Archive for December, 2010

Tonight, author Alisa Valdes-Rodriguez, who for the last week has been blogging and commenting about her disappointment with the TV script adaptation of her novel, The Dirty Girls Social Club, has asked her readers to “Please refrain from bashing NBC on this issue.”

The blog post, which includes an image of a dove and peacock, begins with the following statement:

As my efforts to see the best possible version of my novel THE DIRTY GIRLS SOCIAL CLUB made for the small screen becomes less a battle for public opinion and more a true-blue legal case, I have chosen to respect NBC’s wishes that I remove my posts about the issue for now — even though copyright law offers exceptions and limitations for commentary in the public interest.

The post concludes with this statement:

As soon as this situation is resolved, I will alert you all to the outcome. Depending upon the outcome, the posts I’ve removed will [sic] either be remanded to the dustbin of time (and google cache – doh!) or they will be reposted with updates.

What I do know is that people are listening, and that there is, indeed, compassion and empathy and intelligence to be found in Hollywood, if you know where to look.

Now I have a favor to ask of you all: Please refrain from bashing NBC on this issue, on my behalf, for now. We don’t know what the future holds. We have ears and hearts open to us at the moment, and this is good news.

Valdes-Rodriguez also said that the script is still in development and that there is always a chance that changes and revisions will be happening. She specifically mentioned two executives at NBC who respected her work and also acknowledged that NBC has made positive movement in promoting Latino talent at the network.

The tone of this blog post is quite different from her previous posts and tweets about this subject. It is clear to us that this olive branch post is the legal equivalent of a possible return to the table to see if a more mutually agreeable outcome can be found. During the last few days, supporters of Valdes-Rodriguez had been criticizing NBC on their social media streams.

It has been an interesting holiday break indeed for Valdes-Rodriguez, and we’re sure that more will be happening. In the meantime, there is no doubt that NBC is trying to cut off momentum on what could have been a social media frenzy against the network.

We still have some questions that we will continue to monitor, such as:

  • Will Valdes-Rodriguez be deleting her older individual tweets and updates from her social networks that specifically address NBC?
  • Will she be updating and revising her previous blog posts to reflect this new development? UPDATE AS OF JANUARY 1, 2011: The blog posts related to this story have been taken down from Valdes-Rodriguez’s official blog.
  • Will her social network follow her lead and allow for NBC and Valdes-Rodriguez to reach a compromise?

This new statement is a stark contrast from the one Valdes-Rodriguez wrote last week. We think it speaks a desire among all parties to come up with a positive resolution.

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One of Valdes-Rodriguez's New Twitter Profile Pictures

Her Twitter stream and Facebook is very active. She is consistently getting new followers and friends each day. And as author Alisa Valdes-Rodriguez continues to battle with Hollywood, she announced on her social media networks that she will be self-publishing the third book of The Dirty Girls Social Club series.

Early on December 31, Valdes-Rodriguez, who is alleging that the TV script adaptation of her first Dirty Girls book is “racist and sexist,” posted a proposed book cover with the working title A Call to Mountains, the third book in the series on her YFrog account.

On December 31, her Twitter stream and Facebook page is active with responses. Her latest updates on these social networks reveal her self-publishing plans, and also how much money she has made in the past on advances and how much she would make it should were to be successful with her self-publishing efforts.

After listening to some readers, on January 1, Valdes-Rodriguez suggested a different title and cover. The fans have spoken: the new book series will be called Lauren’s Saints of Dirty Faith and a new cover was posted that met some reader approval:

After getting more feedback, on January 2, Valdes-Rodriguez added another cover on her Facebook page and made it official with this image, proving that the is taking the idea of “an interactive novel” seriously:

Here are just some of the updates she has posted on December 31, January 1, and January 2:

