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Hello Monday – December 2020

This month's episode of Hello Monday appears only as a blog. There is no video or podcast edition. Thank you.


Topics Covered This Month:

Who We Are and How We Do It All

Festival Winners Now Listed

Now Hiring: Blue Pencil Editors

Now Hiring: Short Story Writers

Introducing Arts Ex Machina 3.0 Magazine

What Should You Write Next?

Blue Forge Press Audio Editions

Independent Audio Editions

Increasing Royalties & Direct Shipping

Premium Websites


Welcome to Hello Monday, the monthly, company-wide update for the volunteer-run 501(c)3 nonprofit, Blue Legacy. My name is Jennifer DiMarco. I’m a director, author, musician, and game programmer at Blue Legacy and also the CFO. It was a pleasure to write today’s episode.


Who We Are and How We Do It All


The incredible story of who we are and how we fund everything we do – including the average costs we cover to produce a book, album, game or film – can be found in detail in the November episode of Hello Monday here: https://youtu.be/wFohbMgWae8


Festival Winners Now Listed


Your wish is our command. At the request of our artisans, the winners of all of our past festivals are now listed at www.BlueForgeFilms.com. Just click festivals and scroll down. Every official award is listed for:


Take 8 Film Festival

Take 8 Film Festival: Forest

Take 8 Film Festival: White Room

Take 8 Film Festival: Catacombs

Spark Forge Film Festival

Forge Flashpoint Film Festival

Forge Flashpoint Film Festival 2

Forge Flashpoint Film Festival 3

Forge Flashpoint Film Festival 4

Forge Flashpoint Film Festival 5

Blackwood Film Anthology

Saint August Chapel Film Anthology

Wonderland Film Anthology


IMDb appears to have changed how studios can add awards to actor’s pages so we’re working with them to figure our that next step. In the mean time, I will personally keep the festival page at Blue Forge Films updated with each new festival.


Now Hiring: Blue Pencil Editors


Some of you are already aware of our efforts to hire blue pencil editors over the last five years and how horrible those experiences have been. I can’t swing a stick without hitting someone telling me what a great editor they are and sending us books marked up with red pen that ignore an author’s individual voice and style and completely homogenize the work.


But despite the fact that – so far – I trust only Brianne not to obliterate an author’s voice (which is why I hired her as Senior Editor of Blue Forge Press), there is another truth that can’t be denied: She needs help. So this coming year, we’re going to try a different approach.


We have forty 10,000-word stories that need to be edited. Not red pencil edited. Blue pencil edited. Let’s quickly define those terms for folks who don’t know:


Blue pencil editing is spelling, grammar, formatting, and punctuation use. It’s also making sure a story fits with Blue Legacy’s ideals. This mean no sexual violence (that means non-consensual sex of any kind as well as obvious acts of violence); no violence against children; no sex involving minors; no animal cruelty; no unexamined phobias or isms within the narrative outside a purposeful character trait.


Red pencil editing is about content, pacing, and overall theme. I have Brianne for red pencil and I can say in all honesty and with complete confidence: She can vote differently from an author, she can think, feel and live differently from an author and she will still respect and preserve their voice as long as they are promoting bringing people together – not pushing us all further apart.


We’re looking for blue pencil editors only.


Throughout this last month of 2020 and throughout all of 2021, I’m going to be testing out various blue pencil editors and trying to find a team for Brianne. The team members who work out best I’ll ask to join us in 2022 as paid blue pencil editors who will receive a 5% royalty on every book they edit.


If you’d like to be considered for one of these positions in 2022 or if you’d just like to help Brianne and move Blue Forge Press forward faster and cleaner, please email me today at blueforgegroup@gmail.com. You must have the phrase “Blue Pencil Editors” in the subject of your email. Please follow that very basic direction if you’re serious about being considered.


I’ll be looking for people who are excellent proof readers, who understand how to format a manuscript, and who can give me a seven-day turnaround on 10,000 words. This is not an easy job.


