Month: January 2011

Protected: Gatekeepers Post – Live Announcement!

Protected: Gatekeepers Post – Live Announcement!

As I mentioned last week, there’s a new web site/blog launching tomorrow that deals with the publishing industry. I received an e-mail about it last week and I’ve been dying to talk about it since then. I just hope the homepage is faster to bring up tomorrow than it is today. Because,, if it’s not you’ll be losing readers that don’t have time to wait three or four minutes for the homepage to open (smile). We want to read it, we really do, but we don’t want our coffee to get cold in the meantime.

Here’s the press release:

FOR RELEASE: Monday, January 31, 2011
Author and media personality, Jeff Rivera launches The Gatekeepers Post, a new social media community intended to make a significant impact on the conversation of book publishing.
With the decline in print book sales, the increase of eBooks, the rapid closing of independent bookstores and the boom in young adult fiction, the world of book publishing is experiencing a flux few could have anticipated even five years ago.
Industry outlets have struggled to keep pace with the new developments in publishing but the changes are happening too fast for anyone to cover it all. The industry and public’s insatiable appetite for fresh news on the rapid changes has only increased.
The Gatekeepers Post hopes to satisfy that appetite. A cross between Huffington Post and Publishers Weekly, the outlet features some of the most important and respected voices in book publishing.
Joined by an editorial advisory board that includes the likes of print and online magazine editor Neal Boulton;
TechSavvy high-tech consulting CEO Scott Steinberg; New York Times bestselling author and Publisher, Zane; Planned TV Arts’ Rick Frishman; Editor-in-Chief of Publishing Perspectives Ed Nawotka; Smashwords’ Mark Coker; Thomas Dunne Book’s Brendan Deneen; publisher and veteran literary agent Richard Curtis; Editor-in-Chief of Richard Blakeley; former Writers Digest Books Editor-at-Large Jane Friedman; Authorpreneur Joe Konrath; and Hachette’s Director of Multicultural Publicity Linda Duggins. The new outlet also features Gatekeepers bloggers that site founder and Editor-in-Chief Jeff Rivera personally handpicked. “The support from the industry has been overwhelming,” says Rivera, “I’m proud of the high caliber of Gatekeepers and guest bloggers who’ll be joining us.” Veteran agents, major editors, librarians, publishers, publicists and authors such as New York Times bestseller Alisa Valdes Rodriguez will be lending their voice to the community as well. Book publishing heavy weights such as Andrea Barzvi of ICM, Keith Ogorek of Author Solutions, Harvey Klinger of the Harvey Klinger Agency, Bill Gladstone of Waterside Productions, Glenn Yeffeth of BenBella Books, Steve Wilson CEO of Fast Pencil and Ellen Goldsmith-Vein of Gotham Group have also joined.
A steady stream of book-centric reviews, headlining news, articles, and op-ed pieces, will be incorporated within the outlet along with forthcoming special events such as virtual panel discussions and online conferences.
Gatekeepers Post officially launches on February 1, 2011 at midnight.

New Blog I Found: Michael-in-Norfolk…

Found a great blog this weekend that deals with all things lgbt, thanks to a local friend who works in NYC as an accountant. Michael-in-Norfolk, Coming Out in Mid Life (I write about characters who come out in mid life all the time: Jase, in The Virgin Billionaire, for example) is a tad on the political side, and I may or may not agree with everything posted in the blog, but I like the way it’s written and I’d recommend it to other people interested in all things lgbt. As far as blogs go, this one is well executed.

You can check it out here.

Interesting Facts

Just in case you weren’t feeling too old today, this will certainly change things. Each year the staff at Beloit College in Wisconsin puts together a list to try to give the faculty a sense of the mindset of this year’s incoming freshmen. Here’s this year’s list: The people who are starting college this fall across the nation were born in 1992.

Bottle caps have always been screw off and plastic.

The CD was introduced 2 years before they were born.

They have always had an answering machine.

They have always had cable.

They cannot fathom not having a remote control.

Popcorn has always been cooked in the microwave.

They never took a swim and thought about Jaws.

They don’t know who Mork was or where he was from.

