Monday, September 18, 2017

Everything you say and do can and will be held against you

As many authors do I offered up my blog to feature other authors. It's something I've done in the past and until two authors flaked on me right in a row I actually enjoyed doing. Previously, I reached out to authors I knew and liked, I featured Jordan Silver, Setta Jay, Christa Tomlinson, and CE Black. All of these writers I had encountered on social media and had taken a look at their stuff and liked. I offered, they didn't ask and I was happy with every encounter. 

No secret authors featuring other authors is win-win you help an author get some exposure from people who like you and you get exposure from people who like them, good times. As I saw someone in a group I'm in ask to be featured on other author's blogs for their new release. I thought about it and decided to go ahead and offer up my blog. Then because I'm a bit of a control freak planner just having one author wasn't enough I went ahead and just made a blanket statement of offering up my blog to other authors within the group. Immediately I had responses of yes, please. One author I knew of and even though I didn't read her I was actually quite happy to get to know more about her as I'd basically just 'seen her around' on social media not really interacted with her, and was interested in knowing more. That was Ms. Felicity Brandon who I just featured this weekend, I'm glad I did. Even though I'm not into BDSM I read through her samples on Amazon and really liked her writing style and I felt very proud to have her on my blog. 

Then I got another response from another writer. At the time I basically nodded and carried on as there wasn't a time issue with him and Felicity just had a release and the author wanted another time. Once I was done with Felicity's post and hit publish I turned my attention to the other author. Huh, I remember this guy. It was that guy, the guy who felt the need to explain to me what petite was and supposedly wasn't. The guy who kept poking me when I tried to ignore him because quite frankly I don't engage trolls or assholes. Life is too short and I really couldn't care. But this guy he kept poking at me, not wanting to be ignored because he had something that I supposedly needed to hear. 

I'm not going to feature this asshole and I told him so and gave him the previous post I wrote about our encounter. You want to be an asshole, fine but I don't have to have anything to do with  your ass. The thing is if he hadn't been asshole despite me not liking his writing style and not being able to say I recommend him, I would have featured him. It actually does not bring me any kind of happiness or satisfaction to tell him I won't feature him. I've said it before and I mean it. I'm not here to do anything but help other authors, even if I don't necessarily like someone's writing or subject matter or even them as a person because of stupid shit they say or do. I'll just keep scrolling past and not engage. Even though this post is talking about that guy the greater message is: Everything you say or do can and will be held against you

Remember that, you tweet it, you Facebook post it, you snapchat it, Instagram whatever. If you put it out there to see know people will see it and they'll judge, for better or worse. For the readers especially it's a way to lose readers and it hurts the bottom line. For the writing community, it's a small world and the memories are very long. Don't make it harder for someone to want to help you out. 



Saturday, September 16, 2017

Author Spotlight Felicity Brandon

Felicity Brandon


Felicity writes erotic romance with bondage, submission, and spankings. Oh my! High heat levels and naughtiness abound in each book she writes. 

Although several of my h's love a good spanking for fun BDSM and discipline isn't really my thing. That said it doesn't stop me from appreciating a good writer. Case in point, Felicity Brandon. I love Ms. Brandon's writing style and am so happy to spotlight her work and get to know her. 


You've written viking historical, now regency, and contemporary is there a time you prefer writing?

I immerse myself in whatever genre I am writing, and am happy writing in all of them. I was amazed by how easily I slipped into the Regency era, but I think moving back and forth between times helps to keep my writing fresh.

Is there a place and time in history you wish you had lived in? 

I love history, but I don't have any desire to live in it. As a woman, I think I am much happier in the twenty-first century, where I am free to be myself.

What writers or books first made you fall in love with reading? What was the writer or book that made you want to write? 

The first book I got lost in as a child was 'The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe', by C.S. Lewis. I was completely transported to Narnia, and spent many years checking the back of wardrobes! 😉 Since then, there have been many awe-inspiring books, but Anne Rice remains one of my all-time favourites writers. Her narrative style is utterly enticing.

When not writing and you have time to yourself you can be found... lost in music and/or at the gym.

What is something you wish you knew when you first sat down to write your first story? 

Writing the story is just the beginning...


