I Made A Thing. Publicise Yourself Here if You Want!

So I had an idea.

Um, yep, this is more with the not-reading and being a shitty blogger who doesn’t follow people back and everything.  So basically, I feel bad about how I don’t do community-type stuff enough, and so thought maybe this could be useful.

Basically an automatically-made list of smutty stuff!  Kind of.

Um, websites and ebooks, I guess.

Because sometimes it seems a bit tricky to find places to do boasty-marketing about your wonderful new erotica-smutty-kink-adult whatever thingy.  At least for free.  Um, says the internets, because how would I know because I’m too shy to do marketing?  And also, sometimes it seems much easier for people doing pictures than people doing words to get noticed.  Tumblr I’m looking at you!  Although pictures people probably feel the same and now desperately resent me saying that, oh well!

So anyways.  There is now a wordpress page which will hopefully turn into a list of such stuff.  Which maybe people will use, and which maybe is useful!  Although right now it’s pretty basic, and kind of ugly, and has an egomanical name because I couldn’t think of anything else.  So probably this will fizzle, so no-one get excited, especially me, and if it does than no worries.  Because it was just to try it out!

Because really, right now it’s pretty labor-less, so it doesn’t really matter if it does.

So anyways, have a look, and this is just trying, and so maybe it’ll be useful for someone.  Or maybe not.

But its here, anyways!

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Random info if anyone cares: this is basically just a typeform form that emails to a post-by-email address on that blog.  So the emails are formatted with square brackets to do the tags and titles, and the account is a fake second one I just set up as a contributor so the posts get held for moderation.  Do that if you want to moderate them.  And oh how clever!

So basically, it took maybe three hours to set up just now, and most of that was getting annoyed failing to find a free unannoying form hosting place and writing words on the other blog.  And yep, externally hosted forms, because wordpress.com so no plugins.  But now that’s done, it’s completely free, as in, I had to sign up at typeform but that was all, everything else is free, and as far as I can think of, now it should work with me just going to look at the submissions every day or so.  Easy!  I mean, just you want to do something the same!

Random Thought About Kindle Unlimited

So if someone in the US or UK or whatever has a kindle, and has 6 or 7 books in Kindle Unlimited, and every month they borrow those same books on their own kindle and sit there, while watching TV, scrolling through or whatever one does, until they get to the magic percentage that counts as a borrow, does that not get them paid for KU borrows and effectively give them a free Kindle Unlimited subscription?

Because 6 or 7 books times $1.50ish for each borrow means $10ish a month which is what a KU subscription costs.  For those in funny places like me who don’t know that.

So that’s nice!

But worse!  Because also, since anyone can publish anything on Kindle, except bad naughty things Amazon doesn’t like obviously, then couldn’t some random customer just put up 7 books of one page of, say, “minimalist poems”, and borrow each one each month, and then get paid, and pay for their KU subscription that way?

Um, where “minimalist poem” means “I am. A poem. Then I am not”.  Or whatever.

Or do KU borrows only count the first time each reader borrows something ever, so not on re-reads?  Because if so than this devious plan probably makes less sense and may not be worth the trouble of doing every month…

And also, um, wait…

Hi Amazon!  Wave!  And if you see this, I’m not in KU-land and don’t have a kindle so don’t go deducting one borrow from everything on there with my name because I said this!

But also, um, if you troublemakers out there are ever doing this, and you’re terribly grateful for the idea and you saw it here, then read my stuff too!  Ha!

Wait, Amazon, that was a joke too!  Um….

Sigh.

So anyways.  All of that.  Cheating and stuff.  What fun!  Which is all very nice, but never mind, because actually all this is kind of thinking small.

Small, because if, say, a group of authors got together and by arrangement all read each others books every month the same way as that, like in front the TV, so dozens of them were involved, then wouldn’t they all gets lots of borrows and money and also go up in the bestseller lists?

Which is good.

And what’s really good is that doing that way wouldn’t have the costs that actually buying each other’s books would have, for money, assuming they already had KU subscriptions anyway.  Because presumably, while its okay to buy 1000 copies of your own book just to push it up a bestseller list, most people won’t because, well, you have to buy a 1000 books.  So unless you’re completely sure that being number 37 in “Fiction – SF – Robots – Erotica” or whatever is going to sell a lot more copes than you just spent paying for them, it probably isn’t worth doing.

Because of the buying of the books.

But with KU you pay a flat subscription.  So you only have to waste time.  So by borrowing and “reading” you get a  benefit, and maybe it is worth doing.  Perhaps.  So isn’t this kind of a flaw in the whole scheme?  LIke it’s relying on people to be too lazy to cheat?

Which seems sort of naive…

And I am not saying do that, not at all, and again, I can’t anyway.  I’m just kind of wondering…

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Update: I’m so totally writing some robot erotica now.  No, this is nothing to do with tropfest.  Okay it’s a little to do with tropfest, and if you have no idea what I’m on about then, um, here!

