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

So I heard today

…that another successful self-published writer had been picked up for a high six figure deal by Harper Collins. I bet they’re living the dream now.

It’s the done thing now, isn’t it? Self-publish, get major deal, laugh all the way to the bank. And it got me thinking, as I tend to do, on what this means for the publishing industry.

I bet you’re really interested now.

/sarcasm

Okay, for all two of you that haven’t closed the browser tab yet – I think it’s a sign.

Of what, dear Shay?

Of the fact that the publishing industry are basically clueless, of course.

Think about it. These arbiters of taste, these keepers of culture, would have you believe that they know what the public wants. They certainly want their investors to believe this. But it’s clear that they really don’t know anything; they rely on “surefire” hits, like books written by celebrities and well known authors, and others that have already become popular due to the unknown author’s hard work or blind luck.

I was thinking about this because I want to see what books are being released by, say, Harper Collins, that were neither self-published nor written by someone well known. I want to know which books were real risks for them, and how they measured up to the big sellers.

I have some research to do, but I suspect I will be proven right… we already know they’re a business, don’t we? A profitable business isn’t in the habit of taking risks.

//shay

I don’t know what’s happening

Dominion is at #34 now, what the hell is going on?

Is there some magical promotional fairy around? It’s only been free for two days!

I just… I don’t know whether to be scared or excited. People are downloading my story. Isn’t that awesome? Oh, I hope they like it, really I do. I feel bad about the crappy cover now.

Behold!

I’m just so pleased… I’m gonna go write more! More free porn for all!

//shay

Dominion is at #79

It’s at rank #79 in Erotica on Amazon right now. I just want to screenshot that and hug it to bits.

I am somewhat astonished by this. I hope people like it. I want them to like it.

I especially want those who are into BDSM to like it, because that would mean that I got the mindset right.

{added by edit} it’s at #43 now, what in all the hells is happening? Is it okay if I run around laughing like an idiot?

//shay

Amazon hates me

Of course it does. I’m trying to publish a story for you all, because I love you so very much, and all it can do is taunt me with that damn ‘in review’ status.

I have no idea where I’m going with the vampire thing, so I decided to write BDSM. It’s called Dominion, and I’m going to make it free as soon as it’s up to apologise for having nothing for the last… what, three weeks?

Not good enough, Shay. Just not good enough.

This will be my first attempt at writing BDSM. I like to think I’ve done more research than E.L. James on it, but if I screw it up, I beg you to go easy on me. No punches below the belt, okay? And give me time to get my flame-resistant suit on.

That’s my biggest problem… I want to get it right, even when I’m not sure I know what ‘right’ is. You can imagine that me being secretive about this means I can’t just send it to friends for commentary, not even my kinky friends who would most likely give me the best feedback. I have to incorporate things I’ve learned after the fact, more or less, and hope I’m getting them at least somewhat correct.  I’ve had the benefit of knowing some very, very highly experienced people who have delivered a wealth of information on the nature of the BDSM lifestyle, and on their own choices within it.

Anyway, here’s another thing you didn’t know about me – I’m not into domination, per se, but I tend to be… violent, during sex. It’s like I don’t properly separate fighting and fucking in my mind. I’m very, very dominant in nature, though I don’t have the self-control to actually be a Dom, so I understand the mindset at least.

One of my very esteemed friends once told me, “People always think that the sub is the needy one, but in reality, the Dom is not whole without them. It should always be an equal relationship – not equal power, but equal investment and equal desire – for it to succeed.”

I thought she was very wise indeed.

//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