Wednesday, April 29, 2015

A Milestone!

I would also like to post before I forget, that yesterday was a milestone for me... 30 days in a row with at least one sale or borrow... that's thirty days in a row making money, which is pretty awesome. Now, granted, I write some serious... weird stuff, sprinkled with some femdom, so I consider that pretty impressive since I'm not well known or anything! I'll also have made my goal of $200.00+ this month in gross sales. I've more than made up any money I put into this, and then some.

So after two months of writing erotica what have I found?

  1. It's a great way to write if you're not into editing. This is not saying NEVER to edit, but I tend to write very clean copy, if somewhat repetitive at times, and I hate editing. After a quick once over, I publish... and that's very freeing for me. I enjoy telling stories... I don't enjoy being an editor.
  2. It's not a bad way to make some extra cash if you've extra time. I wouldn't expect anything earth shattering though, not unless you're very lucky or very persistent.
  3. People will pay you for the weirdest shit. Shagging Tree, while not a huge seller, grabbed enough interest to make it worthwhile for me to write... and it's about a tree fucking a woman. 
  4. Erotica writers tend to fall into a couple of categories... they either genuinely enjoy writing, or they're just in it for the money. Those who fall into the first category tend to be pretty nice and try to help people out. Those in the second category don't seem to care as much for the story-telling process and just want to get it over and done with. This isn't to say they can't overlap, or those in the first category can't be dicks, but in general, that's what I've observed. 
  5. Writing so much in a little amount of time can be very tedious, even if you enjoy writing. 

To DRM or Not to DRM... That is the Question...

I meant to get this up last week, but I was laaaaaazy and taking a break from writing altogether. I need to get cracking on the next JKC though, and I need to get started on this new series my illustrator is entirely too excited about. He keeps making... covers for it. I keep telling him that I haven't even written the first one yet, and now he's showing me cover #7. *sigh* I guess I better do it then! He also made a teaser image ... seriously, a teaser image... for it. Lemme see if I can find it.

Keep in mind, I've told him NOTHING about the series except the main character's name and the rough idea of it. No plots, no backgrounds... no nothing. Well, he's got some pics too to make covers from (duh), so yeah, he's really picked it up and run with it! Including a fucking logo for the secret agency, which you can see "stamped" on the background of the file. Who knew Jotham liked spy movies? Well, I do now!

Anyway, the topic of the blog post... should you add DRM to your books? In theory, DRM or Digital Rights Management is supposed to protect your books from pirates. In practice... not so much. There's a lot of guides online on how to remove DRM from any ebook using Calibur... which yeah. I have that program because I use it to convert my .odf files to .mobi for uploads. If you get a certain plug in, you can strip DRM from ebooks for use on any device. 

Now, one thing you may not know about buying an ebook from Amazon... you're not actually "buying" it, but rather "leasing" it. There's been instances where Amazon has went into user's kindles and erased things they legitimately bought. A quick Google search on your part will come up with a couple stories on this (cause I'm lazy and not doing link-search-posting here). Since you're "leasing" it, they can wipe it at any time, and you have no legal recourse. Now, if you're like me and you enjoy rereading things... to go back and find a favorite book gone would be terrible. However, if you converted it to a .pdf file and downloaded onto your computer, you'd have it for all time. Putting DRM on books makes it hard to do that. Not impossible by any means, but hard... er. Or at least bothersome.

Any DRM on anything doesn't detract pirates. It doesn't. All it does it bother legitimate users who purchased the right to use the product how they see fit, and if they're unable to convert it, they may be unhappy. To this end, I've decided never to use DRM on any of my books from here on out. Now, my old ones do because I wasn't thinking about it, but any future ones won't for the convenience of my customers. 

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Finally! A Rating! Woo!

Finally, either yesterday or earlier today, someone rated not just one, but two of my books on Goodreads! Woo! The two books were Wet in Space (3 stars) and The Erotic Worlds of the Janus Key Chronicles (4 stars). Honestly, they could have been one stars, complete with a review saying something terrible, and I would have been happy... why? Because that means someone read something I wrote, and cared just enough about it to go that extra step and put in a rating. That's. Awesome. It's why I always try to leave reviews for stuff I've read whether good or bad, because to me... that someone cared enough to write something about your book (or in this case, click the 3 and 4 star categories) means the world.

Now, of course, I know I'm writing stuff which people jerk off to, and that's fine. Obviously I'm stirring some kind of reaction there, heh. Most stroke readers don't leave reviews, so that's why I'm really thrilled. I don't think it'll translate into sales or anything, I just think it's cool as hell. :)

Dominating Her Senator now Live!

That's right, Dominating Her Senator is now live on Amazon! These shorts turned out to be fairly well received, so I decided to do a few more in this vein.

Friday, April 24, 2015

Last Night Free on Amazon April 24th Only!

Yup, doing a free promotion again, this time the first of my horrorotica series, Last Night. I really liked it, and I think the cover is gorgeous. Maybe a free sample will get people interested in different kinds of dark erotica? We'll see. :)

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Dominating Her Men: Total Domination, Volume One Now Live on Amazon!

Ah, yes, here's the second one for today, a bundle combining the three femdom stories I've written into one book, Dominating Her Men: Total Domination, Volume One is now live!

Nothing much to say here, except I noticed one tiny typo in the title which, when I can, I'll completely fix. It's a little embarrassing, but oh well. It happens, and it happened to be small enough that my eye just passed over it.

This is Why I Use DepositPhotos...

