Sunday, July 20, 2014

Ken Poyner is at it again. No spineless neurotics or lovable sitcom divorc├ęs found here.

I like Ken Poyner's work because he writes about men who don't apologize. His characters don't have bad relationships or mommy issues. There aren't any quasi-metros or neurotics. They aren't spineless twots, or sitcom divorc├ęs "with a heart of gold."

From The May, 2014 issue, Ken Poyner's story, "Snake Oil Rights," has a salesman who sizes up a synthetic human--a female form, his own design:
"...the thunder of her spiked heel nearly touches the floorboard as one blue sensuous snake of a thigh slithers carefully over the other, the lip of her mini-dress folding just a little back. I turn to look over the whole of her, and it takes commitment to this trip’s firm schedule not to stop the truck. But I need to get to wherever this place is. I am the new novelty, straight from the complicated cities. I am bringing progress, modernity, the life folks only see on their quaint hand-held view screens."
He writes beefy characters so that actors like Gene Hackman, Charlton Heston, Eli Wallach, George Kennedy could have played them.

From Poyner's latest coming in October, "Establishment", an android barkeep eyeballs two customers engaged in discourse:
"You hate to see them waste their money on access when they could be wasting their money on maintenance, but I can’t control the bone and protein crowd. I’ve yet to figure out their programming, and I stay out of the mathematics of it when two of them are dealing."
There it is, from both sides. The first, he's acknowledging one of the base motivations for improving technology. The second, from the opposite viewpoint, is a unique combination of man/machine sensibility with genuine AI cynicism on what it is to be a man. He's comfortable in both places.

© Getty Images His characterizations are perfect raw material for classic actors of the sixties and seventies who played some great sonsabitches who didn't give a shit whether they got the girl or just who their ex-wife was tumbling now.

Ken's very low-key about all this and prefers a discussion of "personhood"  but as far as I am concerned his voice is clear. And we don't see enough of this kind of work.

Check out Ken Poyner in the "May, 2014" issue. And get ready to welcome him back in October.

-CTG

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Black Denim Lit #5: No Sleep Till Deadtown ISBN: 978-1310160646 http://www.bdlit.com

Black Denim Lit #5: No Sleep Till DeadtownJune Stories Released~!













www.bdlit.com




Jinn

Daniel Moore
Gynoid twins greeted Endo when she stepped onto the main floor. Hard plastic and running lights separated molds of female flesh, colored and textured to look like human skin. One claimed Endo had lost color and had low vitamin. The other noticed a drop in weight, red branches forming in her eyes, and asked if she was ill or pregnant. Read more...

Deficit
Sarah Vernetti
On the way home, we stop at a solar-powered red light. I stare absent-mindedly out my window at the truck next to us. Finally, I realize that the woman in the passenger seat is staring back. My heart starts racing. “Mommy, why are those men riding in the back of that truck?” Iris asks. Read more...

The Line of Fate
Suzanne Burns
With her teeth, Tabitha tore the sutures from the middle finger of her left-hand Ostrich glove. The nubby sections of dyed red leather pulled away from each other like a bad cut. The flesh of her middle finger turned purple as she ran cold water over the exposed flesh. “This is almost like getting a new finger.” Read more ...

No Sleep Till Deadtown
Michael Haynes
The smooth pavement of the bridge rolled under her tires. The last smooth ride she’d have. Soon she was in the mist, and the bridge arced downward. The paved road turned to gravel, and her passenger awoke. “I snuffed it, huh?” She didn’t answer, eyes fixed on the road ahead, the narrow, twisting path through the mire. Read more ...

Gladys Collins
John Pace
You have no idea what it is like to live on the street. No, not just to be homeless, but to live as a target for others. Others who despise you for no reason beyond your mere existence. Do you hear me? I cannot work. I cannot even squat in a vacant building, no matter how derelict. The others, they never trust me, and in that world, mistrust becomes just cause for violence. Read more ...

