Designing this

The cat is back and it’s staring at me again. I think it’s plotting something.

I’m back to cover design. A story must have a cover, and my skills remain wholly inadequate. Still, needs must, and I can hardly reveal my secret identity to employ a proper designer. So I have to make it up as I go along, as they say, and just hope that it’s good enough until I make actual money out of this.

Amazon’s 24 hour review time is such a pain. I’ve set a deadline of Friday night anyway, which means I should have the next story up by Saturday night. From there… well, I hope to get back to a regular schedule of writing a story a week, on top of work and actual writing and, y’know, eating and sleeping and stuff.

No rest for the wicked, eh? I have fanfiction to write too. Don’t think I’ve forgotten about that. My fanfiction has a bigger audience than… whatever the hell this stuff is, I don’t know.

Someone told me today that Twilight is a poignant, touching story, and it gets a lot of flak because we, the adults, don’t get it and 14 year old girls do. It’s a ‘get-off-my-lawn’ situation – we hate it because it’s new, and different.

I gave him a strange look. “No, it gets a lot of flak because it’s a godawful piece of trash. You’ve never read it, have you?”

No, he said.

“Of course not. Read it – all of it – and if enough of your braincells survive, you’ll agree with me by the end of it.”

I don’t think he’s going to read it.

//shay

New covers

Enough people liked the post where I asked about my covers for me to change them up. The Amazon files have been swapped, although they’ll probably do their usual thing of taking their sweet time about the processing.

Lookit! Ain’t they colorful now? I do like me some colors, in spite of my clearly half-assed attempts at art. I don’t know if they read as erotica and I’m close to not caring, at this point. I like them and I have writing to do.

I am still obsessing over the ratio of prose to porn. I can’t help it at this point. Do I have enough, and is it explicit enough, to be called erotica? Do erotica writers even ask this question?

Should I just hit up Harlequin’s website and check out their guidelines for whatever their steamiest book line is, then beat my brain into the formula in spite of its attempts to escape my head and flee to another continent?

Gah. I have questions and no one to ask.

//shay

An honest question

Are my covers bad?

It’s okay, I can take it. I just don’t know what to do with them. I’m wondering if the fact that they don’t really look like erotica covers is a bad thing.

I make them myself. Badly. I kinda splice them together out of whatever I can find, and I don’t use stock photos because I just can’t find any that don’t make me laugh when I think of them on a book cover. I also don’t like dark, broody covers because dark and broody makes me think of angst, and angst makes me think of Fifty Shades or Twilight, and I will stab myself in the eye with an icepick before I write something like either of those two books, money and fame be damned.

I wonder if I should just flip the colors. Make them white text on black, give them some sexy textures or something in the background. I wonder if people see the white and think they’re something that has no sex in it. This makes me cry because I want to deliver ALL THE SEXYTIMES for your *ahem* enjoyment.

I’m going to go make some adjustments.

//shay

And then we come to the cover…

Seriously, how does one go about making an erotica cover that doesn’t look silly? I mean, you could go for the whole ‘headless man and woman’ schtick a la Harlequin, but surely that gets old?

Bah. This is another thing that annoys me. You have to somehow convey all the sex without being too obvious about it, because Amazon frowns on covers that show two or more people in the sweet agony of coitus with visible genitals hanging out.

(‘Coitus’ is my word of the day. I can’t help but think of some kind of exotic reptile when I hear it.)

A title is my other problem. I just… can’t get the usual erotica fare. It’s far too heavy for me, too serious. I keep wanting to say c’mon, let’s get real here – why all the downers in our porn, guys? Can we just have some people screwing without all the damn hangups for once?

Full disclosure: this… whatever… I’m publishing to start with is about a woman who catches her boyfriend cheating on her. It is not an angst story. It’s just about what happens when she kicks him out and later acquires a friend-with-benefits, who does a stellar job of cheering her up. Yeah, there’s some sadness, but the sex sure as hell doesn’t revolve around it because I want it to be fun. Remember that? Fun? Like it is in real life, provided you’re not doing it wrong?

I guess the bottom line here is that angsty sex stories just irritate me. And of course the market is all about the angsty sex stories, if Fifty Shades is anything to go by.

If I make no money from this, I think we’ll all know why. Just promise you’ll console me later when I’m crying softly into my beer.

//shay