They never heard: “Where’s the Beef?”, “I’d walk a mile for a Camel”, or “de plane, Boss, de plane..”

McDonald’s never came in Styrofoam containers.

They don’t have a clue how to use a typewriter.

They are too young to remember the space shuttle blowing up.

Their lifetime has always included AIDS.

This Isn’t a Blog You’re Reading, It’s a Blog POST On a Blog

I’ve written before about this, and now I’m doing it again, hoping to make it easier.

I’m still slightly floored whenever I see an author (or anyone in publishing) talk about their “blog” and not get it right. At first glance, I automatically think they are talking about their blog in general…in other words, the actual web site they call a blog. Like this blog, This individual web address, and the site on which you are reading right now, in a general sense, is considered my blog.

But this particular article you’re reading is considered a post I entered on my blog.

You’re reading a blog post right now…on my blog.

You’re not reading a blog I wrote/entered on my blog.

It’s an individual post I wrote about blogging. One of many other posts I’ve written on this blog.

In the grand scheme of life is this a big thing? Not if you’re a dentist, plumber, or fortune teller. But if you’re a writer and you don’t know the difference between a blog and a blog post, there are people out there who will wonder, and some might not take you seriously.

You can also look at it this way. If you wrote a piece for a magazine, you’d ask people to read the article you wrote for the magazine. You wouldn’t ask them to read the magazine you wrote for the magazine. If you did, no one would know what you’re talking about.

And a blog post is like a magazine article…in this sense. Although there is a fundamental difference between a magazine article and a blog post, I’d think I’d rather see bloggers refer to their posts as articles instead of blogs. At least this way I’d know what they are talking about.

If you don’t believe me and you think I’m making this shit up, you can check out this web site, which I think gives two great definitions for blog and blog post:

Blog/bloggingA weblog or web page entry. Like an online diary. Written using a simple text editor and posted online usually with a simple mouse ‘click’. By tagging key words can appear in Google search words. (As at September 2007 it was estimated that there were over 108 million blogs)

Blog post An entry made by someone on their blog. As at September 2007, it was estimated near 200k posts were made a day. These can be read by the estimated 1.2 billion people connected to the internet.

New Cleis Press Anthology: Hot Jocks – And Be Honest on the Social Networks

This is one of those duel posts I often do when I’m in a hurry. Today I have to go through 200 e-mails on my yahoo account, write back cover copy for a new novel submission, come up with a few new title suggestions, and give the artist at a few coherent cover suggestions.

So I’ll start with the new Cleis Press anthology. Over the years I’ve been in more than a few m/m fiction anthologies with Cleis Press. And a lot of those have been with editor, Richard Labonte.

And this spring I’ll be in another anthology by Richard titled, HOT JOCKS. The book will be a collection of m/m erotic short stories with a theme revolving around sports. And the story I submitted will be about a young college guy and his football coach. I haven’t submitted as many stories to publishers like Cleis Press in the past three years because I’ve been working on contracted novels for e-publishers like But I’ve missed working with them. As a reader I’m a huge fan of the Cleis Press book list in general, and I love the way they support the lgbt community. So I’m looking forward to this new release, and I’ll be posting more about it in the future.

As for being honest on social networks. Well, here’s the thing. If you don’t keep it honest, sooner or later you’re going to slip up, especially on a social network like facebook where readers and other authors are free to leave comments. I’ve been following one author’s facebook posts for a while and I’ve always had my doubts about whether or not the posts are sincere. In other words, are the things this author says he/she is doing real, or is this author just jerking the facebook readers and fans around. Either way it doesn’t really matter. All that matters in the end is whether or not the author’s books are any good. But I recently noticed a facebook post this particular author made that had a large slip-up. Most people didn’t notice the slip-up. They just replied to the post with more cute comments. But a few did notice, and they commented about it.

The bottom line is this: you can bullshit the troops for as long as you want. There are, in fact, people…politicians…who have built entire careers based on bullshit. But if you’re posting cute, heartwarming posts on facebook, with happy faces and too many exclamation points, in order to brand yourself as an author, you’d better make sure the facts you are posting about are accurate. If they aren’t accurate, people are going to doubt your sincerity and they’ll stop taking you seriously. Most won’t say anything (like me), but the doubts will linger with them forever. And nothing you post or say will ever ring true again.

