Another Ass Bitten, Another Wake-up Call Missed

i thought he liked thatI’ll admit I don’t know much about Ellora’s Cave (other than they more than likely would reject most of my books), but I do know that they are a somewhat major player in the area of erotic fiction.

A recent blog post I came across, Ellora’s Cave & E-book Sales: A Cautionary (First Amendment) Tale by Miss Primm, makes the announcement that Ellora’s Cave has found itself one of the latest victims of Amazon’s ever-changing and ever-elusive policies concerning the availability and accessibility of erotica within their illustrious web pages. To the tune of Ellora’s Cave losing upwards of 75 percent of their Amazon sales.

Okay, so maybe people like Ellora’s Cave and Miss Primm haven’t really missed the wake-up call, but reasons, reactions, and solutions being bantered about by most folks indicate that they are still dozing through the snooze button.

The basic premise seems to be fairly understood, according to Miss Primm’s words:

E-publishers like Ellora’a cave have a profoundly unique relationship with e-retailers like Amazon. Suckling at the teat of lower production costs and easy distribution, e-publishers have traded one evil for another. They aren’t dealing with the higher costs of print production, but they are at the mercy (of) the policies of their distributors.

So, at least people seem to be somewhat aware of the devil they’re dealing with, and the possible problems it poses. However, that seems to be where the awareness ends. Reading further, however, one comes to the realization that many are still just talking in their sleep:

Ever since Milton Friedman declared that that the only social responsibility of a business is to increase its profits, corporate types have used this argument to justify all sorts of schemes, most of which works at odds towards individual’s interests. So it is no surprise that Amazon will do whatever is in its power to maximize sales, even if it means hiding authors.

Well, in a big way, Milton is right. And most businesses are pretty much aware that the best way to increase profits is to give its customers what they want and treat people decently while doing it. However, many businesses will forgo the latter if the former can still be achieved. Solutions to this dilemma, however, continue to remain elusive to Miss Primm and the great majority of other erotica writers. In fact, the basic premise they’re working on seems to be majorly flawed:

It would seem that hiding content, and restricting cover art is censorship, something that violates our First Amendment rights to free speech. This battleground, whether a single entity can control the information flow of a publisher has been fought on other ground. The Supreme Court weighed in on whether a city or town has the right to restrict the location of news racks. Cities argued that they have the right to control “visual clutter” of the streets, while newspapers argued that such restrictions violate their First Amendment rights. The ultimate result gave neither side a clear victory. Cities can adopt a uniform code for newspaper distribution as long as it is applied to all forms of newspapers, paid daily and free shoppers alike. They can even issue permits and impose fees on newspapers for the placement of racks on city land. But they cannot pick and choose what news racks can appear on the streets.

First of all, this is NOT a “First Amendment” issue!!! Like it or not, Amazon is a private business, free to conduct its business as it sees fit. They can sell or not sell whatever books they choose, they can make available or hide whatever books they please. The example that was cited had to do with cities and towns, which are government entities, which is what the First Amendment is aimed at. The one basic factor that everyone seems to have forgotten is that the Constitution of the U.S. was basically framed to tell the government what it can and cannot do, not what the people can and cannot do. The Prohibition Amendment basically blew the shit out of that premise, and we all know (or should know) the fate of that particular clause.

Now this might seem as far away from the topic of Amazon controlling the sales of erotica as one might get. But think about how publicly traded companies like Amazon, on one hand, want the access to and the benefits of a free marketplace, and then assert their right to act as their management sees fit whether or not those goals mesh with public policy. This seems to me a bigger issue than a single publisher putting all their eggs in one basket and losing out to a corporation. And this is one fight that no one seems to want to take on. Ultimately though, someone is going to have to, otherwise, like Ellora’s Cave we will lose our rights to distribute our material to the vagaries of corporate profit strategy.

There are two reasons no one seems to want to take this fight on: First of all, it is an un-winnable fight. It has no teeth and really no basis for it to win on. Second of all, it’s the wrong “fight”. What erotica authors seem to want to be doing is to join Amazon and then “form” Amazon into what they want it to be. Sorry, people, it doesn’t work like that.

Bottom line? It IS an issue of a single publisher putting all their eggs into one basket. It really is no bigger than that. This is what most publishers, and what most independent authors do!!  The biggest mistake most indie publishers and authors keep doing is they KEEP PROMOTING AMAZON!!!!

