Category: boy scouts of America

Disney Dumps Boy Scouts; Dancing with Cats; Audible Lowers Royalties

Disney Dumps Boy Scouts

Due to the ban the Boy Scouts of America have with regard to not allowing openly gay leaders and employees, Walt Disney World in Florida has discontinued contributions to local Boy Scout chapters. (You can be an openly gay Boy Scout…until you’re eighteen, and then it stops.)

Disney World, located in Orlando, did not make an announcement regarding its dumping of BSA. Reuters reports that the news came via an email to local members from Scouts’ Central Florida Council Board President Robert Utsey.

Utsey wrote: ‘We recognize that many Scout Units have received financial  support over the last several years from this grant opportunity and are sad to see it go.

Once again, the right to freedom of speech is a wonderful thing that often comes with consequences. Especially when that freedom of speech is geared toward anything discriminatory or defamatory. And Disney can choose to donate its money wherever it wants. Just as the Boy Scouts can continue to discriminate against gays.

You can read more here.

Dancing with Cats

I’m not always a huge fan of book trailers because I’ve seen authors spend way too much money and they’ll never see a return on that investment. I rarely buy a book because of a book trailer. But I also think that sometimes some book trailers work and this is one of them.

Chronicle Books is releasing a  15th anniversary edition of Dancing With Cats.

The book, which was originally published in 1999, is dedicated to photos of humans dancing with cats. The book sold more than 100,000 copies, in an era when Internet was less widely adopted and before Keyboard Cat hit the scene.

To celebrate the anniversary of the book and the latest edition, the publisher has created a playful book trailer. We’ve embedded the video above for your entertainment.

This not only proves that sometimes book trailers work, but also that some books are timeless.

You can read more here. You can watch the trailer, too.

Audible Lowers Royalties

Audible is a web site where publishers and self-published authors can launch the audio versions of their books. I don’t know much about it personally because I only have one on audible, An Officer and His Gentleman and it was launched through a publisher. It’s one area of self-publishing I haven’t ventured into yet because I’m not certain there’s a huge market for it. But I’m really not sure and I haven’t discounted doing more on Audible by any means. Most of all, I think it could be fun. In the past, several readers have told me they’ve listened to my book on audio and enjoyed it.

Amazon owns Audible. They purchased it not too long ago and launched the ACX Platform. Amazon has recently lowered royalties.

Up until now, Amazon was offering an escalating rate of 50%–90% on ACX titles sold exclusively; now it is dropping the rate to a non-escalating 40%.

You can check out the link above, but that’s about it for now. There are, however, several other news briefs with that link that are interesting. I like Publisher’s Weekly, but it is paid content and I know most of my blog readers don’t have memberships.

As I said, I have no idea how this will affect authors. But I do predict that Amazon will continue to lower royalty rates as time passes. I have no comment on that one way or the other. It is what it is.

Amazon Publishing; Penny Marshall Book; Madonna as BoyScout; Ryan Seacrest Break Up

The following article about Amazon Publishing and Penny Marshall’s book, My Mother was Nuts, dates back to 2011, but I wanted to do a follow up post since Marshall’s book deal was announced to see where Marshall’s book is and how it’s been doing. I haven’t seen much around, and I haven’t read the book myself. But I’m thinking of buying the kindle version this week. I have a heavy fiction schedule until this summer and I like reading books like this for pleasure.

Ms. Marshall’s memoir will be published as both a hardcover and an e-book in the fall of 2012. Terms were not disclosed, but an industry executive with knowledge of the auction said that Amazon paid $850,000 for world English-language rights. The executive said that was around $100,000 more than the next-highest bid, and that the price included an “Amazon premium” on account of the acquisition’s being a kind of trial balloon.

Despite being part of a bookselling powerhouse, the new imprint has a disadvantage when it comes to bookstore distribution for physical books, which still make up most of the market. Many independent booksellers, as well as bookstore chain and archrival Barnes & Noble, are considered unlikely to carry any Amazon titles.

It was huge news when it happened. I don’t have any facts to back me up, but I would be curious to see if they still consider Amazon at a “disadvantage” with regard to distribution, brick and mortar bookstores, and print books. Even though a lot has balanced out now with e-books since then, a lot of those “independent booksellers” and chains haven’t been reporting great sales, some have gone under, and I’m not sure if anyone cares whether or not they carry Amazon titles. The fact remains if I want the book, as a consumer, I don’t have to go to them. I can go to Amazon…for print or digital.

