something new

Enabling Facebook’s Timeline

I haven’t checked into Timeline much because I haven’t had time. But it looks interesting and I will check it out at a later date.

So far, though, I’m not sure about whether or not I’ll really get into it. It might be a little too much info for my taste.

But I would imagine the really creative types, like those who have created completley false identities on other social media, will have a blast with this.

Here’s a link to mashable that shows how to enable Timeline.

For Those Thinking About Self-Publishing

Although this isn’t new, I figured I’d post it. I wanted to do it earlier but there have been a lot of things going on.

However, it is interesting and it is another choice for authors.

New Service for Authors Seeking to Self-Publish E-BooksBy JULIE BOSMAN
Published: October 2, 2011
The Perseus Books Group has created a distribution and marketing service that will allow authors to self-publish their own e-books, the company said on Sunday.

The new service will give authors an alternative to other self-publishing services and a favorable revenue split that is unusual in the industry: 70 percent to the author and 30 percent to the distributor. Traditional publishers normally provide authors a royalty of about 25 percent for e-books…read more

What About Gay Divorce in New York?

I’m finishing up a new m/m romance where there are several gay weddings and they all take place in New York.

There’s also a gay divorce in the book and I wanted to read up about how that’s being handled in New York. And being that straight divorce is handled differently from state to state…I know this because my younger brother went through a nasty divorce a year ago from his evil ex where he had to fight for 50% custody of his kids…I figured it can’t be any different for gay couples.

I found out gay couples have been getting “divorced” in NY since 2008, which is long before they were allowed to legally marry.

I also found out it gets complicated when kids are involved. And, as far as I can tell, unless there’s something I’ve missed, the courts are handling this case by case because there’s no actual law in place at this time.

So far, this is one thing I found:

(Reuters) – As New York’s same-sex couples head to the altar to celebrate their newly won right to marry, they can take comfort in the fact that, if it doesn’t work out, their right to get divorced in the state just got a lot easier as well.

State senators on Friday voted 33-29 to approve marriage equality legislation introduced by Governor Andrew Cuomo, a Democrat in his first year of office. New York will become the sixth and most populous U.S. state to allow gay marriage.

“One of the so-called benefits to marriage is actually divorce,” said Ruthann Robson, professor of law at the City University of New York. “If same-sex marriage is recognized, same-sex divorce would be recognized too.”

In fact, same-sex divorce was first recognized in New York in 2008, when an appeals court found that a same-sex marriage performed in Canada could be legally recognized in New York for the purposes of dissolving the union.

But without a formal law on the books, same-sex divorce in the state has proceeded on a case-by-case basis, creating some degree of uncertainty for same-sex couples looking to undo their unions, said Bettina Hindin, an attorney at Raoul Felder and Partners, who has represented same-sex couples in New York divorce proceedings.

Since same-sex marriages are now legally equivalent to heterosexual unions, same-sex couples’ right to divorce will be rooted in New York’s Domestic Relations Law, rather than cobbled together out of court rulings and individual judges’ decisions, according to Hindin.

“A lot of things are going to be easier” with legalized same-sex marriage, Hindin said. “It’s still somewhat out of the ordinary; this will make things far more ordinary.”

KIDS STILL AN ISSUE

If same-sex couples married in New York leave the state, however, they may run into trouble getting a divorce, especially if they end up in one of the 30 states that do not recognize same-sex marriage, said Susan Sommer, senior counsel at Lambda Legal, which advocates for gay rights.

In some states, such as Wyoming, courts have found a right to divorce even absent the right to marry. In other jurisdictions that don’t recognize same-sex marriages, such as Texas, attempts at same-sex divorce have yielded mixed results.

In 2010, two trial courts in Austin and Dallas granted two separate gay couples’ petitions for divorce. The Austin appeals court upheld the ruling on appeal, while the Dallas appeals court did not, ruling that the courts lacked authority to issue divorces for same-sex couples. Both cases are currently pending before the Texas Supreme Court.

“It can be a real bind for people, trapped in this legal limbo,” Sommer said.

Still, same-sex relationships are no more susceptible to divorce than their heterosexual counterparts, Sommer added. According to a 2008 report from the Williams Institute at the University of California Los Angeles, annual same-sex marriage divorce rates were about 2 percent, nearly identical to the rate for opposite-sex marriage.

“People go into their marriages expecting everything to work out, and for the majority of people that’s the case,” Sommer said. “But stuff happens.”

One issue that remains unresolved by the same-sex marriage vote is child custody, where one partner is a biological parent but the other has failed to adopt the child.

“Money is easy,” Hindin said. “It’s the children, the truly emotional piece of the relationship, that will be coming to the forefront and have to be dealt with by statute.”

"Indie" Author…or Self-Published Author?

Early this morning before I started working on a new series, I checked out a few bloggers I like to follow on a daily basis and found an interesting post. The title of the post suggested I was going to be reading about “Indie” authors. I’ve been published by small presses myself many times. I love “Indie” publishers and “Indie” authors and look forward to reading anything about them.

The blog post I’m talking about was a guest post on a publishing blog I frequent often. The regular author of the blog wrote a short introduction paragraph and I decided to skip it and move right into the guest blogger’s post to save time.

But I’d say about a quarter of the way into the guest post I stopped reading because things weren’t making sense. The author was talking about editing costs, cover artist costs, and a list of other expenses I didn’t expect to find in a blog post about “Indie” authors.

Then I started to wonder if I’d missed a few changes…whether or not it’s become common practice for “Indie” publishers to now charge authors fees. I’ve always been a little fanatical about this. The way publishing has always worked is that the publisher pays the author, with either an advance, a flat fee, or royalties. I’ve never paid a publisher a single cent to have any of my work published. I’ve never paid a literary agent a reading fee. For me, paying a publisher or paying a literary agent is an automatic red flag. And I stay far away from those types because I don’t think they are ethical.

I’ve been around for almost twenty years and I’ve seen a lot. I know for a fact there’s one small press out there that charges authors editing fees, and there have been literary agents charging reading fees since the beginning of time.

But as I continued to read this blog post something wasn’t right. The author of the post continued referring to herself as an “Indie” author, only it sounded more like she was talking about her experience as a self-published author.

So I went back and checked the blog owner’s introduction, which I should have done in the first place. And sure enough, the blog owner introduced the guest blogger as a self-published author, not an “Indie” author. And the post was about self-publishing, not small presses.

I’ve always been a staunch supporter of self-published authors. I admire them and I’ve supported a few right here on my blog. But as far as I’ve always known…and like I said I’ve been around for a long time…”Indie” publishers are considered small presses. And the distinction has always been crystal clear.

At first I thought maybe the guest blogger was so new she was using a term she shouldn’t have been using. But then I read the comment thread and found that I wasn’t the only one confused, especially with the title of the post. Others thought it was misleading, too. I found this on wiki. But the biggest surprise of all was that for every comment that said the guest blogger was misleading the readers, there was another comment defending the use of “Indie” when referring to a self-published author.

So I learned something knew today. Evidently, “Indie” is now being used to refer to self-published authors as well as small presses.

I’m not commenting with my opinion at all. I don’t think it makes a huge difference in the grand scheme for anyone. It might even catch on and become common practice. But I will say this. If I ever decide to self-publish anything (and I’ve thought about self-publishing very seriously in the past year), I’m going to proudly call myself a self-published author, not an “Indie” author. If I’m going to spend my hard earned money publishing my own book, I want full credit as a proud self-published author and I don’t want anyone thinking I was published by a small press. I also don’t want to mislead anyone either.