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Personal thoughts on “Confessions of My Nephew”

Confessions cover updated 437x700This was the one that started it all. (Well… seriously started it all, anyway.) My first leap into actually attempting to become an established erotica author. I can’t begin to count the number of lessons learned in creating this story and setting it free to fly.

This actually isn’t the first story of mine to get published. That dubious honor actually goes to “Watch Me, Daddy” (later re-titled  “Craving His Attention”), the first in the “Angel Falls Library Files” series which I submitted to Smashwords directly. But “Confessions of My Nephew” was the first story I sat down and wrote for the purpose of trying to get published. And boy, was it a freaking mess when I finished writing and submitting it! Not so much the story itself, but the format and style was probably about as “amateur” as you can get.

The CEO of Boruma Publishing, who the story was eventually handed to, painstakingly went through the story and cleaned it up, correcting the uncountable formatting and styling mistakes, as well as offered re-wordings throughout. I thoroughly enjoyed this collaboration, as every few days or so she would send me another chapter she got done working on, and I watched my roughly written tale gradually transform into a much more comprehensive piece of prose. I learned very valuable lessons along the way as well through her examples of what a good published story should actually look like. I will admit, there were a few times I felt a bit of trepidation reading though her changes, thinking, “You know, this really doesn’t sound like me.” But then I thought, well, that’s probably the point. LOL! It wasn’t really SUPPOSED to sound like me, it was supposed to sound like the main character Stacy, as told through her perspective. Today I might not have accepted quite so much of the re-writes, keeping it a bit more to my style of writing, but overall I am extremely pleased with the final results.

As for the story itself, I’m sure it doesn’t quite follow the “standard” (if there is such a thing) taboo/incest tale. (Actually, I hope NONE of my stories do.) I am a bit surprised at times that I haven’t gotten at least a comment or two lamenting the fact that Derrick and his mother never did end up getting together sexually. I certainly considered the option as I was writing it, and I left open the possibility of a sequel where that avenue could be explored, but this particular tale was very much Stacy’s story! Her self-discovery, her hidden desires, her re-evaluations about her own morality. (Which she considered was loose enough to begin with the way it was.) I also found the juxtaposition of Rebecca’s conventionality against the free-thinking mindset of her sister Stacy a fascinating contrast. Were Rebecca to had actually ended up being sexually intimate with her son in this particular story, that contrast would have been vastly diluted, if not eliminated altogether. In spite of their differences, Stacy loved her sister just the way she was, and I didn’t want to paint Stacy as someone who would just set out to transform her sister into a different version of herself. It was a much more titillating (and believable) concept to portray Stacy as someone who would say, “If I had a son like Derrick who I knew was hot for me, this is what I would do!”

Plus, Rebecca’s “unattainability” was a huge part of the sexual draw that Derrick felt for his mother. Had Derrick actually fulfilled his illicit desire to be intimate with her, the relationship he would have “lost” with her wouldn’t have been worth what he would have gained. Stacy was his perfect “outlet”. Being able to maintain his existing relationship with his mother while still indulging in his fantasies about her.

wicked-thingI also thoroughly enjoyed incorporating the concept of “dreams” in this story. From personal experience, I know how ‘erotic’ dreams can be at times, how sometimes they can tease and haunt you for days, weeks, sometimes even years afterwards. Anything can happen in dreams, no matter how unrealistic or absurd. Some of them may not even make any sense, yes still send a thrill rushing through you unlike any “real” experience ever could. I’ve included the concept of dreams in a number of my Angel Falls series, and will most likely focus on them in many additional stories.

I didn’t intend it this way, but this story very much gradually transformed into an unconventional “love story” between Stacy and Derrick. I loved that concept! As the scenes progressed they found themselves in love with each other in a way very few people could ever comprehend. And to me, that was even more of a “titillation” factor than it would have been had Derrick and his mother actually ended up being intimate with each other, and quite possibly leaving Stacy out in the cold. I loved exploring that avenue, and felt it put a unique exclamation mark on an already sexually exciting story. It was also a prime example of how more often than not a story usually ends up writing itself at some point.

For me, this story contains everything a “taboo” story should include. The shock of discovering one’s own lewd thoughts, the guilt of realizing your own excitement by them, coming to terms with the fact that you are not “normal” to most people, and finding an acceptance with someone who shares the same desires as you do. It also includes one aspect I try to include in most of my stories, and that’s one of eventual self-acceptance of one’s own feelings and desires. And even though it’s not “normal”, what you feel, what you have, and what you do works for you, and what other people think really doesn’t matter.

And of course lots of hot sex in the process. 😉

For me, this was a fantastic “leap” into the world of serious erotic storytelling. The thrill of seeing the story develop into a readable tale, receiving the design for the cover, and actually seeing it listed among a plethora of other delightful taboo tomes is an experience that can’t be described. Perhaps someday I might attempt a sequel to this story, or maybe winkeven a series based on other confessions to “Aunt Stacy”. One of the main things this book has taught me is there are always possibilities. 🙂

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Disclaiming the disclaimer

“Note: All characters depicted in the image below are over the legal age of 18.”

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Well… actually… No, they’re not. Hate to break that to you, but you had to learn sometime, young grasshopper.

The characters in the image are purely fictitious. They were never born. They’ve never had birthdays. Not a one. They only exist in the mind of their creator.

So I ask you, how silly is it to make a claim that they are actually over a certain age?

Yet that’s exactly what needs to be specifically claimed in order for images like that to be posted or displayed on most forums and web sites, even the most “adult” oriented ones.

I write erotica. Very “naughty” erotica. So naughty that if the characters were actually real and were caught engaging in some of the activities I write about they could very well be spending considerable time behind bars.In order for my stories to be accepted by most distributors my publisher has to put a notice on the title page stating that all characters in the story are over the legal age of 18. But it’s a lie. They’re not. Not because they are or are not written that way, but because the characters do not in fact actually exist. They are an “idea” expressed in words. Just as the drawing above is an “idea” expressed through lines and colors put together to form an image. To tack on a disclaimer stating that all the characters are over the age of 18 as if those characters were in fact actually real is downright ludicrous.

Many people -probably most- believe that writing a story or drawing a picture of very young people engaging in sexual acts is illegal. It’s actually not. I could write scene after scene about having sex with a two year old and I would still be within legal limits. Actually doing so would be another matter completely of course, but I could write about it as much as I please. I wouldn’t do that, of course. Not because it’s illegal, or even necessarily because it’s immoral in some way, but because the concept doesn’t appeal to me in the slightest. I wouldn’t write about a woman being raped either, regardless of age, for the same reason. I prefer all my characters to be happily fucking each other. No matter what their ages.