The Cloud
Elaine Olund
I followed the instructions, trapping my thoughts. It worked long enough for me to start to drift to sleep. But I could hear them scratching around in the box, like beetles. And then I felt them. I felt them crawling on me. I felt them chewing my hair, I said. Taking a deep breath of his own and then a long draw from his water tube, he said, Well, clearly, you’re not a box-keeper. Read more ...

Pigs Fry; Pigs Fly
Janet Slike
Her father, oblivious to Hannah’s shame, put three more strips of crunchy, double-smoked bacon on her plate so the serving dish could be replenished with more flesh from the cast-iron skillet. He tugged at his work shirt with greasy fingers, the fat oozing down to give his nails a slick polish. Hannah blamed the medication's side effects, but she wasn’t quite sure how a beta blocker could make her feel like a cannibal. Read more ...

Ripples From The Weather Aggregator
Sean Monaghan
In the line at Heathrow, Jaclyn kept seeing suspicious characters. Any one of these people could be after her. Once she was in the air, it would be all right. Everything would be fine. All she had to do was get off the ground. She wondered if they could touch her once she was through passport control. Did they have people on the other side? Surely not. Read more ...

Woot~!

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Sunday, May 25, 2014

What does an acceptance letter look like at @BlackDenimLit ?

WIDE - awards-310x178Dear [SubmitterFirstName],

Thank you for sending us "[SubmissionTitle]" for [Category]. We really enjoyed it and would like to publish it in the next open issue of [OrganizationName] online at [OrganizationWebSite] and in one issue of the monthly eBook anthology.

••• YOUR TO-DO LIST •••
You're going to receive our writer's agreement for you to sign and return. After reading and understanding the rights being sold or licensed, all you have to do is:
1: type your name and date at the bottom
2: with a 3rd person bio in the body of the email
3: provide us instructions on how to pay you with Paypal USD
4: Accept the Submittable 'Agreement to Terms'
...then return the first three via email. To learn more about the definitions of the publication rights you are granting, please read writer's advocacy resources (such as http://www.pw.org/content/copyright ).

••• WHERE CAN I FIND MY STORY? •••
Once published, your story will appear on a unique URL found on the Stories page located at http://www.bdlit.com/stories.html under the publication month to be read online or through an eReader, as part of an eBook anthology. After six months the link will be moved to the archives where it will remain permanently. Note that the URL for the story will not changed during the archive process. You will be eligible for selection for the twice-annual print Anthology issue. The next release for that is Fall, 2014.

••• WHAT'S NEXT FOR THE MAGAZINE? •••
You'll note that you can sell your reprint rights right away, since we're not asking for exclusivity at this stage of the development of our press. In the meantime we're working very hard to build readership. We're aiming to become an SFWA Affiliate Member and a Qualifying Professional Market by the end of 2015. Once we achieve that goal we will ask newly accepted stories for one year exclusivity. As for our progress on the qualification to apply for Qualifying Professional Market,
- we have about 60% the needed readership; and
- we are 40% into the regular continuous schedule needed; and
- we have budget to for for 40,000 words a year at pro rate.
Note that at this time we are choosing to provide only a semi-pro rate so that can extend our author payments to 200,000 words a year.

••• HOW CAN I HELP THE MAGAZINE? •••
- update your web presence so we can promote you - Goodreads, Author Central, etc.
- donate time (become a first reader)
- get readership (send friends)
- provide reviews of the eBook anthology in your favorite online bookstore.

Thank you for your submission. I look forward to reading more of your work in the future.

Thanks again.
Sincerely,
[StaffFirstName] [StaffLastName]
Editor, [OrganizationName]
[OrganizationWebSite]







________________________________________

Author Agreement



••• INTRODUCTION •••

Congratulations! Your work, "[Title]" has been accepted! Your work will not be published anywhere until you have signed and returned this agreement. By signing this agreement, you agree to allow us to publish your story in the online literary publication, [OrganizationName] in the manner detailed below. Briefly described, your work will be published on the website permantently; and in one issue of the eBook anthology only, as files formatted to load on any eReader device. These files are made available for direct side-load from the website, or download through all major eBook storefronts for all eReaders. We would request separately (at a later time) any rights to reprint your story in any print edition.

