEA 2014



Here are a few links for what's happening at this year's BEA (Book Expo America) in New York. This one is about debuts and breakouts. It also talks about advances, which many authors have been wondering about for the past few years.

One title where the advance became an early story is Matthew Thomas’s We Are Not Ourselves. Simon & Schuster’s Marysue Rucci plugged the debut novel, which she had acquired for a rumored seven figures at the 2013 London Book Fair, on the panel. While Rucci did discuss the author’s appealing rags-to-riches backstory—he worked on the novel for a decade and was living in a one bedroom apartment with his wife and twins when he sold the book in a splashy deal—she focused on the work itself. Calling the novel, about three generations of an Irish American family, “transcendent” and “one of the most beautiful and moving” books she has “ever read.”

It's hard to comment on that without reading the book. But seven figures? And frankly, most writers have rags-to-riches stories, at least most of the writers I know do. I wish I could get more excited about this.

This next article is a little odd, too. There's this guy who comes from old money who decided to live like the common folk live. I guess because he was tired of money and he wanted to struggle like everyone else...like those who don't have the choice?

He tells Show Daily: “I wanted to write a comedy about money. I think it’s one of the few taboos left, and it’s an important subject. The decisions people make about money are really philosophical choices that affect lots of things.”

He traveled the world, went from terrible job to job, and returned to write a book about private clubs. He took a sabbatical from old money...I guess.  He allegedly writes about the private clubs of the most elite where they don't even talk about money openly. I guess he's trying to market this to those who don't have mortgages, and those who don't have to deal with finding affordable health insurance?

In any event, this is what he plans to do at BEA:

“As for Book Expo, I intend to eat up the whole place.”

No comment. It might be the best book ever written, or that ever will be written. I just hope he's figured out a way to "eat up" the vipers on Amazon and Goodreads.

Now this article talks about something interesting for a change. I've mentioned my brother (the gay one) who lives in New York and in this building, which is only blocks from the Javits Center where BEA is held. The article talks about the High Line, which isn't far from the Javits Center. I was there a few times recently with Tony and my brother and loved it. The photo above was taken by me and the high line is not far from there.

Step outdoors and you’ll see a massive construction project unfolding in the new district known as Hudson Yards. It embraces 360 acres, stretching north to 43rd Street and extending from Eighth Avenue to the Hudson River, but its beating heart is the rail yards that wrap around the northern end of the High Line. Michael Bloomberg called this patch of real estate, which is twice as big as Rockefeller Center, Manhattan’s “last frontier.”

 And, of course, here's a BEA related article about those big old meanies, Amazon. It mentions the recent issues between Hachette and Amazon, and questions whether or not anyone will ever be able to compete with Amazon.

Research conducted in March by the Codex Group found that in the month Amazon's share of new book unit purchases was 41%, dominating 65% of all online new book units, print and digital. The company achieved that percentage by not only being the largest channel for e-books, where it had a 67% market share in March, but also by having a commanding slice of the sale of print books online, where its share in March was estimated at 64%.

It's hard to comment on it because Amazon must be doing something right. I truly wish big publishers would get their acts together and stop looking so backward and antiquated.

This last piece I'm linking to about BEA talks about two panels that discuss YA and Middle Grade books.

Ehrenhaft will share his enthusiasm for a debut novel by an author who has often been in a different spotlight. A member of both the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and the Songwriters Hall of Fame, and a multi-Grammy winner, Cynthia Weil has written (along with Barry Mann, her writing partner and husband) such classic songs as “On Broadway,” “We Gotta Get Out of This Place,” and “You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feeling.” Set in 1963 Manhattan, her novel, I’m Glad I Did, tells of a young songwriter who must untangle a sinister web of hidden identities and dark secrets surrounding a legendary former nightclub singer.

Some of the titles look very interesting. I'm actually a huge fan of reading YA and Middle Grade crossovers. YA author Michael Northrope is one of my favorite authors. I've also read Nathan Bransford's first Middle Grade book and loved it because of the writing. The problem now is that there's so much competition out there with indie authors who are absolutely relentless in their quest to sell books. It's become a vicious nightmare for the honest author who is only trying to get his or her book our there to readers. I've seen some of these indie vipers and what they are capable of, and this also includes many authors with some of these sleazy start up digital presses who have a cult-like appeal. I've seen them tell their readers they have cancer and two days later claim is was all a huge mistake. Praise the Lord I've Had a Miracle! And the readers believe them...they do, indeed actually buy all of it. I've seen them flock together and work their readers to the point where I often wonder if what they do is legal.

At first I used to think that these bottom feeder indie authors would just disappear eventually. And actually most of them do vanish in time. But the problem is that when the old vipers disappear a whole new breed of aggressive snakes take their place it the cycle starts all over again.

I really feel for the new honest author out there...indie or trad pubbed...who has to learn how to deal with the ethical decisions that come up almost daily with book promotion. But even more important, I worry that we're losing a lot of good authors because they just don't want to deal with the subterfuge anymore.













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