Actual photographs or videos depicting very young people engaged in sex is another matter. That’s actual proof that someone was in fact harmed in the creation of them. But drawings? Stories? If these actually were illegal there would most likely be quite a number of art gallery and museum curators locked up right now. Some works by Shakespeare would be illegal to own. As far as that goes, the Bible itself would end up being criminalized. Yet none of these things have “disclaimers” being tacked onto them. To do so would be absolutely silly.

And so is putting “disclaimers” on my stories.

The powers that be certainly like to perpetuate the myth that writing about very young people having sex is illegal. I guess they figure it would curtail other folks writing about it or reading about it. The sad fact is it seems to be working. And who are these “powers that be”? Outfits like PayPal and credit card processors mostly. Can you imagine that? Bankers actually taking a moral high ground. Actually, they’re not even doing that. They’re securing their profits by trying to protect their “image”. They seem to have a fear of even looking like they’re even remotely supporting such notions. That’s their absolute right, I suppose. But in doing so they’re sorely stifling freedom of expression.

So, when you see the “disclaimer” at the beginning of my stories, I hope you’ll just give it the short little laugh it deserves for being so ridiculous and go on to enjoy my naughty little tale. But once… just once!... I would love to be able to put on a disclaimer such as this one:

“Note: NONE of the characters in the following story are over the legal age of 18! They actually have no ages. They were never actually born. They’ve never had birthdays. They are purely figments of the author’s imagination. They don’t really exist. Get the fuck over it.”

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Well, that was fun while it lasted…

way-too-naughtyWell, the holiday season is upon us. And, as usually happens, Amazon and a few other illustrious vendors of the written word has decided to go in and do their seasonal purge to “protect” their pristine images. Which of course means my catalog of available titles gracing their pages has -once again- shrunk considerably.

Merry fucking Christmas to me.

So, sorry Amazon addicts, you must travel a different road to reach the dubiously incestuous little town of Angel Falls. You can, however, still get your fill of couples cheating on each other. Apparently that’s still much more acceptable than consensual copulation with one’s own kin. Go figure.

Actually, the story behind that is somewhat amusing. Kobo was actually the one who started raising a stink to the distributor that Boruma Publishing uses to submit to sites such as Amazon, Kobo, and numerous others. Amazon of course decided to jump on that bandwagon. In effect, that distributor decided it would no longer accept – at all- anything that delved into incest, BDSM, dubcon, or anything else that would surely and swiftly cause the downfall of civilization as we know it. However, once that distributor actually saw the HUGE percentage of titles that Boruma Publishing removed from their listings because of that policy, it made them say, “Umm… Hey… Wait a minute…”

At least they know what side their bread is buttered on.

So, reversing their decision, they became much more lax on the subject matter they will accept. They still won’t distribute those titles to American-based behemoths such as Amazon and Kobo, but they will still distribute to the numerous international sites they deal with, which is actually starting to provide them a much bigger percentage of profits than even Amazon.

So much for the land of the fucking free…

fuck-you

Updated Links Page

late-masturbatingJust got done doing a bit of an overhaul to my links page, which was SORELY in need of updating!! I added a few links, changed some that were outdated, and -regrettably- deleted a few where the web page no longer exists. (A couple of them I was almost crying at having to get rid of.)

It’s also categorized a bit more, with the “taboo” related stuff in it’s own section, and just ‘general’ sexy snippets and information in another. A few more erotica authors were added to the list as well.

If you’re a fan of this site and have a web page or blog you’d like to see promoted in my links section, feel free to contact me through the form on the links page near the bottom, or through my “About/Contact” page.

book-8-cover-1-rev-smallOn a side note, book 8 of The Angel Falls Library Files, “Mismatch”, is still in the editing stages, but I do have a page set up for it which includes a cover reveal. The first excerpt from the story is also up on my Tumblr blog, which you can read by clicking >here<. 🙂

We have two other projects also in the works, but I will try to update this blog a little more frequently than I have been lately. (Stuff just seems to keep coming up.)

OHH!! Almost forgot… Just recently received a review on Smashwords for my story “If the Door Is Open…” 4-star rating by the reader, and a very complimentary review. 😀

Blowing the Horns Of Others

How’s THAT for a dirty-sounding blog title?? 😉

late night surfingSome of you may have noticed a new little blue box at the top of the page. (The one labeled “Artistic Endeavors“.) If you hover over it or click on it, you’ll find a whole bunch of little goodies behind it. (Or soon will, anyway.)

In an attempt to make this web page a little more than just about my ebooks (although that WILL remain a major focus) and more about “taboo erotica” in general, I’ve designed these pages to direct people to creative works by others who share my same penchant for the delightfully forbidden and deliciously taboo. 🙂 This project is still in its VERY early stages -in fact some of the pages don’t have anything in them as of yet- but as I find the time to work on it, it will be filled with links to sites that will delight your senses in one way or another. 🙂 Stay tuned and keep checking.. These pages will be added to on a regular basis.

In a couple other noteworthy updates, I will soon be releasing the second trilogy of The Angel Falls Library Files, which will contain books 4, 5 and 6. It will be a prelude to the UPCOMING BOOK 7 of the series, which my gorgeous and talented wife and I are currently working diligently on. It’s actually my first attempt at doing a story with a brother-sister theme, and to be honest I felt a bit of trepidation about it. It’s not that the concept doesn’t turn me on (it does!! LOL!!), but I wasn’t sure if I could do as much justice to this particular relationship dynamic as I had with previous ones. As with most of my stories though, this one eventually started taking on a life of its own, and I’m actually quite pleased with the way it turned out. 🙂 The final draft is done, just in the process now of picking nits. Look for some excerpts to be released soon!

Lilly-Rose and I are also doing some brainstorming on a project that we plan on releasing as a stand-alone story, not part of the Angel Falls series. I don’t want to give TOO much away too soon,  but it involves a whole immediate family scenario, where past, present and future intermingle. There are many facets and many levels of interaction, and is easily our most ambitious project to date. It wouldn’t surprise me if this one won’t be ready for release until the beginning of next year. But we’re both very excited about it. 🙂

Personal Thoughts on “Mother Pushes the Swing”

FORREST YOUNG - Mother Pushes the Swing 7-retouched smallThere are so many aspects to this story, and this topic, I’m not even really sure where to begin. It is, after all, two distinct topics.