In my "real life" job, I work in customer service. It's a shitty job, in no matter what form... whether you are selling a product, doing customer reviews, or anything inbetween (I happen to do both, hurray for double stack of shit! Mm. Shit sandwich), it's important to always be friendly to the customer. As you know, people are human (gasp!) and even CSR's (Customer Service Representatives) have their off days. What's important is that you fucking eat that shit sandwich, smile, and ask for a double helping of it. It wears on you.

In the computer age, some aspects of customer service have gotten easier. For instance, you can email your customer directly with some sort of form letter asking for their opinions on your service or product, or you can respond to reviews directly online without actually having to interact with them at all. It's easier, but trust me, after writing the billionth response to an online review, it's like churning out erotica... it's the same fucking shit just packaged in a different way. Burn out also sets in here.

Yesterday, I had an email from DepositPhotos, which is the site I use to get stock photos for my covers. Now, I had the $69 (haha, I just realized... sixty-nine) deal which allowed me to download five stock photos per day for a month. I missed a couple of days, but the price for each stock photo was still around like sixty cents apiece. Great deal. I mean, just fantastic. They have a wide selection too...which got even wider when I realized that not just "erotic" and "erotical" tags were ok to be used for erotic sexy covers, but also "sex", "sexy", "passion" and so on, which opened up a lot more photos. I'd just cancelled my account because I had a lot of photos to work with (and I'm busy using them!) and didn't need to download anymore until I started running low again.

So, the email I got was this:

Dear Alana,
My name is Katye and I am your personal account manager at Depositphotos.I wanted to gather your feedback about our site and find out how you are planning to work with Depositphotos.comDo you have a need for stock photos still?
I would be happy to guide you through our plans and pick an optimal solution for you.
Feel free to contact me with any questions by replying to this e-mail or let me know the phone number I can reach you at.
I am looking forward to your reply.

This chick did everything right. She identified herself right off, added a personal touch ("Personal account manager", really? I warranted that?!), asked for feedback, asked for a future gameplan without asking "are you coming back"... she just assumed that (slick shit there), offered a solution to a non-existent problem, asked for contact, and invited me to reply. That's fucking spot on customer service.

I responded with this:

Thank you for your response! I found the depositphotos site easy to navigate, and I especially loved I could create folders to contain my favorite photos so I could find them easily later to download.
I use the photos for book covers, and right now I have a fair selection due to your fantastic daily download plan. I am planning on renewing in the future, but right now, I am flush with gorgeous pictures. I have also found your customer service reps to be especially pleasant and prompt with any inquiries I've had.
I highly recommend your site to any fellow writers who need stock photos for their covers.
Thank you so much for your inquiry! Have a fantastic day!
A. Melos
Hehe, you can see my CSR roots in here too, esp. starting out with "Thank you for your response!". I really didn't have anything negative to say about them, but if I had, I would have pointed it out here, in a positive way. "You could work on X to do Y for your customers." And it's true... I do recommend depositphotos for erotic stock covers. Their selection is fantastic and the images are nice and crisp.

She responded immediately with this:

Dear Alana,
Thank you for your feedback!Next time you need to buy images - just send me an e-mail, I'll set up your account with a special discount promo code.
Also please let me know if I can be of any further help to you.
Have a great day!
 Spot ON customer service. I didn't even ask for a promo, yet now I'm tempted already to resubscribe to take advantage of that. I actually probably will at the end of the month and I know how much I made for certain. I don't know what the discount code is, but I'm excited to get it. That's amazing.

Now, I don't know how good their deals are if you are buying one or two with their credits, but their subscription plans are completely worth it if you plan on, like I do, pushing out a lot of books. I have over a hundred images stored already, yet I'm contemplating buying more that I don't need. Not only was she a great CSR, but also a great saleswoman. I cannot recommend them enough for the good deals and friendly and prompt customer service.

Cheri's Big Break Live on Amazon!

Well, we're starting a new series today: Backstage Uncensored, Cheri's Big Break is now live on Amazon! This is going to be about a new adult film actress and her trials and tribulations. We'll see how popular it is... I noticed that like, no one was writing about that at all, which I thought would be a shoe-in, you know? I couldn't really find anything... so I decided to give it a whack. The cover is gorgeous (because Jotham does fantastic work) but from what he said, they'll be very easy after the first, since he's just changing the pic, title, and number. He still added everything I wanted to it, and it's immediately recognizable who she is, what she does, and where she is. Judge for yourself!

Monday, April 20, 2015

A Shotgun Blast or a Kick in the Ass?

... blog title pulled from some song lyrics. Which may or may not be applicable.

What should you do when writing erotica... make a wide scattershot or focus in on one area? Odds are, if you do the scattershot (ie, shotgun blast) you're going to hit something. Don't know what... but something. Advice often given to erotica writers by other erotica writers is to find your niche and write the shit out of it... but you gotta find it first.

Or, should you just concentrate in one thing which you enjoy doing (ie, kick in the ass... aiming for one spot) and just do that? If you find success right away, then that's awesome! Especially awesome because it's something you enjoy doing and you're making money. However, if you don't... then you might just be funneling time and effort into something that just won't ever pan out.

Me, I take a shotgun blast to it. I would like to make money. I won't lie. I would like to be successful. However, I just can't not write something... and I don't want to credit to go to other names. Yeah, they're me, and no, this isn't my real name anyway, but I personally would like to see all these titles, all these genres, all these different things under one name to show what versatility there is. It's against all advice I've ever read in erotica. ALL advice. It comes back to my favorite author, Stephen King. When you open a King book and read for a moment, you know it's a King book... no matter if he's writing horror, drama, action, or anything else. And you know what? He's famous for horror, but he writes in a lot of different genres, even if they may be secondary to horror. He's got a style... when I read the Bachman books--and this is before he came out as Bachman (which dates me, I know)--I knew it was King right away, and I was confused at the name and picture on the back. "This is totally King! Did he ghost write or something?!"