*********************************************
You are granting First Publication Rights.
You are granting Electronic Rights.
You will retain all other rights, including exclusivity.
*********************************************

••• FIRST PUBLICATION RIGHTS •••
You are verifying that this particular work has NOT BEFORE BEEN PUBLISHED and that you are the SOLE AUTHOR of the work. You will receive pay for your work, EITHER a minimum flat fee of USD $5.00 per story OR USD $0.01 per word--whichever is greater. Your work will appear on our website and in one eBook anthology having a unique ISBN, which can be used as a future publishing credit.

••• ELECTRONIC RIGHTS •••
We will maintain online access indefinitely to your story, at no charge to the reader (under Online ISSN #2333-9977 with a URL to be determined, unique to that story). We'll publish an eBook anthology for each month's online stories. One eBook issue will contain your story (under Print ISSN #2333-9969 and an ISBN to be determined, unique to that eBook). The eBook format will be EPUB, MOBI and PDF. No copy of any of the eBooks will have DRM enabled. The eBook will contain statement of rights given to publish, plus rights retained by you.

••• PRICING •••
The online reading access will remain free ALWAYS. The eBook will have availability as follows:
- eBooks are provided as a free side-load ALWAYS, direct from http://bdlit.com; and
- IF newer than 45 days, eBooks are provided in worldwide electronic bookstore venues:
-- free of charge, or else at the venue's minimum charge; and
- IF 45 days or older, eBooks are provided in worldwide electronic bookstore venues:
-- sold at USD $3.49, or else at the venue's minimum charge.
NOTE: 99% of readership leverages the above pricing model to avoid any reading expense, since we provide at least one path to a free copy at all times.

••• FIRST PUBLICATION ATTRIBUTION •••
You will ensure clear and appropriate attribution to the original publication when you reprint elsewhere.

••• HARD COPY PUBLICATION •••
Your work will not appear in any hard-copy print publication from [OrganizationName]. Instead, you will be notified separately if your work is selected for one of the twice-annual print anthologies (under Print ISSN #2333-9969 plus an ISBN to be determined, unique to that volume), and you will have the right to refuse at that time.

••• EDITING •••
You are also agreeing to allow the editors of [OrganizationName] to make minor changes to your work that do not alter the content of the work. These changes may include grammatical changes, spelling changes, and format changes.

••• TERMINATION •••
If at any time you would like to remove your work from our website, please contact us at contact@bdlit.com. We will take down your work immediately upon request. Note that if your work has appeared in either the print or eBook anthologies, we will be unable to remove it.

••• NOTES •••
Thank you again for your submission. We hope to see your work again in the future. Please sign below and send this contract to the email address above. Please keep a copy of this contract for your records. We would ask your assistance (before you sign) in highlighting any changes made to the agreement.

••• YOUR STATEMENT OF AGREEMENT •••
I, [SubmitterFirstName] [SubmitterLastName], agree to all of the above terms and give [OrganizationName] the right to publish my work on its website. I also verify that I am the sole author of the piece mentioned above, and as such have the freedom to submit it for publishing.

____________
Name

____________
Date

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Writer Resource Highlight: Writer's Carnival

What is it?
Writer's Carnival, http://writerscarnival.ca, a social site for writers--with member space~!

What I do there?
  • share your writing in order to obtain feedback from other writers,
  • enter contests (requires upgraded access),
  • browse for writing prompt ideas,
  • access resources, ...and more~!

Do they publish? Will I become a better writer?
  • They do have an e-zine called "Reader's Carnival" (requires upgraded access) , and
  • They have a classes web, with modestly priced Writer's Carnival Classes.
  • Don't forget the free resources!
Stats?
  • 15 months old
  • just over 2,000 members
  • more than 56,000 comments.
But I'm not Canadian?!
That's ok, we all have our flaws. They engage their users every day with new content and are growing. They're constantly looking for great resources for their members. Friendly folks, for sure.