My first wife and I were rather heavily involved in our local swingers community. It was something we both desired, something we both enjoyed, and that we were both very much on the same page about throughout most of our marriage. In our later years, we also explored the concept of polyamory. The main difference between the two is that one focuses on the “physical”, or sexual, involvement with multiple people, the other focuses more on the “emotional” involvement with multiple people.

One would think that in both of these groups, open-mindedness would be flowing in abundance. In practice, I have found this to be not so much the case. In fact, it often amazed me at how much closed-minded attitudes ran rampant within these so-called sexually-open communities. Even among these two particular groups, they seemed at odds with each other. Swingers just couldn’t seem to wrap their minds around people who could form such deep emotional bonds and even committed relationships with more than one person, and as a whole, ployamorists found the concept of purely sexual involvements with a multitude of people distasteful, if not outright disgusting. How odd, I thought, that these two groups of “non-mainstream” lifestyles weren’t a whole lot more tolerant of each other.

“Mother Pushes the Swing” is the second full-length erotica story that I wrote. In it, I decided to add a whole other aspect to the mix, incest. It was brought about through a simple question that I not only asked myself privately, but was on very rare occasions

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(Image via Tumblr)

brought up (in whispers, of course) amongst swingers themselves: “What would you do if you discovered that a close relative -a sibling, a parent(s), aunt, uncle, cousin, or whatever- was also into swinging?” In my story, not only did I introduce the concept of discovering one’s parents were swingers, but I placed the parents among the same swingers group as the offspring.

I imagine in reality, most swingers would have the same initial reaction that my main male character, Alan, had… shock and a distaste for the notion that bordered on disgust. In fact, I’m sure most swingers clubs would not even want the concept introduced within their group. Either one or the other -or both- would be asked to leave.

So much for open-mindedness.

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(Image via Tumblr)

In my story, the interaction between swinging and an incestuous situation not only ended up being tolerated, but thoroughly enjoyed by not only the participants but everyone else around them. I highly doubt such a mixing of the two in real life would result in such a lasciviously delicious outcome. But placing characters within that situation sure was a lot of fun! And it allowed me to explore one possible outcome to that ever-nagging question at times, “What if…?”

 

For those of you wondering just how much of this story is actually based on real life, let’s just say that while I’ve had somewhat extensive experience in the swinging lifestyle, with incestuous experiences, ehhh, not so much. I was somewhat amazed that the situation didn’t happen more often than it did. In all of our years within the swinging community, I can only recall one instance where a brother and sister discovered themselves at one of the gatherings, and I was not familiar with either of them, so I have no clue how that resolved itself.

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(Image via Tumblr)

Personally, how would I react if I discovered at one point that my parents were swingers? Well, I would certainly have been shocked, but I would not have been disgusted. I could even see myself being okay with all of us involved in the same group or club. Would I, like my character Alan, have developed a sexual attraction to my mother in such a situation? Highly unlikely. While my mother was not an unattractive woman, there was just no serious sexual attraction there on my part. I do not personally attribute this to the fact that she was my mother. There are multitudes of women out there who I am not sexually attracted to who are also not my mother. (For the record, I have no sisters, so I really can’t speak much to that aspect.)

 

So, how did this fascination, this… ‘titillation’, with incestuous situations even begin for me? Well, you can indirectly blame my first wife for that. Our predilection for sexual role play led us into quite a few aspects of forbidden situations. One day the thought just kind of hit me while I was looking at her, “You know, if this woman was my mother, I’d still want to fuck her brains out.” The idea just kind of took off from there, and being the adventurous sort, my first wife was quite accommodating. After a time, that thought just kind of filtered off onto other women as well. (If some of them actually knew what I was thinking while I was fucking them, they probably would have threw up in my face.)

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(Image via Tumblr)

The only “direct” involvement I ever had in an incestuous situation was a one-time-only threesome I had with my first wife and her older sister. (And let’s just say that it wasn’t a situation where the two of them only focused on me.) While it was definitely an exciting experience, surprisingly the “taboo” aspect of it wasn’t the foremost thought in my mind at the time, at least not constantly. For the most part, they were two women I found extremely attractive who I enjoyed the hell out of being with, and who I liked watching enjoy each other. And even though it only happened the one time, it was surprisingly free of any awkwardness whenever we were all together afterwards.

 

The only other time that even came close to an incestuous situation was when I happened to come across a profile of my cousin’s daughter and her first husband on a local online swingers site. Technically that would make her my second cousin, which in most legal circles wouldn’t really be considered incestuous (at least not enough to get you arrested), but considering my cousin and I were as close as brothers growing up, emotionally she was more like a niece than a second cousin. We were aware of each other, but never ran across each other at any parties or social gatherings that were swinger-related. Would I have fucked her if she had given any indication she was interested? In a heartbeat! Am I sorry it never happened? Naah, not really. Unlike the situation with my sister-in-law, that situation probably would have contained more than its share of awkwardness.

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(Image via Tumblr)

“Mother Pushes the Swing” is a situation of swinging mixed with incest to the extreme. In a way, in spite of its eventual conclusion, one of the aspects I tried to point out was that even among those who consider themselves sexually open, their “open-mindedness” does have its limits. It would be nice to imagine a world in which this sort of situation would have such an orgasmically happy ending, but I fear that such is not the case.

 

But then, that’s what erotic fantasy stories are for. 🙂

You can check out my ebook “Mother Pushes the Swing” by clicking >>here<<.

Okay, so January has just been a really sucky month! (And not in the ‘good’ way)

insanityIt’s funny how when you take steps to try to simplify your life somewhat, that it seems like everyone and everything around you just works that much harder to try and make it more complicated.

Did I say “funny”? I meant “frustrating“!

Adjusting to change can often be a challenge, but sometimes it gets just downright ridiculous. We finally got all moved into our new place, but had a hell of a time trying to sublease our old one! That major obstacle has finally been taken care of, but it seemed like a dozen other ‘little’ obstacles had to float up to the surface to try to take its place. Various family situations, juggling things financially, and not to mention I’m such a wuss when it comes to cold weather, has all made it a little difficult to focus on being good little smut-writing perverts.