This is what other industry “veterans” had to say at the time:

 Other industry veterans pointed out that if Amazon overpaid for a less-than-stellar project, it would only make the new publishing imprint just like every other literary house in New York.

“They’re going to come to understand our business, and it’s going to be painful,” said one longtime publishing executive.

This is what I saw this morning on Amazon for Penny Marshall’s book ranking:

Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #29 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store) .zg_hrsr { margin: 0; padding: 0; list-style-type: none; } .zg_hrsr_item { margin: 0 0 0 20px; } .zg_hrsr_rank { display: inline-block; width: 50px; text-align: right; }

Evidently, the book is still number one in three different categories. I don’t know how long it’s been there, or how well the book has done compared to other celeb bios pubbed by other large publishers. But when a book reaches this point, everyone involved with that book did something right.

Madonna as Boy Scout

The GLAAD awards were held last night and Madonna not only showed up in a quasi boy scout uniform, but she also made her feelings known about how she feels about the boy scout’s stand with regard to gays.

Dressed in an oversized Boy Scout uniform, Madonna took the organization to task for its policy that bans gay people from joining. “I wanted to be a Boy Scout, but they wouldn’t let me join,” she said during a 10-minute speech. “I think that’s f–ked up. I know how to build a fire. I can pitch a tent … most importantly, I know how to scout for boys.”

You can read more here. She also dives into a few other issues that frustrate her. I’m not sure this is the kind of thing that always helps the quest, especially for those gay people who aren’t as outrageous as Madonna and don’t particularly care for Madonna’s style. But at least she’s saying something and she gets points for that with me. What we need are a few more to speak up, in different ways.

Ryan Seacrest Break Up

Stop rolling your eyes. I know what you’re thinking while you’re reading this post. I’m just putting down the facts now. This is what I’ve read so far about the Seacrest and Hough break up. And no, I wasn’t born yesterday (smile).

Entertainment mogul Ryan Seacrest and his dancer-actress girlfriend Julianne Hough have reportedly ended their relationship.

I like Seacrest. I don’t know who Hough is, nor do I care. I’m sure she cares nothing about me. We’ll both live happy lives in spite of this.

The pair reportedly dated for more than two years. Seacrest gushed about Hough two months ago to TV-host Chelsea Handler, calling his then-girlfriend “phenomenal” and “the best part of each day.”

The source claimed their busy work schedules were challenging and that they’ve decided to live apart, People magazine reported.

There are a few comments from Hough, which you can read here.

What more can be said? As I stated above, I like Seacrest no matter who he’s dating…or not dating. But I do think it’s time he found a wholesome nice girl to settle down with (big smile).

Release Date: With This Cowboy I Love So Freely; Boy Scouts of America on Gay Members

I just found out the release date of “With This Cowboy I Love So Freely,” will be February 8, 2013. This is an anthology with some of the western themed gay romance stories I’ve had pubbed with over the years. I didn’t even know I’d done enough with them to come up with an anthology, but when the editor said I did and she suggested we do the anthology, I figured it would be a good way for people who don’t like to purchase short stories alone to get a collection in a larger book.

Here’s the book description, and I’ll post again with links when it’s released on the 8th.

 In this collection of Ryan Field stories that is focused on erotic cowboy love, the gay romance and emotion isn’t overlooked either. In “A Life Filled with Awesome Love” set in 1959, young Travis finds the cowboy of his dreams through an ad in the back of a rodeo magazine. In “Something for Saint Jude,” the main character finds his passion, but he had to take a cruise to discover it was in his backyard all along. And then there’s poor Noah in “Cowboy Mike and Buddy Boy” who falls in love with a married Cowboy and he doesn’t know where to run when the wife finds out. One story is slightly quirky, and the love and emotion is focused more on positive self-discovery than finding a man. And then there’s a New Adult story in “Cowboy Howdy,” where two young guys from different parts of the country meet and fall in love their first semester in college. This is a book of true love in its finest form, and the ability with which to love freely and openly. In a world where love is the only thing that promises a happy ending.