Now Hiring: Short Story & Serial Writers


In February of 2021 you’ll see Blue Forge Press launch a new kind of book: Blue Flash books. Blue Flash books are digest sized: 5x8 inches. And they’re skinny: About 10,000 words. These smaller sized books are perfect lunch break reading material. At $7.99 they’re less than the cost of most mass market paperbacks and they introduce readers to new writers.

Writers can create 10,000 to 20,000 stand-alone stories to be published by this imprint, or they can publish longer, serialized work divided into 10,000-word segments.


However, we won’t publish just anything. We covered this in November’s Hello Monday and we’ll touch on it again later in this episode but we don’t publish everything our authors send us. This is a misconception that we’re gently trying to clarify.


We welcome our authors to write for this new imprint. To pitch an idea, send an email to Blue Forge Press with the subject heading: Blue Flash Books. Don’t forget that subject heading or your email will go to the wrong person and your response will be delayed by weeks.


In your email, tell us your genre, the basic idea, and whether or not this would be a 10,000-word stand-alone or a serialized work. If it’s a serialized work, how many volumes of 10,000 words each do you anticipate? Also let us know when you’ll be turning volumes in... and then keep those deadlines.


If you send us a stand-alone and we accept it, it will be published in thirty days.


If you send us a serialized longer work, we’ll collect your 10,000-word documents until we have five and then we’ll publish the all five within thirty days of turning in your fifth file.


Authors receive the full 20% royalty on Blue Flash books and can still pick up copies for resale at 50% off the $7.99 retail.


Introducing Arts Ex Machina 3.0 Magazine


We tried to keep this under wraps but loose lips launch ships apparently ;) In 2021, I’ll be launching the third incarnation of its magazine Arts Ex Machina. Instead of trying to manage a team of writers who have to meet deadlines, this version of AXM will be a literary magazine that showcases some of the best short stories we’ve published over the years.


You may have noticed I said that I, Jennifer, will be launching the magazine. That’s because that I pitched the idea to Blue Forge Press as a blind submission and it was accepted. This is not a project that can submitted to. I will publish stories of merit and interviews with authors. I will also invite authors to be columnists and write honestly and authentically about their life experiences. The magazine will center on the writer’s life and how people from all walks of life come to walk the writer’s path.


There is no way to apply for a position at the magazine or to ask that a story be included. This is why we weren’t going to announce the magazine. But apparently some of my secret author accounts on social media have been found out and someone saw me talking to my fans and told other authors. Okay then!


But yes. The rumors are true. I am launching a literary magazine on my own and it will be published by Blue Forge Press. If your story is selected for inclusion, you will receive free copies of the magazines for free that you can give away to friends or that you can sell for some mad money. Up to you.


What Should You Write Next?


As the year draws to a close, a great many artisans are reaching out to me and Brianne and asking what they should publish next. We’ve realized during some of these email exchanges that there’s been a pretty fundamental misunderstanding between us and artisans and that is: We won’t publish everything you send us.


Go back, if you have time, to November’s Hello Monday. I spoke extensively about how we pay for print runs of books—which runs in the thousands of dollars for every title. I secure grants along a certain theme—a type of book, game, film or album or a type of artisan. So every year, we’re looking for different things... and unless we have an open call for a specific anthology (which we would announce here in Hello Monday) we don’t request specific themes from our artisans.


You are not our pens-for-hire nor do we want you to be.


Now don’t get me wrong. If you publish a series with us? Then yes, unless your next book in your series blatantly clashes with Blue Legacy’s ideals, then we’re going to publish it. As a matter of fact, contractually, you can’t take a new book in an existing series to another press without ending your contract with us and buying out your print runs as described in your contract. Yikes!


But let’s say you want to pitch an all-new book idea to us. Or even an all-new album, film, web series, television show or game. How should you go about doing that?


Write to the appropriate manager of the division at blueforgefilms@gmail.com, blueforgepress@gmail.com, blueforgegaming@gmail.com, or blueforgerecords@gmail.com and tell us about your idea and why it excites you. Tell us about how long it will be. Tell us when it will be done. Is it the first in a new series? When would you write the next one? Be clear and concise. Don’t attach a sample. If the entire book is done, attach a Word or Open Office document but still write the same pitch I just explained. That’s it.