I have actually been getting a fair amount of writing done. Progress on book 6 of Angel Falls is coming along rather splendidly, thanks in large part to my handy dandy tablet increasing the flexibility of when and where I write. (In fact, writing dirty stories in public surrounded by a bunch of people can actually be quite the thrill all on it own.)

Keeping up with things like promotion and social media however, which is more conducive to do on a laptop other than a tablet, has been pretty much non-existent. My apologies to the folks at Boruma Publishing and Carnaltopia for not contributing yet to their brand new WordPress sites, but as you can see it’s sometimes weeks before I’m even sitting down and contributing to my own sites, let alone taking the time to contribute to others. I do keep up with them though, and link to some of the posts when I have a few moments. (I will work on writing up an author intro to submit soon, I promise!)

One thing I’ve discovered recently is that having more time and opportunity to write doesn’t necessarily result in me getting books out any faster, it usually just allows me to get more detailed in them. As a result, book 6 of Angel Falls is rather quickly reaching novella-length status. I just can’t seem to write “short” stories anymore! Whether that’s a good thing or a bad thing remains to be seen, I guess. 🙂  In any event, I hope to have the time to put together some promotional posts for it soon.

Hopefully February will be a little less… complicated.

Now that I FINALLY have a freakin’ moment (just barely)…

stories unwrittenYeah, I’m still around. (In case anyone was wondering.. LOL!) Just been real hectic the last couple of weeks or so. Hopefully I’ll get back on track here sometime soon, at least to get back into the blog hops for MasturbationMonday and TabooTuesday again. Kind of miss doing those, and checking out the other participants as well. Even though I haven’t been able to participate lately, check out the sidebar links and keep up with what other folks are offering. 🙂

I want to take a moment to thank the folks at Boruma Publishing for making me a contributing author on their WordPress site! The timing is a little bad, but I do plan on making some contributions there as soon as things settle down here! Kudos to K.C. Cave and Alana Church for making their voices heard there, and helping to get their site off the ground. Whenever I catch their posts and have a moment to do so, I’ll be sure to post links to them on my TabooTalk forum, and maybe a couple of other places as well. 🙂

Work on book 6 of Angel Falls is coming along very nicely! My beautiful and thoughtful wife saw fit to grace me with a tablet for Christmas, which has allowed me to focus on my writing endeavors at times and places I wasn’t able to before, so that’s allowed my progress to increase dramatically! Look for a cover reveal and some “sneak peek” excerpts slipping onto this site very soon. 🙂

Hope everyone had an absolutely fantastic holiday!!!

Why I Will NEVER Become a “Successful” Erotica Author

being a writerThe business of writing erotica is a rather strange animal these days. Perhaps it always has been, but considering I’ve only been a serious contender in this game for the past couple of years, that’s really the only experience I have to draw on. I spend a considerable amount of time pondering on where we are, how we got here, and…probably most importantly…what can we do about it. As is usually the case, the answer to the last question is as varied as the authors it affects. There really is no “one-size-fits-all” solution that will work for each individual author.

A question was posed recently on the Erotic Authors forum on Reddit:

“How profitable are using dedicated adult epublishers for non-Amazon safe kinks?”

A rather excellent question to pose, actually. However, me offering any sort of response personally on that particular forum is usually not a good idea. My viewpoints are not well received there. I’m sure a couple of people from there will follow me here and drag me in front of the tribunal to deliver the obligatory 30 lashes for daring to speak ANYTHING negative about Amazon or the authors who publish on it, but at least I can’t be justifiably accused of “starting a fight” there. (Not that it would actually stop anybody from doing so, of course.)

Truthfully, the short answer to the above posed question is, only moderately so. Let’s face it, the way this erotica writing thing is set up at the moment, I will NEVER expand beyond just the nice little extra “spending money” I receive monthly from my publisher. Admittedly, this is mostly by choice. As much as some people may want to accuse me of playing the “Victim of Amazon” card, it is certainly not what I’m doing, nor have I ever done that. I tell people time and time again, if Amazon works for you, then by all means go that route.

The frustrating thing for me usually is I see author after author after author complaining about how Amazon operates, how they keep getting screwed over by Amazon, how fearful they always are about getting dungeoned or dropped completely by Amazon every time they press the “Publish” button, yet time after time after time the only solutions that are ever given any serious consideration involves continuing to feed the hand that bites them. Because of Amazon’s recent changes to their Kindle Unlimited program, authors of erotica, especially short form erotica, now have to work at least three times as hard to maintain the same amount of money they were earning before these changes. I sympathize completely with those who are so dependent on Amazon when they say, “Well, what else can we do?” Unfortunately, the only answer I can give today is, “Nothing”. The main reason I am not a “victim of Amazon” is that I got in on this erotica writing endeavor shortly after Amazon and many of the other biggies did their erotica purge. I never grew dependent on Amazon’s royalties. Real, honest “victims of Amazon” however are out there. By the hundreds, if not the thousands.

The problem right now is, Amazon makes it too easy. They make it easy for authors to write crap, and they make it easy for readers to buy it. One click to publish, one click to purchase. Their fucking apps are everywhere. They come pre-installed on damn near every computer, every tablet, every smartphone. Do I blame Amazon for this? Fuck no. no orgasm for youShrewd business folk they are, they’ve expertly learned how to profit from convenience. If readers want to buy poorly written erotica, and writers want to produce it, why is that Amazon’s fault?

(And yes, some people will totally rip me a new one for using the words “poorly written erotica”, but honestly, you CANNOT convince me that dozens of ‘so-called’ authors can pump out 5k stories on a daily, or even weekly basis and honestly say that these are anywhere NEAR being considered “quality” work!)

One of the questions asked in the above post is, is there a market big enough to make it worth publishing outside of Amazon? The answer to that easily is, of course there is! If nothing else, Amazon itself has proven that to a fault. The “market” is definitely there. The question is, outside of Amazon, how does an author reach them?