He's got a lot under his belt, and it's really not what people think he's famous for. He writes what he thinks is interesting. Most of that tends to be horror, but not all. Not by a long shot. If I had to imitate an author, it would be him. Hence, I am writing what I'm interested in, with only a nod to what would sell a lot. I found I really enjoyed writing femdom, and it sold alright, so I'm going to continue with that. What else interests me? Fantasy, horror, sci-fi, action thrillers... I really am like a dude in this regard. I also enjoy character studies too. Do I expect it to sell? Yeah, a little. Do I expect to be famous or rich overnight? No. No freaking way. Yet, it's self-publishing, I'm in a good spot in life to do this, and so I can indulge in whatever whims I want. No, my horrorotica doesn't sell worth shit, but I enjoyed writing the hell out of it, and those are both stories I'm proud of... cause I would read them. I enjoy the JKC, and I'm proud of them as well, even if they're cheesy and hokey. They're supposed to be!

So, if you take any advice away from this article, it's write what you love if you don't care about making money, and write what's popular if you do.

Friday, April 17, 2015

Slimed By Sea Serpents Now Live!

And let's see if I can remember the link this time! Yes, the latest in the Janus Key Chronicles, Slimed by Sea Serpents, is now live! Not quite as long as the last couple, it's still over 11,000 words and has three sex scenes in it... one of which, of course, has sea serpents in it. Which thankfully Amazon decided wasn't a real life monster. When I saw Jotham's cover, I got a bit worried and asked him to put fins on it since they were way too close to real snakes. Amazon gets weird about that sort of thing... but thankfully, it is not adult filtered. Cover's gorgeous as always.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

The Shagging Tree... now Live on Amazon!

Yes, that's right... another weird story dealing with a weird fetish, The Shagging Tree is now live on Amazon! Actually, as I was writing this I got really into it... so much so I was tripping over, "This is a tree. Treeeeeee." Yet, it turned out pretty sexy, IMO. The ending still cracks me up too. Jotham's covers are still amazing. That face he added to the tree... heh.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Communication is Key

I'm awake here when I should be sleeping. It's my day off of work and I get off schedule, but tonight I've a pain that just won't let me rest, so while I wait for painkillers to kick in, I got to thinking... what is about words that translate into hotness?

Let me back up a bit. I was reading a bit about The Claiming of Persephone and why the author wrote it, why it was hot, and there was an excerpt. Read the excerpt and granted, right now I'm like "fuck sex, I want sleep" so I didn't find it arousing... but it's not because it wasn't hot (told you, paaaaaaain), so don't get me wrong there. However, it got me to thinking about why things, why words, are "hot" or not. This is a bit rambly, so bear with me. (Paaaaaain. :P)

All these words we use convey an image, or an idea. Communication is the key to understanding, and the vehicle we have for that is words. If you sit and consider each word individually, you'll get many different meanings for each word, and every person's interpretation of them is different. Yes, mostly the same, but we all add our own experiences to flavor it for us personally. When you put a single word in with a bunch of other words, it conveys a different context. We'll use hot for example... "The kettle was scorching hot." What does that say? Says don't fucking touch it, mother fucker! Now if we say "Her pussy was scorching hot." What does that say? Well, you're not going to burn your hand on her pussy, lol. Words and context. Communication. Conveying ideas.

What does all this mean for a writer? Well, first, you have to keep in mind that you are not your audience, and your audience is not you. The average person doesn't know what "loquacious" is, or "vacuous", "extrapolate", or (one of my favorites) "sesquipedalian". Mind you, that word is used so not often, the spellchecker thinks it's spelled wrong. I was reading at college level in the third or fourth grade... and I used such big words all the time my mother had no idea what I was talking about most of the time. Over time, I learned to modify how I spoke so that I could communicate clearly, even if it felt odd to me, and sometimes still does. I had to modify my speech for my audience so that I could communicate my ideas clearly.

Second, keep to your genre. If you're writing erotica, yeah, you want your throbbing, pulsating, warm, wet, hot, scorching, hard, rock hard, etc etc etc. to describe things. If you're writing horror (depending on the kind), you want your gore, blood soaked, creepy, noxious, sliced, crimson, hot coppery, and so on. Writing action, you want action packed stuff, like riveted, whirled, brandished, snarled, shouted, fiery, etc etc. Keep your vocabulary in line with your genre.

Third, keep to the basics. Don't fucking used murmured or whispered all the time for say tags. Use said. People's eyes just skip over said. It's tried and true. Only when you want to stress something use another say tag. Alter the flow of your sentences to match the scene. If it's frantic, use shorter sentences. If it's something surreal, use longer. Keep in mind the rhythm of the words as you're writing. Read it back to yourself. Does it feel right? Are you using too many fancy descriptors when a simple word would just do? Are you not using enough?

