galleys

Reading Through the Newest Galleys: Pledges with Cleis Press

For those who might not know, I think the best way to explain galleys in publishing is that they are the final edits…the last chance to look something over and make small changes…before a book goes to print for publication. I do this with everything, including my own self-pubbed books before they are launched as e-books. I actually have my own galleys for my self-pubbed books. It’s those last minute details that sometimes make a huge difference.

In this case, I’m reading the galley for an upcoming book by Cleis Press I’m in. The title is “Pledges,” and it’s a collection of short erotic gay fiction about frat boys. I think I’ve posted about this one before, and I will post again on the publication date, but I wanted to post a little something now in case I forget. I get so used to things moving faster with digital publishing that some of the things I truly enjoy the most slip by unnoticed.

And being a part of books like this one is, and always has been, one of the things I enjoy most about being a writer. It’s also one the few remaining things I cling to as publishing makes so many constant changes and I’m forced to change with it. With books like these you aren’t going to see aggressive authors from small start up e-presses go for the kill with all kinds of annoying things they *think* will help promote their books. The audience for books like this is out there, it will always be out there, and the best kind of promotion for books like this is to talk about it, give product descriptions, and let the reader decide on whether or not they want to buy it and read it. In other words, no one has to go through hoops, click like on Amazon, give fake ratings with multiple fake identities on Goodreads, and talk about the new love of their life to garner devotion on other social media. It’s really about as plain and simple as it gets, and I’ve always considered myself very lucky to have been a part of the older publishing process that really worked hard to cater more to readers than they did to try and sell books to them like snake oil salesmen. It’s also why I tend to fall short in the self-promotion department with my own books.

This book is also what I consider classic gay erotica…or what’s left of gay erotica in these changing times when so many gay authors are growing disillusioned. Each writer writes about something erotic that deals with “pledges,” and each writer handles the topic differently. I’ve read a few of the stories already and I think readers are going to enjoy it. I didn’t read all the stories, though. I focused mainly on my own so that I have something to look forward to reading when I get my author copies. And that’s something else I have to admit I miss more than anything about old publishing. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve embraced digital and I wouldn’t part with my e-reader for anything. But seeing that book you’re in, in print, in hard copy, is a feeling I just can’t explain. And as much as I love digital books, the feeling just isn’t the same.

At the bottom of this post is part of the introduction from Editor, Shane Allison, who is an underestimated and highly amazing gay author.

I will post an excerpt from my story when the book is released. The back story to this is that I wrote a novel with a pen name about a year ago and the editor with that publisher decided to cut 10,000 words from the novel. That had never happened to me before, and I hope it never happens again either. I smiled and took it like a professional, and I’m glad I did. Because the ten thousand words they cut I re-worked and turned into a short story for this book. I liked it too much to just let it crash and burn. And it is original and has never been published anywhere else before.


As I read over these hot new stories of pledge erotica, it took

me back to my days of being a twentysomething, when I used

school and studying as an excuse to be lazy, when

student was scribbled in a box when being asked what one’s occupation was



on a job application. I’ve been out of school for nine years now

but having the luxury of living in a college town where there’s

never a shortage of smoking-hot college boys, I am constantly

reminded of what I’m missing, especially during rush week when


an all-new crop of twinks set out to pledge their chosen frat.