Readers definitely want quality erotica. The problem is, readers don’t want to look that hard to find it. As difficult as it must surely be to try to find diamonds among the dung heaps on Amazon, readers are willing to do that because it’s… everyone say it with me now… “convenient“! One stop, click click click, oh, this one looks like it might be interesting, click to read (hell, they don’t even have to buy the damn thing these days with convenient subscription), read until they’re bored, click click click, wash, rinse, repeat, run out of shampoo. (Sorry.. Idea for a shower scene popped into my head.)

think differentAuthors who publish outside of Amazon (or who want to) need to make it easier for readers to find them. Readers don’t know. All they know is the convenience of Amazon. And this is what trips a lot of authors up when trying to do anything outside the virtual walls of Amazon. This necessitates authors becoming more adept at self-promotion. I’m fortunate enough to have a little bit of background experience in that area. Many authors do not. I understand. What I don’t understand is most authors are soooo willing to take the time and effort to try to learn not only formatting correctly, but also try to figure out all the ‘secret’ ways to work around Amazon’s restrictions, learn keyword usage, unlock SEO strategies, and basically “game the Amazon system”, but yet choose to remain so totally clueless on the best ways to self-promote and refuse to learn how because Amazon will simply do that shit for them if they go exclusive. Well, how’s that working for ya?

At the risk of sounding completely immodest, I am extremely proud of my stories. I never send ANYTHING out unless I am at least moderately satisfied with them, and they tell the story I wish to tell. They are of good quality, many people have bought and read them, and I have received much complimentary feedback from folks who have truly enjoyed them.

So why am I not “successful”? Well, in many ways I am. I write what I want, people have bought and enjoyed them, and I get satisfaction out of putting together a good story written in a quality manner. I can honestly look at my catalog and say, “Hey… I did a damn good job!”

Why am I not making more money? Well, mainly by choice. Not only do I refuse to cater to Amazon’s ridiculous and ever-changing guidelines and strategies, I refuse to spend so much effort trying to cater to people’s laziness. I do know how to write fairly decent promotional pieces and I can point people in the direction to go, but you know the story about horses and water. I will keep trying, though. I’m fully convinced my “audience” is out there. It’s just a matter of figuring out which walls to break down that separates us. Or patiently waiting for the time it takes for that to happen. In the meantime, I’m out nothing but my time, which I spend doing what I like doing anyway, whether I make money at it or not. It would be nice though to be able to spend more time doing it. 🙂

doing what you lovePeople ask me all the time why I don’t just publish what Amazon will accept. Well, then it really wouldn’t be my story now, would it? Sure, I could make money at it. Maybe even make a living at it. But then again I wouldn’t enjoy what I’m doing.

And where is the “success” in that?

Paint-by-number dreams…

I love that Jackson Browne song “The Pretender”! Its poetic description of settling for a hum-drum existence, and the concept of attempting to achieve success through conformity.

That song kept floating through my mind as I read through the insightful article linked below by fellow erotica author Lily Weidner, as she describes in excruciating detail her thoughts and conclusions regarding an experiment she participated in regarding trying to publish through Amazon’s new “KU2” formula.

I would not have the fortitude to participate in such an experimental endeavor, not to mention even having the time. I certainly applaud Lily’s efforts and willingness. In the end, she came to many of the same conclusions I came to on my own in time. The most important one in my opinion being, if in the end you don’t enjoy what you’re doing, what’s really the point?

It’s a very lengthy and extremely detailed article, so I’m not posting it here in its entirety. You’ll need to go to Lily’s website directly to read through the whole thing. But believe me, it’s well worth the trip. 🙂

Sorry, no sexy images, no fancy formatting in this entry… Just a simple passing along of some words of wisdom.

“Are you there? Say a prayer…”

 

My Amazon eBook Publishing Experience

“I do not over-intellectualize the production process. I try to keep it simple: Tell the damned story.” —Tom Clancy

Antique Books

When I first started writing back in 2010, short stories were taking off. Sadly, I took a break before Amazon came out with their Kindle Unlimited (KU) program in 2014. What would transpire within those few months changed the viability of shorts within the industry. Coming back from my extended break, I found the market extremely different. To my surprise authors weren’t just turning toward longer works, they were now asking if short stories were even a viable sales option.

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The more research I did, in an effort to figure out what happened, I found Amazon the center of great controversy. Some authors blamed Amazon for ruining the short story market even before their recent change to the Kindle Unlimited program started around June 2015. What has transpired between authors since will not fill anyone with hope. Authors have come to take sides on this argument, with many self published authors shoving their ideas onto forcefully onto others.

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That’s where things took an interesting turn for me as an author. My own opinion was not met with warm reception. Instead, I met a group of self published authors who felt they knew the market better than some publishers and from whom I met the harshest criticism imaginable. Of course everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but only so long as they do not harm others by voicing it. In this case, I found a few predominate opinions I felt were harmful to new authors trying to find their way in the self publishing industry.

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(Click >>here<< or on the title to read the rest in its entirety)

Hippity-Hoppity-Blog

So, there’s this phenomenon I just recently discovered called a “blog hop.” Basically you write a blog post that follows a certain theme, submit it to the blog hop, and then it gets placed on a list with other bloggers that post the same sort of theme. A few are even set up catering specifically to erotica authors and their readers. It’s mainly done to gain exposure, but it sounds like it could be a lot of fun. 🙂

masturbation-monday-badge-smallI plan on participating in a couple of these blog hops over the next few weeks. One is called “Masturbation Monday“, run by erotica author Kayla Lords. Basically you post a short story or excerpt from a book that contains a scene of masturbation, or that makes the reader want to masturbate. 😉 Many times these are accompanied by an image that fits the scene, or that provides… (ahem) “inspiration”.

bloghop_tallThe other one is called “Taboo Tuesday” where authors can post excerpts from stories of a … you guessed it, “taboo” nature. Of course my main problem here is which one to start with. LOL!

Look for my first entries in these hops within the next couple of days. 🙂

Closed for now

Due to some personal issues, all endeavors are being put on hold for the time being.

Sex therapy: Stop trying to be ‘normal’

One of the greatest quotes I’ve ever come across was from Morticia Addams in the Addams Family movie, where she states, “Normal is an illusion.. What is normal for the spider is chaos for the fly.”
Now it seems at least a few sex therapists are finally starting to agree.

Missy Jubilee's Vagina

Three experts talk about how sexual expectations are changing and the issues they are asked to address

Dr Meg Barker

Dr Meg Barker, sex and relationship therapist and author of Rewriting the Rules

People are very scared of not being normal. By far the most common question I’ve heard as a therapist is “Am I normal?” And people come to sex therapy with the hope that it will make them “normal”. Generally what they mean by that is the ability to have sex that involves penetration and orgasm, lasts a certain amount of time and takes place an average number of times a week – whatever all that is!