Sample?
  • "Alice Claire" says "So, you’ve come up with an awesome story idea, started writing it and posting it here for feedback.   Now you’re wondering where your audience is, right?  Well, that’s a large part of being a writer, especially if you’re going down the self-publishing road.  You need to find your target audience.  How will you do that?" Read more...
  • @WCWritingTips says "Who's up for some friendly competition? Flash Fiction, 150 words, can you make a complete story? http://www.writerscarnival.ca/wednesday-weekly-8/ … #flashfiction" Read more...
Worth a visit~!

CTG

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Five Tips for Picking and Executing Author/Writer Press Release Announcements~!

Write it yourself, but watch out for Seomonsters~!

Writing a press release means following a very specific format. It's not any harder than figuring out a submission format. There are a lot of examples on the web, but it's a map, really, with five or six really specific parts. Here is a good example. It boils down to making your press release sound intelligible, but not jargony. It's not a tweet. It's not a status update. It's not an email. It's a 400-word newspaper article slash essay about what happened and why the reader should care and how to engage, if interested. Maybe no more than four to five hyperlinks, with an image is good. With a video link is better. Spell out any link URL, in case the link is disabled in some downstream venue.

Template
And don't try to make it "SEO" that will just get it hidden from search engines, if it looks too obvious. There are a zillion articles about the decline of SEO techniques so you can read up on that separately.

How to pick a Press Release service?
As for picking which company you want distributing the document, perhaps you can inform yourself about how press releases are found. Try to "search" for something yourself  and figure out which press release leads you to what you want.

Pick your favorite publisher and try a phrase like "is proud to announce" with it. Once you begin finding actual press releases (not just bloggers or interviewers or pundits who read the release and are paraphrasing now), you can watch for patterns in the source name attribution as you search. The name below the title should be a clue -- prweb, sbwire, emailwire, etc.

What's the lesson here beyond "who does press releases about stuff I like?" It's this: you can pay a fortune for a press release only to have it circulated through other PR services that just rebrand it. More about wholesaling in just a minute. Let's first talk about where press releases get sent.

What is the "value add" of a press release service?
A press release at a minimum has to take your blurb and make it discoverable on the web. The "value add" for a press release service is supposed to be, "look who we send the press release service e-mail announcements to" ...  That is the real value. But watch out, even then:
  • 40,000 emails equals 4,000 reads,
  • 4,000 reads equals 40 clicks,
  • 40 clicks equals 4 "follow through"
This engagement "rate of decay" is a real possibility. Think of your Pinterest/Instagram/Twitter email notifications? How many do you actually open? How many do you read? Do you go to the site? Repin? Repost? Retweet? Respond? To everything?

What do you expect to happen?
For you and your book - the punchline phrase above was "follow through"... But follow through to what? When someone reads your press release, what exactly do you want to happen? What is your engagement platform? A buy-click? A book home page at your publisher? How is your press release going to be any different than standing on a street corner holding out your book to maybe 50 different people saying, "$10!!" You're just as likely to get maced, as to get a sale.

Make sure the call to action section of your press release is really specific.

What's wholesale got to do with it?
Something else that should make you cautious: Let's say you can order a press release service for, say, $69 ... Did you you pass up a deal to get unlimited press releases for just $299/yr subscription? That is a sign that the service is used wholesale by other folks for bulk distribution. Oddly, the one company that is offering subscriptions is probably the company you want--even if you don't take the subscription. Rather than the smaller service that will just come here anyway.

Let's be specific:  Press Release Monkey might charge you $129 once, for you to write your own single press release. Maybe they get fifty people to do that every month.  Their income: $6500/month. They order re-distribution to three other wholesalers like PRBuzz.com ($300/yr), SBWire.com ($840/yr) and maybe go nuts and get Emailwire.com ($6,000/yr). All those subscriptions allow them to submit unlimited press releases. They have near the income in just one month to pay for their wholesale subscription expenses for a year. Put another way, they only need 50 or 60 customers a year to cover their bulk subscription expense, for as many press releases as they want . Yes they have other expenses and value add. But that seems lucrative...