Last, if you can't connect to your audience, it isn't your audience's fault. I read a book not so long ago where there was a whole scene I had no idea what the fuck was happening. The writer jumped around, and didn't describe what was happening clearly, and as a result, it was a mess. I can read just fine and put words together just fine as well. So, it was the author's fault. They didn't go back and view their prose as a reader would and their message got lost. They knew what they meant, but they couldn't convey it clearly to me. It might have been the best fight scene ever, but I would have no way of knowing because their message got lost due to unclear communication. I've seen writers on the eroticauthors subreddit who are just like, "MY porn is the BEST porn... but it's not selling. People are stupid!" Well, no. You're not communicating your porn clearly, sorry. I won't admit I'm selling the most, or writing the best, or anything at all like any other erotica writer is doing... cause I'm not. I'm not just selling sex. I'm selling a story with the sex. If people like it, great. If they don't, that's great too. However, I communicate clearly that's what it's about... that there's a story there. Generally, for erotica, people want to just get off, or get to the sex right away. Plot is like window dressing. For me, it's the opposite. The sex is the window dressing. Hence, I'll never be super popular.

Well, not unless I go into more traditional erotica routes. My femdom series has come with some success, and that's kinda traditional. And that's cool... I enjoyed writing them, so I'll write a couple more, and keep that going... but they're short, and I just... I don't like shorts. I don't get into them. I much prefer my JKC because of the story. A friend of mine read them, and said, "I'm surprised how much characterization you got into your porn." It's because the characterization is a priority to me... and I don't expect to sell because of that, I expect to sell despite it in this genre.

I'm ok with that. If I wasn't, I'd change my style. These new authors, though... I don't know. They just aren't communicating clearly... because the last part of communication is listening, and that's on your readers. You have to speak your message clearly, but readers have to listen. That you can't control, but it is what it is. C'est la vie. Not that I've gotten any reviews yet, but when I do, I will listen to reader feedback and see what they thought. That's about the only way it applies to authors, I guess.

Yes, rambly. I think the painkillers are kicking in now though.

Saturday, April 11, 2015

The Adult Dungeon... It's Not Just for Whips and Chains Anymore!

So, I've mentioned that I got a couple books "adult dungeoned", but what is that exactly? Since I mostly publish on Amazon, I mostly obey their rules and restrictions on erotica. However, when you happen to step over the line, they'll put an "Adult" filter on you which means when people search for your book, it's not in the general population of books... it's in a special section, which people have to click a button to turn on to search IN it. Needless to say, the button is sometimes hard to find, and people don't really bother with it. Being in the adult dungeon can be the death of a book, and usually is. There are exceptions for this rule, but not many that I've found.

What gets you landed in the adult dungeon? As far as I can tell, here's an incomplete list... and I'm sure there are more things, these are just the ones I know about:

  • Nudity on the cover. Definite no-no.
  • Implied nudity on the cover... such as not wearing panties, lol, but also "hand bras". This seems to be more lax with bare chested men though.
  • Certain words or phrases in the title or blurb. Anything vulgar like cock, pussy, dick, etc, is a definite, but there are some other phrases which aren't as well known, like BANGED (hehe), anything to do with 'school' girl or boy, probably anything to do with implied underage (girl, boy) sex, definitely anything noncon and possibly dubcon as well (forced, raped, etc, but "taken" is ok, at least so far), anything to do with incest (ie, mommy, daddy, sister, brother) and some to do with PI (psuedo incest), but a lot of people seem to be getting away with certain phrases like "brat" or "man of the house"... also "step" stuff, though I still wouldn't put brother or sister on there.
  • Images which depict a woman being bound. It's unclear if men are under the same restriction, but I would assume so. Because, you know, BDSM is just SO FUCKING HORRIBLE and people can't possibly be bound with their consent.
  • Anything on the cover actually depicting a sexual act.
There are others, but those are the big ones off the top of my head. Basically, think of like a ten year old who might come across it... if it's anything that you'd really be embarrassed about them seeing, then don't. Make sure your models all have their clothes on and are enjoying things in a consensual manner. Write teasers... but don't spell everything out. I've found in my personal experience that writing short descriptions of what's IN the books are ok though... like putting in "oral, anal, group sex, mmf" and so on doesn't get you filtered, but some people insist that putting anal in there will. Well, I've gotten a couple of books adult dungeoned now, and not one of them have been for putting anal in the blurb, so I'm calling bullshit on that one right now. If someone DID get blocked for that, odds are it was actually for something else. Or Amazon's fucking with them.

New out of the Adult Dungeon: Dominating Her Professor is Live!

Yes, that's right... I got another one adult dungeoned... very much by accident! Dominating Her Professor is now live in Amazon though, AND out of the adult dungeon! Quite by accident, since the picture was so dark, I chose a model who evidently didn't have panties on... whoops! Well, when Jotham lightened up the cover so you could see her body (and the model is gorgeous), it became apparent to him that she didn't have any panties on... but he didn't know Amazon's standards and went ahead with it. Since I had already vetted the pic, I just went ahead with it. Well. Whoops. However, now with a new set of panties courtesy of photoshop, the book is now live!

Thank you for letting Mistress Holly come out and play, Amazon.

Friday, April 10, 2015

Update on Big Black Bodyguard Banged My Wife!

Haha, well, it turns out had I done my research into titles a bit more thoroughly this time... putting "Banged" in your title gets you Adult Filtered. That means that unless they follow a link, or turn on searching for adult fiction in Amazon, ain't no one gonna see the book.

I find that amusing. Jotham, my illustrator, suggested maybe turning it into "My Big Black Bodyguard AND My Wife" which would work, but I told him it was a one off and not that big of a deal. To this end, I decided to throw it into Barnes & Noble to see if anything sells there, since they are way.... WAY looser with things over there, yet it's not nearly as popular, nor do they have a lending program. I have a feeling if they develop one... Amazon might be in for a world of hurt, because Jesus Christ, there are some really horrific and smutty titles over there.