We still have lots of taboos. A “sexless relationship” is one. It’s seen as the worst thing in the world that would definitely lead to break-up. In truth, lots of relationships are not sexual and totally fine. There are also taboos about people being…

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WARNING!!: I’m About To Go On Another Rampage

chained booksI should probably just stay out of the erotica authors forum on Reddit. At the very least, I should SERIOUSLY refrain from posting there.

Which is why I decided to instead post another blog entry here.

This might end up being just another exercise in futility, but there are just some things that need to be said. This blog post, like earlier ones, may end up finding its way onto the erotica authors Reddit forum anyway. If it does, so fucking be it.

Anyway… One of the latest topics:

Is Amazon really this arbitrary?

So another post with a group of erotica authors again bitching about Amazon’s hypocrisy and unfair treatment. Most of it run of the mill, full of blatant examples and author frustration. Easy enough to leave alone. “Be quiet and just let them stew,” I sat here and told myself.. Hopefully this will be just another step on their way to coming to their senses, and finally becoming sick and tired enough to start telling Amazon to go fuck themselves.

But then, this response shows up, by one of the forum’s so-called “experts”:

Here’s the deal Elena: Amazon isn’t perfect.

It’s that simple.

They are dealing with hundreds of thousands of books being thrown onto the shelves and there’s no way they can properly police every single one. Some of them are going to slip through. It’s BOUND to happen.

And it DOESN’T MATTER.

Those books aren’t hurting you. Hell, they are HELPING YOU. They are drawing readers who want more naughty content, and those readers will move on to books that aren’t quite so OBVIOUSLY BANNABLE.

But, don’t let that lull you into a false sense of security. Don’t let what is PUBLISHED on Amazon justify what you WANT to publish.

I can go there right now and find a whole pile of hypnosis/mind control/dubcon books. They are all over Amazon.

I also know full-well that authors are getting BANNED for these things. I just saw another one today with a temp-ban for a title that was almost a year old.

Should I write a dubcon book? Hell, it’s almost GUARANTEED high sales if I can get it up on the store, and there’s at least a chance that it will slip past the censors. I could just go roll the dice, right?

Sure I could, if I didn’t mind risking my ENTIRE account in the process.

When you are writing niche BLEEDING EDGE erotica, you are walking around in a minefield. We’ve put together a decent map that shows where the land mines are. Write erotica that stays within those lines and you are almost certainly safe. Start prancing about outside of the lines, and it’s only a matter of time before you lose a leg (or worse).

TL;DR: Stop worrying about what other people are getting away with. Follow the rules, color inside the lines, and enjoy a long and LUCRATIVE journey in Amazon ebook sales.

I don’t even know where to begin here.. This reaches a new level of pathetic, even for this group.

First of all, it doesn’t MATTER??? SERIOUSLY??

As an author, being told you can’t write something is enough of a kick in the balls. Being told you can’t write something while OTHER people can is beyond frustrating!! If you DON’T get pissed at that, you are no longer an “author”.. You are just a fucking automaton sitting in front of a keyboard banging out whatever you’re told for profit.  Being one of these pathetic automatons is bad enough. Encouraging OTHER authors to be one also is inexcusable!

Telling erotica authors to “play it safe” is absolutely one of the most ludicrous things I’ve ever heard.

Erotica authors.

Play it SAFE!!!

SERIOUSLY???????

If we wanted to “play it safe”, we wouldn’t BE fucking erotica authors in the FIRST fucking place!! You might as well just tell us to abandon the whole notion and write fucking children’s books!

Okay.. Moving on to the next point:

Those books aren’t hurting you. Hell, they are HELPING YOU. They are drawing readers who want more naughty content, and those readers will move on to books that aren’t quite so OBVIOUSLY BANNABLE.

Okay, really?? You’re sitting there trying to tell us that a reader who has had (or came in with) a taste of what Amazon considers “taboo” is actually going to look around and settle for laying their money down on the more “run-of-the-mill” erotica??

Newsflash: If I come into Amazon, or anyplace else, wanting to read a hot story about a horny daughter wanting to fuck the shit out of her father, I am NOT going to “settle for” the latest escapade of a BBW salivating over a tryst with the neighborhood billionaire!

You are right about one thing: Those books ARE helping! They are helping to show erotica authors that THERE IS A MARKET for stories like that!! The answer, though, is NOT to tell authors that readers will simply settle for the other “Amazon-approved” drivel that’s available.. They won’t!! Instead, start telling your readers where they CAN find those kinds of stories they want!! Because right now, readers DON’T KNOW where to find them, because erotica authors REFUSE to steer their readers in ANY other direction besides AMAZON!! And AMAZON will not offer them what they want!

Do you see how your approach is hurting both authors AND readers?? Eventually neither one gets what they want, and frustration is the inevitable outcome for both groups.

But, don’t let that lull you into a false sense of security. Don’t let what is PUBLISHED on Amazon justify what you WANT to publish.

On this point we can agree: DON’T publish what you want to publish on Amazon!!

Publish it somewhere else.

And then start telling your readers where it is they can find it.

DON’T tell me that it won’t work, and DON’T tell me that Amazon is too big!! Obviously there is a market out there for the kinds of erotica that Amazon refuses to provide, so DON’T tell other erotica authors not to write it!! And DON’T expect readers to settle for anything less. Because they won’t.

Telling erotica authors to “follow the rules” and “color inside the lines” is the most asinine fucking thing I’ve ever heard of. By our very NATURE , we break rules and completely obliterate the fucking lines!!!

That’s what MAKES us erotica authors!

Our readers don’t expect anything less.

Nor should they.

 

Warm, Watered Down, and All the Fizz Is Gone

still havent gotten offOkay, so you just KNEW I’d be saying something about this at some point! 🙂

Once again, author Selena Kitt presents us with an article exposing the blatant hypocrisy of Amazon. Of course, exposing Amazon’s hypocrisy is like shooting fish in a barrel these days. And she really presents no new information in this latest offering. But very few people are able to rip Amazon a new asshole with the kind of grace and style that Ms. Kitt offers, so of course I personally found this latest posting of hers uplifting most of the way through it.

You notice I said “most of the way through it”. For near the end, Ms. Kitt, like most other erotica authors, old and new, lament and lambast Amazon for the hoops that Amazon makes erotica authors jump through incessantly, yet in almost the next breath she proceeds to promote the very titles that Amazon has forced her to “water down” in order to gain the coveted acceptance onto their illustrious pages. She EVEN promotes that there is a “special” going on for them!

