Untangling the mess.

My close collaborator and writing partner and I were thoroughly excited to be part of Booktrope. We weren’t quite in the “last fatal wave,” but were darn close. There were clues, plenty of clues, that something was rotten in Washington (the state, not DC. Something’s always rotten in DC.)

For various personal reasons I let him take the lead. This meant letting my “Author Platform” lapse (at the company’s advisement). A very bad idea, and one that we’re both trying to rectify.

What’s worse is our work is in limbo because of creative teams. Neither of us want to stiff them. We had three books in the hopper.

One, “The Curious Profession of Dr. Craven” made it out, with a thoroughly botched launch. Almost to the minute, the moment we got our ducks in a row with an enthusiastic marketing person and a plan, Booktrope pulled the plug.

Another book, “A designing woman,” is editing limbo. I need to figure out if we can afford to continue paying the editor. She’s very good.

The third book, “The art of deception” is free and clear. No one but us worked on it, so we have no one else to bother with. Other than short excerpts it’s not been published, so it’s been sent the rounds of open publishers. We’ll see.

Youth Protection.

I just finished redoing my biennial scout leader youth protection training. Well worth doing if you have children or work with children. It has changed since I last took it to reflect changes in the legal responsibilities and the threats.

  • No one on one contact and two-deep leadership. Remove the opportunity to be an abuser.
  • Respect privacy. Changes include confiscating a camera or electronic device that might have been used to take inappropriate pictures, as well as reporting it to the scout executive asap.
  • A big section on cyber-bullying and similar things.
  • An expanded section on ‘normal’ (as if there was such a thing) bullying. 

All in all improved from two years ago and focused on how to keep both leaders and scouts safe.

http://myscouting.org will get you there.

What counts as a publication?

I’m in a bit of a quandary. I like to prerelease chapters and snippets. This is both to boost the eventual sales of the book and get feedback (not so much from this blog, but there are some writer’s sites that have been exceedingly helpful).

I’d also like to submit things for publication. So what counts? At least one Sci-fi magazine says anything, anywhere, anytime is pre-publication and therefore cause for rejection. It’s not so bad for self-publishing, but I’d hate to “Sc**w the Pooch” to borrow a military aphorism for other modes.

On the other hand having snippets lodged in the bowels of Google with a definite time-stamp that I can’t possibly alter does protect me from charges of plagiarism.