Anyway, we'll also keep BBBBMW in the Adult Filtered zone to keep it as a control. Will people find it? Will they follow the back matter to the book and buy it? Since I pulled it out of KDPSelect so I could put it ON B&N, there's no more lending for it... they'll have to buy it. It's all a grand experiment. :)

Why I Love Independent Authors

I love reading. I love writing. I can't imagine ever NOT doing one or the other. And even as I'm pushing off finishing the last story I'm doing this week (so I can poke around on my longer pieces, I really need to get the next fairy tale one cooking and the next JKC AND this scifi one running around in my head...), I'm doing it because I'm reading another author's stuff, and finding I like it. There's just something about finding a story that you like, that speaks to you, to some part of your brain which hadn't been lit up before... a combination of words which evoke a certain mood or feel or image... just something about that that's sexy.

Online publishing is probably the best thing to happen to readers. You can find anything online, and usually for free. What this means is that a lot of people's secret worlds are opened up to you, worlds you never would have found before. Yeah, some of them might be disgusting--and trust me, the one I read last week was like... THIS is NOT BLOCKED?!--and some might be written stupidly, but for the most part, people put a part of themselves into these books, and they push them gently out into the world, hoping for someone to trip across them. Sure, it might be for money, or it might be just to share what you're thinking about... but they're all taking that chance and putting something out there. Let me tell you what... you can definitely tell when someone is just phoning it in too. That's not wrong, really, but it's not what writing's about really... not to me. To me, it's putting a piece of yourself down on paper and sharing that with the world. It's entertaining people.

Of course, the big authors do that, and they do that well. Stephen King is one of my favorite authors, and I've read every single one of his books, even the bad ones. But, you know, it's Stephen King. The man's fucking brilliant when it comes to evoking horror. A new author is going to look at that, and give up, which is a shame. If you can get even just one reaction out of people, then you've done well! Of course, it might not be the reaction you want... but it's still doing something. Something you've done is making an effect on someone else. You're making them see what you want them to see, feel what you want them to feel. It's... I don't know how to explain that.

So, with the advent of so many independent authors, it's like being a kid in a candy store. Yeah, a lot of the self-pubs aren't going to have the polish of the more "legitimate" authors, but you know, review. Tell them that. Buy their books if you like the sample, or borrow them on KU... and fucking TELL THEM what you liked and didn't like. That way, they'll get better, be encouraged, and put more stuff out there. It's a hard thing putting that little piece of yourself out there for anyone to read and shit all over. The compliments a writer gets makes it worthwhile. Even if it's smut. Who fucking cares? We're in the 21st century, I think us MURICANS should get over our prude attitudes about smut and fucking. We all fuck, we pretty much all read or watch smut. Be fucking proud of it. Stand up and tell people, "I like to read about tentacles and futa girls! I think being fucked by a werewolf is hot! Give me more finger-dicks! Give me more butt fucking raptor men!"

Well, ok, maybe don't shout all that from the rooftops, but you get the idea. Support your indie authors, encourage them to write more and give more of themselves to the world. You won't be sorry you did, and you'll make someone's day a very, very bright one. If nothing else, leave a review because of that.

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Dominating Her Boss is Now Live!

Yup, that's right... another more contemporary femdom book, Dominating Her Boss is now live on Amazon. It was short, fun to write, and the other did ok, so I'm wiggling my toes in more "traditional" erotica. No worries though! I'll be soon back to writing another Janus Key Chronicle... starring Debbie this time called "Slimed by Sea Serpents". So, enjoy for now. :)

Hunger of the Heart Now Live!

Ah, the first of what would be considered a paranormal romance with horror mixed in, Hunger of the Heart is now live in Amazon! This is a bit outside of what I was writing normally, so I dunno if anyone will actually be interested in reading it. It's not a sexy vampire, it's not a primal werewolf... it's a completely different monster given the romance/erotic treatment. I toned down the sexy bits to make it more "romance novel" like and it has more emotion than a normal short would have. I like it. Of course, this particular story has been rolling around in my head for a long time, so it's nice to finally get it out on paper. Second of the Wantonly Wicked anthology, we'll see how it does.

The cover is freaking gorgeous! Jotham does such a great job.

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Dubcon Vs. Noncon

For those of you not in the know, "Dubcon" refers to "dubious consent" while "Noncon" refers to "non-consent", and both are styles of writing in the erotica genre. Before I get into this post, though, I have two things. First, this may warrant a TRIGGER WARNING, just in case, because I do talk about rape and coercion and other things which may trigger bad memories for those of us who have had some very not-good experiences. Second, in NO way am I EVER EVER EVER condoning rape in any way, shape, or form. This includes by coercion or trickery, or because someone was unable to consent (ie, on drugs or drunk for example). Any reference from here on out pretty much refers to fantasies... as in people often have rape fantasies, but in no way want to actually be raped.

IRL... both dubcon and noncon are rape. We're not talking about in real life here though. We're talking about fantasies. If for any reason this isn't clear to you yet as you read, I'ma make it clear: If your partner at any time says no, withdraws consent, or can't give consent and you keep on having sex with them? You're a rapist. If you have enthusiastic consent, then you're not! It's that simple!

Gonna repeat: anything here on out applies to writing and fantasies. I am absolutely NOT condoning any of this in real life. Am I sensitive on this issue? Why yes, yes I am.

Anyway, I won't write noncon stuff. Generally, from what I've seen of it, it's pretty brutal and describes graphic rape. I'm really not into that... it's not sexy to me. For some people, it is, and bully for them. It's just not my thing. It tends to be a lot more violent too, and while I like BDSM, I'm not really into beating the shit out of people to get off. Like, ew.