Yes, I understand that bills need to be paid. And yes, I understand that making money is a big part of this whole “writing erotica” deal. But once again, feeding the beast that keeps biting your ass is the very definition of counterproductive. I’ve said it a hundred times before, and I’m going to keep saying it.. Until erotica authors start promoting OTHER venues besides Amazon where their books are available, NOTHING is going to change! Stories will keep getting watered down, transcripts and covers will keep needing to be revised, titles, blurbs and descriptions will keep needing to be “guessed at” as far as what words will be able to slip through the “filters”, and erotica authors will continue to feel that tightening in their gut every time they press the “Publish” button!

Before I go any further, can I just say one thing? I absolutely can’t STAND reading “pseudo-incest” erotica!!! Trying to read pseudo-incest stories is like trying to watch Japanese porn. Sure, they show everything, but they end up pixelizing all the “naughty” parts. Or trying to watch episodes of the old TV show “Girls Next Door”, about Hugh Hefner and his three live-in girlfriends. Yes, entire breasts were shown, but the nipples were “photoshopped” out of them. I mean, what the fuck, we all KNOW the “parts” are there, what’s  the point in trying to pretend they’re not?? Going out of your way to point out that a character is just a “step” brother, or “step” mom or whatever pretty much garners the same effect.

Newsflash: Insulting my intelligence is not the way to make my dick hard.

Anyway, here’s the link to Ms. Kitt’s latest article. I’d considered posting it in its entirety once again, as I have for previous articles of hers I’d commented on, but this commentary got to be pretty long, so I’ll forgo doing that this time around. I did enjoy the article, but I did get a mild touch of mental whiplash near the end.

It seemed to be yet another typical case of erotica authors ending up feeding the hand that bites them.

An Injection of Inspiration

new linesThere are periods in my life when I go through a rather serious crisis of the soul.

Times when I find myself questioning everything, contemplating where I’m at, where I want to go, and my place in the grand scheme of things. Times when it seems that all I can see are roadblocks, and where I want to be seems light years away.

I have definitely been going through such a crisis recently. To the point where I have at times seriously considered abandoning my current pursuits. I have always found it somewhat difficult to “fit in”, and the pursuit of erotica authorship seemed to be turning out to be no exception.

Then I come across something like this…

I came across this blog post while perusing through my Twitter feed this morning. For many it will be a swift kick in the ass. For me, it was a much needed shot in the arm.

The post can be read directly at its source here, but I present it below in its entirety:

Monday, October 6, 2014

Taboos

I was considering posting my thoughts under “Ravings Of A Mad Writer” because it would seem that my thoughts belong there. I’m feeling an internal rant coming on; cresting, roaring, breaking like Mother Nature’s most wicked fury. But this isn’t just my issue. This is AN issue. Prepare yourself for my long explanation and anger. I hope some of you can share my anger. Warning: I say fuck a lot.

Taboo:

Noun – a social or religious custom prohibiting or restricting a particular practice or forbidding association with a particular person, place, or thing.

Adjective – prohibited or restricted by social custom : sex was a taboo subject

ORIGIN late 18th cent: From Tongan tabu’set apart, forbidden’ ; introduced into English by Captain Cook

Ok. So I’m really hating this Captain Cook guy right now… Not because he coined a word to encompass all the things that are socially or religiously unacceptable, but because he coined something in the 18th century. It might not be all that rational to dislike like this guy based on his time period, but I just can’t help it. I honestly feel the taboos relevant to the 18th century are still relevant today. Herein lies the problem.

All religious notions aside; God fucking help us.

I’m so angry with the modern world right now that I could spit tacks. I find myself cursing when I search out publishers to submit my newest completed work to. One tiny moment at the very end of my story (A Normal Girl) will be the sole reason my fiction is rejected before anyone has even given it a chance.

Reading through submission guidelines, I run across things like:

1.  “No scat or depictions or misuse of excretory functions.” Does that mean poop or pee?
2.  “No deprived acts” What the hell does that mean? Depravity has no bounds…
3.  “We do not accept bestiality (does not apply to shapeshifters), rape, etc.” The Shapeshifter bit makes me laugh because THEN bestiality is OK, but what the fuck does “etc.” mean?

Really. If a publisher can’t clarify something on their webpage as important as to what is admissible or not, then they shouldn’t be a fucking publishing house!

I began writing my story to prove a point and drive home a message important to me, and now I struggle with the possibility my story will never be read by mass readers. All the other struggles aside; submitting, competing with other authors, making it through the cracks and not being cast into the unholy slush pile of disregarded and forgotten manuscripts… Geeze. Like it’s not already hard enough. Now I get to deal with not belonging in the “published by a publishing house” category because my subjects of fiction are taboo.

What makes something taboo? Who says what topics aren’t ok? Who has that power? Why? My story’s taboo is used to make a point, not to titillate. But that’s beside the point. Even if I had taken a taboo subject and glorified it, made it sexy, it shouldn’t fucking matter. Apparently because it’s fiction, it’s just not OK.

Pisses me off that the rules aren’t the same for non-fiction. You hear about autobiographies from so-and-so all the time about their time in captivity during war and the atrocities they went through. You read about rape and incest survivors and hear about how well their stories sell in the book stores. Why is what I’m writing about different? Why am I not allowed to write and publish what I want because it’s fiction and taboo? Does a true story have more merit than the creativity I pull out of my head?

I don’t think so. FICTION. Sweet mercy, people. Do we really live in such a world where ancient taboos are still modern? How many hundreds of years have to pass before writing–free to write, free speech and all–is really allowed. How dare anyone tell me or anyone else what’s not OK.

So fuck you backward thinking publishing houses. OH! And fuck you Amazon. Fuck you for banning books based on societal taboos. Fuck you society for making anyone feel ashamed about reading material. I don’t condone underage sex, incest, rape, bestiality (with or without shapeshifters), or other “depraved acts,” but I do condone writing about them, however you fucking want to write about them. Your own personal thoughts and opinions, especially in fiction, is a god given right.

I’ll continue to write what I want and how I want. I might not reach the masses with my story’s message, but I might reach one or two. I’ll still be heard, and maybe my message will make a different in the life of those willing to overlook the taboo.

Why Does So Much Erotica Suck?

All I can say is wow… This takes BALLS!!!
This will most likely piss a lot of erotica authors off. If so, all I can say is…. Good!!

