A Child Without A Voice - Update - What's Needed
First of all, I understand it takes time to write a story, and you need to do a good job, so this book will sell. But I also wanted you to understand how urgent this is: if you read Anna's most recent post, her county has decided they "don't have the money" to give her son even the minimal services he was getting. This is a boy who tries to say something, then hits himself in the head because he hears it come out wrong! But I'm not going to waste time discussing the cruelty of that decision - it's much more important to do something as quickly as we can.
First of all, those who have offered to write stories, there is no specific deadline. Write them as you can, then send them to me. As soon as I'm able, I publish the book, and, if enough additional stories come in, I'll publish a second volume. If by some miracle, we bring in enough money to give Alexander (Red) everything he needs and money is still coming in, well, there must be other kids out there like him.
I understand this is a difficult subject, but I'm simply asking that you send in your stories as soon as you finish them. In addition, I'd really appreciate it if all of my readers would let as many writers as possible know about this. That will cost you no money and little effort. The more people we have trying, the sooner we can start raising money. Susan Abraham, in the comments to the original post, kindly offered to put a button like the one I have up on her own blog. If any of you are willing to do this, I can send you the link and code (for Blogger at least).
If someone knows how to adapt the code for other blogs, that would be helpful. And the image isn't displaying as clearly as I'd hoped. I tried creating an actual size image instead of having it resized, but that turned out worse. So, if someone knows more about web graphics than I do (I'm more used to print), a better button, or at least some advice, would really help as well.
If any of you know a good artist, I want to create the best book cover I possibly can, and I could use a lot of help there. Finally, I still need legal help. Jason was kind enough to make a suggestion, in the comments to the original post. His idea was to simply have every writer sign over all rights to Anna, so she could just sell the book and get the money.
If we can't do anything else, and Anna agrees, this is a possibility. I didn't consider it originally for several reasons. First, I suspect Anna would then have to pay taxes on the income from the book, and keep all the paperwork. I was hoping to spare her that. I'm not a lawyer, but I was hoping there was some option similar to the funds banks set up after a family has a bad fire.
Another reason I didn't consider this is because I felt it might be harder to sell the book, if the proceeds aren't going to a "real" charity. Personally, I don't care if Anna and her family get every cent; I'm sure she'll use the money to help Red. If there's a little left over, so what. But some people might not be as likely to buy the book - I felt if it was set up so any surplus went to, say, an organisation that helps kids with apraxia, they'd be more likely to buy it.
For that matter, if you sell a book saying you're raising funds for something or other, and don't have a "real" charity set up, I don't know if you can be charged with fraud. So one way or another, I've got to make sure this works from a legal standpoint. If any of you know someone with a blawg, please point them here, or consider writing a post about this.
The Copyright issue is another problem. I didn't consider having everyone assign all rights because I know many writers would balk at that. At this point, I don't even care, which will tell anyone who knows me just how determined I am to get this done. But, that isn't the problem anyhow. There are standard agreements that assign rights for a single project while allowing the author to keep other rights.
The problem is, we have volunteer writers from several countries already, and I don't know if those standard agreements cover this situation. This is the Internet! These situations are going to keep coming up; I should think some enterprising lawyer would like to blaze a trail here! It was also suggested that I contact a law school, to see if I can persuade them to help me pro bono (lawyerspeak for no charge); I'm going to start that process, but I suspect there might be looong formalities involved.
Thanks to all of you who have helped, and are helping, I really appreciate it. I just really want to do everything possible to make this work, and work with as few delays as possible. If you have ideas, suggestions, comments, please share them. The only thing that is important right now is getting Alexander the help he needs as quickly as we can. If you think I'm being an idiot, point it out! I'd rather find a way to do this right away than have anyone spare my feelings.