From Twitter

  • “Believe it or not, some of us still make art for reasons other than money. #latism #teamalisa
  • “Watching 8 Mile. Love Eminem. Relate a lot to him actually.”
  • “Lauren Book outline nearly done. Title: A CALL TO MOUNTAINS. Lauren quits Boston, retreats to NM, hoping for peace, spirituality, love.”
  • Okay, it’s official. DGSC book three’s title will be: LAUREN AND THE SAINTS OF DIRTY FAITH. Remember that y’all. 🙂
  • “@_luisantonio I will publish a chapter a week as ebooklets for 36 weeks, starting next month. .75cents a pop. actual book 4sale fall 2011.”
  • “@_luisantonio going the dickens route with this, see where it takes me. half chapt. avail on blog. full chapt at lulu.com for 75 cents.”
  • “My advances from pub have been about $30k lately. Self pub a chapter a week I need 833 reg readers to make that much in a year.”
  • “If Dirty Girls 3 sells same as DGSC 2 as self pub. I make $625k. If it sells like DGSC1 self pub I make $3 million. No more middle man.”
  • “And I’d make that charging you LESS than my publisher does now.

Facebook Updates

  • “To make the same amount I’ve made from publishing houses lately on a self-published serialized novel, I will only need 833 regular readers. Dirty Girls Social Club sold more than half a million copies. Book two sold close to 200,000. I think I can find 1000 of you guys to go on this journey with me!”
  • “‘Dirty Girls Social Club sets out to prove Latina can mean anything — black, white, rich, poor, Spanish-speaking, not Spanish-speaking.’ (Miami Herald)”
  • “Well, then. It’s settled. By popular demand, I declare this cover a winner! Thanks, all. I can’t wait for you to read this book!!! I am loving writing it.”

Valdes-Rodriguez, who talks about her challenges (dismal sales, personal issues) with the Huff Post , also mentioned that she will very likely be using lulu.com, a website for self-published works.

Finally, we want to thank everyone for participating in our readers poll: Is the Alisa Valdes-Rodriguez story relevant to you? The current results of about 100 responses (You can still vote):

  • It speaks to the issue of artistic and creative control. 35%
  • I want to see an accurate portrayal of Latinas on television. 26%
  • Enough already. We get the point! 16%
  • I think the story is too one-sided. 14%
  • The use of social media can help people get their stories out. 9%

Let us know what you think of Valdes-Rodriguez’s decision to self-publish?

UPDATE, January 1, 2011: The Alisa Valdes-Rodriguez blog posts referred to here no longer appear on her site. Valdes-Rodriguez hinted that certain blog posts would very likely be deleted in accordance to the statement she published at Please Respect NBC.

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Being Latino, the largest online Latino community on Facebook, and The National Hispanic Foundation for the Arts announced on December 30 the creation of a “joint impact project to address the glaring absence of Latinos on television and in film.”

In a letter to David Rubenstein, Chairman of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Leslie Moonves, President/CEO of the CBS Corporation, and Caroline Kennedy Schlossberg, the trustee of the John F. Kenndy Presidential Library and Museum, both organizations encouraged that the Kennedy Center seriously consider Latino performers for their 2011 honors.

We hope that this is the last year that Latinos are absent as honorees on your show.

Being Latino’s Facebook membership has over 52,000 members on Facebook, actively engaging and interacting with members on several key issues central to US Latinos. The Being Latino blog has one of the higher Alexa ratings for a Latino-themed blog.

The mission statement of the NHFA (join them on Facebook) states:

Actors Jimmy Smits, Esai Morales and Sonia Braga, along with attorney Felix Sanchez, created the National Hispanic Foundation for the Arts in 1997 to advance the presence of Latinos in the media, telecommunications and entertainment industries. The Foundation has concentrated on increasing access for Hispanic artists and professionals while fostering the emergence of new Hispanic talent.

Eighteen other Latino organizations, including the National Council of La Raza and the National Institutue for Latino Policy, supported the letter.

A full PDF of the letter can be viewed here: Being Latino Blog.

We applaud this very proactive and positive effort to acknowledge Latino performers, and we hope something good comes out of it.

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