Favorite comedy

Clue or Hot Fuzz


Hot Fuzz is a wicked fun comedy, that everyone in the entire world should watch. Simon Pegg is a fucking genius (damn I thought I was going to get through this post without cussing). I think I have a girl crush on Ms. Brandon. *dreamy sigh* 

I'm so glad I got a chance to learn more about her and hope y'all did too. Enjoy a look at her newest release and keep scrolling to find where you can take a look at her others and find her online.


Taming Lady Lydia 



Felicity says Taming Lady Lydia is the most sensual and potent romance I have ever penned. Lord Markham is the Regency hero I always fantasized about... He’s a strict authoritarian with a loving, tender heart.

When eighteen-year-old Lady Lydia Franklin becomes the ward of Lord Thomas Markham after her father’s death, she quickly discovers that the wealthy, handsome gentleman believes in strict discipline for wayward young women. Her penchant for naughtiness soon earns her a sound spanking, but despite his willingness to punish her as often and as shamefully as he feels it necessary, Thomas’ firm-handed correction leaves Lydia helplessly aroused.

Though he is charged with ensuring that Lydia’s innocence is preserved, Thomas cannot help but notice her body’s response to his stern chastisement. It isn’t long before she is lying naked across his lap as she is spanked thoroughly and then brought to a blushing climax, and over the coming days he sets about teaching her what it means to surrender herself completely to a dominant man.

Being taken in Thomas’ arms proves more pleasurable than Lydia ever dreamed, and she finds herself imagining a future as his wife rather than his ward, but the dark rumors about his past are hard to ignore. When he asks for her hand she agrees to be his bride, but once the wedding is over will the bond between them hold firm or will it all end in scandal and heartbreak?

Publisher’s Note: Taming Lady Lydia includes spankings and sexual scenes. If such material offends you, please don’t buy this book.

Excerpt: 

“You can either be a good girl, behave and obey my requests…” He pauses, watching my responses carefully. “Or, my love… you can resist me, try me, and be soundly spanked for your trouble. Do you know which you have chosen tonight?”
I swallow at the question, my hips raising beneath our entwined bodies as though they choose to answer for me. “I have disobeyed you,” I whisper.
He smiles, his brow rising wryly at my comment. “Yes,” he agrees, kissing me chastely on the lips. “And so you will be spanked.”
“I am sorry, Thomas,” I whimper, not really sure if I am truly sorry, or whether I just enjoy playing the heroine to his bondage scene.
He is already moving down my body as he replies. “Thank you, my love,” he replies, and there is genuine warmth in his tone. “But you know the rules. You are to be punished and then you will be pleasured.”

************


It's available now at Amazon



Felicity can be found everywhere (I think she's Batman)

Her website: FelicityBrandonWrites
Facebook
Amazon Author Page: Amazon
Barnes and Noble:  Nook
Apple:  iBooks
Tumblr
Twitter
Pinterest
Goodreads
Bookbub



Monday, September 11, 2017

It's that time again: Covers

Cover time peoples! Don't, don't do it. Don't gasp and run from the cover artist's website and think it's not worth it. Don't think this is something you can do on your own. If you have paid for editing-you better have paid for editing-don't waste your money by not paying for a cover artist. I get it, it feels like one more thing that you just can't afford anymore because you have already spent so much. Get over it or go back to your day job. 

If you are not slinging smut and you want to take this all the way then don't cheap out on this. While yes there are cover artists out there that aren't worth it there are still a shit ton who are worth every penny. Look at the titles in the top 100 best sellers both on Kindle and on the USA Today list, that's what your cover needs to look like. 

Now, on to the cover artists I've found I think you should take a look at. 

Repeats:
Cheeky Covers
Once again my cover artist, Carrie, who I still can't believe does such a good for so little. Custom covers run from $35-100. She is easy to work with and has no problem working with neurotic, twitchy writers. 

Every time I do covers I check this artist (have no idea if it's guy or girl going with girl cuz I like the idea of it being a girl) and every single time I love her work. Seriously, there are only one or two I'm eh on. All kinds of covers here, thriller, mystery, romance, chick lit, literary it's all here and it all looks so good. 
There are two different premades, one page is $85 and the other are all sale premades for $40 and they don't look any worse (okay a few of the fonts aren't that great but maybe they could change that up for not much more) the point is you can get great looking covers for less than you think that are totally worth it. 
Custom covers are $185 for ebook only, ebook and print are $235


New Cover Artists:
This is a cover artist who caught my eye on Twitter, god I love Twitter. Her premades look exactly like something you would see on a table in Barns and Noble, good placing and switching up on the fonts. I like. 
Her premades run $50 to $80 (and yes like a cheater I covet 2 on the page-but I'm just looking). Her custom covers run $220 for ebook only and $295 for the print and ebook, ouch but considering what she does with premades I would take the leap and say she looks like she's worth it. 


