Tuesday, July 02, 2013

"It's free" is not forever; Sometimes "private modes" are good: details of my own future publication plans

In the relatively near future, I expect to be submitting a new book, “Do Ask Do Tell III” for editing and publication and sale on Amazon, particularly for the Kindle market.
The book will comprise tow “sub-books”.  “Book 1” will be the “real DADT III”, comprising an Introduction, five chapters, and an epilogue, summing up developments in personal liberty areas since my most recent book (in 2002).  There is preliminary version (now rather incomplete, especially given the progress on same-sex marriage) online, as explained on my Oct. 1, 2011 blog posting on my “Book Reviews” blog).  The DADT-III book covers the material by topic rather than chronologically.  This has turned out to be a somewhat clumsy concept, because the concepts and issues are so inter-related and keep generating more potential “devil’s advocate” arguments. 

It isn’t practical to rewrite the mammoth  1997 “Do Ask Do Tell” book to bring it up to date to 2013, for a number of reasons.  Length is one.  And particularly would be difficult would be re-covering the whole history of “don’t ask don’t tell”.  In the early days of the policy (the mid 1990’s), I had a direct relationship to the issue, even though I am not in the military (I was at one time).  That didn’t remain so, and my attention gradually shifted into areas like Internet speech and downstream liability issues (COPA, and eventually SOPA), and eldercare (because of my mother’s issues).
Production of a satisfactory manuscript for publication would probably require two editing cycles by separate parties, and one more substantial travel event for me.  Unforeseeable disruptions (like property damage from weather, or simply software or infrastructure failure) can slow the process, because “the buck stops with me”, and I am “on my own”.  That also means that I cannot respond easily to repeated calls or questions about progress or particularly the contents (for reasons of integrity).  Anyone working with me – please respect that.   

What would be practical, though, would be to make a video, actually a short indie film, in which I give my entire chronology and show how the issues grow out of it.  Interview or “lecture” film is potentially more interesting than people think (the most recent example is “Inequality for All”, Movies blog, June 24), but I would add a lot of background video and images of real places as I talk. 

As I’ve blogged before, my main concern is the “rights” and “responsibilities” of those who are “different”, and there is a lot of potential inductive reasoning, as in so many episodes in my life (in various phases or “eras”) there was obvious pressure from others as to what would be expected of me (as a male member of the community), and gradually this accumulates to suggest a philosophy that can be broken down into statements and reasons (yes, like in plane geometry class).

I also have a novel manuscript (“Angel’s Brother”) that I want to put into the editing and publication cycle by early fall.

Finally, there is music, which I have discussed on the “Drama and Music News” blog, most recently on June 29.  I would like to produce the three piano sonatas from my “coming of age”.  Doing so, with my Casio and Sibelius software on the MacBook, will require assistance, and it is looking like it will require a major software upgrade, before the end of the year.  There are some technical issues in producing a usable manuscript for others to play from.  The practical suggestion of presenting some of the material in smaller miniatures (like Schumann) is quite useful.

Although I have been quite open and public on my websites, blogs, and social media (right now, everything is in public mode), it may be necessary to post some interim versions of material (especially video material) in private mode at first.  Both YouTube and Vimeo offer this possibility. 
It could be necessary to upgrade Internet cable service (to business class, or to FIOS) to have speeds fast enough for uploading longer videos.  I’m watching progress in the telecommunications world in Internet speeds for home use in the IS (compared to other countries like South Korea and Finland) quite closely. 

Another effort would to “simplify” my websites – eliminate redundant or old material (mainly form “doaskdotell.com”) and make it easier for people to find any critical material (especially the movie and book reviews – those before 2007 are on the old “Web 1.0” format which I set up in 1997; new ones are on the blogs).  This could include more indexing and more equating of blogs to domain names. 

I placed all the content of my first DADT book online 13 months after publication for free viewing, and the second one almost immediately.  (I kept the material current with "running footnote files" in simple HTML format.) Am I competing with myself?  As a practical matter I would like people who cannot pay or do not want to pay to still read the material.  That was certainly "politically effective" during all those years of debate about "Don't Ask Don't Tell" and other "family values" issues.  I wasn't going away, and had few costs.  Of course, I cannot claim piracy, and might undermine any future claims of infringement.  (There were some examples of plagiarism that came to my attention.)  Others might feel that my doing so can even affect their copyright protection, and they may have more immediate need for the media to pay its own way in providing its own income flow.  Publishers, even "supporting self-publishing" companies might fear it could undermine income (but not with book prices so high, although Kindle and maybe Nook can change the game). I am not sure yet how I will handle the new books (the preliminary DADT-III, two years old, is out there now).  But I am, as I noted, very likely to use the private viewing opportunities for video and music, especially during final editing. Understand also that "older" non-fiction books (my :DADT-II book came out in late 2002 and is over a decade old) are hard to sell on their own merit. I constantly tell publishers who call this.  
But in the long run, the intention is to work with the commercial world, and break through.  Jaron Lanier is right: "It's free" is not forever.  I do have several commercial screenplay drafts, one in particular maps to the “books” with a sci-fi setup.  More about that another time.  I do have my hands full, in "retirement", as I approach age 70, perhaps a chess endgame.

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