Day: March 20, 2013

NFL Players Support Amway Boycott; KDP Newsletter; Freedom to Marry; Republicans for Gay Marriage

Two NFL players, Chris Kluwe and Brendon Ayanbadejo recently joined others in signing a boycott that’s been growing slowly in popularity against Amway. They did this at the GLAAD awards last Saturday night with the founder of the campaign for equality, Fred Karger. For those who don’t know, the DeVos family, and Doug DeVos who owns Amway, are allegedly the largest contributors to the National Organization for Marriage and they’ve given a half million dollars to NOM. NOM is that large group of conservatives that believe marriage is between one man and one woman and they’ve been fighting equality and same sex marriage since the issue began.

From my inbox:

Both professional football players have been strong and vocal supporters of full marriage equality, fighting against NOM which ran and funded the unsuccessful anti-gay marriage campaigns that were on the Minnesota and Maryland ballots last November. These two outspoken heroes played huge roles in their respective state victories along with marriage equality victories in Washington State and Maine.

I think this is highly significant because anything LGBT related to any professional sport has always been so painfully ignored, pushed aside, diminished, and in some cases even laughed at. For these two guys to come out in support shows there are two sides to every story, and the quest for equality keeps moving forward all the time.

And, more important, even though Doug DeVos and his family, along with every other member of NOM, have the right to their own beliefs, we don’t have to support them financially or buy their products. I have no idea about how the Amway Boycott is going, or if boycotts in general even work, but if enough people who are LGBT, and enough people who have loved ones and friends who are LGBT, stop buying Amway products completely it’s going to have to make a huge difference. And that’s because people who are LGBT are everywhere now.

KDP Newsletter

I’m not posting the entire Kindle Direct Publishing Newsletter because a good deal gets into KDP select and I talk about that all the time anyway, but I like to point out interesting things from each newsletter that some might not know.

Your KDP account preferences can be set to receive royalty payments electronically across all marketplaces in US dollars, British pounds or Euros. In order to be paid by Direct Deposit, your bank account will need to be located in the US, UK, or in Europe.

It’s always been an issue for Canadian publishers and European publishers to send checks to me, and I have a PayPal account but don’t like using it to get paid, for various reasons. I also just signed a contract with books for a new series called “Fangsters” and I noticed in their contract they now have a section where authors can sign up for direct deposit, too. It’s a nice feature and it saves paper. I think we’ll be seeing more of this in the future.

KDP will also be at booth V555 at the London Book Fair, for those who are lucky enough to go there this year, on April 15-17. And they’ll be at BEA and uPublishU, May 30-June 1.

Freedom to Marry

In the most recent e-mail from Freedom to Marry, they talk about upcoming events with the Supreme Court. I know a lot of people are not on this e-mail list and it’s one of the things I think is important to pass along to everyone. I know my European readers find these things as interesting as I find their LGBT news. And I look forward to what they share with me.

We all can feel the momentum for marriage – and that’s exactly what Freedom to Marry intended. Even before the Supreme Court announced it would hear two marriage cases this year, we mapped out a plan and got to work to do everything we could to maximize our chances of winning. We want to be sure to continue making the same strong case for the freedom to marry in the court of public opinion as our advocates will be making in the court of law.

Now, in just 7 days, the U.S. Supreme Court will hear challenges to Prop 8 and the so-called Defense of Marriage Act. On March 26-27, we ask the Court to reject marriage discrimination at both the state and federal levels.

The Court is expected to announce its decisions in June, and we need to keep using every precious day maximizing our chances of winning by creating the climate around the Court – that momentum we all are feeling. The drumbeat of stories and voices speaking up for the freedom to marry isn’t just coming out of nowhere; it’s the work Freedom to Marry is spearheading.

Can you chip in to support Freedom to Marry’s work to end marriage discrimination?

Perhaps the biggest single thing we can do to maximize our chances of prevailing in the Supreme Court is to keep winning more states. Freedom to Marry staff is on the ground embedded in campaigns in Delaware, Illinois, Minnesota, and Rhode Island, the states we hope to win by June. And we are fueling those campaigns, ensuring they have the resources needed to make the case to the state lawmakers who will vote and send a message to the Supreme Court.

Freedom to Marry’s ability to give these campaigns what they need depends on your support.

Please make a donation today:

We have the momentum. We built it. Help us keep it going now, when we need it felt the most.

Evan Wolfson
President, Freedom to Marry

Last week I posted about a busload of faithful Catholics from right here in Bucks County, PA who will be traveling to Washington for ten bucks a pop later this month, with the intention of blocking same sex marriage. The event is being sponsored by the Philadelphia Archdiocese, the same diocese that covered up all the child abuse sex scandals we’re still hearing about (I’m part of that diocese and I hear it all the time). This makes it even more important to support organizations like Freedom to Marry. What always interests me with things like this is they expect me to feel shame for being gay, and yet they show now signs of shame at all when it comes to what they did to all those innocent kids who were abused.