She doesn't have much in the way of premades but her portfolio looks so good I wouldn't hesitate to say she's worth it for custom covers that start at only  $60 (damn! totally worth it) she then goes to $120 then $175 and add on $45 for print cover. 

Aria does not do premades but her $125 for a custom ebook cover is still really good for the quality of her covers. Ebook and print will cost $165 and I seriously can't find one cover she's done I don't love. 

Someone who also doesn't have many premades but pricing is more than fair for the quality of the covers. Custom starts at $60 then $100 then $140 and for print cover add another $40


This cover artist is not just romance but also does good looking fantasy, sci-fi covers and of course those as romance. Really great portfolio. She has a decent amount of good looking premades for sale for only $59 her customs start at $150 and has a premium package for $225 for print covers add $50

I found this cover artist by complete accident, and I have to say I just love her work. It's really beautiful and it actually made me want to write something for a few of her covers. She has several premades for fantasy that range from only $40 to $102 


This is the one I've been on the fence about but I'm just going to go with it because the portfolio is overwhelmingly good. The reason why I was hesitant is that the cost of the stock photo used isn't included-personally I like to know exactly how much something is going to cost. I don't like surprises. That said, you've been warned. There are no premades and the cost is a flat fee of $150 which includes print cover and that alone makes this a value considering how good the covers in the portfolio are. 

***The link to each website is the name***

Links to my past cover blogs. I have no idea if prices have changed or the artists are still around. 

Monday, August 28, 2017

Kindle Unlimited, free books and knowing your worth

Two weekends ago I'm not doing what I should and I'm on Facebook and a post from a blogger comes through: How many people have gone to download a free book only to find out you already have it in your Kindle? The response was a heaving mass of yes followed by lol and haha all the time. The laughter grated on my nerves as I thought of the book I had to edit to the best of my ability before submitting to a publisher because I couldn't afford to release myself. So I posted: And this is why as an author putting your book out for free feels as if it devalues what you've written.

There was a response pretty quickly from someone. Basically all kinds of defensive but if I love the book (once they actually get around to reading it) then I buy ALLLLL the books....hmmmmmm

I responded with this VERY carefully crafted response: That's great, really but every single comment supports the reasoning for not putting books out for free, I have a permafree title but for every 100 books downloaded for free I'll be lucky if 10 people actually read. I spent $300 plus on editing, $150 plus on a cover and months writing and to give it away for free and it get lost in someone's kindle is the reason why so many writers wonder if they should even keep writing and selling because if they are giving it away for free and still can't get people to read what they write then why bother.

The blogger was basically the same as the person who commented all love for free and appreciations and then she floods the writer of the book with love and money.....sure ok. 

That why bother, I left the question mark off on purpose it wasn't a question. It's how every writer feels after they get done with a freebie and see they 'sold' or rather gave away a huge chunk of books and if they are lucky they see a return of maybe ten or twenty percent tops. Because people downloaded the books for free just to have it. Then promptly read the book they paid for forgetting the freebie. Do they even consider it when looking for something to read in their catalog? I don't even fucking know anymore. 

With Kindle Unlimited my thought process was I don't have any significant income coming from the other places so without a job and someone going on about how great Kindle Unlimited is would it hurt to try it? My thought was the borrows would be actual reads which would turn into buys but it didn't work out quite that way. There were some buys but actually pretty much the same amount as for the last few months so there didn't seem to be an uptick. In a late night freak out I folded and my entire catalog is on KU. And now I know it was the wrong thing to do. 

I've gotten a few more reviews but considering how many reads I've gotten I actually can't think about it too much because it makes me very seriously want to cry. People are going through almost all 14 titles and still aren't writing reviews. Which just fucking floors me. It's amazing they want to read them but if you like them enough to read them you can't leave a single fucking review saying you like it enough to read through my catalog?

Then I fucked up big time, I did the math. Less than a half penny a page .004 and some shit. I did the fucking math and I'm missing out on, as of 8/20, over seven hundred dollars if the books had sold at what I have them priced at. No more math, I'll lose my shit. I'm trying to tell myself to chill, some money is better than none. Is it?