There ARE other “baskets” out there. Carnal Pleasures and Excitica are two which come to mind immediately and there are plenty more, most of which do not have NEAR the restrictions that Amazon does. (Does anyone even remember that Barnes & Noble exists?) There is a demand for erotica. What erotica writers and publishers need to start doing is stop associating Amazon with erotica. Lead your audience somewhere else!!

Every time you keep linking your books to Amazon, you just keep feeding the beast. I’m not saying completely eliminate Amazon if they haven’t completely eliminated you yet… But start training your readers to look elsewhere. If enough erotica authors start doing this, Amazon will start to become less and less of an issue.

Tribute to a Tumblr Blog

old erotic art tumblrFor quite some time now I have been following a blog on Tumblr called Old Erotic Art. It is by far the most incredible, extensive collection of vintage erotica I have ever seen in one place! The collection spans multiple genres in the forms of painting, drawing, and comics. There are also images of statues, figurines and old book covers spanning who knows how many years. Many of the images are beautiful, some are mesmerizing, some are humorous, all are interesting and entertaining.

It has just been recently announced that the person running this blog will soon stop posting to it. It was not made clear whether the blog will be left up or not, but hopefully it will for quite some time.

Just in case it’s not, however, be sure to check it out while you can.

http://olderoticart.tumblr.com/

Perpetuating the problem

rebel all the wayI recently came across the latest blog post by erotica author Selena Kitt. Reading through it had me raising my fist in the air, shouting, “YES!!!” (Well, in my mind anyway. I don’t actually do things like that… really!) She basically wrote an EXCELLENT rebuttal to the email that Amazon recently sent out to all their KDP authors, asking them to rally behind Amazon in their dispute with the publishing company Hachette. It was, to say the least, inspirational.

Let me say, before going any further, I have great respect for Ms. Kitt. She’s been in this publishing game for years, and she has easily written at least ten times as many books as I have. But there are times when I find her just a little confusing.

I received the same email that Ms. Kitt did. Seeing it in my inbox did not fill me with the same sort of dread that she described. Of course, I only have five of my books listed with KDP. Not being enrolled in their KDP Select program, Amazon does nothing whatsoever to promote my books, and the last royalty payment I received from Amazon came to around four dollars and some-odd cents. Ms. Kitt, however, has dozens of books listed on Amazon, if not hundreds, so I can understand her trepidation in receiving the email, but I kind of had to chuckle just a bit when she claimed she has no horse in this race.

I mentioned in an earlier post that I just recently opened a Twitter account. Ms. Kitt was one of the first people that I followed. One of the first things I noticed was that Ms. Kitt tweets a lot. I mean, A LOT!!! Most of them being promotional tweets for her books. Usually her latest one. While to me, a novice, it seemed a little excessive, I figured hey, she’s the professional, it must work for her.

Her excessive tweeting was not an issue for me. Easy enough to scroll past them. What is an issue is how she links her books. Like 99 percent of all other erotica authors, she links her books to… you guessed it, their Amazon pages. And not just on Twitter, anytime I see her promoting her books on any social media outlet, the links are to Amazon!

That is the main thing that confuses me. I can understand somewhat that most erotica authors would do that, since most of them only submit to Amazon, and even if they do submit to other outlets they figure linking to Amazon will garner the most success. But Ms. Kitt’s books are available on a number of outlets, in fact she even has her own publishing company where they are obviously available. Instead of linking to her own website however, she continues to link to Amazon. While that may not make Ms. Kitt Amazon’s “bitch” (according to her own blog post), it’s certainly showing a generous amount of cleavage.

Unlike many, if not most erotica authors, especially ones just starting out, I have my own web page. (The very one you’re reading right now, thank you for visiting!)  Whenever I promote any of my books, whether through back matter or on social media, that’s where I link to. My web pages have a listing of every outlet that my books are available on, including the limited number that are available on Amazon. I never (well…almost never) link my books to their Amazon pages whenever I promote them. There are two main reasons for this: One, as mentioned previously, only five of my books are actually listed on Amazon. Amazon refuses to list my more “taboo” stories, and I refuse to water them down enough to “sneak them through”. And two, linking to Amazon only gives them more power. It only promotes them further, and in effect perpetuates the problem. Over and over again I see author after author treating Amazon like it’s the only game in town. And over and over again, I see Amazon shooting them down one by one.

