Thursday, May 1, 2014

Selfie Olympics; Will & Grace; Oh, Those Form Rejections

Selfie Olympics

This article dates back to January but I thought it was interesting because the selfie craze continues without any signs of stopping. It shows a lighter side of the selfie game...or selfie Olympics...and a few things that do seem to follow a pattern. And, if you're interested in having more selfie exposure.

It appears that most popular twitter is @SelfyOlympics, but the most popular facebook page is titled "Selfie Game 2014."
 
The trending tag on twitter is #selfiegame, however. This is probably the best way to get your selfies seen if you are interested in participating in this exciting new self-sport.

Alternate names and hashtags also include #selfieOlympics & #And1SelfieLeague, according to Vibe.com.

From what I've seen most authors I know tend to be selfie shy...including me. I also think most authors are smart enough to know how to protect their privacy, where most of the people taking selfies out there today don't realize exactly what they're doing or how much privacy they're losing. I think celebrities know what they're doing and they're well prepared, but I'm not sure the average person taking his or her selfie understands.

You can read more here.

Will & Grace Surprise

According to Debra Messing, most people viewing Will & Grace when it first aired didn't even realize that Will was a gay character.

'I remember that the opening scene of the pilot where Will and I are on the phone talking about George Clooney on ER and how we both found him handsome. The way it was written was so subtle that they did testing afterwards and half the audience didn't realize at the end of the pilot that Will was gay,' Messing tells HuffPost Live.

She adds: 'And that was considered a good thing for the show.'

You have to consider the time period. Ellen had just come out on her show and it had been canceled. Of course we all knew Will was gay. We watched that show...we hung on to that show...because it was the only gay content on TV and in many ways we could relate to it. Not all of us, and not totally. But it was ground-breaking for its time and had some of the funniest lines in sitcom history.

But more than that, I hear from gay readers living in different parts of the country sometimes where things are not as progressive and they're still living in fear. They are still finding Will & Grace years later on the Internet for the first time and it's helping them probably more than Debra Messing or anyone associated with the show even realizes.

You can read more here.

Oh, Those Form Rejections

I'm not talking about form rejections from literary agents. I don't mind them, and I've never minded them. I don't know how many queries literary agents receive today with so many changes in publishing, but I do know that agents used to get so many queries it would have been impossible for them to reply to each writer personally without using form rejections. I also didn't mind them because I didn't take it personally. I never minded form rejections from large publishers either.

However, I do think that editors with small presses might want to rethink the policy of form rejection letters. And the only reason I'm saying that is because I've edited several of my own anthologies and I found it more respectful to reply to my peers...writers...with a personal note of thanks. It's not only in good taste to do this, editors, it shows you really read the story and you really cared about it. It shows the author took the time to submit something to you in a time when these anthologies are becoming extinct. Once again, I think it shows respect for writers, especially when writers rarely get respect from anyone else. The least we can do is show it to each other. I've also worked with some excellent editors in all the gay presses and they've always been kind enough to reply to me one way or another with a personal note. They reply to all their authors that way because they might want them in the next anthology. Most experienced editors know this as the unspoken rule. It's called courtesy.

But every once in a while I submit a story for an anthology and I get that form rejection letter without a hint of personal comment. It's not the rejection I mind. I'm usually too busy these days to even submit anything to small press anthologies and when I do I go out of my way to make the time. You have to understand that no authors out there are dying to get into these small press anthologies like they used be. If I indie publish a short story for .99 and distribute it far and wide as an e-book I have the chance to make more money than I could ever dream of making with a short story submitted to a small gay press with a flat fee of $60.00. I also have a chance to build my own readership. Not to mention the fact that that small press will make me sign an exclusive and hold me up for a year. Yes, just so you all know. This is what one small gay press pays authors who submit to anthologies, and no hint of making a royalty on that. There are other presses that pay even less as a flat fee. And they are charging readers over ten dollars a book in some cases.

So when I do submit a short story to a small press I'm doing it because that's what I love doing, not for the money. I'm excited about being in a book like that and I enjoy working with editors on that level. Depending on the editor and the story, I get into some and some are rejected. No big deal for me either way. I learned a long time ago it's all subjective and I've had to reject plenty of people in my time, too. But never with a form rejection.

Let's rethink the form rejection letters, editors with small presses. All you have to do is drop a short note, and please don't wish me luck placing the story somewhere else at the end of a form rejection. When you do that I think you're either not in touch with what's happening in publishing or you're too lazy to change the form letter. Because the odds are I'm not going to waste my time submitting the story anywhere else. I'm going to indie publish it myself so my readers can get a chance to read something for .99 instead of paying over ten bucks for a full anthology where they are forced to read more than one short story they might not be interested in. And if you don't think readers care about how much they spend you're living in a dream world. I actually would go so far as to state that cost is one of the most important factors in book buying these days.

This was not a rant; just a respectful suggestion. When I get a form rejection like that I drop the editor and never submit to him again. I never forget his name again. From what I hear, not that many writers are willing to work for a 60.00 flat fee anymore when they can indie publish and charge their readers a fraction of what your book is going to cost the reader.

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