Debt Collectors War is on Amazon and Smashwords

Um, also, the thing I actually sat down to say…

Debt Collectors War is now an ebook on Amazon and Smashwords.  And the rest of the places when it gets to them! This is the near-future military SF thingy with mercenaries and evil corporations and the US government collapsed in a debt crisis.

And it isn’t smut :)

It’s still on wattpad, so don’t unless you feel you must!  And the wattpad one is mostly the same as the ebook, but with me going through and editing the ebook version a bit after the version that went up first on wattpad.  So with a few mistakes fixed, and with maybe a thousand words taken out and another thousand changed, I think.

And with US spelling.  Because colour is a typo, obviously.

Anyways, this is just to say in case anyone is interested!

So now that’s said.  Um, back to Lace and stuff about publishing!

“Guest Post”: Lace Winter on Writery Business Matters

So this is a “guest post” like the interviews last year were “interviews”…  so um, completely not.

Basically, I said something the other day about Kindle Unlimited and free books and stuff, which led to discussions, which led to Lace Winter saying this, and its heaps and heaps of info and very useful and even has links and things, so basically, way to important to be hidden down the bottom of the ugly comments screens where no-one can see it.

So, um, now it’s here!

And if you’re only here to read smut, you are completely not going to care.  Just to say. But if you’re a writer, maybe you will!  Because useful!

Oh, and bit at the start is because I said rude things about how publishers don’t offer as much support as they used to, is all.

And anyways, Lace said all this…

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You’re right, the bottom line is that it is a) difficult to get traditionally published, b) if you do obtain a traditional publishing contract, you don’t have a big name so they aren’t going to aggressively market your book — but they will expect YOU to aggressively market your book, c) in print at least, once your book is no longer new, it will likely no longer appear on bookstore shelves, and d) your royalty cut from a traditional publisher will be a very tiny fraction of what it will be from Amazon.

There is a lot of evidence that if you are a new(ish) author, marketing a first book, that you will likely make more money with it by self-publishing, as long as you hustle and have a reasonable marketing plan (which does not mean blast out tweets about it 20 times a day). Since the trad publisher will still expect you to market your book on your own, you aren’t really doing anything you wouldn’t be doing anyway, except you’re doing it more for yourself.

In terms of the royalty you can expect from Amazon when self-publishing, it is comparable to all the other major platforms out there (Smashwords, B&N, Kobo, etc).

As for whether it makes sense to go with Amazon or the other platforms, there is some disagreement out there about this, but since Amazon commands the lion’s share of the ebook market, this is where you will make money. Since most readers are more familiar with Amazon than the others, this is where they will look for your book. Since reviews sell books more than probably anything else, it therefore makes sense to concentrate your reviews in the place where most people will see them, i.e. Amazon. So, for this reason, it may actually make you more money to have your book only on Amazon. That said, there are some strategic reasons why it still may make sense to have your book on multiple platforms.

So, if you are going to concentrate on Amazon only, then you might want to take advantage of the deals that being in Kindle Select can offer (like free days, countdown deals, etc). Being in Kindle Select now means pretty much automatically being in Kindle Unlimited, and this is still a very new paradigm, so the industry analysts are still figuring out. However, some analysis has been done, and at the moment it looks like a good deal for authors as well as readers, as long as authors are strategic about how they use it (you can, for instance, selectively have some books in KU and others on Amazon but not in KU, and there are some strategies around this).

As for the services that trad publishers offer that Amazon doesn’t… well, actually Amazon has their own publishing house, and if you do sign with them, they offer the same services (and higher royalties than most if not all other publishers), but this is not the same as self-publishing on Amazon. It’s true that if you self-publish anywhere you will not have someone freely providing editing or cover design. Nevertheless, editors and cover designers are out there to help you — obviously, they are not working for free, but if you are going to be serious about marketing your book, it makes sense to invest a little in professional editing and design. This doesn’t have to break the bank, though. You can, with this kind of help, have a self-published book, both ebook and print-on-demand, that looks every bit as polished and professional as anything a trad publisher can put out.

I highly recommend looking at ‘Three Tips for Finding the Perfect Publishing Path’ by Kristen Lamb (and I also highly recommend her book ‘Rise of the Machines: Human Authors in a Digital World), ‘Author Marketing 101: the Verdict on Kindle Unlimited’ by Matthew Kadish, and pretty much everything in the ‘Marketing’ section of Nicholas Rossis’ blog. Then, finally, wander over to ‘Giving Books a Voice’ by Eva Gantz for social media marketing tips for authors (Kristen Lamb has a lot on this, too).

And no, I get no kickbacks from them. :) I just found their stuff incredibly helpful to me. There are many others, too, but these are some of the ones I’ve been following.