I give kudos to Ms.Kitt for her excellent blog post. In a way it came just short of rallying erotica authors to join forces against Amazon. (Almost… but not quite.) At the very least, she gives whispered rumblings that the possibility for revolt is there. This was a departure from her usual posts concerning the subject of Amazon. Usually, while she offers scathing criticism of Amazon, she more often than not follows it with advise to other authors on how to “work around” Amazon’s roadblocks. Advise that she is constantly having to update. In this latest blog post, she offers no such advise.

Perhaps that signals a turning point.

Turn Off The Blue Light – a liberal campaign in a conservative country

Originally posted on An Irishman Abroad:

Since the 2011 elections in Ireland, law reform on the issue of prostitution became an issue with some support from opposition parties who were likely to become (and later did become) the new Government. Since then, the issue has received as much attention as any social issue would at a time when a country’s economic woes are far more of a concern to the majority of the population.

Last year, a campaign called Turn Off the Red Light was run with a view to ending sex trafficking in Ireland by making it illegal. The campaign is run by over thirty civic organisations and has been supported by a group of well-known Irish men including the singer Christy Moore. It focuses heavily on the need to protect women working in the sex industry from potential abuse.

In rebuttal to this, a counter-attack called Turn Off The Blue Light has been launched…

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Beware Popular Lies About Sex

secretplaygrounds:

“Common sense” tells us that the earth is flat.

Originally posted on Sexual Intelligence:

Not “myths,” but lies.

Katie Couric recently embarrassed herself during an interview with psychologist David Ley about pornography. When he calmly described to her what a range of scientific studies say about porn’s effects on behavior and our brain—that it’s minimal—Couric raised her voice, rolled her eyes, and said she was sick of science. “Can’t we use some common sense here?”

Actually, no. Common sense clearly tells us that the Earth is flat. Want some science with that, Ma’am?

In contrast, Couric believed the fact-less, emotional rantings of her other guest—because they fit Couric’s existing beliefs. Like all morning TV hosts, her job is to say bland things, not to think. At least Couric didn’t lie; she’s just uninterested in facts.

Some people do lie. Here are some popular lies about sex that are easy to believe because they make “common sense”—and because some people are making a lot of…

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Creating a Generation of Young Porn Criminals

secretplaygrounds:

Kids looking at porn: Is it dangerous? YES!!! But not for the reasons you might think…

Originally posted on Sexual Intelligence:

I recently received the following inquiry:

I just found out my 9-year-old daughter has been looking at hard-core adult porn (“Ramrod butt busters,” “Sweet on teacher,” etc.).
She spent a weekend at my sister’s, who let her use her laptop. When my sister and I reviewed her internet history, it was obvious; then I looked at my daughter’s iPad, and was shocked all over again. I don’t want to shame my kid about sex, but I want her to be safe. The thought of her absorbing this stuff makes me sick.
What should I do?

Should 9-year-olds be looking at porn? Of course not. Porn is a product specifically made for adults, and young kids can’t possibly consume the product in a healthy way. They’re bound to find the images confusing at best, frightening at worst. If they feel guilty about watching the images, they may obsess on them, strengthening…

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Releasing the “Pause” button for a moment…

stories unwrittenSorry it’s been a while. For a variety of personal reasons, I’ve been taking a bit of a break from “author” activities for a while. Not just writing, but also in areas of promotion. I’ve been easing back into promotional activities recently, posting a little more on some of my social media outlets, but my writing for all intents and purposes has been holding at a standstill.

Some of the more personal reasons I’ve been putting my writing life on hold I won’t go into. As far as some of the more professional reasons, let’s just say I’ve been in somewhat of a “re-evaluation” mode. I wouldn’t call it “soul searching” so much as just trying to figure out my place in the world of writing erotica.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m very satisfied, even proud in a way, with the stories I have out so far. It’s just that the results from releasing these stories have been…let’s just say… less than what I was expecting. I’ve been told by my publisher that I’ve actually been doing very well for such a new author, and I’m not saying I don’t believe her. And I’m not saying I’m not making any money from my books…I am… but with 16 ebooks out total at this point, I can’t help but feel the financial results should be a little more lucrative than they are.

It certainly doesn’t help that Amazon won’t carry most of my books. In fact, dealing with Amazon is quite demoralizing period. It’s also a little frustrating seeing author after author being kicked in the balls by Amazon for one reason or another, yet they still try to play the game and try to work around Amazon’s bullshit, thinking that Amazon is the only way to be successful, without seeming to realize that in doing so they become part of the problem rather than part of the solution.

