Thursday, June 12, 2014

Ye Olde Randome Stuffe

I’m going in a bunch of directions today, because none of the stuff I’m reporting on can make a full blog on its own. Together, though, they should make up an entry long enough that you’ll figure you’re getting your money’s worth. Wait a minute, this is free. Yeah well.

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Freedom of speech was fun while it lasted. The other day I tried to get onto my publisher’s website and discovered the library system’s onerous content filter is back in operation. Once again the system is determined to protect my innocent eyes from lascivious content, including the smutty books I myself wrote. I didn’t check, but I’m pretty sure the filter still allows people onto the site that shows you how to make pipe bombs. So sex is verboten but acts of terrorism are fine. Glad to see Lancaster County’s priorities are firmly in order.

This couldn’t come at a worse time, because—drum roll—I sold that book I was working on! It’s the smuttiest of smut, with a dominant woman who buys a pair of slaves for, um, personal entertainment. You know, juggling and card tricks and stuff. Hey, kids could be reading this. Gotta watch that content filter.

Anyway, I sent it out last Thursday evening and got the acceptance email on Tuesday. Siren’s nice in that regard; they don’t make you wait months and months for a reply. Some publishers don’t respond at all. “If you don’t hear from us, we’re not interested.” Yeah, well, you won’t be hearing from me again, because I’m not interested in you. I can publish books on my own now. Or I’ll be able to once I learn how. I think I’ll write straight-up porn and self-publish on Amazon, which skates right by the library’s content filter and has all sorts of nasty stuff right out there in the open for everyone to see. So there.

I wish I knew why descriptions of adult fictional characters enjoying themselves get so many people in a tizzy. And don’t try to tell me, “We must protect the children!” The children aren’t going anywhere near these sites. They’re playing video games that let them blow stuff up and save the world from the zombie apocalypse. You know, practical life skills. You keep your hands to yourselves, you zombie menaces! We’re watching you!

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Having finished a book, I’m now faced with the usual problem of having to start another one. Looks like the winner this time around will be a Talbot’s Peak book, which means self-pubbing because not all the characters or concepts are mine. I was able to bypass that with Jessalina’s Pets because even though the initial post appeared on Shapeshifter Seductions, it’s not set in our fictional town and doesn’t use any characters created by anyone else. Ditto for one of the M/Ms I’ve got on the back burner. I transported the main characters to Philadelphia and created a whole new background and supporting cast. I can’t do that with this one. Better familiarize myself with formatting.

I’m not that concerned with the text of the book. It’s the cover that’s got me worried. In spite of working in the typesetting industry off and on for several years, I don’t know the first thing about fonts and typography and Photoshop and creating a cover. I’ll probably have to pay somebody to do that. This is why I’m still subbing to regular publishers. I’m just here to write the book. Let someone else worry about all the technical crap. That’s what they’re gobbling down half the royalties for. Dammit, I knew I should have taken art classes when I was in school.

I wonder if I have Photoshop on the laptop? I’ve got a ton of programs just sitting on the hard drive that I never even look at because I bought this for Internet and email and to serve as a typewriter. I could probably be a publisher if I knew how to work this stuff. Maybe I can teach myself. That’s what the library’s for. It isn’t for researching erotica publishers any more, that’s for damn sure.

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Let’s start the learning curve by attempting to make a link. If I did this right, you should be able to reach the blog post that became Jessalina’s Pets by clicking here. If I didn’t, it’s at October 9, 2013. I’m going to miss paper when it finally goes out of fashion, even though typing on a computer is so much faster and easier. And nobody cares if you make mistakes because you can correct it on screen. I guess that guy from the Monkeys, whose mother invented Wite-Out, doesn’t get royalties any more. Them’s the breaks, fella. Time marches on.

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I put food out for Stray Kitty this morning and he let it sit again. A neighbor told me he doesn’t like fish, and this had tuna in it. Talk about picky. I hope he likes the taste of no food. I’m sure somebody else will slip him something, or else he’ll catch a bird or a squirrel. We know he’s not fishing in the creek. And I’ve reached a decent word count, so we’ll wrap on this finicky note. See you next week!


Pat C. said...

The link worked! Yay! I can put another skill on my resume!

Savanna Kougar said...

Yep, I just checked, it does!

So glad you have another book coming out. Can't wait to see the cover art. I keep noticing how Siren changes the look of their books.

And, like I suggested before, Serena might be able to do your cover art... plus, there's a lot more cover art sites out there, and I think the competition could help you get a good deal... depending on what you're looking for.

I'd love to create cover art. But I just don't have the energy or time for the learning curve involved. And I'd need to update my computer system.

Speaking of... you probably know this since you mentioned Amazon cracking down on erotic books... well, on the Indie loop one gal posted the guidelines Amazon sent to her cover artist... nothing is supposed to suggest bondage like handcuffs... well, here's the list.

"Hey there! Amazon has made a few changes to their rules on accepting covers.
• No model can be handcuffed (this will instantly flag you), blindfolds are okay for now (but I don't expect them to be in the future).
Handcuffs are allowed if they are separate--not on the models . The model can hold the cuffs.
• No side boob or big cleavage.
• No upper butt. (No nudity, obviously).
• No lower hair patch for men (or women).
• No sexual positions--no doggie style, missionary (or any position that implies penetration).
• No hands on boobs or private areas.
• No women on their knees in front of men (even fully clothed).
• No men between women's thighs.
• No men's faces on breasts (resting, etc--even fully clothed).
For those of you with erotic, dark erotic, or BDSM romances, I would highly recommend a symbolic cover otherwise your books are likely to be flagged. I hope this has been enlightening"

Pat C. said...

I saw that list on another site. It reminds me of that period in romance-publishing history when straining cleavage of covers was replaced by tasteful flowers and frilly artwork. Was that the '80s or the '90s?

And I notice 50 Shades doesn't even feature people, just masks or whatever.

I was planning on using innocent, symbolic covers for my smut anyway (i.e., a hand holding an apple, stuff like that). Assuming I ever write the damn things. Every time I try to write pure smut I start giggling.

Savanna Kougar said...

It might have been the early 90s when those flower covers were used. Often, the romance cover art was underneath. I think one reason that was done by the publishing houses was because many more women traveled on business via airplanes. They'd buy them at the airport bookshops, and wanted to read romance novels without others knowing what they were... at least, that's what I heard other women discussing.

Savanna Kougar said...

Yeah, that would be the way to go with covers for outright smut... I've never tried writing that... however, who knows? Certainly, I've written a lot of highly erotic scenes, always connected to an HEA story, though... it'd sure be nice to make money on all of them.