Where o where to start…

Apr 11th, 2009 | By | Category: CG Blog

It occurs to me that I better give some background or none of what I write will make sense.

We’re currently putting together Issue 6, which has a Western theme. We’ve got our content set, and in fact have it all in hand – which is good, because we need to put together the Print edition, submit the electronic content and Cover art, and order our proof copy with enough time to get it and check for errors before the release date (May 1). I was supposed to work on that some today… but didn’t. Because we were celebrating my mom’s birthday. Fortunately I’d done a bit of it about a week ago, so we’re not really behind.

Our content for Issue 6:

  • 5 short stories
  • 1 nonfiction article
  • Cover art
  • Inside art (1)
  • Promotional material

“Wait… what? ‘Promotional material’?”  I hear you say. Well, the article we have is a doozy, and the writer has acquired some photos and materials to accompany the piece. We’re not quite ready to reveal what it all is yet, but here’s a little sneak preview to tantalize you: If all goes well, we may be hosting a film screening in conjunction with the issue. Of what, you ask? …we’ll let you know when we get confirmation.

The photos/materials have proven to be a bit of an education for us, in terms of learning about copyright and as business owners. The foundation which owns the rights to the materials usually charges fees for use; the writer of our article managed to get those fees waived, but we can only use the materials in certain ways.

We also discovered, in the foundation’s standard licencing contract, that we only allowed to post the materials online at a maximum of 80 dpi. We usually post our art content much higher than that, but the foundation was reluctant to give permission to go any higher. I think the logic is, if the higher-resolution versions were online, people could steal the copyrighted material in its best format – an understandable concern. It looks like we’re going to agree to the condition; in every other way the foundation has been extremely generous, and we can still use the highest quality copies of the materials into the print, PDF and Kindle editions.

The film we’re hoping to screen is proving to be somewhat complicated too. The film is technically Public Domain, which means that anyone can use it in any way they wish – BUT, there are a number of songs in the film which are copyrighted. Also, most available copies of the film are in exceedingly poor condition (the film is quite old). The same foundation has what is probably the cleanest copy in existence, and that’s what we’re trying to get. They’re asking all sorts of questions about why we want the film: What type of screening will it be? Where will it take place? How many people do we anticipate attending? Will we charge admission? Will it be advertised? etc. Most of these questions we can’t really answer, since we were waiting on doing this legwork until we were reasonably certain we could actually get the film. We’re doing the best we can to provide the information they want… it’s an odd sort of line to be walking. Hopefully we’ll be able to sort it all out.

So: Issue 6. All the content has been edited and sent to the writers for them to consider. We’ve gotten responses from most of them already. I mentioned over on Livejournal that the quality of writing for this month’s submissions was surprisingly high. I was anticipating that people would shy away from Western since it’s not too “mainstream”, but people really rose to the challenge. We have 5 very impressive short stories, and had to turn away several that under other circumstances we’d have been happy to accept.

The cover art is, I have to say, absolutely spectacular – I don’t want to mar it by putting our title over it. We also got a terrific piece of b&w art that we’ve accepted for inside; it’s got an elf in a 10-gallon hat, too!

We actually have an interview ready to go as well, but we decided to push it back to Issue 7 – not because it was bad by any means, but because Issue 6 is shaping up so well and so chock-full that we didn’t want to risk burying a very good and fascinating interview.

As I said, our current top priority is putting together the Print edition so we can get the proof ordered and on its way to us. That’s what I’ll be working on tomorrow, with a goal of having it finished by Monday night. (Tomorrow I’ll go more in-depth into the formatting process.) After that we have to format the PDF and Kindle editions and start working on the website. Today we also got some of the contracts in the mail; we have to check them over, sign them, and send back copies along with payment checks.

I’ve also got to send rejection letters. I think next month, when rejection-letter time comes around again, I’m going to dedicate an entire post to discussing Rejections from our point of view… I have a lot more to say about it than I can write about tonight.

This was sort of 3/4 an introductory post since most of the background isn’t common knowledge. Sorry about that – I’ll try to keep things more “what’s-happening-now”. Sadly, sometimes exposition just can’t be avoided.

Question, queries, posers?

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Leave a comment »

  1. Wow, that’s some serious work running a magazine. Very interesting to learn all those behind the screen details.

    Lol, should I ever manage to write a short story again (the last was 2005), I can at least provide my own photos; no copyright hassle. 🙂

    (Found this blog via Magical Words, btw.)

  2. […] last note: the current word is, it looks like getting that copy of the film I mentioned for a screening “will not be a problem”. […]

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