Making probably one of the worst mistakes possible for an author, I can’t seem to help but compare myself to other authors also. It’s been said almost constantly that the best promotion for your books is to keep writing more books, and I do believe that’s true. However, I see a myriad of erotica authors on some of my social networks almost bragging in a way that they are pumping out a short story a week, basically becoming an erotica ebook “factory” in a way. Even if I was capable of writing that way, I don’t think I would ever want to. If I was going to do “factory” work, I’d just as soon do it in an actual factory. To me, it seems to defeat one of the main purposes of being an author in the first place.

Anyway, that’s sort of where I’m at right now. I realize I have a bit of a fan base out there, and I do appreciate that, and sorry if I’m letting them down in some way. I realize there are some who are waiting for my next installment of the Angel Falls series, as well as some of the other projects which I have floating around in my head. I’m certainly not out of ideas… but a little short these days on ambition, and trying to figure out my place in all this.

All I can say at this point is, I will try to make it worth the wait.

 

Forrest Young is now on Twitter

lets playI’d thought about checking it out for quite some time. Then someone on one of my Reddit groups posted about their new Twitter page (@IncestConfess), and I had to check it out. I’m actually surprised there was so much “naughty” stuff there. LOL!

Not really sure what I’m going to do with it yet…LOL…or how much I’ll actually use it, but if you have Twitter feel free to follow along with me if you wish.

@ForrestYoungTEA

Corporate Censorship: Amazon Targets Dark Erotic Romance and BDSM

4630218_m

Heads up authors: Amazon is targeting erotica again. This time, it’s “Dark Erotic Romance” (read: DubCon and NonCon) and BDSM. I hate to say I told you so – but I told you so. I said, back when Amazon caved and stopped carrying the ped0phile’s guide, that we were heading down a slippery slope. I said it again when my own work was first banned from Amazon. I’ve been saying it and saying it, and the slope just keeps getting slipperier. And not in a good way.

Now Amazon has started filtering and banning BDSM simply for being BDSM. For some books, it’s all about perception. Titles with obvious references to abduction, kidnapping and reluctance are being culled. Descriptions with those identifiers are also being removed. And of course, covers are being targeted, now including things specific to domination and submission–chains, ropes, handcuffs, all the markers of the genre, may get a book banned.

When my original incest books were banned and many romance writers said, “Oh it’s just taboo stuff? Well that’s okay, then, I don’t write that…” I warned the erotic romance community that it could be their niche next. Dark Romance as a genre has started to heat up Amazon’s bestselling charts from Deviant to Tears of Tess, featuring heroes who have a dark edge, but some books have apparently gone too far, according to Amazon’s ever-changing guidelines. Lily White’s Her Master’s Courtesan was outright banned on Amazon. Recently, the dark romance boxed set, Bend, was banned as well. Why? In these cases, it was likely enough customer complaint to warrant Amazon checking out the book and deciding that the line between consent and “dubious consent” was just too close for their comfort. Of course, this is conjecture, because Amazon won’t ever tell us what is and isn’t acceptable.

But this isn’t good news for erotica or erotic romance writers, that’s for sure. We’re all standing on very shaky ground with Amazon and the line just keeps moving. It isn’t easy to negotiate or find your way through the morass that has become self-publishing erotica on Amazon. Unfortunately, they still have the largest market share, so it makes the most financial sense to figure out a way to keep your books visible. To do this, you have to keep your fingers on the pulse of Amazon’s ever-changing, unwritten “policy” and respond accordingly.

This will, of course, lead to a lot of self-censorship over time, which I’m sure is the point on Amazon’s part, because erotica writers won’t want to pay cover artists to re-do “inappropriate” covers and they won’t want to write books that readers just can’t find on the behemoth retailer. And dark erotica and dark erotic romance just seems to be upping the ante with every book, with heroes who are complete mysogynists, from drug dealers to human traffickers to violent criminals. Granted, the hero (usually) turns things around, driven by his love for the heroine, but the stakes are getting higher, the drama is getting stickier, and the darkness in these books is getting, well, darker. In the end, dark erotica/romance may have to go back underground, or at least be a little more careful in its presentation, if Amazon has anything to say about it. And, as usual, if a customer complains, Amazon will likely shoot first (by banning a book) and ask questions later (or not at all).

