Thursday, April 23, 2009

Frequently Asked Questions: DetecToday

Moderator: Gerald So

What is DetecToday?
Boundaries of Discussion
Reading DetecToday
Posting and Replying
Special Group Features
Service Advisories

What is DetecToday?

DetecToday discusses private eye fiction by authors debuting from 1980 to the present. Characters in the mold of the private eye, investigating on their own, are also on-topic.


Boundaries of Discussion

In addition to spontaneous discussion, for many years we had a monthly featured book discussion. The featured discussion was suspended when the U.S. economy took a downturn, but we hope to pick it up again one day.

Members may discuss authors' published work freely; however, be aware of the distinction between work and work ethic. The only time anyone should discuss an author's work habits onlist is if you can cite published statements by the author about said work habits.

Authors of P.I. fiction are welcome to take part in the discussion, but they should be open to both positive and negative feedback. It's very important to me that all listmembers feel free to give their full and honest opinions on any works. The best writers I know are open to all kinds of feedback.

Please keep personal disputes offlist. If you are unsure of a message's tone, contact the poster privately, or email me.


Reading DetecToday

You must subscribe to read our messages as as individual e-mails, daily digests, or on our Web site.

Please obtain the posting member's permission to forward messages offlist. Any member found to have forwarded messages without permission will be banned.

Note: I do not make use of the "Special Notices" setting.


Posting and Replying

Send messages to DETECTODAY at YAHOOGROUPS dot COM or post via our Yahoo! Groups site.

Yahoo! Groups and most email programs automatically quote entire messages when you hit "Reply". In order to keep our messages and digests quickly downloadable for members with varying Internet access speeds, please quote only the specific points to which you are replying. Delete any extraneous text and and keep signature lines short.

Avoid cross-posting one message to several lists. Mystery readers often belong to the same handful of lists and don't need to receive a message more than once. Tailor your messages for the list to which you're posting.

Finally, there are a number of writers onlist. I ask that they avoid impersonal BSP (blatant self-promotion, such as cut-and-pasted book release announcements, long signature files, etc.) and instead get to know the group and get involved themselves so they can honestly discuss their works.

If you wish to post a promotional announcement to the list, email me first. I welcome authors who want to discuss our topics or lurk and see what readers are saying. I discourage authors who only use the list to sell themselves.

If you have articles or interviews to share--instead of reprinting them entirely by email--please quote or comment only on relevant passages, paraphrase, or send URLs where members may read at their convenience.



Spoilers are specific plot details that take the surprise out of reading a book for the first time (e.g. identity of the killer, death of recurring character). Because our discussion covers a wide range of P.I. fiction, there is no way to tell who's read what. Spoiler warnings are left to the poster's discretion.


Special Group Features

Members are encouraged to add to our list community using the features below. When adding bookmarks, files, photos, etc., please notify me.

Each month, members nominate and vote on on a novel and short stories for featured discussion. To qualify for nomination, novels must be:

a) published in 1980 or later

b) written by an author debuting or starting a series in 1980 or later

c) readily available in paperback or via rare book search (e.g.,, and

d) reasonably affordable to the group.

Each member may nominate one book per month. Unchosen novels remain in the poll up to three months unless removed by the nominating member, with at least three months before an unchosen novel may be renominated.

You may talk about a featured author's work in general. Reading the specific featured novel is not a requirement to join the discussion.

Before nominating, see a log of past featured discussions.

Previously featured authors may be renominated after a period of two years or longer.

For our short story discussion, each member may nominate either

a) two individual online stories

b) a single e-zine issue, or

c) a single print issue, anthology, or collection.

Individual short story authors may be featured twice a year, with at least six months between features by the same story author.

Information on the current featured discussions and upcoming group chats can be found here.

Both featured discussions are completely optional. DetecToday is open to anything related to recent P.I. fiction. New hardcover novels or other stories, for example, may be discussed as separate topics.

The Links section has folders for the following:

* Author/Book Info, links to the books and authors we're discussing

* Chats, links to DT chat transcripts, chatrooms mentioned onlist

* Member Blogs, many of our writer members have blogs, short for web logs

* Member Websites

* Member Fiction, online stories by listmembers

* Mystery Fiction e-Zines, find good fiction on the Web

* Mystery Mailing Lists, more mystery for your Inbox

* Online Stories Featured on DT, from our short story featured discussions

The Files section has folders for promotional images and book reviews by members.

Meet members and authors face-to-face in our Photos section.

In the Database section you'll find the following:

* Reality Scale, measuring the realism of newer authors against older ones

* Get on the Case, a list of hard-to-find books by lesser-known authors

* Featured Novel Discussions

* Featured Short Story Discussions, including where to find the stories online or in print.

* “So You Want to Be a PI Writer...,” a list of how-to and reference books

Keep track of group activities with our calendar.


Service Advisories

I will post to the list with notice of Yahoo! Groups downtime or delays when possible. If I am unable to use the list itself, I will post to the group blog, Chatterrific. For other issues, you can check Yahoo! Groups' Help Community or Official Blog.