Forum > State Puzzle Project

I'd like to represent opposing counsel...

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BH:
Hi, I wish I had the time to devote to helping the group shape this project. I echo the cautionary statements that have been raised. I like the suggestion of creating a small leadership group (3 to 8 people who know what they're getting into) to better define the effort first. THEN recruit constructors with a well-thought out plan. Not just puzzle structure and constraints, but compensation, marketing, etc. At that point also, you know what type of constructor you're recruiting. The plan doesn't have to be a big, formal document. 

From a marketing perspective - beware of 'build it and they will come.' Take your ideas to the market and see what kind of reaction you get. The AAA angle is great but you'd want to know early if that is a possibility ... or not.
 
I'm a native of NC, if that helps. Like Roy Leban, I'm not going to be able to read the forum every day, but if I can help, I will respond to email.
Beth H.

Mike Peluso:
We've heard so much on this subject over the past few days, with ideas as varied as the constructors themselves who have offered them. And, in the true spirit of brainstorming, IMO there have been no stupid suggestions or ideas.

It should come as no surprise to most of us that the wisest counsel has come from Nancy Salomon. And a word to the newbies: Take heed of her advice! Thanks for you input, Nancy.

Mike Peluso

PS: Marjorie: I see you have been keeping a log of those who have volunteered to do state puzzles. I also have made an Excel database of those volunteers. I'll send it out tomorrow via regular e-mail for those who would like to be able to download it on a regular program.

kasemenova:
Hi Cru--

These really are two different topics, but....

As to the first, my argument is simply: there may be generational (cultural, regional?) differences in what is appropriate in a breakfast test. There is a reason a puzzlebook shaped like a toilet sold a bazillion copies, a reason why titles like "Captain Underpants" and "Everybody Poops" sold a bazillion copies. Think: The Onion. John Stewart. Howie Mandel. Supply your own producer of irreverent, hilarious takes on modern culture.
I was trying to point out that the newspapers and Penny Press and Simon and Schuster, et al.  have pretty firmly sewed up a certain market, and there may be room for a different kind of publication--a little edgier, a little more irreverent. We don't necessarily need to adopt all the existing rules, most of which cover huge markets and syndications, etc. There's some room to create particular rules for particular publications (if we're going to have them.) I never suggested we allow 2-letter words.

As to the second point, I spent some time this morning reading through the  Editorial Freelancers Association (www.efa.org.) web site. It's a 506(c) (? maybe; close enough) not-for-profit assoc. They have a board structure, officers, dues, membership--the whole shebang. It seems to me this might be a model for what we're trying to accomplish. The Crossword Constructor's Association? The catch is that we would probably need charter members--individuals to pony up funds to get it going--but that would give us an economic base from which to launch a publication. I am a little bit of an organizational freak, and I worked for an association, so I have some relevant knowledge and skills. I wouldn't mind doing some work in this respect, but I am not a lawyer or an accountant, so those types of people would have to volunteer services as well.

Karen

Nancy Salomon:
Karen, my post wasn't a reply to you or anyone else in particular.  There may well be some wiggle room to make puzzles edgier.  The point is you won't know unless you find a buyer up front.  There's been a lot of talk about AAA.  I'm guessing they'd be all in favor of the breakfast test.  A different buyer might feel otherwise.

As for the other demands of the top-tier editors out there, I listed some of them so that everyone would be aware of current standards.  You have to know what those are before you decide which you want to deviate from.

Nancy Salomon

kasemenova:
Hey Nancy--

I wasn't taking it personally, just trying to make clear that I wasn't trying to burn the house down.

And, I completely agree: an AAA book would have to be traditional. In fact, I would wager that some editor out there, who has been watching this discussion, is considering mentioning this idea to his marketing or sales department once it's clear that it's not going anywhere here. (I'm not slamming anybody's ethics!) It's a good idea, and there are plenty of folks who are very well set-up all ready to execute it. That's why I've turned my attention to organizational matters, because unless we try to put something together in that sense, the details of the puzzles don't much matter.

Karen

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