How to follow up
To begin with, put a unique phrase in your release that doesn't occur anywhere else, including your own work or the web or any other promotional material you manage. Let's say, you pick the phrase "unsurpassed gusto and vigor" ... Use that to search later (with the quotes, to get exact matches) to find how far the phrase (and therefore the press release) went into the searchable Internet. Maybe you have a reach of 500 sites. Not bad. Now test how far beyond your press release the news went, say into blogs, discussions, etc. So, search again, but exclude your wholesaler from the results using dashes. Like this: "unsurpassed gusto and vigor" -emailwire -sbwire -prbuzz .... You might be down to less than a dozen sites.

Are they good sites? A good reach? One can only hope.

Could you have just contacted them yourself? Ha-ha. There is no substitute for direct marketing~!

TL;DR
The five tips are:
  • It's ok to let someone else write it, but you can learn to do it
  • SEO makes no difference
  • Get to know a few press releases first and how they are discovered
  • Choose the company carefully
  • Understand the company's value add
  • Be clear on what you want to happen
  • Design the text so you can follow up
I say five tips because I can tell already you don't like two of them. So pick your best five, get out there and go nuts.

Friday, May 9, 2014

Those old fashioned print publishers and their silly eBooks...

I wanted to share the transcription from a talk given at Publishers Forum a few days ago:
http://publishingperspectives.com/2014/05/bridging-the-gap-why-publishings-future-is-at-risk/

I take from this that the thrust of this talk was print and ebook publishers are doomed to become a niche solution. The most gripping analogy for me was something that I personally experienced: The desolation of books about software languages. They are all but gone, replaced not by eBooks, but by community-produced web apps, databases, wikis, etc. This is good. Personally, my needs were met more readily than by a print book (or any equally useless eBook transcription).

BDPI am thinking about how this applies to publishers like us. In general I've spent a lot of time thinking about how, "gee, i wish we made money like the big publishers" or "gee, we NEED eBook versions of our magazine"... At the same time, all the reading we have been doing has led us to believe that there is little difference in the elements of supply chain production between a big 6 publisher and an independent publisher. Similarly, there are parallel paths available for distribution. The real rude awakening for any published writer is the requirement that they have to largely drive their own marketing--even big 6. But I digress.

Let's stick to presses, specifically independent publishing. When you're a journal first, Like Black Denim Lit, then a press, like Black Denim Press, I have to look twice to see how the presenter's discussion of environmental pressures might manifest for a venue such as ours. Here's my argument for how this might play out:

God Eye
Take the example of a venue in similar scope and reach (and even readership) such as "Universe Annex" (UA). This is a re-incarnation of Baen Publishing's artsy, sci-fi journal Jim Baen's Universe--filled with up-and-coming award-worthy (if not award winning) writers.

Take a look at UA today, and if you read through their submissions guidelines, you'll recognize quickly that the magazine is fed completely on submissions that are cultivated by a writer's forum that lives here Baen's Bar.

Duotrope reports that the acceptance rate is about 1 in 15. All UA's submissions are hosted in a public, free forum, for which anyone can have a reading password. Submissions are in one forum topic and work-shopped in another forum topic by writers and readers alike. Once the story is "good enough" (measured by community consensus) then the story is promoted to the formal electronic publication that is released six times a year (and the writer is paid a professional rate).

All by itself this work-shopping is not a unique idea. What is impressive is that this journal's practices comes as an extension of a highly-regarded "writer's publisher" such as Baen. Baen has always been a little different. And always good at marketing. And clearly outstanding at meeting the needs of its readers. And paying its writers.

***

All of this falls in the food-for-thought category--when considering any change in direction that our editorial practices or tools we might offer. I think the accomplishments of the UA submission process are unique and radically different than ours. Would it be the way for us to go over the next year? Maybe. Would it be the way to go over the next five years? Probably.

Similarly, how does the speaker's predicted trend affect our print and eBook initiative? Is that trend more damaging than the marketing challenges faced, or is it a different take on the same symptom? In other words, is the way to increase print / eBook revenue to take a look at the reader's interest in the format versus the reader's interest in the content?

It could be argued that the entire presentation could be largely ignored with regard to Black Denim Lit, but it is distinctly more relevant when looking for success with our print / eBooks.