I don't fucking know. I really don't. I swear doing the math and writing it right now it makes my stomach churn with tension. All that money lost that I won't get back. I do know I'll be pulling all my titles from KU when the 90 days are up. I feel like I have to in order to not lose my fucking mind over it. While I look at what I've earned so far I don't know if I can really say the money is worth what I've given up without return from the readers I've 'gained' from KU. 

The relationship between readers and authors should be symbiotic a positive response from the reader sustains the writer to keep writing whether it's a series or standalones but it just doesn't feel like it's that way anymore. The writer is being forced to give and give without return whether it's money or reviews as positive response. The reader is taking what they believe is their due-how do we owe the reader any more than a good story and their money's worth? Why do I owe the reader my book for less than a dollar? A book they get more than two plus hours of enjoyment from, a book they get to reread whenever they want. And I have had multiple reviews and readers telling me they loved the books so much they reread them, sometimes as soon as they finish because they loved it so much they didn't want it to end. Isn't that experience, that book worth more than a dollar? The book I ignored my friends and family and almost significant other to write. The book I paid to have edited out of my own pocket at a cost that has me eating ramen, eggs for dinner and breakfast and from the dollar menu for a 'treat' day once a pay check every two weeks. 

Yes, I would write if no one read but that doesn't mean I don't think it has value, that I as the writer don't have value. 

Writers often refer to selling their books as pimping, which makes sense since we are selling a part of our selves in every book. Here's the thing though, I'm no trick on the street. I'm not selling a quick fix. You want quality you pay for it. I know what I'm worth and it's not .4 of a penny. 

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Playing the victim should not be a marketing ploy

I've seen it again and again and it pisses me the fuck off. Writers playing the victim, poor me big ol' Amazon is soooo mean to me. Me, me little ol' me struggling to make a dime, my poor kids, my poor dog, my poor cat. I'm a victim of huge mega corporation. What about the freedom to write what we want? Then the bloggers sticking up for poor little ol' author, it's LITERATURE, it's ART, it's not for huge mega corporation to decide if I can read this. Let's stick it to mega corporation, buy it!!!!!! And they will, authors will buy it, bloggers will buy it and all those people who want to stick it to Amazon they'll buy it without knowing what the fuck they bought. Without caring if the author is talented enough to have earned their money because it's about them wanting to support little ol' writer and her cat, and her kids, and her dog and OMFG fuck you and the dog and the kids and the cat. Congratulations smug blogger, and smug authors and smug woman/man on the street for sticking it to mega corporation and supporting a plucky little ol' author. You sure stuck it to big mega corporation Amazon and  congratulations, you've been grifted. 

Every single time this happens I want to get fucking violent (can you tell?)  I am so fucking sick of this. Especially because it keeps fucking happening, this isn't how you sell books. By doing something you KNOW won't fly and then crying about it later for sympathy, for your rights that are being violated (BULLSHIT), for the dollar you can squeeze out of those who are easily manipulated. 

These authors KNOW before they hit publish what will likely happen and they turn it around and they use it. Every author who is even THINKING of self-publishing to Amazon and is writing romance, or anything in that vein, erotica, erotic romance, knows the rules that Amazon has surrounding it EVERY SINGLE PERSON. You want to know why? Because we know of stories that have been pulled and we know if it's offensive enough they won't just pull your story they'll pull every book you have and shut you down completely. Completely. It doesn't matter if the other titles you have are children's books or cook books they'll close your account and say nope go peddle that shit somewhere else. You know why? Because they can. It's that simple. They aren't here for your free speech and your freedom of expression, they are a business and you have the right to write it but they are under no fucking obligation to sell it, to have anything to do with the shit you are peddling. 

I am so tired of watching writers con bloggers and readers behind a poor me, I don't know why they are being mean to me line. BULLSHIT. You know it because you've seen it. I'm sick of the bitching, other books do it, they are publishing it, oh it's because of big publishing company that it's still selling and if I were big I could too. BULLSHIT. You KNOW exactly what you are writing is pushing the boundaries of common fucking decency you KNOW it's pushing the boundaries of Amazon. You KNEW it and you published it and maybe it slipped by the censor at the gate of Amazon but someone was completely offended and Amazon said no fucking way. You KNEW it was a possibility and you did it anyway. DON'T fucking act like it you didn't know it wasn't something that could happen. If you really didn't want to make it a big deal and didn't want to make waves then you should have sucked it the fuck up when it got yanked, put it on the only the vendor that takes that shit and move THE FUCK ON with your life. 