Here is a list of stories in the book. The book is about 50,000 words in length, and the stories range from 5,000 words to 12,000.

Cowboy Howdy
Missing Jackson’s Hole
Kevin Loves Cowboys
Something for St. Jude
That Cowboy in the Window
Cowboy Mike and Buddy Boy
A Life Filled with Awesome Love

Boy Scouts of America Rethink Gay Members:

In an interesting turn of events that most people didn’t expect, the Boy Scouts of America are about to rethink the idea of banning gays from becoming members. I honestly don’t know much about the Boy Scouts. I was never one and never wanted to be one. But I do know gay men who were Boy Scouts and of course no one knew they were gay at the time. Half of them didn’t even know it at the time. And, all of the gay men I know who were Boy Scouts, or who supported Boy Scouts, have stopped all support because of their stand on banning openly gay members. I know straight men who have gay brothers, cousins, neighbors, and friends, who have also stopped their support because of the ban on gay members.

So while I’d like to think this is a nice gesture and that the Boy Scouts of America are starting to truly believe gay men are not threats to them, and that gay men will not hurt or change their organization in any way, I tend to think the main reason this has come up is because of the pressure they’ve been getting and the lack of support they’ve been receiving, which could lead them into extinction.  

In any event, at least it’s progress and we’re moving forward. If the Boy Scouts do allow gay members I think the rest of the world will see nothing really changed and all that controversy was much ado about nothing. But there’s also a catch to all this:

The organization’s national executive board is expected to discuss lifting the ban on gay members at its regularly scheduled board meeting next week in Texas.

“The policy change under discussion would allow the religious, civic or educational organizations that oversee and deliver Scouting to determine how to address this issue,” spokesman Deron Smith said in an email to Reuters.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, the United Methodist Church and the Catholic Church have the largest youth membership in the Boy Scouts among faith-based organizations.

What I think this is basically saying is that they aren’t lifting the ban against gays completely. They are offering choices to those organizations overseeing scouting. It sounds like a way for the Boy Scouts of America to put an end to discrimination in a general sense, and yet at the same time support the stand they have always had in an indirect way. But I could be wrong about that. It’s too soon to tell.

This is interesting, too:

The Boy Scouts has also faced criticism for keeping private files covering decades of child sex abuse incidents within the organization. The Scouts released thousands of pages of files in October covering incidents from 1965 to 1985.

But this quote I find fascinating:

The Family Research Council, which said in December it would pull its business with UPS because the package delivery company had decided to cease funding of the Boy Scouts, said on Monday the Scouts should resist the pressure to change its policy.

“If the board capitulates to the bullying of homosexual activists, the Boy Scouts’ legacy of producing great leaders will become yet another casualty of moral compromise,” Family Research Council President Tony Perkins said in a statement.

The problem with this statement is that the Family Research Council underestimates gay people in general, and just how many of us there are that are not represented well. This is something I’m always talking about here on this blog and I have a feeling I’ll be talking about it as they lower me into the grave someday. Yes, there are “homosexual” bully activists who do apply pressure. I agree with the Family Council on that 100% and I really don’t like to see anyone being bullied. But then there is the issue of discrimination, and what the Family Council fails to realize is that I’m gay and I’m not a bully activist. I’m not a radical, I’m not a left wing liberal carrying a vegan sign, and I’m not shouting or screaming at them to change anything. And I think I’m speaking for the silent majority when I say this. And not just for gay people. I think I’m speaking for straight people who have gay relatives, friends, and co-workers. We’re not bullies and we’re not activists. What we are is tired of this brand of discrimination, and we’re tired of the double standards that have been pulled with regard to child sexual abuse. And what happens when we get tired is we dismiss you completely and you become obsolete, and I don’t think you want that to happen.

As I said, I’m far from a bully activist. But I’m not willing to be suppressed anymore either. And I think a lot of these conservative religious based organizations fail to actually grasp that the world around them is changing. We aren’t willing to put up with bans on gays and at the same time pretend pedophiles within organizations like the Boy Scouts haven’t been abusing little boys in the worst possible ways. We aren’t going to bully you or pressure you. Nope. We’re just going to forget all about you and you’ll become obsolete. Frankly, as things stand now, I wouldn’t allow a child of mind to be in any groups like this just based on the child abuse allegations alone.