However, almost all of my stuff could be considered dubcon, which as I pointed out above, IRL would be a very not nice thing. However, in fantasies, it often comes down to, "Oh! This person/creature/whatever is ravaging me! I don't want to like it, but I do! Give me more, person/creature/whatever!" The question is, what exactly does dubcon cover?

It could be the use of force, at least a little. Think of the bodice rippers where the handsome pirate throws down the maiden and has his wicked way with her, but she loves it. Little bit of force, but if she truly struggled, he'd either stop, or it'd go full blown into noncon. A little ways into the ravaging, she gets into it, and becomes a full fledged participant. This goes back to the fantasy of being ravished that women in particular have, because it gives us awesome mind-blowing sex without the fear of being called a slut. We're not sluts, he totally ravished us!

The second use of dubcon could be coercion or blackmail. So far, my "Dominating" series (of which there will be another... should I label them together? Hm. I am planning three books, so I might as well) concerns the woman blackmailing the man into becoming her bitch. He can choose to walk away and suffer whatever consequences there are, but chooses to stay. It's still dubious, because even as he's making a choice, it's blackmail... there's no real right choice to be had there. In this case, he turns out to love it (of course). Or in the Janus Key Chronicles... Dirk & Debbie are basically coerced into having sex in order to get the Key to activate, which may or may not bring them home. Of course, they love the sex, but the point is... they're coerced into having sex whether or not they want to.

The last use, that I can think of anyway, is using mind-altering drugs or other forms of mind alteration (such as hypnosis or mind control) to increase desire or lust. This is the worst form of dubcon in my opinion, as it actually changes a person's being. There are varying degrees of course. In the JK Chronicles, Debbie eats some elderberries which increases her sex drive... but not quite to the point where she can't choose not to indulge. It's really hard not to choose, but she could have if she wished to remain that strong. Hypnosis, if people operate by the "real" rules of hypnosis, can't make people do what they don't want to do already. It's the mind control which is the real kicker... it's not just using the person for their body, but altering their minds, changing them in even more intimate ways... in some ways, it's like the ultimate rape. That's why I won't ever use mind control initiate sexual encounters either... that one is just too icktastic for me, even though the MC in the Villainess book is actually a mind controller. And a sociopath. But she views it as being too easy to do that... yet she keeps it as a back up, just in case.

Now, even though dubcon is shady, it can still be hot. It's sort of like... animal instinct winning over the rational mind. Civilization versus savagery. It's no surprise to me that bikers and vikings are hot right now... they are "savage" and yet can be tender at the same time. Savagery tamed by civilization... and come on, girls, let's face it. Who doesn't want to tame the bad boy and make him fall totally in love with her? It's a dream of just about every girl in the world. It's why bad boys are so fucking popular and why so many girls think, "Oh, I can change him!" Well, as I discussed above, reality and fantasy are definitely not the same thing.

Monday, April 6, 2015

The Perils of Penetrating Pixies is Free April 6th!

Today only, to celebrate getting the bundle out (and being honest--encouraging people to buy it), The Perils of Penetrating Pixies is free, April 6th for one day only. :) Enjoy the free smut!

Sunday, April 5, 2015

The First Janus Key Chronicles Bundle is Live!

Woo! We have enough to make a bundle, and one really worth it too, I think. The Erotic Worlds of the Janus Key Chronicles, Volume 1: Worlds 1-5 is now live! Not much to say about the cover, although I think it's still pretty, it's a conglomeration of the first five... which only makes sense.

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Day Never Finished, Massa Got Me Workin'

I'm often astounded how often people ask authors, "How do you write?" (It's right up there with "Where do you get your ideas?") The answer is pretty simple: you put words down on paper, derp. It's not a hard thing to do. People write all the time when they text, text chat with friends online, jot down notes for work... I think what they mean is "How do you treat writing as a job?" Let's face it... unless you're Stephen King or Dan Patterson or some other big name, people just don't view writing stories as a legitimate way to make money. They don't. They view it as something they had to do in school, or something they do as a past time or hobby. They don't view it as something serious.

My brain works funny. (DER HUR HUR, see, laughed for you there) I can't not be thinking about things. Even when I go to sleep, I narrow down my focus to one thing and think about that, and eventually I'll drop off if I'm warm and cozy. When I ask people, "What are you thinking about?", I'm often surprised when they say "nothing" and mean it. Like... how can you not be thinking about something? It doesn't compute to me. So, for me in particular, writing is a way to clear my mind to make way for new thoughts. It's serious fucking business. Although with this erotica I'm writing, I just vomit it up on page and forget about it (yeah, sexy image there, eh?), while I'm writing about it I agonize over what's happening next, and next, and next, and how do I wrap it up? And so on. It is a job for me, one that I'm always doing, perpetually working. Telling stories is a need. Not a want, a need. Putting it down on paper and selling it is just giving me an outlet to tell stories.