Sen. Rob Portman Supports Gay Marriage After Son Comes Out

I received this e-mail earlier this week from a friend and wanted to post about it because of the impact I think it has with regard to politics in general. Rob Portman is a Republican from Ohio, and now he’s supporting gay marriage, too. I’ve posted about how so many Republicans are now coming out, so to speak, in support of gay marriage and it’s making a lot of people think twice about their own political beliefs. I don’t like to get into anything political, but I do like to balance my posts for the many, many LGBT readers who are more conservative fiscally and still believe in equal rights and same sex marriage.

Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio) has reversed his stance on same-sex marriage two years after learning that his son is gay, several Ohio news outlets, including the Columbus Dispatch and the Cleveland Plain Dealer, reported Friday.

In an interview with Ohio reporters in his Senate office, Portman said that his son, Will, came out to the senator and his wife in February 2011.

“It allowed me to think of this issue from a new perspective, and that’s of a Dad who loves his son a lot and wants him to have the same opportunities that his brother and sister would have — to have a relationship like Jane and I have had for over 26 years,” Portman said.

About Book Covers, Self-publishing, and "Cherry Soda Cowboy"

Sometime this week I’ll be posting the preview of a new book cover for my upcoming indie Amazon release, “Cherry Soda Cowboy.” I will post a book description when I do this, and I’ll talk a little about the book in more detail. But now I’d like to talk about book covers with self-published books, and some of the issues that can, and do, come up.

And there’s a specific reason why. I’m designing this cover myself and I’m not using a cover artist this time. And even though it’s going to take more time than I really have right now, I’m doing it because I want it to look a certain way. I’ve also found that I enjoy designing these covers myself. It’s almost therapeutic.

For those who do know about designing book covers on a budget, you know there are stock photos that can be purchased and used on book covers. I would love to hire Julian Fantechi to model on the cover, but I would go out of business within a month if I made a stupid business decision like that. The goal in self-publishing is to be a businessperson and author during production, and I don’t know one businessperson who has ever dismissed weighing initial investment against return. For those who are thinking about self-publishing, you should pay attention to that closely. There’s no need to lose your nest egg to self-publish a quality e-book. And if someone tells you otherwise send them over here. A lot of e-presses use the same stock photos I use for my self-pubbed covers, so this isn’t something new. The covers are all different, and all original, but not always the models.

However, the last time I self-pubbed “A Sign From Heaven Above,” we came up with a cover that I really loved…LOVED (Above). It was simple, the print was perfect, and it had that clean look I tend to like in book covers. Unfortunately, when I released a preview here on the blog and on social media, another author told me her recent book had the same model on the cover. We’d never seen her book, nor had I read it. I had no idea her book had the same model when we’d designed my cover. But to be nice, I took the cover down and started from scratch again. (To clarify…I’d used a cover artist and worked closely with Tony on that book cover. With publishers, cover artists don’t ask your opinion, they just do it. I wanted more control with the artist and Tony, but I made it more complicated than necessary. I did that with Jonah Sweet of Delancey Street, too, and I’ve learned from my mistakes.)

The second time, without knowing it, I chose the exact same model that Gay Rom Lit had used for their web site last year. The people at GRL didn’t call this to my attention. I found it by accident while checking out a link about GRL I’d read on facebook last fall. I think it was right around the time GRL 2012 took place in Albuquerque, and if you check the link above you’ll see it was in October. So, I went back to the proverbial drawing board once again and re-designed the entire cover a third time. Tony was not a very happy man that week (smile).

I was ultimately pleased with the end  result of the third design of “A Sign From Heaven Above,” but it was more than frustrating redoing the cover so many times. And, as a side note, the first two covers were completely original and weren’t like anything else that had ever been done before. It was only the model himself that was the same as GRL and on the other author’s cover.

So this time I’m doing it differently. When I release the preview of “Cherry Soda Cowboy,” that’s the final cover and I’m not changing it again. If it so happens another book is out there with the same model (model being the key word), or a web site is using that model, so be it. I love my cover, I paid for permission, it took a long time to design (not simple putting cherry soda and cowboys together), and I can legally use it. If there are any other books out there with that same model, I’m telling you in advance I didn’t plan it. As I stated, there are photos and stock images for sale and some are more popular than others. I haven’t figured out a way to do an exact search to see where the model has been used before, and they don’t tell you that when you buy the image.

And I promise this: the cover will be different and there’s no other like it out there with a title similar to “Cherry Soda Cowboy.” I doubt there’s another story like this out there anywhere either.