So what is a BDSM/dark erotica/erotic romance author to do?

What May Now Get Your Book Adult Filtered

Besides the list I updated recently, we can now add:

  • Words like reluctance, kidnapping, abducted, captured, master, slave and any other variation in the title or description MAY subject you to the ADULT filter. This is, of course, subject to Amazon’s arbitrary enforcement.
  • Covers that contain elements of bondage, including whips, crops, handcuffs, chains etc., as well as heroines who look as if they are scared or in pain, may kick on the ADULT filter.

What May Now Get Your Book Blocked/Banned

In addition to the original list:

  • Content that involves rape for titillation, as well as nonconsent (even if the heroine ends up in love with the rapist at the end), dubious consent (where the heroine is being forced but clearly is physically enjoying it) MAY be subject to banning/blocking. Content that involves snuff (a character being killed during/after sex) will almost surely elicit a ban. (The bad news about this is that Amazon no longer will put a book back to “draft” status and allow you to change it. If a book is blocked, and you want to change it, you have to resubmit as a new book with a new ASIN. Unfortunately, this is disastrous for books that are doing very well in rankings.)
  • Covers that contain elements of bondage, including whips, crops, handcuffs, chains etc., as well as heroines who look as if they are scared or in pain, may ALSO get your book blocked or banned, depending on the Amazon reviewers’ mood.

Enhanced Adult Filter

Authors have noticed a new feature on the KDP dashboard asking for appropriate reading ages for your book. Great news for authors of kids and YA books. The hope, of course, is that Amazon is creating a “safe zone” for kids, right? But there’s another feature that’s popped up in the past few weeks that is a little alarming for erotica authors under the ADULT filter. Now, when your book is filtered, not only does it not appear under an “All Department Search,” as well as showing up very last in any search results in the Kindle store, regardless of title or keywords – it now doesn’t even show up in the Kindle Store initial search results. Now a reader has to click the “excluding adult items” linkin order to see an ADULT filtered book. (see screenshot below)

excluding adult items

In lieu of this new development, it’s becoming more and more important to keep your erotica and erotic romance books “clean” on the outside, even if they’re dirty as can be on the inside, in order to avoid the ADULT filter. Hopefully (I’m crossing my fingers) this new age requirement will be a boon for erotica writers, creating a “safe zone” for the kiddies, while allowing adult readers to still find what they want. Your book(s) should be fine as long as you can keep them out of the erotica Red Light District!

And if you’re a BDSM or dark romance author afraid your book(s) will be filtered, blocked or banned, all is not lost. You can navigate the choppy Amazon waters and hopefully allow readers to find your book. Unfortunately, I still predict storms ahead on the horizon, but I’ll definitely keep an eye out for all of us. I know we can ride them out together!

 

Selena Kitt
Erotic Fiction You Won’t Forget
www.selenakitt.com
LATEST RELEASE: Girls Only – First Time

Super Taboo issues 1-6 now posted

st06-01Links to each issue can be found near the bottom of my Links Page.

(Other issues coming soon)

Super Taboo issue #1 now available online

Super Taboo is an adult incest-related comic series I found online years ago. It is cleanly drawn, has an interesting plot, and, unlike most comics of its genre, is not overcrowded to the point of being unreadable. Unfortunately, I have no information as to who the original artist/author is, but have decided to post it and make it available on my Imgur account.

Issue #1 can be found here, and other issues will be added as time goes by. There will also be links listed on my “Links” page as well.

Enjoy. :)

Edit: Issue #2 now posted.

Review of “Anna” by Sylvia Storm

Anna - psp cover 1 500x800It’s a bird! It’s a plane! It’s a……Distraction!!

When the only major complaint on your book by a reviewer is a little unidentified (flying?) object on the corner of your cover, I would say that’s a pretty damn good review. :)

My thanks going out today to author Sylvia Storm for her wonderful review of my book Anna. This one took a little longer than her review of my book Private Conversations, but then again this is a slightly longer book. She also said this one was an “improvement” over my last submission, but to tell you the truth I don’t really remember which book I wrote first. Like all my Spinning Heads stories, these were written years ago, and for the life of me I don’t remember in which order they were written. It would be interesting to see if the improvement held up over the years, but unfortunately she doesn’t review taboo material. (Although it’s interesting to note that consensual incest is considered taboo, but cheating wives and husbands is not.)