Michael Dalton

It’s no great reach to point out that there is an awful lot of erotica out there that is Not That Good. And a lot of it just plain sucks.

Why is this so? Well, as a threshold problem, writing well is not easy. But erotica carries with it some unique qualities that affect both how it is created and how it is consumed. There is really no other genre in which bad writing can thrive the way it does in erotica.

This is because of the simple reason that people read erotica not just to be entertained but also to be aroused. Readers of erotica will put up with an amazing level of bad writing as long as the story hits one of their fetishes effectively. Glaring typos, stereotypical characters, hackneyed dialogue, and preposterous premises can be blithely excused just as long as the sex gets their juices flowing.

What…

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Attacking Sex Trafficking by…Attacking Sex Workers?

Once again, politicians CREATING a “problem” in order to solve it.

And, as usual, only making it worse instead of better.

Banned (Erotic) Books Week – The Latest from Selena Kitt

sexy evilI kind of wish Selena Kitt used WordPress so I could just reblog most of her posts directly. 🙂

In lieu of that, I’m just going to copy and paste her latest offering in its entirety, because it’s just that fucking good!!

But here’s the link if you want to read it directly from the source. (Which I would highly recommend!)

17352184_sIt’s “banned books week” so of course I’m going to talk about banned books. Specifically, banned erotic books, since, that genre happens to be my bread and butter. Recently, Michelle Keep wrote a scathing (and oh-so-accurate) commentary about Amazon’s hypocritical stance on erotica. They advertised “banned books” in a public email, but behind the scenes, they continue to suppress erotica to a great degree, and most customers aren’t even aware.

And for those of you who are rolling your eyes and think that the whole “erotica censorship thing” is over, I can tell you that in the past few months, I have heard from authors about:

  • Audiobooks being filtered. Not from Audible/ACX but on Amazon itself. Check salesrankexpress.com for your audio books and see if they’re filtered. I’ve also heard from authors who have received notice of “unacceptable content” from Amazon about audio books that have been filtered – which have corresponding ebook versions. The ebook versions have not been removed in these cases. The notices seem to be strangely impotent, as Amazon and Audible, while owned by the same company, seem to be operating separately under different rules (or guidelines, as it were.) But that Amazon is going through titles and sending out notices about audiobooks is disturbing.
  • Account blocks. Not BOOK blocks. ACCOUNT blocks. This happened to the aforementioned Michelle Keep, who submitted a book, after making significant changes, after it had been blocked. Amazon has taken a hard line when it comes to resubmitting blocked books. No longer will they “draft” a book and allow you to make changes and resubmit. Now, a book is blocked outright if it is in violation of “content guidelines” – and if you resubmit that book, you may actually have your whole account frozen. Amazon let the Keeps have their account back, after they promised to be good, but I’ve heard of at least one other author who had their account completely removed. Banned from Amazon KDP entirely.
  • More blocked books, specifically dark romance, dubcon and rape fantasies. These are still the focus of the latest purge. Much of what is being reported as blocked involves those topics.

Now that the Kindle Unlimited program has given short erotica new life, we’re seeing a surge of it again in the Amazon store. I imagine the Amazon cockblockers KDP reviewers are being inundated with the stuff, and much of it is being clearly either stolen or outsourced, slapped with copyright-questionable covers, and put up quickly in order to cash in on “borrows.” I’m sure some of them are gunning for those “Kindle Unlimited” bonuses, but I can assure you, no pure erotica author (who isn’t a romance crossover) will be allowed to wear the Kindle Unlimited bonus badge of honor. Amazon will make sure of that. But this is going to cause a backlash for erotica authors, I have no doubt. I predict the noose is going to get even tighter, and punishments are going to be handed out more quickly and with even more force.

Unfortunately, there doesn’t seem to be much recourse anymore, and the lines of communication — informing authors whether the problem with a book was in the title, cover or blurb, for example — have been closed. Amazon has no interest in telling erotica authors what the rules are, how they may have violated them, or giving them a chance to fix any problems. If you violate the vague, inconsistent, untransparent rules, your book is out. And there’s no three strikes. Two at the most, it seems. If you’re lucky.

I’m sure this is in response to KDP users like the above, who abuse the system to such a degree that jackboot tactics are necessary. Does it annoy me that there are people peeing in the KDP pool? Yes. But Amazon annoys me more. They apply the same punishments to people like the Keeps – who write some pretty amazing erotic fiction – that they do to the blackhat internet marketers outsourcing their stuff and stealing covers for it. Amazon has plenty of money – I think it’s time they invested in more than a few (also outsourced – to places like India) KDP reviewers to handle these issues. They’re a publisher now – it’s time for them to take responsibility for that fact and stop trying to sweep it under the rug.

Instead, they continue to ignore the problem and place the responsibility (and the blame!) for what appears in the Kindle store on erotica writers. How is it our fault one of their cockblockers KDP reviewers approved something that was “in violation of content guidelines?” The fact is, it isn’t. We aren’t the ones responsible for what is or isn’t allowed to be published on Amazon.

But we are the ones who are going to pay the ultimate price.

I’ve been in this business for the past eight years, and that, I’m afraid, is just about what you’d expect from Amazon.

As always, support erotica writers by liking and following “Banned Erotic Books” on Facebook and Twitter.

And read a few banned erotica books this week. We have lots of them on Excessica Eden. Enjoy!

 

The Free Ride is Over

sexy writer 3Just wanted to pass along a post by author Sylvia Storm.

It’s nice to see that an established author is seeing a lot of the same things that I’m seeing. 🙂

To be safe, we should be preparing for the day when niche stores could become our main sales outlets. On the plus side, it would let us control the shopping experience, and still allow for content delivery along the main Amazon channels. On the bad side, discoverability and general sales become very difficult.

It’s a lot of tough news, yes, but I am still hopeful and positive. The free ride had to come to an end, but there are so many opportunities out there for new ways of shopping this feels like a rough spot in a transition. It is getting harder for everyone, but I still feel this will open up new markets and opportunities like custom storefronts or even alternatives like Smashwords. It’s not like sex is ever going to stop selling books, it’s how we are selling them that is changing.

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Quality erotica for discerning readers...by the award-winning authors of “The Hazard Chronicles” and “The Promise Papers.”

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Where the lines of fantasy and reality blur…

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A Lot's Cave Author Blog

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Erotic author mf, mff, ff, mmf, bdsm, etc

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Filthy dirty prose.

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