Thanks,
Christopher

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

May Stories Released~! Online [The Avatar Self and Other Stories]

Black Denim Lit #4 [May, 2014]May Stories Released~!

, , , , , , www.bdlit.com  

Susan E. Sage We have a room devoted to the avatars in the monastery. People venture here from all over to see the sacred objects — the dolls — that once carried spirits from one body to another. I suppose my avatar is among them, but since they all look pretty much the same, I’ve never tried to figure out the exact vessel. Read More...

Boomtown Guide For The Perplexed Michael Reilly As he and Rose left for Morton’s, he pressed his unruly hair into place with his fingers. The elevator opened, they got on, and they did not talk as they descended. In the dark basement they groped without confidence toward the freight elevator. Charley heard a loud crash and felt Rose’s fingers grab his arm for a second, then she apparently fell. “Oh no!” By her voice, she had started crying. Read More...

Bingo Lela Marie De La Garza Earth had introduced bingo to Orulian, and now the craze was planet wide. Huge bingo complexes were everywhere. Orulian was a large, rich planet, and the prizes were treasures beyond dreams. But there were rules. And getting into a game in the first place was costly. Read More...

Alan Bray The clocks held weights in the shape of pine cones and eggs hung from chains. A feeling of expectation came from behind the little shuttered doors, as if ... But the clocks had all been stopped, all at different times.  “Do you restore these?” Sam asked, wondering if clocks that beat and twitched filled another room. The silence was uncomfortable. Read More...

Crucible Invictus Konstantine Paradias We flew across the English Channel in fifteen seconds flat, breaking the sound barrier twice over. I could see the air molecules heating up as they ground against my skin. Behind me, I could imagine teeth gritting together. Thirty seconds more, we were crossing over Rouen, the TGV a trail of mercury on the countryside. Read More...

  Run Dave Morehouse A couple years ago Edna showed me how she could read lips. I promised I wouldn’t tell. “They’ll say more if they don’t know,” she had whispered. “It’s how I hear the voices.” She told me their secrets. They will keep us here forever. Poor Edna ... nowadays she doesn’t hear anything. Read More...

  Snake Oil Rights Ken Poyner I need to get to wherever this place is. I am the new novelty, straight from the complicated cities and now out in the hinterlands. Even people who come in from thirty miles out are seeing progress these days. No matter how badly they want to do it, yokels cannot stay yokels. If they try, their own children abandon them. Read More...

 Woot~!

Monday, May 5, 2014

If BlackDenimLit had a VIDA count...

Since we are so small, we're not part of the VIDA count, but we intend to pay attention to this important metric. If you are a woman in the literary arts, please know that we are listening. Here is where we are at as of the "acceptances sent" from 2/21/14 through 5/5/14: 
  stats 
Progress?
  • May 5, 2014: 19.23% cumulative for 2014 Yes~!
  • Apr 9, 2014: 15.79% cumulative for 2014
Call to Action~! As always, we are calling women for and and at

Friday, May 2, 2014

Where in the world is George R. R. Martin? Probably surfing

As a reader, I am not sure I care if George R. R. Martin wants to surf a little and travel and maybe write other stuff before finishing up A Song of Ice and Fire. If it were me, as an author, I would have the events of the remaining story framed up at least. If there are five of seven books published, then it's not hard to know what happens in the last two.

GOT-ending I'm thinking of all this because Anisa A. Claire asks, "Where in the World is George R. R. Martin?" - which I take to mean roughly, "he's old and had better not take seven years a book to finish out the GOT universe." As for Martin, I get the sense that hyper-focus on the one project for decades is not all its cracked up to be. If you look at creators like Rowling (who spent roughly ten years doing one thing) they are now spent ... and are looked at with some skepticism.

However, the books are a big soap opera. The built-up expectation of the public is a lot to deal with. The soap is leading to spectacular, all-out war with the creatures of the true north, who will invade as far as a good cold winter will take them, maybe Dawn, maybe more. It's a soap and my favorite soap of all time. I admit to hoping for an ice dragon that will face off with Drogon, wiping out half the continent in their contest. However, whatever the finish is, it will not be big enough, because the reader will think, "Seven Hells, you just cancelled my soap. Bastard." I digress.

