Saturday, August 8, 2015

No, No, 'Zombie Tree Gangbang 17' is Really Action Adventure! Really!

On the eroticaauthor subreddit over the past couple of days, there's been a lot of arguing about a black hat tactic which touches on my stuff (more on that later): categorizing erotica as something other than erotica. Do NOT get me wrong: It IS a black hat tactic, hands down, although you can find sexy stuff in other categories. Let's start from the beginning.

When people write, they both want to create something and make money. Usually the latter, to be honest. For me, it's mostly the former (although smutbucks have really helped this summer since I took a paycut when I switched jobs, and now they've cut my hours a bit, sigh), but I'm not opposed to making money. Far from it! The dream for many writers is to write so well, so often, and sell so much they can quit their day jobs and just write for a living.

When it comes to selling, obviously they are going to spam Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, and whatever other social media they can. They're going to ask you to buy it, to read it, and you know what? That's advertising. We know what they're selling, and we can make an informed choice. I mean, Zombie Tree Gangbang is pretty self-explanatory, right? It's obviously erotica. Maybe fantasy erotica, maybe action adventure erotica, but it's definitely erotica.

One of the things black hat authors do is miscategorize their works and put them under romance, or action, or fantasy, or whatever other category. Usually romance, though. Instead of giving romance, or even steamy hot erotic romance, they get just the erotic part. I would imagine that would piss a few people off.

How does this relate to me? Well, I've actually a couple of stories in romance AND horror and one in fantasy. Why not do this black hat tactic for everything? First, the way I've used it is not to categorize something incorrectly--it's actually to put things in the right spot. The horrorotica I've written (other than the first, that would be horror and erotica) is actually mostly horror, with romance. Primal Urges is actually skating that fine line, but it was such a good story, I thought it would fit better with romance and horror than erotica.

The fantasy one, of course, is my most recent. Yes, there's... three sex scenes in it. For 26K+ words, that's actually not much. In about the same amount of words, I fit in six in Rock's book, which I put under erotica. It  COULD have gone under action/adventure, but the sexy spy situations were to put him in sexy spy situations...it was made to be erotica, start to finish. With a story, yes, and an OK one IMO, but still erotica. Queen of Swords was conceived as erotica, but it turned into a legit story, with a complete plot, start to finish, and not only that, but I keep thinking of where to take Caprice next... and 99% of it doesn't involve sex. It involves villainy and super heroes and... it's a supervillain book. I thought long and hard on it, but while there are sexy scenes in it, they aren't the focus.

I think that's what makes it black hat. When romance is the focus (or action, fantasy, whatever) even if the book has sexy stuff in it, it should go under romance. When the sex is the focus, it should go under erotica, even if it does have a complete plot in it (like Thrustmaster--complete plot, but sex was SO the focus). To do so otherwise, to advertise a book as something it's not, that is a black hat tactic, and I will not do that. So, rest assured, if I say something is horror, it's horror. If I say it's erotica, it's erotica. The lines may blur a little bit (it can be both!), but I will never mislabel a book.

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Payback Isn't Always a Bitch

I suck at tweeting.

I mean, I really suck at social media in general. People can be weird and scary. You can meet some good peeps (I met my husband over the internet! I ordered him from Amazon. :P), and you can meet some bad peeps. So, when it comes to Twitter and Facebook and suchlike, I'm really bad at like... you know... returning the favor. I don't do bite sized info very well because I'm very verbose even when I'm not trying to be. Keeping things inside 144 characters is a lot to ask!

However, I do get a lot of retweets and shares on Facebook, especially from Bryce, Reed James, and Deanna Michaels, among others. So, how do I pay them back? That's an excellent question. It's even more excellent because I don't have a ton of followers, and those that I do are generally other authors. We'd discussed this in a prior blog post.

I do recall where I got really fucking thrilled about a random review of one of my books on a blog post though, and I was like, "Hey, I can do that!" I'd already groused to Bryce about the fact that every author does reviews and it's like nothing special, but you know what... it still kinda is. I mean, it was random. I didn't ask for the review, someone found it and reviewed it all by themselves. I didn't trade for it or nothing. That made it special, and that they seemed to enjoy it made it even more special.

So, yes, I am giving in and deciding that in order to help support other authors who support me, I will review their books. This could potentially be good and bad for them, because I'm a harsh reviewer. If I read something that's not in my kink though, I won't penalize them for that because that's not far. As the famous cartoon from Penny Arcade goes, "It's not FOR me." I can, however, critique the writing, spelling, punctuation, story, and overall construction even if I don't like what I'm reading. I'm also unbiased, mostly, because even bad reviews help erotica writers, believe it or not. I wish I could put the reviews on Amazon, but sadly they are attached to my real name account so in order to keep my cover, I gotta stick to here and Goodreads.

I've already done a couple of Bryce's and one of Reed's. I haven't decided whether or not to keep it on this blog or make another blog for it, but I am leaning towards keeping it on this one. Keeping all my erotica ducks in a row. Even if just one person reads a review and considers getting a book because of it, then I will have repaid the debt.

Plus, it's nice. I like being nice. Unless the book sucks ass in which case I will probably not be nice, but in the nicest non-nice way possible. Because I really fucking hate bad writing.