But you didn't. 

You went crying to your Facebook page instead of a tissue and you lied when you said you couldn't believe it's happening to you. You whipped people into a fury for you and you're laughing through those false tears as you check your sales.

Congratulations on getting those sales after all. Congratulations on scamming people and playing the victim to sell your books instead of actual talent. 




Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Do books like 'Dark Romance' help perpetuate the rape culture?

Once again a book with a dark romance theme is on sale and clogging up my Facebook feed. Five stars the announcement screams as it tells me to not miss out on this amazing, awesome, panty-melting read. Hmmm....it stops me because just a few days before the blogger had shared a essay/article about nonconsent that listed all these horrible, painful, tear-inducing instances of rape and sexual assault. Even though I've been writing for fun since I was eight years old and to publish for the last five years I still consider myself a reader first. As a reader I have to tell you the books of dark romance where a woman is kidnapped-which actually happens every single day, sold-again every single day in the United States, forced to submit to sex whether she is kicking or screaming or lies there praying for it to be over-fucking again every single day in every state in America it makes my stomach revolt and my skin crawl to know people are selling these 'fantasies' to other women and making money off something another women is suffering from. 

I have tried, I have really fucking tried to keep my mouth shut in all of this. I tell myself it's just a story, but then I remember the meme about 50 Shades of Gray where it says: 50 Shades of Grey is romantic only because the guy is a billionaire If he was living in a trailer it would be a criminal minds episode. 

The problem with the meme is that it's clear the person didn't read the book in it's entirety and 'get' that the BDSM theme is the issue, she told him, I want to know about this I want to try it. Then she pulls a move of why did you do this to me. At no time as it was happening did she say stop, don't. 

I have absolutely no doubt the meme was created by a guy. I also have no doubt there are men like him who think there are women out there who are on the downlow hoping some guy pushes their boundaries and it sweeps them off their feet. 

Women have their fantasies guys have theirs. 

In all my attempts to keep my mouth shut I tell myself it's just a book, an escape from the mundane everyday. Just because I read books on serial killers doesn't mean I want a serial killer running loose, it doesn't mean it's glorifying serial killers. But doesn't it though? Hasn't the villain become the hero today, Death Wish, Dexter, anyone? Oh, but they have their reasons, it's just entertainment. So you're entertained by a woman held and made to be fucked against her will until she finds herself in love with this disturbed individual? Because you know she wasn't happy in her old life anyway and this guy, deep down isn't psychotic (the way raping someone would indicate) he only did it because he wasn't loved in the past but she loves him now so she fixed him. 

OMFG

This is a woman's fantasy, guys take note. 



Here's the thing, you want to believe it's entertainment, just a fantasy for a late night read to work out the stress and the vibrator and get off and then the next day it's forgotten. But it's not, men know this is being read, they read the descriptions they read the themes, maybe they'll read the sample. Huh, so women are into this shit? I want to say for 9 out of 10 it's nothing but I think the number is probably lower more like 7 out of 10 guys they shrug and move on but the others they take note. They take note and they're the guys who think it's no big deal to send a picture of their dick and fantasize the woman will go 'omg, this dick I must have it immediately.' Not gross you creepy fucker. 

They are the guys who think it's okay to grope a woman in the subway or on the bus because it's a compliment to be wanted, for someone to want to cop a feel, to be attractive enough for the guy to take the chance. For a guy to force his hand up a woman's skirt or dress because he'll find out she's really wet because she really wants it but she doesn't want him to think she's a slut. Deep down women want this, because he's seen it, he's seen the kidnapped forced against her will book at number one on Amazon. I'm going to be the guy of her fantasy, I'm going to be the one she wishes wouldn't take no for an answer because he wanted her so much, because she doesn't mean no she means work harder to show me how much you want me. I'm going to start fucking her while she's asleep and as she wakes up she'll realize she wanted this, or this is the fantasy she had I'm going to make it come true and she'll thank me for it. 

You have your fantasy, guys have theirs.