A Halfway Through the Book Review: Jonathan Franzen’s FREEDOM

I have to admit that after reading three Toni Morrison books in a row, which I just did last month, any author or book that follows is going to have a rough time convincing me Toni Morrison isn’t the best author in the history of the planet.

But I started reading FREEDOM, by Jonathan Franzen, after finishing Morrison’s, JAZZ, and it wasn’t easy to switch gears. This has nothing to do with Franzen’s style or his book. It’s just that Franzen is so different from Toni Morrison it was hard not to compare the two authors. The easy part was I’m a fan of Franzen’s CORRECTIONS, so I’ve been looking forward to seeing what Franzen has been up to in the last ten years.

Right now I’m halfway through FREEDOM. (I know no one gives halfway reviews, but it’s a long book and it’s my blog so I can do whatever I want here.) I’ve read Patty’s autobiography, I’ve watched her transition from a young adult to a college student to a housewife and mother. I’ve seen Walter and Richard through their ups and downs. And I’ve read about Joey’s kinky little escapades with phone sex and observed his peculiar little wench of a girlfriend. And if I had to rate FREEDOM on amazon right now, I can safely say I’d give it five stars without even knowing the ending.

I wouldn’t rate it this way because I love the characters. In this particular case, I don’t think I’ve ever despised characters in a book quite this way before. They are vapid, self-indulgent, and absolutely fascinating in all their dullness. I’m not even sure I can explain this clearly, but I actually love them because I hate them so much. These characters are everything for which I do not stand and never will stand. The only character with whom I can remotely relate is Joey, because he seems so eager all the time.

And right now, though I can’t even begin to predict the ending, I couldn’t recommend this book more to anyone looking for good fiction. I also like Jonathan Franzen’s writing style. I’ve seen reviews of FREEDOM where readers have blasted his dialogue. But I disagree. I like the way he pulls it off, and I can’t help wondering which character Franzen is most like. If I had to guess I’d say he really wants to be like Richard, in reality people see him more as Walter, but deep down, he’s all Joey.

Freedom to Marry: A Great Web Site

If you haven’t already seen this, there’s a great web site called: FREEDOM TO MARRY. You can check it out here and there’s a great post about deconstructing the anti-marriage argument I just read here by Josh Bell.

Reading online articles like this keeps us informed and ready to speak whenever we’re in a situation where someone is attacking gay marriage. And if you’re not very political like me, you need to know at least the basics in order to stand up for the things in which you believe. Especially nowadays, when it seems as though all the most important politicians we need on our side aren’t tough enough to take an actual stand on the issue. Leave it up to the states just doesn’t work for me. And I’m sorry, I simply cannot believe that you can reach the age of forty years old and not take a stand on this issue. But more than that, not if you’re an ivy league graduate who went on to higher public office.

You Heard it Here First: There’s a New Publishing Blog Coming Out Soon

(Update to post: Well, you heard it here second. As is usually the case, word about something new moves fast. And I just read this piece posted yesterday in Media Bistro: Jeff Rivera Discusses His New e-Book Community Site: The Gatekeepers Post But this doesn’t make it any less exciting. Check out the link and read all about what’s going to happen. The details are still vague, but the press release will be going out on the 31st and I’ll link to it then.)

I can’t say much right now, but I can say this: there’s a new publishing blog coming out very soon that’s being touted as The Huffington Post of the publishing industry. From good sources, I hear the blog is in the “buzzing” stages, so I can at least post this much. But that’s all I can say now.

I will post as soon as the press release goes public, and very soon. I will also link to articles and pieces that are written in the blog.

From what I hear this new blog has some very impressive contributors, all seasoned industry professionals. And I’ve also heard it’s going to be heavily focused on e-books and how e-books and e-readers are changing the industry.

I know I’m looking forward to my new Kobo e-reader, which was just shipped today. I’ll post more about that, too, for anyone interested in e-readers.