Takeaways from RainbowCon 2014 Day Two

So did I mention there were strippers dressed as firemen at the Welcome Event last night…No? There were. And the boys from Florida Thunder worked very hard for their tips. Very hard.

But enough of that, let’s get to the good stuff–the panels. Last night was the Pornodome: Erotica vs. Romance vs. Porn.  I attended several panels again today: Trends in Young Adult Fiction, Contract Dos and Don’ts, Using Stereotypes To Your Advantage, Moving Past The G–LBTQ Fiction, Don’t Quit Your Day Job, and Taboos in Romance.

  • Romance is a story based on a relationship betwn 2 people with the sex furthering the romance
  • Erotica has story and a journey of a character(s). Porn is sex with very little story
  • Erotica has a relationship-not necessarily a love relationship-can be a trust relationship like BDSM or in stories with no HEA
  • If the explicit sex scenes can be cut out and the relationship is still there, that’s erotica
  • Publishers define the lines between romance or erotic romance or erotica
  • Consensus-as long as readers can find your books, you’re okay but many online retailers miscategorize ertotica, romance, and porn
  • Romance is a 1.5 billion dollar business that has been keeping the publishing world afloat
  • Literature comes before social change. LGBT romance has led to acceptance and now marriage equality
  • Women reading gay romance made the business model successful enough to become popular and accepted
  • Young Adult fiction needs more real villains. Readers are not delicate flowers. Stories don’t have to be sanitized because life is not
  • The American Library Association has a Rainbow Project to encourage Young Adult LGBT purchases by libraries
  • Miss Condit, True Colors, Rainbow Reviews all have Young Adult novel reviews
  • How do you make the classic tropes of first love and coming out fresh? Plot driven intimacy and new genre settings
  • Coming out is always fresh to the Young Adult audience because YA readers are still coming out and it’s new to them
  • Flamingnet Teen Book Reviews lets you submit your Young Adult book and teenagers choose whether to read and review it
  • Contracts–Do not give up your worldwide rights if your publisher doesn’t translate. Don’t sell your audio rights to a publisher that doesn’t make audio books. Don’t give print rights to digital only publishers
  • Contracts–Watch for a similar works clause–If you sign away your rights then the publisher can get a more famous author to rewrite your novel or in the universe you created
  • Contracts–A contract should outline how a breach of contract should be handled so authors are protected from shady publishers
  • Contracts–Uncooperative publishers who refuse certified breach letters–contact a lawyer, contact 3rd party distributors to take down your books with a cease and desist letter
  • Contracts–If an author is dealing with a shady publisher in breach, make sure you talk about it and don’t refer authors to them
  • Contracts–When your rights revert to you the author gets their original unedited work back. Some publishers allow authors to purchase the edited version and sometimes the cover, too
  • Contracts–Make sure you get a proof copy before the work is printed
  • Contracts–Make sure you have a definition of the publisher’s idea of net income. Does the publisher take out distribution fees, editing fees, printing fees, etc.?
  • Contracts–Make sure royalties clauses say when you will get paid not just how or how much
  • Contracts–Make sure there’s an audit clause and your have the right to hire someone to audit their practices concerning your books
  • Contracts–Make sure price adjustments have a grace period so your book doesn’t start at $6.99 and then remain $0.99 for the rest of the contract period
  • Contracts–Never sign away a work for life. Anything over 5 years with a small publisher is excessive
  • Contracts–Watch buyout clauses. Don’t let a publisher force you to buyout your contract at an exorbitant fee just because your book is not selling
  • Contracts–There should always be a clause saying that your work will be printed within a year of the projected publication date
  • Contracts–Make sure if a publisher sells outstanding inventory after your contract end, that there’s a claus saying they have to pay you royalties on the inventory
  • Contracts–Watch for right of first refusal paired with future books kept at same contract terms
  • Contracts–Never ever sign a non disclosure agreement so that when a publisher starts acting badly you can tell people about it
  • Negative reviews do not affect sales only authors attacking reviewers affects sales
  • Stereotypes are bad vs archetypes good. Caricature vs. character
  • It becomes a stereotype because there’s an element of truth but that behavior shouldn’t be the only thing about the character
  • Stereotypes can be written and then you can twist the stereotype, enlighten and inform by breaking them
  • Romances already have one main stereotype–the Happily Ever After–so you can’t have any others in your story
  • Gay men can be capable and masculine-Put them where they are without justifying why they belong there
  • Top or Bottom? Story has nothing to do with who fucks who but instead how much they grow in the story
  • Hot guy stereotypes are the norm but it would be validating to see more realistic body types
  • Love makes anyone beautiful in the eyes of their lover, so write some average looking characters
  • Stereotypes change over time but are always a gross generalization two dimensional character
  • Make sure you do your research and build authentic LGBTQ characters or they won’t ring true
  • Women’s sexuality can be more fluid possibility due to biology and society as well as expectation
  • If you have a bisexual character they do not have to have sex with both genders in the story to prove their bisexuality
  • Editors want stories with bisexual or trans characters that are not about their sexuality but just happen to be bisexual or trans
  • All the blogs say you have to write everyday but give up the guilt if you can’t do every day try once a week
  • Prioritize your new book writing over doing promotion over doing blog posts over doing social media
  • Don’t shirk your responsibilities to your family just to write-Writing is selfish. Quitting your job means going hungry
  • If you quit your day job then you lose life experience that you can write about
  • That time you sneak in to write is the job you like best–the other one pays the bills and makes writing possible
  • A lot of famous authors like Kurt Vonnegut and Henry James also had day jobs while they wrote
  • Don’t be angry about your day job–it’s what pays the bills. You can write in comfort because of it
  • Nobody wants to go to the grave missing out on doing fun things in life or let relationships fail because of writing
  • You have to let your day job writing go to write creatively and not let the bad habits of day job writing follow you to your fiction writing
  • Not writing full time forces you to write the stories of your heart not what makes the most money or on a deadline
  • If you’re tired don’t write just walk away
  • If you write full-time you run the risk of writing becomes the job you hate
  • Don’t stress just publish when you can and enjoy being creative
  • Word counts are good for submitting to a publisher but not meant for daily stress creation. Writing takes as long as it does
  • How hard are taboo stories to sell? Incest stories can’t be sold on Amazon even with a small publishing house if it’s flagged by a reader
  • Highly animalistic taboo fiction like tentacles or shifters are publishable if it has a fully human intelligence–it is not considered beastiality
  • Taboos are all very fine lines because what one person likes disgusts someone else
  • Taboos fiction is not hard to come by but it is hard to sell–A taboo book needs the right marketing behind it
  • Anthropomorphic (human looking animals or animal trait humans) taboos are rare but publishers are looking for them
  • Often readers can’t find books with taboos and go to fanfic online to find what they want to read
  • Priest taboos– religion vs the body’s urges is even being cashed in for male model calenders

Whew! It’s midnight so I’m going to get some sleep for another full day of workshops tomorrow.

 

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