Do I really think this will change anything for real? No, I'm not delusional enough to think there are enough people reading my blog to make an impact. Do I want people to stop reading and writing dark romance where a woman is held against her will and raped and somehow falls in love with her rapist and her love somehow transforms him not from a sick, twisted individual but a hot, sexy alpha male who loves her so much so it makes it all right? Yeah, I do (I just deleted this four times before leaving this in.) We are judged by the things we do, not by what we say. If you're reading a story of rape and abuse of a woman by a man while your daughter plays on the monkey bars and she comes running back and asks you what you're reading I'm sure you'll lie, that's a given. But when she's old enough to know, really know you read a story about a young women being fucked while she's tied to a bed unable to even kick or scream will you really be able to shrug it off as just a fantasy, something moms do to break up the mundane, the every day? Or how about if your son finds your book and reads them? 

You have your fantasy, boys form theirs. No guy wakes up one day thinking I need to force myself on a woman and that's what she wants. The idea is formed from the media, from books, from movies, from the world around him. 

I know these will never go away, I don't expect them to. But I know I hope one day they won't be clogging my Facebook feed or on the best seller list. Because I just don't find anything romantic about kidnapping and raping a woman.



Monday, August 7, 2017

Seeking publishing and I feel like I failed as an Indie

Finally, I'm done with my latest story. I've done an edit and still have one more to do before putting it in the hands of a real editor. Now comes the hard part, putting it in the hands of an editor... After years of screaming pay for editing or don't release your story I have the huge problem of not being able to afford editing. Right now, I can't even afford to think about paying for editing because when I do I get stressed out and pop klonapin that I'm running out of and can't afford to go to the doctor for a refill-that's how broke I am. 

Even in the middle of writing as the ending began to form and I began to wonder what the hell I was going to do when I was done. Slowly, painfully the answer is, if I want to publish this latest story, and I do. Then I need to find a publisher to pay for the editing and cover. To me this is crushing, I LOVE my editor I KNOW she makes me a better writer and makes my story better. I don't want to work with someone else. Crazy as it sounds the woman gets me-she must have experience in a mental ward. 

Then there's this thing of me being a complete and total control freak. For me the idea of handing over this story is like being pregnant with the spontaneous bursts of tears, happiness and anger. The heartburn, and sleepless nights then pain, screaming, and finally joy of birth then handing the baby away. (yeah, people who give their baby up for adoption are saints and should be treated as such) The idea that I'm going to hand it over and be left with nothing except cash is agony for what is left of my cold dark heart. 

Someone else will decide when it releases, have the last say on the title-this will kill me I'm in love with title-the cover and the price. I'll get royalties but it won't be as much. I'm trying to tell myself this is good, to try something new once who knows this could be a great experience, maybe this will give me more exposure. But none if it feels true, all I know is I feel like I've failed. I can't afford to take care of my baby and I don't want to keep and release it without the editing it needs to the best it can be. 

So yes, I've finished and will have a new story coming but when exactly I won't know. Hopefully six to eight weeks after figuring out how to write a damn query letter. Don't even get me started on trying to write a query letter.


Monday, July 31, 2017

On writing and the importance of the support of other writers

A few day ago, opening the story I've been working on for what feels like fucking forever I looked at it with loathing. Every word on the screen filled me with frustration, I was writing and had been writing for the last few days the ending (it was taking longer than it needed to because I hated it) that seemed right. Only it wasn't, it was all wrong so fucking wrong only I didn't know why exactly. So I let out a primal scream into the twittersphere out of frustration, simply needing to be heard not expecting anything back except maybe a 'been there, dear'. I got a response, at first I was wondering if the person was just being asshole. Then I was an asshole, to find out, of course. 

The response was not that of an asshole, it was a question that made me think about what I'd written so far. Which oddly enough, I had done but not really. I knew I'd gone off the path the story was meant to go but was blaming it on something different. I couldn't figure out how to fix it while leaving the something different in place-it was just as important to the overall story. Then it hit me, what was really wrong. As I thought about why it was wrong, it took exactly three minutes for me to figure how to fix it. 

After three days of pure hate for every word I was typing I took out a few stitches and was able to sew that shit back up, the right way for me. The interaction, as small as it might seem was huge for me. I would like to think I would have figured it out on my own but after how long and other words wasted? I'd actually shut it down and opened up another story waiting in the wings to work on. What if that person hadn't nudged me? Would I have closed it down only to open it up with more hate months from now and not fixed it? I kind of don't want to think about that too much. 

What I'm thinking is I miss my writing group. What I'm thinking is I'm thankful for that writer and all the writers who aren't on social media to be assholes but to support each other and help each other even if it's just a, 'hey, I see you too. It's hard but don't give up.'