Anyway, I am more than pleased with the review, and if you’re an erotica author who would like to submit a book to her for review, I would highly encourage you to do so.

Today we go back to cheating husbands and wives with Anna (Spinning Heads) by Forrest Young. The cover on this is fun, I liked the models and sunset. There’s some great work on the fonts too, they look sharp and professional. There’s three issues that stand out at me, the first being our foreground model seems a bit bright and she doesn’t match what I’d expect with the pinkish background image shade. Second, the background seems a little low resolution, minor point.
The third would be to please apply a healing brush to whatever that branch or dark thing is floating up in the sky at top-right. I thought it was a bird, but it looks like a cut branch, but I have no idea what it is and I’d like to see it Photoshopped out. There’s this magic triangle formed between her eyes, the thing, and the title. I’d rather the focus point being on him, but that thing is distracting and creates a WTF moment in the flow of the cover. Otherwise, very nice cover, I like this one.
Cheating wives? We have a wonderful bitch-out session by our heroine’s best friend in a strip club. I like these non-perfect scenes where one character realistically flies off the hook and has some “Jerry Springer” going on. The best friend and her husband do not even have a sex scene, thank you! Our housewife then decides an appropriate reaction to that domestic drama is to get up on stage and strip. I wish it were setup a little better, and I could have read a whole book about her playing with the idea “do I strip or not?” It’s a fun older-woman fantasy, and it sets off our whole cheating and ‘trouble at home’ plot nicely.
Having her husband walk back in the strip club and discover her is choice, and well-played on the quiet car ride back home. You can tell I’m into the imperfections, the quite-different than a porn-movie setups, and the messy side of life today. I like grunge and cruft on my relationships, it makes the all-too-perfect lives of our characters a bit more relatable.
Text-quality is average to good, and this book is an improvement for Mr. Young. We have a couple dialog tags like questions answered or statements stated, but overall, I could read this without being too distracted by the little things. Every book has issues, but there’s a line that is crossed where you can enjoy it for the most part, and this book got over that hump.
Heat-level is above average to good. The sex is a bit on the quick side for me, I prefer things to be paced down a little bit. The insert, sex, and orgasm within one paragraph is a bit fast for me, so I shall spank for that today. I still liked the setups and fun situations here, there is plenty of cheating and domestic trouble, along with out husband getting into the act as well. I would have loves to see a little back-and-forth between her husband’s new fling and our heroine, meow cat-fight stuff, and overall I was happy with the sex and setups here.
I know, when I write my books, I go 2,000 words into a sex scene and I’m not even half done. Maybe I am a bit on the extreme side. Still, my current projects are more fetish, so they demand more slow attention to detail. For rom-erotica, yes, pacing it sanely and crisply is likely a good choice. What you write will determine how you pace things.
Well, well, a book that’s more about the cheating and how all this went down than it is the sex? Interesting, and a recommend for the cheating wives readers today, soft recommend from the general erotica crowd. I liked this one, it was fun and gave me an escape. I really liked the messed-up relations here, the cheating, the getting back at each other – it’s fun stuff.
An improvement for our author, and a fun little book today. Not bad, and an indulgence I shall not feel guilty for today. Only that branch is bugging me still!

Familiar Attraction: Exploring Incest In Popular Culture & Mainstream Fiction Including; Film, Television & Literature.

I’ve only just started exploring this site, but it looks like a veritable treasure trove of articles and information concerning incest being portrayed in various venues of mainstream media!

She has a Tumblr page also. :) (Which looks a WHOLE lot fancier than mine!!)

Corporate Censorship: Keeping Your Erotic Books Off Retailer Hit Lists

Erotica author Selena Kitt has a new article posted on One Handed Writers concerning erotica book limitations and censorship on various big-name ebook retailers, most especially Amazon.

You can also read the article directly on her blog.

It’s no secret how I feel about Amazon’s practices, as well as those of the other big-name distributors. The very fact that a well-known erotica author would have to write such an article about how to “get around” these book retailers’ restrictions is not only absolutely absurd, but sad beyond belief.

It seems the only choices are either to play the game or take a stand. The fact that more and more erotica authors, including the heavy hitters and the most experienced ones, are opting to choose the former almost makes me want to cry.

My ebooks now available on Scribd

scribd promoAll of my ebooks are now available on the Scribd website.

