Please pay close attention to what I'm about to tell you, folks, because these rules aren't many, but they are totally inflexible -- they MUST govern ALL messages posted here.
1) Play nice.
There is no room on this board for people who aren't nice to each other. Before you post any message, stop and read through it one last time. Will it make someone feel bad? If so, DON'T POST IT. We discuss ISSUES here. We don't discuss the people making the posts.
2) No political talk.
There are many, MANY places on the web where you can go to discuss politics. This board is a "political-free zone" and will not tolerate political messages of any kind. The only exceptions to this rule are specific issues that have a direct bearing on the business of children's books. Again, we discuss those ISSUES, but NOT the politicians and/or people behind the issues.
3) No religious discussions
It's okay to discuss issues that pertain to writing for religious markets, but it is NOT okay to talk about the theology behind religions, or to compare religious beliefs, etc. on this message board.
4) No direct links to downloads
If you want to give a download link, send people to a website page that explains what they are about to download and that has the download link on it. DO NOT LINK DIRECTLY TO DOWNLOADS from this message board. We are extremely protective of our message board members and want to protect all of you as much as possible from potential problems. Some downloads can be a problem. They can contain viruses or unacceptable viewing matter, therefore we don't allow them here.
5) No defamatory posts allowed
It's fine to post concerns about publishers and agencies as long as the posts cannot be considered defamation of character to specific agents, agencies, editors, or publishers. In other words, you CAN SAY something like:
People! I am upset about something that recently happened to me. I signed a book contract, but I didn't understand the fine print before I signed it! Big, BIG mistake. There was an option clause in it that said I have to submit my next book to them and they have until 3 months AFTER the first book is published before they have to make a decision on it -- and in the meantime, I can't submit to anyone else. But now that first book has been delayed for six years! So I won't be able to sell another book to anyone for at least 6 YEARS - until that first book is finally published. I'm devastated. Please folks... before you sign a contract UNDERSTAND what you are signing!
It would NOT be okay for the person making this post to say derogatory things about the publisher, such as: This is a crooked publisher, a bad publisher, etc. (This also applies to editors, agents and agencies.) In other words, you can talk about your experience and how YOU feel, as long as you JUST STATE THE FACTS and don't say anything bad about them. The facts will need to speak for themselves.
This is especially important in light of the results of some recent lawsuits where some other writing-related websites have recently been sued and LOST in cases where negative things have been said on their sites against specific agents, agencies, editors, and/or publishers. I know that I personally, could never afford to pay a $250,000 fine for a lawsuit for something someone said on this message board against an agent or publisher!
6) No Solicitation or Advertising
No solicitation or advertising of a Business unless you have been a member in good standing for at least two years with at least 100 posts AND have gotten permission to post your message/s with one of the Administrators of this board.
This forum doesn't exist to provide free ad space--it's here for people with a serious interest in writing and illustrating children's books and literature. This isn't Craig's List or eBay, and we can't check out each business that wants to advertise here and make sure it's legitimate. Therefore, only people who have been members here (in good standing) for at least two years may advertise their services on this board, and only with the approval of Verla or an administrator; we also reserve the right to ask you to edit such posts. Please note that approval will in no way be considered an endorsement of such services. We will not endorse any services offered by any members of this forum.
For members who qualify: please keep your posts advertising your services short. We prefer you post a link to your webpage rather than including all details here, and request that you PM Verla or an Administrator before posting.
7) Think before posting a thread title
Please take a moment to think about what you are using for a title for your message when you are posting a new thread. Search engines pick up on these titles. We don't really want people coming here that are looking for sex, etc. so be sure you aren't posting a title that will bring the wrong kind of people here from search engines.
As I said at the beginning of this message, there aren't a lot of rules for posting here... but these rules ARE inflexible and MUST be followed. Posts that break any of these rules will be instantly removed from the message board without notice.
Play nice, avoid posting inappropriately and enjoy all the benefits of being on this message board, folks. It's a caring, sharing, informative place to be!