Monday, June 26, 2017

Kindle Unlimited, feeling ambivalent

Well, here I sit after screaming to the sky for going on years now that KU is bad, awful, no good with 8 of my 14 titles on KU. I'm consoling myself by telling myself at least it's not all my titles. Then I wonder if maybe I should have just gone all in and not doing so will hurt me in the long run. It's been a rough weekend folks. 

Actually it hasn't been the greatest month. It started with me getting pneumonia and being fired for getting pneumonia because I couldn't even get dressed without having to give myself time to recuperate yet I was supposed to go into work? Ehh, on one hand that no daily income and medical insurance was a huge loss. On the other hand I had already been looking for another job and as it all happened while I had pneumonia and the entire week was a blur it kind of feels like I just woke up one day with no job. 

So no job, huh, writing but writing costs money and while I'm writing I need electricity and food and stuff so I am attempting to get another endeavor going and in so doing I get chatting with another writer who sells me on KU. There wasn't a whole lot of lists and points she needed to push other than saying she was making bank. 

The internal battle began, while I did make 80% percent of my money from Apple last year that was because of my 2 releases in May and June and my Christmas I was barely making $200 and I don't even want to talk about how much I've made so far this year it's depressing. Because the internal battle is this, if I keep writing, keep putting out a product people are looking and waiting for, then I can keep making a sustainable living and under those circumstance I do still hold that KU is made, all eggs, one basket, one person holds all the strings everything about that seems wrong. 

BUT I am not releasing right now, not even close to being done on the two titles I'm working right now. So maybe now is the time to take a chance and do something I wouldn't normally do. 

Often times apart from the good cover, the editing, every other decision you make is a crap shoot. So I will have to wait 90 days to find out how this roll of the dice works out. I'll let you know. 

Monday, June 19, 2017

Twitter Tips

Update and tips


Tips and etiquette that if you follow just might help on Twitter

I'm wasting time on Reddit/Self-publish and for what has to be the tenth time I see someone ask what's the deal with Twitter. It didn't work for them, should they keep trying, do they really need it? Every single time I know all the ways they have dropped a pretty important ball. So I'm just going to say, yes-Twitter is important and it's FREE and learn how to use it. 

1. DO NOT tweet your book over and over on the hour every hour. If I have shrugged and followed you, I will unfollow you. A few (2-3)times a day, MAX. 

 2. Retweet other people for fucks sake. This is not that hard, and don't tweet them musing on the peanut butter sandwich they're making. If they are posting a giveaway or something about their book retweet that, think of it this way, would you rather have someone retweet you bitching about traffic or the one of two times you'll tweet about your book today? It's so fucking not rocket science. 

3. Sure, tweet about traffic or your musings on Kim K.-if you must- but try and keep it as professional as you would say at work. It's okay if you joke with a coworker about the Biebs but you don't share every little thought-unless it's so damned witty you just can't help yourself, fine. Be your authentic self but there's ways you can do that without letting it all hang out. And as this about attracting and connecting with readers, really all of the noise in your head doesn't need to be shared with one and all on Twitter.

4. If this is your twitter for your writing don't do the politics, religion thing-just don't. I have unfollowed people who have gone there and I don't agree with. Yes, you have the right to your beliefs and I have the right to not hear about them by unfollowing you. 

5. Say thank you for the retweet, it's polite but if you ever want me to retweet you again-return the favor and don't tweet me bitching about my hair. Again, you know which tweet you want others to read, if I tweeted your promo check me out and retweet my book or promo. It'll take you three minutes tops and I just might tweet you again. 

6. Even better, say thank you to people who tweet you in #FF which notes people who are cool and retweet and people might want to follow them.

7. This a slippery thing for me and I admit I feel bad that I don't. People out there thank their followers but I don't because I have had to unfollow so many people that I don't auto follow back and it seems more rude to thank someone for following when I know I'm not going to follow them. If you are another erotica or romance writer then sure, I'll usually follow. If it's a blogger or someone who's bio says they like to read then I'll follow. But I'm not following the book quote peoples-my feed is full enough so I'm not going to follow. Also, those people who never ever retweet and are only following me because I retweet-nope not following you or tweeting your ass, it's called karma. 

8. Follow the writers in your genre, if you're writing science fiction do not follow and retweet erotica authors, this is the oddest thing I've seen happen. This might explain why no one is paying attention to your tweets. 