You may think that we’re going to look at your sales record to decide whether or not we want to bankroll the publication or production of your new work but we don’t. Sales records are not available to Board members or editors of any division. As CFO of Blue Legacy, only I have access to that information.


But here’s what we do look at:

Your behavior at our online and public events.

Whether or not you watch Hello Monday and stay informed.

What promotional activities do you engage in with us?

What promotional activities do you engage in on your own?

Are you growing as an artisan? Are your skills increasing? Are you striving to do better?


And last but perhaps most importantly, we ask: How passionate are you about this new work?


So instead of asking us what you should be writing or creating, ask yourself what it is that would excite you the most.


Blue Forge Press Audio Editions


A fast update on our progress through the backlog of audio editions. We’re down to only two! The Oak of Weeping and Shadow Canyon will be added to the Blue Forge Press website before the end of January. Buyers will be able to pay and instantly download the set of mp3 files for the books—just as they can do right now for Beyond the Great Compromise and Uncertain Journey.


If you’re interested in narrating an audio edition of your book for Blue Forge Press to publish, please write to Brianne at blueforgepress@gmail.com. We have equipment you can rent and use in your own home or we can talk to you about using your own equipment.


If you’re editing out all your own flubs and mistakes, then turnaround time in 2021 will be thirty days from receipt of files. We’ll just convert the files, add music, and create a cover image.


If we’re editing out your mistakes and cleaning up the audio files, then turnaround time in 2021 will be six months.


Either way, there is no charge for publishing the audio editions if your book has already been published been Blue Forge Press.


Independent Audio Editions


We’ve now had half a dozen artisans ask us about publishing audio editions for their books that are not published by Blue Forge Press. Yes. We do this but only if you’re editing out your own mistakes and the files come to us clean and clear.


We can add music to the start of chapters, prepare the files for download and host them indefinitely. We’ll supply you with a link that you can post on your website so that when people buy you audio edition, they’ll pay and be instantly taken to the download. You set your price.


Blue Legacy charges nothing upfront for this but, starting in 2021, we will take a 20% royalty. We pay you 80% within 24 hours of receipt of the funds.


Increasing Royalties & Direct Shipping


In the November episode of Hello Monday, I mentioned considering bringing inventory into the office and filling some orders directly from here. This would allow for faster turnaround on small orders—like autographed copies for instance—but more importantly it would greatly increase the royalty on albums, books, games and dvds.


An example:


A $12 album that sells at an online bookstore will pay the artisan a 65¢ royalty on average. A $12 album sold directly would pay the artisan more than $2.00.


A $10 book that sells at an online bookstore will pay the artisan a 56¢ royalty on average. A $10 book sold directly would pay the artisan more than $1.40.


By ordering many titles at a time in bulk, Blue Legacy would ship from the office and store in the office so that no storage fees or additional insurance would be needed for these in-house copies. The artisans pay nothing but whenever sales are made through a company website, the royalty would be higher than elsewhere.


We were asked how much capital would be needed to launch this effort. To order stock of enough titles to receive the steepest discount, install the shelves, and order the packing and shipping supplies, we’re looking at $4400 to launch and after that the system is self-perpetuating.


If you’d like to aid in those efforts with a donation, please write to me at blueforgegroup@gmail.com.


Premium Websites


We were also asked how much it would cost to remove the Wix ad banners from the top of every Blue Legacy website. I actually loved this question because—personally—I think the cost is ridiculously high but I’m a bit of a penny pincher. Probably because I collect pennies ;)


It would cost $110 a month to remove the ads from Blue Legacy, Blue Forge Films, Blue Forge Press, Blue Forge Gaming, Blue Forge Records, and Seriously Cereal.


If you’d like to aid in that effort with a one-time donation or a re-occurring monthly donation, of any amount, please write to be at blueforgegroup@gmail.com.


* * *


That’s all the news for this month. If you have questions or would like us to cover something next month, please post a comment below or write to BlueForgeGroup@gmail.com.


And, as always, remember: Monday doesn’t have to be a day you dread. Monday, today, can be the first day in the best creative month of your life.

© 2020 Blue Legacy

Port Orchard, Washington

EIN 83-4307421

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