However, to answer the question properly, you have to break it down into what you think a job is. A job is something you have to do to get paid, or a task that needs to be achieved to keep your house in order. It's often viewed as something not pleasant (you ever get a job you love, you never work again), and you have to do it repetitively. It's usually not a one-time-and-done thing. So, in order to treat writing like a job, follow these simple guidelines:

  1. Treat writing seriously. Yup, that's right. Treat it like it's not a hobby or something kids do. Treat it like it deserves to be treated: as a very serious endeavor. A lot of people make their living writing: journalists, script writers, novelists, advertising peeps, scientists, researchers, and so on. They treat what they do seriously, giving it the respect the profession deserves.
  2. Write at the same time every day, for a set amount of time every day. Sure, maybe you can only devote a half hour every day for your writing, or maybe four hours. Whatever the time amount, set that aside for your writing time. Sit down and write something every damn day. You have to go to your job every day, right? (Oh wait, that's just me with the ridiculous amount of overtime I've been having lately) Discipline yourself to be consistent. 
  3. Don't expect to be complimented... ever. If you get some, great! Fantastic! However, more often than not your efforts will go unnoticed, even by the people who read your stuff. People don't leave reviews, especially in smut. Not only that, but people often take delight in tearing down others with harsh words. However... just like in a job, you don't expect to be complimented for doing your job, do you? Every once in a while the boss might poke his head in and say "Hey, good job", but for the most part, it's not every day... because you were hired to do that work, and thus, it's expected. Hence, steel yourself for never getting a compliment on your hard work in writing. 
  4. Don't expect a massive paycheck without putting in massive time. Let's face it, what you put into a job is what you get out of it. If you work part time, you get part time wages. If you work full time, you get full time wages. And if you're stuck at work continually, you'll get ridiculous amounts of overtime. However much time you put into writing will directly affect any cash you get out of it. Unless you are very fucking lucky (EL James for example), you won't get a hit book (BASED ON FUCKING TWILIGHT WTF) right away. You just won't. The more time you put in, the more stories you write, the more stories you publish... the bigger your paycheck will be. 
  5. The more education you have, the better you will do. This is not saying "Go to college!" What I mean by this is that the more you research not just how to write, but also what to write, the more you learn about the craft. The more you know about what you are doing, the better you will do. If you're not writing and you're serious about writing, you should be pondering these things (which is why you guys get my long rambly posts on blogger) or researching (which I do when I'm not writing). When I'm getting ready to write a story, I research the elements I know will be in it first, and then set it down. 
  6. The more joy you find in your work, the less like work it will be. It's just what I said above... if you do what you love, you'll never work again. People who groan and kick their feet every time when it comes to writing probably shouldn't write for a secondary income. They'll get discouraged after some failures and give up. Well, guess what? People fail at writing all the time. The reason why the big names authors are big name authors is because they didn't give up. If it's that hard, just don't. However, the converse... if you love telling stories, and love putting your thoughts down on paper, then don't be discouraged by those first failures. Everyone has them. Keep going at it and find joy in the written word, in your written words, and you'll do well in what will seem like no time at all.
Cha-ching. One more random nonsensical post under the belt. 

My Big Black Bodyguard Banged my Wife! is Now Live!

Yup, that's right, our experimental erotica, My Big Black Bodyguard Banged my Wife!, is now live on Amazon. We'll see how it does, especially since it's not my kink. :)

How to Publish Your Book on Amazon (A Newbie's Guide)

And we're back again! The story is written, and I made sure I hit the aspects of the kinks I was interested in: the emotional connection, the husband watching but not participating. I also tried really hard to hit up the humiliation factor, and how hot he found his wife being fucked.

Now that we have our manuscript, what do we do with it?

First things first... read through it and correct any errors you see. Well, I'll do that, but I'm pretending I'm giving you instructions, so bear with me. Since it's erotica, we don't have to spend a lot of time on editing, but you should take a few minutes to correct obvious errors and make sure it reads smoothly.

Second, we need it in a format which is good for uploading to Amazon. I use Google Documents, because I write at home and at work. I then transfer that to Open Office to edit it, put it in the right format, right font, add my back matter and so on. When that's ready, I convert it in Calibur to a .mobi file for uploading. People do upload directly from a .doc file, which works fine, I guess? They also use Scrivener, which I've heard was very good. I don't want to spend extra money on this stuff, so I'm using what free tools I have at hand.

As for back matter, if it's your first story, don't sweat it. However, for each story you write, you should add links and a brief description to each of your other books. In my case, I have an illustrator who works overtime and puts adverts together. Here's the advert I'm putting the back of this story.

It lists all my previous books, notes which ones are in a series and which aren't, and it's readable in a kindle. After this, I put a link to each, and a brief description.

So, now we are ready to upload it to Amazon. Log into your account and hit that big gold button to add another title. Pretty much it's self-explanatory... but I'll mention two things which people have trouble on: keywords and blurbs. 

For keywords, this time I used "cuckold cuckoldry cuckqueen bull hot wife hotwife, political senator secret service bodyguard fucking my wife, black african american man with white woman ebony love, doggy style masturbation voyeurism mf sex erotica, cuckolded by my wife, black man fucked my wife, employee had sex with my wife" which hit all the kinks in the book, in some variations. The last few are because I ran out of stuff to list, so I listed some phrases which people might search for when looking for a black man fucking a white woman or a cuckold book. Whether these are right or wrong, I have no idea. These are just my words, and I have no rhyme or reason to them other than just describing what is in the book and trying to hit things which people might type into Amazon. That's my entire strategy there.

As for the blurb, sort of like the keywords, but more specific and with whole sentences. This one will read:

After a long day working hard for the people of his state, Senator Lyonel Pryce comes home to see his wife in the arms of another man... his big, black security guard D'artagnan Jackson! Read this steamy tale to get all the sordid details as Lyonel realizes his Big, Black Bodyguard Banged his Wife!
This erotic tale contains cuckoldry, m/f, oral, masturbation & voyeurism, and is 4300+ words! 

That's it. After filling out the rest of the details and deciding if we want to put our short in KDP Select (we do), we hit publish, set the price at $2.99, and wait for it to be live.