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Um, so that was Lace, this is Tess again.  I tidied up the emphasis bolds and the linkys but that was all :)

And also, because this seems to be how it’s done…  Lace’s blog and her twitter.

New Daily-ish Wattpad Story: Losing Everything

The blurb, such as it is: Lucy loses everything that matters to her, her partner and job and business and all her money.  She loses everything, and in doing so she reconnects with an old friend, Erica, and begins to fall for her instead.  And as she does, she realizes that everything she has lost doesn’t really matter to her as much as Erica.

Um, here.

So gxg romance and chicklit and a bit of businessy intrigue.  Um, Evie’s Job without the age difference, basically?  And a less scary ex?

Because, and like it says on the Wattpad blurb at the moment, I’m starting a new thing because I have this stupid habit of getting blocked, or getting anxious about wrecking a story that’s going well, or I don’t know what, just being stupid. And then obsessing over whatever part of it isn’t finished, and wanting it to be perfect, and getting nothing done at all.  Which is why there’s so much part-written unfinished stuff lying around.  But doing a little every day seems to work, and seems to make other stuff happen to.  So I’m starting this in the hope that lets me finish DCW and Letters because not having them finished yet is really starting to make me a bit annoyed with myself.

So all that.

And I actually wrote this from the cover image, kind of.  Like I was looking for something else, and saw this, and it kind of clicked somehow.  I don’t know why this one exactly, it just did :)  And then that came out.

So weirdly, I imagine the photographer thinks this is happy picture of a happy person on a happy beach, probably on holiday.  And fair enough.  But I got all inspired and wrote about the weirdest reason to be topless I can think of.  And then made it kind of depressing too.  So, um, yes.  As you do.

Because I guess it’s been shitty stormy weather here for days and days, so blame short-term seasonal affective disorder.  But actually don’t, because we don’t really have it, because we don’t really have clouds in winter.  Like not in winter, and not like most places really either.  And this is actually the start of summer now anyway, it’s just that summer seems to have wandered off for a holiday and left us with wild weather instead.

So I don’t know.  Stories about beaches because it isn’t summer!

Or something!

Anyways, this is basically another weird-shit romance, I guess.  Because yep, I said no more romance ever, especially gxg romance, because some people were just so awful about it.  But I kind of still want to, so I will again, and never mind.  Awful shall be dealt with when I needs to be, or some stupidly optimistic thing like that.

But, um, romance, so there’s basically no sex in it I think, and it’s probably all repressed urges and all that kind of thing.

So anyways, there you go!  Um, here again to save going back to the top.

And yes, there will have to be a second trip to the beach solely for the cover picture, because no it doesn’t fit now.  But it will, promise!  Ha!

Adminis-trivia: Random Organizey Stuff

Ha I invented a word!

So just in case anyone notices and gets confused…  although I suspect no-one will so never mind.  Islands in the Sky is now called Islands, and has a fancy new cover, and is only on Amazon.

Only on Amazon because reasons.

Because I’m selling out.  Because no-one was really reading it other places anyway, and I wanted to try the kindle unlimited thingy, since that maybe seems to be how people are starting to find new books to read.  Maybe.  So says the internets.  Perhaps.

Because I’m wondering if people don’t actually read free ebooks any more, too, because there’s so many free books, so they just download freebies and then download more, so what they have just sits, forever.  Says me.  From watching what a couple of people who actually read do.

As in, someone who apparently had to empty their kindle because it was full of a year’s free stuff they never read.

Which is alarming, a bit, but also which makes me think simply being free isn’t enough to actually get read, any more, and books need to be somewhere that people kind of actively decide to look at them.  If actively decide makes sense?  So either on wattpad, where people are looking for things to read rather than to download. Because looking to read means they look now, but download means they go yay, a download, and then stop thinking about it and go and download something else.  So that, or perhaps somewhere priced cheap-enough-to-take-a-risk, or with subscriptions like netflicks or spotify, or pretend-free like one-off trails coupons so the person who downloads it only downloads that one book, or has picked that book, and so has a reason to start reading right then.  Rather than downloading ten more.

All of which makes me think maybe it’s better to be in kindle unlimited, so people actually actively pick the book and maybe actually try it, instead of just hoarding it forever.

Or something.

But I’m trying.  To see.  And maybe will move other things into it.  Perhaps.  Because I need to be working out how to do all this selling and marketing stuff, because I suck at it, really.  And so I need a plan!

Blah. Anyways.

So those reasons.  And this is all probably more useful for other writers than people just reading, but I’ll actually say eventually if I work anything out.

That was all!

Short Story: Ardudunon and Iskamagos

So a story.  Which isn’t smut.  And probably I should have done this ages ago, but I didn’t and completely my bad.  This is for an anthology which promotes new writers, and is set in ancient Britain.