As for Martin not wanting to have his baby in any other author's control, well that may be out of his hands to some extent. It depends on what kind of license he will grant for a post-Martin GOT universe of books, games, movies and the possible spin-offs. Jordan wrote till he died and Sanderson did just fine with picking up the sword. Lucas licensed his all beyond the capacity for any one fan to take it all in and then gave it away (although I think he got some money). Even older book "franchises" (Wizard of Oz) had new contributors.

Drogon_Peasant Other "properties" ... not so much. Is anyone writing LOTR universe? No. Christopher Tolkien has been quoted saying, "The chasm between the beauty and seriousness of the work, and what it has become, has overwhelmed me. The commercialization has reduced the aesthetic and philosophical impact of the creation to nothing. There is only one solution for me: to turn my head away." If Martin follows a similar line of thinking in the next twenty years, either directly or through his estate, then it will be a loss.

Although, I would argue that, by then, the public will recover and produce something new and more relevant. And by relevant, I mean that all the sensibilities played out in Ice and Fire books are a product of this generation. The books would not have resonated with us a hundred years ago, and may not yet, even twenty-five years from now. I digress.

The lasting creations from such weirdly diverse creators as Baum, Tolkien, Lewis, Roddenberry, Lucas, Jordan, Sanderson and even Martin--they never were and never will be enough to satisfy our imagination and lust. There will always be more. We should not slight the authors (or their estates) for how they think of or treat their babies. There will be more.

Saturday, April 26, 2014

"Salticid" New Serial Fiction from Black Denim Lit on Wattpad

"Salticid" on Wattpad "Salticid" on Wattpad[/caption]

 Read 30-day serial fiction "Salticid" Part 1 and 2 on @wattpad

 Dr. Carson Deming has an embedded AI creature in his head to keep him company while marooned on Jesson VII with his daughter and surviving crew from a wrecked space freighter. Taking refuge underground from violent storms, they face a hazards in an unfamiliar, dangerous darkness.

#scifi #shortstory #empath #doctor #marooned

http://www.wattpad.com/story/15473276  
Read & Share~!
View on Wattpad Twitter Facebook WordPress Reddit LinkedIn
Black Denim Press

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Tell @t_morrissey to keep going. "Scent of Darkness" hits 500 reads

I just wanted to mention regarding Scent of Darkness. Ted Morrissey has been writing a series of interconnected stories, which he thinks of as “the village stories,” that he plans to tie together in some sort of experimental novel. So far stories that have been published are:
I guess we're prejudiced, since that last one has been read more than 500 times in the first month of its availability, so we think Ted should keep going.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Author Payments go "Semi-Pro"~! (no more $5 checks)

We're upgrading author payments from a flat $5.00 to semi-pro rate. Black Denim Lit now offers a semi-pro payment for each piece published online at www.bdlit.com:
  • $0.01 per word
  • U.S. Dollars
  • Payment is through PayPal (you are responsible for currency conversion cost)
If a piece is selected for the twice-annual anthology, the contributor will also receive a free print copy of the edition containing their work. Next print release: Fall, 2014.

Authors have been notified that this is retroactive for acceptances back to March 14, 2014~!

For full submission guidelines please see, http://www.bdlit.com/submissions.html Don't forget, as always, we are woefully short on women author submissions. Keep writing.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

What we do with copyright violations

As can happen sometimes, one of the stories licensed to Black Denim Lit has been re-posted on another website without permission or attribution. The original author contacted us to say that there was no permission at all granted for the other "reprinting site" to reproduce this story. We acted quickly on the author's behalf to get the post removed.

In this case, there are several reasons why the reprint violated the author's rights:
  • All content on that site was made newly available under Creative Commons license "BY SA" which is insufficient to protect this copyrighted material (from being propagated for profit or being modified)
  • The posting of the story was missing the author copyright notice
  • It was missing the correct attribution to the author
  • It was missing the attribution for the source publication
  • The reprint site solicited for financial compensation (a gratuity), implying there was an agreement between the author and the reprint site, which there was not
  • The posting listed an email for the original author on the site's domain, which was not under the actual author's control. Also this appearance would incorrectly imply to a casual reader that the author is a contributor for them, which he wasn't.
In the beginning, we at Black Denim Lit were able to acquire the author's story under paid license for First Rights only. Anyone reprinting without permission from the author is a misappropriation. In other words that act infringes on the author's control of copyright that were never licensed to anyone.