I have trouble writing short stories like this and charging $2.99 for this. I still haven't lowered my prices though, except for Rump Raiding Raptors because that's the first in the series, and I'm hoping a lower price will get people to buy and then follow the rest of the series. I'm assured by the various things I read that $2.99 is the accepted price for written porn like this, though. I will probably always be going back and forth on that, because it still feels like a rip off. It might be why the Janus Key Chronicles keep getting longer and longer... it feels like less of a rip off if I write more and give the audience more.

In the end though, this is a business venture. $2.99 gets you 70% royalties if you enroll in the KU/KDP select program. It also means you have to sell your book exclusively on Amazon. I haven't seen a reason not to yet, but I'm going to pull some books out of it after a while and put them on B&N and other places to see how they do.

These posts are a very short guide on how to do it, but honestly, the best way to learn is to just fucking do it.

How to Turn Your Research into a Story (A Newbie's Guide)

Heh, I realize saying "a newbie's guide" is a double-edged sword... this is a guide for newbies, by a newbie. :P Take it how you will.

Alrighty, now that we have some ideas of our cuckold fetish, the time comes to arrange your research into what will be a satisfactory story. Ideally, we're aiming for the 4000-6000 word range, as that's the range for most erotic shorts. Anything longer is ok, but the bare minimum is 4000 words. If you have read my stuff, you'll know that most of the stuff I've written is much longer than this, but that's because I write compulsively... and have to have things like plot and characterization in my smut. Silly me.

Now, after I wrote previous post, I did some additional research. Following my own advice, I went to Amazon and typed in "cuckold erotica". The very first one I found was a free promotion, so I bought it. There were also some under Kindle Unlimited which looked interesting, so I bookmarked them for consumption.

The Arrangement 1
Bareback & Black
The BIG BOSS Pounds my Wife

So, we have our examples, we have an idea of what the cuckolding fetish is about, and we have resources at our fingertips to refer to, if we need to. What next? Well, obviously, it's writing. Some people do outlines, and some people don't. I'm in the middle... I sometimes outline, especially if I'm having a hard time writing the story. Even if you don't outline, you need at least a basic idea of what you're going to do and where the story is going. Obviously, our story is going to have the big event be the actual cuckolding. Do we want the cuckolded husband to be watching or participating? Is his wife complicit in the cuckold or does he just stumble upon it?

Out of the possibilities presented in our research, what interests me the most is having it be a consensual thing that they just do... it spices up their sex life, and satisfies them in ways regular sex can't. For the wife, she gets to feel like she's cheating even though she's not. For the husband, he gets the humiliation he craves by watching this dude plow his wife. I've decided to make him a congressman (inspired a bit by House of Cards), and so as he rises up the ranks of politics and gains more power, he keeps his humility in this way... I can actually see that psychologically. Not saying I'm a psychologist or anything, but I'm a depressive... and I've had many people tell me to just think positive thoughts and not to dwell on the negative. However, dwelling on the negative makes me feel better. Yes, it's weird. Yes, it might be destructive. It works. So, in a case like this, I would imagine this congressman has the power and money at his fingertips, but he needs that reminder... needs that idea... needs that extra something to really get him started and keep him humble. Maybe he's a natural submissive, but obviously being a political leader he can't get what he needs for his psychological health in the real world.

There's also the factor of "hey, my wife is fucking sexy, and people should fucking know it and want her." There's a prestige thing there. He's proud people want his wife and wants them to want her, but at the same time, her actually cheating on him would be devastating. It's about the sexual component without the emotional.

Hm. I can really see this. And that's a good sign. So, looking up in the last two paragraphs, which was me spitballing aloud... I can see the (rough) plot. Congressmen gets home from a busy day. Maybe he did something pretty studly like introduce a new bill, or blocked the opposing party from getting something through. Maybe he was commended by the President. Who knows? Something good, something that proves he's a top dog, alpha male, what-have-you. Powerful. So, he comes home, and he finds his wife engaged in relationship with his bodyguard! Here's where the niche mixing is going to come into play... he's going to be an African American bodyguard. Hence, this is where we come up with the title, "My BIG BLACK BODYGUARD Banged my Wife!" Notice the BBB words all mega capitalized. This is actually inspired by my illustrator, Jotham, who gave me this cover when I casually mentioned off hand "Yeah, I'm writing this story about a dude whose wife gets banged by this black bodyguard. He's a congressman. Title is My Black Bodyguard Banged my Wife". Jotham added in the BIG and capitalized it. From a graphic design point of view, he said, and I quote, "No body ever talks about black cocks, they talk about BIG BLACK COCKS. Note how the edges are beveled, and it's capitalized. It's stressing that face, but also mirroring what's going on in the story."

The stars and stripes in the background were my idea. This way, the cover covers all aspects of the story: Congressman, hot wife, black hung dude (just look at the look on her face!), and the title covers everything else which may be in question. 

Ok, Congressman's motives are nailed down, wife's motives are nailed down... bodyguard's? Well, I'm not quite sure yet. Could be he just can't help himself (another aspect of the hotwife fantasy--the bull just can't help it! She's so damn hot!), but I rather like the idea that it's consensual on his part too. That he's in on it. He works for the congressman and his wife, they do a lot of good work, and by god if all she needs is a big deep dickin' while the congressman watches, who is he to say no to that?? He's just a proud American doing his part!

All that's left is to write the story, which I will be doing tonight and getting it up tonight, since the cover's already finished.

Just remember when writing your own stories to put your kinks in the foreground. As Jotham pointed out, it's never just black cocks, it's BIG BLACK COCKS. The hotwife isn't just hot, she's SUPER FUCKING HOT. Hit the kinks hard--that's what your readers are reading for.