To tell you the truth, I’m not exactly sure what that means… I’m actually not all that familiar with Scribd. It’s something connected to having my ebooks listed with Smashwords. Apparently some books are completely accessible to Scribd subscribers, while others are only available for purchase. My books are apparently only available for purchase. I’m not sure how to change that, or even if it would be advantageous to do so.

I do know that some of my books listed there are not the most recent versions available. For instance, Craving His Attention is listed under its previous title, Watch Me, Daddy. And some of the covers are previous covers that I had changed a while back.

In any case, it does mean that there is another outlet that my books are available on. If you are a Scribd subscriber, or want to check them out, my ebooks are now available through them.

Upping the Ante

secretplaygrounds:

The latest release from fellow Carnal Pleasures author K.C. Cave. Gotta love that cover!!

Originally posted on K. C. Cave:

Now for a commercial interruption My new book, Upping the Ante, is now available on Amazon, Smashwords, B&N and god knows where else. Trust me, it’s outrageously explicit.

via K.C. Cave.

View original

Review of Private Conversations

PrivConv psp cover 1 500x800The following is a review of my ebook Private Conversations by erotica author Sylvia Storm on her website E-Read Erotica Reviews. My deepest appreciation to Sylvia for taking the time to give this book her honest assessment.

Private Conversation is the shortest ebook among my selection of titles, and also my most lighthearted title. Like all of my Spinning Heads titles, this was written years ago, long before I ever seriously considered writing in any professional manner. While they were all ‘cleaned up’ quite a bit before publishing, I tried to keep as much of the original “feel” of the stories as I could, so I am aware that they are a little ‘rough around the edges’ style-wise. I was slightly surprised, however, that a piece that is not even 4,000 words in length was described as “wordy” at times. LOL

I am glad that the humorous aspects of the story worked as well as they did, however. :) And thank you, Sylvie, for not spoiling the ending. LOL

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It was a typical, boring, run-of-the-mill evening with nothing on TV….

It was also a dark and stormy night, and I am amazed at this line’s staying power as a story starter. Yes, this is a pet peeve of mine, and I feel we need to kick things off with a great first-line. Today we have Private Conversations (Spinning Heads) with a fun little short by Forrest Young. This is more your swinger style book with a fun little story about a wife swap. I have to admit there is some humor here, and the whole situation is played for laughs. It does feel like a skit from the late-night comedy show, although this skit is a little more explicit, well, a lot more explicit.

Yes, this is one of those rare books where I am rating on humor as well. The humor in this book is done pretty well, it is mostly of the “what in the world is going on?” style of humor. It is kind of like a wife swap where only the wives know what’s going on, so there is that madcap zaniness going on here that I like. Nice job. Someday I would love to read a book full of erotic skits, sort of like a SNL style show but a bit raunchier and funny.

The cover, I don’t know, I feel their expressions make this a little unappealing to me. Not a bad composition though. I mean, as a comedy book this may work. They just have this silly look on their face, sort of a come hither…I know what it is, this is a book about a twosome and they are both looking at me. Threesome? Yeah there is an implied third person here that throws me a little. Also, the lighting on them doesn’t match. She is left lit, and he is right lit. The fonts and text work are good, and they do imply the humorous content, and even the title does, so points there. Maybe it is because I just can’t stand both of them staring at me, sometimes a cover strikes me odd like that.

Text quality is average, dialog is good. Okay, I probably need to explain, so time for an excerpt:

“Cindy had to go somewhere for a little while,” Lori told me. “She asked me to come up here and keep you company until she got back.”

“Where did she have to go?” I asked, totally confused by the entire situation.

“I’m… not sure,” she said hesitantly as she walked toward the side of the bed I was laying on. “She just had to go somewhere real quick and asked me to come up here and keep you company. Is that alright?”

We do get Lori’s description later; I did want to right off to set up the scene. We have a couple extra little phrases in here that are just very telly for me. We get the repetitious dialogue tags like “told me” and “asked” that repeat what was just said in a tag. Second thing, “totally confused by the entire situation” is very telling and does not feel needed. And finally, the adverb “hesitantly” and the walk towards the side of the bed of course he was laying on. Established facts need not be reestablished. It’s not bad dialogue, though, it has that good ‘sound’, but I feel the pieces around it distract and weaken the overall effect.

Heat level is pretty good, mixed with the comedy it works like the late-night comedy sketch this feels like. There is a great mix of him being stunned and panicked at the situation, with the other woman being in control. It is a fun ‘my husband will so be pissed at you’ sort of sketch. It is a great scene, funny, with some great nasty phone sex style talk going on. There is also very funny twist ending here I shall not spoil. I did enjoy the ending.