9. Follow bloggers, this will help you see what other writers in your genre are doing and what does and doesn't appeal to you. Tweet them as well, if there comes a time when you would like to ask them to host a spotlight or giveaway this will go a long way. 

10. Think of Twitter as a big party, if all you do is talk to about yourself and don't let others be heard your circle will grow smaller and smaller. If you're off in the corner not talking to anyone or even trying then you're not going to have a good time. 

Why I am not following or retweeting you back on Twitter

Interesting how I went batshit crazy while writing and editing for a week and barely opened Twitter only to find I'd gained several new followers. Because I know how important Twitter is and an important tool I did still do my best to retweet people who were kind of enough to retweet me because that's what I do. If a fellow writer retweets me I will retweet them (BTW pinned posts are great if you want people to retweet you easily) any way I do this because it's the right thing to do HOWEVER if I don't here's why.

Yes I tag my stuff EARTG for erotica which yes basically porn for most people, lots of shorts and reading one handed. Yet for me my writing is erotic romance, for me I have to be able to take away all the sex scenes and there still has to be a solid, heartfelt story or I don't write. That's the difference that I seem to be having a problem with on some people who follow or retweet me. I get it, it's hard and you want to do something to set yourself apart from others and do what you can to catch people's attention. But if you are tweeting pictures where tits and underbits are hanging out then no, I will not retweet you. If you are tweeting your cover or pictures with writing that talk about a pussy or cock or fucking then no I will not retweet you. There's a difference between sex and sexy and that line isn't the same for everyone, for me I don't think it's that hard to tell. But hey that's just me.

I've included this in another post but maybe you haven't read it, fine. If you only tweet about yourself or your books or quotes then NO I will not follow you back because all you want is for me to retweet your stuff without you returning the favor. This isn't rocket science, it's pretty basic if you want followers and you want people to tweet you then tweet them back and if someone has been kind enough to tweet you and follow you then return the favor. 

Friday, June 2, 2017

Ahh...the mansplaining to a writer

I don't usually do this but it pissed off me off enough so what the fuck, here is the copy and paste from the exchange. 
First of all this is a retweet group where you post your tweet and others retweet-how it's supposed to go really but people don't always get it. All I want/need is your retweet the way I did for yours, no comment wanted or desired.
But it struck me that first day and has been bugging me ever since  (hence me being on meds) at first it was, he's an idiot let it go. But also it was just as I said, women need other women-not men-writing romance for all women of different shaped and sizes. When you go into the clothing stores they are kind enough not to use short and fat they use petite-which means the exact same thing. And for a fucking man to think he needs to explain to me what petite means.....FUCK YOU. 
That this fucking moron states he writes erotic romance is quite frankly scary that he is plotting and putting words in a woman's mouth and that any woman is to believe it. If men want to write one handed shorts go for it but for romance, you have to understand a woman, care about women, what they think, feel, believe and the why behind all of that. 
Can some men do that? Maybe if like Wally Lamb you were stuck in a woman's prison for hours on end day after day and truly feel empathy for a woman then sure. 

And that is the problem so few men feel empathy period let alone for what a woman goes, through on a daily basis, the constant chipping away of self-esteem that happens just standing in the grocery store line at all the svelte, sexy, photoshopped women as they already spending a half hour to an hour just buying groceries, maybe the cookies that after looking at the photoshopped woman they either put back or end up eating two more than they really want because damn it the woman was photoshopped not real. 

Or the way they have to be mom, dad, teacher, house cleaner, driving, best friend, care taker when they just want some alone time and so they use that by climbing into a book where the woman isn't perfect, the man is hot and although love doesn't go smoothly it still goes. 

And that's why  I write. 

Reply
May 8 at 1:40am
Edit
Ian Smith Teeny bit bemused trying to imagine a petite BBW 
Remove
Fiona Aina Murphy and its men saying things like that that are the reason women need women writers to write bbw
Edit
Ian Smith You mean a short bbw? Petite normally means small in every sense.
Remove
Fiona Aina Murphy petite means short period
Edit
Ian Smith Misunderstood. To me "Petite" means small and slender.
Remove
Fiona Aina Murphy Petite. For women 5' 3" and under

Like
ReplyMay 8 at 11:58pm
Edit
Fiona Aina Murphy and again that's why women need bbw books and women writers who actually understand women period