Um, so go look?  Maybe?

Anyways, the story is here.  Which is on the website.  And the anthology is here.  And please go look, because I think i was meant to kind of help promote it, and I failed miserably.  But there’s other people in it and so you should!

Thank you!

Update: apparently the anthology checkout thingy may not work, just to warn :)

Flash-Fic: Golden Key

Um, so I might as well do this again, just because!  And today’s one is “golden key“.

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The Golden Key

I get ready for a night out.  I have a beautiful dress, and beautiful shoes, and a set of handcuffs, too.  The handcuffs are gold, and the key is as well, and tonight I’ll wear both, my wrists cuffed in front of me, and the key as a charm on a chain around my neck.

This is a game we play.

I get dressed, and do my hair, and you put the cuffs on me, once we’re ready.  Then we make out for a while, because this excites us both.  We kiss, pressing awkwardly together.  Awkwardly, since I can’t move my arms.  You touch me.  You touch between my legs.  You make me wet with your touches.  Then we realize we’re running late, and leave in a hurry.  We drape a coat over my arms and the handcuffs, so the cuffs aren’t completely obvious.  We dash outside and find a taxi, and you finger me in the taxi too, discreetly.  I don’t think the driver notices.

At the club, I walk past the door security cuffed, with the coat still over my arms.  I walk inside without anyone noticing the handcuffs, and we go and sit in a dark corner.  You get me a drink.  I sip, and when I lift my arms, still pressed together, the cuffs are suddenly obvious, and people nearby notice.

People notice and ask why, and I explain.  That we’re playing a game.  That this is what we do.  That someone has to take the key from the chain around my neck, and uncuff me.

The people I’m talking to offer to uncuff me, but I say no, not yet.  Later on, I say, when the time is right.  They smile.  Some seem to understand about games like this.

They ask if I’m sure, and I say yes.  I say I’d rather kiss them instead.

I do.  I kiss some of the people, and others watch.  You watch too.

I kiss several people, trying to find the right one, the right kisser, the one who kisses well with me.

I do, in the end.  I find someone I like.  I say goodbye to you, and go home with that person.   I go to their home, and they help me undress, as best I can with my arms still cuffed.  We have sex, a lot of sex, with my dress half-off and my arms still in front of me.  We have sex, and in the morning that person takes the golden key from my necklace and uncuffs me, and then I go home to you.

Daily Prompts. Because Why Not!

So, um…  it’s kind of been a month since I did anything here, which is terrible.  Yes, terrible.  I am neglectful and I’m sorry.  Because yes, this mostly just stories now, but still…  that’s just lazy!

So I was going to do something anyways.  But then, weird coincidence, while not actually doing anything, I just found out about this.  Which is daily prompts from WordPress for blog posts.

So why not?

Um, meaning, back to the flash-fiction!  Yay!

So today’s prompt is apparently “waiting room” so I shall write a flash-fic short story about waiting rooms!

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Waiting Room

I’m sitting in a waiting room.  Other than me, the room is empty.  This is only a small medical practice, and the nurse who is also the receptionist is in with one of the doctors and a patient, holding scalpels or whatever it is the nurse does to help.

I sit for a while, bored, and because I’m bored I start getting horny.

I squeeze my legs together.  Yes, like that.  I squeeze, and it feels nice.  After a while, I shift slightly, crossing my legs more tightly, so I can feel the squeeziness better.  I sit for a while, squeezing, and then I start to bounce my foot, slowly, idly, how I hope looks like I’m just feeling impatient rather than anything else.

Now, I’m not bored any more.

Eventually, the receptionist-nurse comes back and tells me I can go through.  She gives me a look as she does, and it’s only then that I realize that a doctor’s office might not be the best place for discreet masturbation, because people here probably know how bodies work, and notice things like that which other people don’t.

Maybe.

Except you’re my doctor, and we’re only meeting for lunch, so even if you realize I’m weirdly turned on, it doesn’t really matter.  You’re used to me by now.

We might even have a quickie.

I go in, and kiss you, and say hi.  And you look at my face, at my expression, and you suddenly look knowing.  You give me a look.  Just like the nurse.  And as it turns out, actually, it does matter.  Actually I’m really embarrassed.

Then you laugh, and kiss me, and tell me not to worry.  And then we go for lunch.

Islands in the Sky ebook

There’s a complete Islands in the Sky ebook now.

In some places, for money.  If you care :)

It’s on Amazon and Smashwords and the other places soon.

Amazon is for money, because Amazon decide whether it has a price, not me.  But at the moment, everywhere else, like Smashwords and iBooks, is free.  And also, the whole story is still on Wattpad.

Um, that’s all!

Updated: just to make the price stuff actually correct :)  Oh, and Smashwords weren’t grumpy, as it turned out!