Soft recommend for this, it is a witty little piece with heat. I like sex and comedy works, they are fresh, funny, and they put a little twist on normal life. I have a couple issues with some of the extraneous tags and explanation here; humor is very unforgiving when it comes to pacing. Comedians know they have to be spot on with their humor, and not put anything extra in there to confuse the audience or lose the pace of the joke. I’ve been told humor is one of the hardest things to get right, and humorous erotica is doubly so. It isn’t bad though, and as a humorous piece I got a kick out of it. Thank you for the smile Forrest, and I’m looking forward to your future works.

#####

Women Masturbate Too! No Need for Shame!

secretplaygrounds:

From another WordPress blogger. It’s a shame that self-pleasuring remains so hush-hush among many people, especially women.

Originally posted on Sensual Little Nymph:

At the very young age of 5, I discovered that if I rubbed my vaginal area on a pillow or sorts I would obtain a sensational feeling within. Obviously at that age I had no clue what I was doing or what was actually happening, but I did acknowledge that is felt good. I continued ‘rubbing’ myself for a while and then stopped. I don’t really have any recollection as to why that happened, but it did. Then around 10 years old I became a ‘woman’ as my mom put it and sexual curiosity came knocking. Suddenly, I had hips, breasts, weird feelings inside and a vague memory of how it felt when I use to rub myself. So, I decided to rekindle these feeling and I started to experiment again. At that point I still had no clue what I was doing. But I enjoyed it and did it…

View original 386 more words

Alison’s New Toy

secretplaygrounds:

The latest release from fellow Carnal Pleasures author, KC Cave.

Originally posted on K. C. Cave:

My latest ebook, Alison’s New Toy, is now on sale on Smashwords (and will be available at other outlets soon). With nearly 10,000 words of nonstop, explicit, toe-curling sex. it’s a steal at $1.99. You’ll like Alison–she’s sexy and over-sexed, bold, adventurous, and, like me, her mouth gets her in trouble–sexy trouble that you’ll enjoy! Happy reading! Read more about the book below.

Alison's New Toy

Alison’s New Toy

Alison is thrilled when her new sex toy arrives. It’s a strap-on vibrator with a wireless remote control. Since she ordered it, she’s been fantasizing about all the outdoor fun she’ll have, strutting her stuff with a buzzer between her legs, teasing herself and delaying her climax with the help of the remote. At the coffee shop! In the park! Driving around town! Soon, she’s outside on a warm spring day, sitting on a bench and watching the sexy boys and girls strutting…

View original 212 more words

Turning lemons into lemonade

BOA reddit promoOkay, maybe I’ve just gotten a little “subreddit crazy” lately… LOL…but I’m going to push this thing out of the nest and see if it flies:

My recent encounter with Amazon hypocrisy has sparked a notion in my head… I’m certainly not the first nor the only erotica author who has gotten a book rejected by the almighty Amazon. Not by a longshot!! So in that vein, I’ve created a little subreddit called  “Banned On Amazon“. (Damn, I still like the sound of that. LOL) This will be a place where authors of any books rejected or removed from Amazon’s pages can come and list their books that have been banned, as well as where they ARE available, and where readers looking for titles too hot for Amazon can come and see if there’s anything among the list that might strike their fancy.

On a recent post on this subject that I placed on one of the subreddits, it was asked if there were any other self-publishing options available besides Amazon for material they deem too immoral or distasteful. I was actually a little shocked and saddened that someone would even have to ask that sort of question. So hopefully this will help get the word out that Amazon is most definitely not the only game in town for those who wish to self-publish.

So, if you are an erotica author (or an author of any other genre as far as that goes) who has been shut out by Amazon due to content or whatever reason, feel free to come in and list your book, place a link to your book and/or webpage or blog, where your titles ARE available, or to get an idea of where to submit them. If you’re a reader who’s on the lookout for over-the-edge erotica that is hard to find due to the various constraints of the big publishers, come in and see what’s available and where.

While sharing your own personal experiences and horror stories is certainly permissible, the main purpose of this subreddit is NOT meant to be a constant barrage of complaints about Amazon!! Rather, this is more about turning a negative into a positive, getting information out to people, and providing another way for authors to promote themselves and their works.

May the wind be at our backs….

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