Specific to us as a magazine, copying the material from Black Denim Lit threatens our ability to assure our authors that their works remain their own and that they have all other copyrights over what they have trusted to our magazine first.

In general, during the story acceptance process I tell authors not to agree to publishing stories without understanding what rights exist over their work and how to grant or license the rights to others. Advocacy sites such as www.pw.org can help. For our part we enforce a terms of service link on the site. Among many simple points of law and common courtesy, it advises site users that they aren't supposed to be reprinting without written permission.

In the end, I asked that the reprinting site remove the story immediately and they complied within a day, providing an indefensible explanation and tepid apologies. They offered no means for the author to be given any funds that were solicited from the public on his behalf. Lastly, they severed their relationship with us, withdrawing all their articles about "Black Denim Lit," which is arguably unnecessary, but probably for the best.

It was an unfortunate situation, but copyrights are important and should not be thrown down casually for the sake of exposure or ignorance of what is guaranteed by law to be fair.

Join the weekly e-mailing list~!

Join the weekly e-mailing list to get news about bdlit.com, its authors and stories~!

We’ve got a weekly mailing list you can use to keep up with changes here. For example, we might give a few updates from the blog, an update on the submissions queue, author news and or a call to submit. We might say what the author response times are and anything else that might come up during the week, such as an issue launch.

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Thanks~!

If Black Denim Lit had a VIDA count…

Since we are so small, we’re not part of the VIDA count, but we intend to pay attention to this important metric. If you are a woman in the literary arts, please know that we are listening. Here is where we are at as of the acceptances sent through April 9, 2014:

  stats

As always, we are calling women #writers for #literary #fiction and #scifi #shortstory and#flashfiction #submissions at http://bdlit.com

Saturday, April 5, 2014

April Stories Released!~ #Online #EPUB #MOBI #PDF #free @TheShortCourse @StevenCrandell @OscarWindsor

Seven Brand New Stories

Black Denim Lit is a monthly journal of fiction available on the web and on all eReaders for free through BlackDenimLit.com. This month we brings together sixty pages of bold, intriguing new fiction from Oscar Windsor-Smith, Robert Carlton, Steven Crandell, Michael Fontana, Phil Richardson, Chad Greene and Craig Temple.

Black Denim Lit April, 2014 Black Denim Lit

A LESSON FROM THE ROAD Bob Carlton 1050 words. Ben considers his options and prejudices with a young hitchhiker.

OUR IMMORTAL SOULS Phil Richardson 3800 words. Amanda and Corwin work out the details of how to comply with the negative population growth policies. "We could fake your death—say you jumped into a volcano. It would be hard but we could do it…."

MAPS AND MIRACLES Michael Fontana 1250 words "The snowman bore two blue stones for eyes, a carrot for a nose, and a crack pipe in what should have been its mouth."

TAILING THE BLOND SATAN Oscar Windsor-Smith 2600 words. Officer Winston Morgan, a strapping broad-shouldered guy in a white sweatshirt and blue jeans works a coldcase that no one else will touch.

BEST BABY Craig Temple 650 words. A beleaguered mother pursues answers to what makes the best baby.

INTO OPEN HANDS Steven Crandell 2200 words. A widower considers his path, the complexity of societal expectation and precept when there is nothing left.

DRILL & KILL Chad Greene 5700 words. Mr. Black teaches his way through absurd post-9/11 era changes to the staff, faculty and students in his rural school.


Read About It:
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Download it (eReader):
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Sideload it (eReader):
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(eReader) Files being sent through distributors to: 
iTunes ...and more, worldwide, through IngramSpark, Smashwords and Lulu

Identifiers:
ISBN: 9781312065307 
ASIN: B00JHDPHSG