So before I get all bitchy about shit… It’s been a good week. Beautiful weather. And I have had so many people email me about this subscription site thing! It’s been amazing. A little overwhelming. XD I’m still getting to mail from the week before. Hopefully I’ll get you all by tomorrow. Everyone has been super encouraging and you don’t even understand how much I appreciate it. I’ve got a fair amount of fear in all this. Not a lot of authors take this route and I’m worried this leap of faith is going to end with me broken and bleeding. Scary stuff. But I can’t give up. I gotta see it through and see what happens.
I’ve received a few concerns about the cost of $10 a month and there are two threads that I want to address. One is value and the other is income.
So… I’m not trying to compete with KU here. I understand that they have set an idea of value by allowing people to download hundreds to thousands of books a month for $10. I can’t compete with that and I’m not trying to. I don’t want to. You have to remember, you can’t keep a KU book. It’s a loan to you. Also, it doesn’t matter how many times you go back to read a KU book, your author is only getting paid once for the first time you read it. That’s why when an author releases a new version, your KU download isn’t updated no matter how much time has past. When you think about it, it’s tactics to keep KU page reads down so that the pool of money thrown in isn’t depleted and the value of page reads destroyed.
Think about it; if every subscriber to KU read more than $10 worth of books a month, authors wouldn’t be paid. Reading 2000 pages a month equates to having spent your $10 if pages are worth 1/2 a penny. What if you read 4000 pages a month? That’s about 8 100,000 word novels. Think Blackthorne or Demon Arms. Suddenly those page reads are 1/4 of a penny. Could I read 8 novels in a month? Fuck yeah. I used to be a voracious reader. A novel every other day. But part of how KU works is the hope that you’ll get subscribers that don’t read much. By only paying an author once for pages read, they’re ensuring that page reads stay lower. And again, it’s bullshit because a page read should be a page read. KU still benefits from the authors’ works while the authors get shafted.
This is not a system I want to compete with, or emulate, for that matter. I think it’s great KU can offer so many books for such a low price but at the same time, I don’t want to base the value of what I’m offering on KU. Especially since they fucked me. :/ I wholeheartedly believe that $10 for 80,000 words a month is more than fair. 80,000 words could be 8 short erotic stories or 4 novella sized stories. This is a lot of writing and if I sold those books outright it would be 8 erotic shorts= $24, 4 novellas= $16. And that doesn’t even bring into consideration all the free downloads of the books already published. The value of what I’m offering is pretty damn sweet. It just might not look it when compared to a giant of a deal like KU.
Which brings me to the second part, which is income, aka, people just don’t have the money. If this is you, for one, I understand completely. As a chick with PTSD, for years I have been in and out of work, lived on disability and foodstamps, not to mention that whole 4 years of stuck in bed. I know what it’s like for $10 to be too much and I have no fucking judgments. If you email me, I will not give you shit about this. I totally understand. Free members will be getting a 50% discount on my books but still, I do give out ARCs. They’re not quite ‘advanced’ but I am always looking for reviews of books new and old. I’m going to be setting up a login on the website just for ARCs so that you can feel comfortable going through my old stuff without having to ask me. I know how daunting it can be to email an author every time you want to read a free book, like you’re doing something wrong or some shit. No more guilt, people. XD And yeah, I’m so busy, I might forget too. So if you can’t afford $10 a month but you really want to be able to read my stuff, you can join up to be a reviewer at least. It won’t let you read what I’m currently working on, but it’s something.
The website is coming along. Most of the content is uploaded, I’ve figured out most of the protection/restriction stuff, and it’s going to be super pretty. I do want to troubleshoot everything and I think I’m going to have to go in to like every damn page and put a menu in there because the current theme disables it (ugh) so I’m not jumping to turn things live just yet. But it’ll be sometime this week, pretty sure.
Went to the doc for that mold allergy testing thing. 10 molds so far. Allergic to 10. I’m also apparently allergic to dust mites, feathers, dogs, and my 3 amazing cats. @_@ The entire point of this is to neutralize my body’s allergic reaction so I can build a resistance but it’s been an emotional blow. My poor kittens. I feel so guilty every time I choose not to cuddle the sweet things. But I’ve been noticing how my throat kind of closes up the same time they come into the room… Damn. >_>
And speaking of emotional turmoil… Instafreebie. I’m going to put this rant at the bottom of the post. It’s a rant and I don’t want to ruin anyone’s day. So…
Babes, no one hit me up to be in my newsletter this week so I did a peek around to see what’s out there. The Big Gay Fiction Giveaway is coming up and I have a feeling people might be holding off for it. It’s going to be a ton of free *__* and I’ll be posting it when it shows up. So this week I sorted through some wonderful author peeps I frequently talk to and I’m totally throwing some of their lovely books out to the wolves (that’s you guys XD) along with a hot freebie. Enjoy.
The Foundling is a hot, tropical male/male erotic romance that takes place on a nameless island somewhere in the vastness of the Caribbean. Diego is a powerful man with a tragic past. Out on the expansive ocean in his private yacht, he discovers a beautiful and mysterious man adrift on a raft, near death. The bond that forms between them in the aftermath of Alec’s rescue is one of fierce passion, though lacking in trust. Can they make it work, or will Alec’s amnesia bring forth secrets so disturbing as to tear them apart? A passionately erotic love story of desire and darkness, exquisite and explicit.
The scene is 1815-1816 in Another England, where men of a certain, ah, bent, are known as friends of Edward’s. Our heroes are nicknamed the “Three R’s.” Peregrine, our blond British viscount rake; Rory, our brawny, hairy, sometimes kilt-wearing, Scots rogue, and Michel, the languid, lethal English-born roué with the French name and French title. They’re close friends. Intimate you might say. Especially since Peregrine is having really great sex with both Rory and Michel. And neither of them knows about the other.
Besides his dear Mama trying to marry him off, Peregrine has a problem. He’s given his word of honor to each of them he won’t disclose what’s going on. What’s a horny rake to do when he knows the three of them together would be incredible in so many ways, but can’t say anything to make it happen?
Even worse, what happens if his two men find out about all the secret sex Peregrine has been enjoying?
You’ll have to read to find out those answers. Along the way: a duel, mysterious inheritances, a nefarious bishop, a scheming lord, a love poem, some wit and humor, a frantic race home, a frolic by the sea, a portrait and…oh, yes…some great sex.
All royalties will be donated to a local LGBT organization.
Race horse groom Geoff didn’t meet Zip-Dash’s billionaire owner Zach until the day they won the Derby. The gorgeous tech mogul’s vivid blue eyes couldn’t stay off Geoff, and the second they’re alone his hands have the same problem.
Geoff rebuffs him so gently that Zach’s confused. He senses his desires are reciprocated, but something holds Geoff back. Unwilling to give up, he offers him a promotion to become his personal valet. To his surprise the burly stable worker accepts.
A touching, sensual, stand-alone, story with a guaranteed HEA by the author of UnPrison!
Jake is a truck driver enjoying life on the road. He’s a loner with no family or attachments and he prefers to keep it that way. He’s content to just go with the flow and see where life takes him. All he wants to do is keep his head down and not make any waves.
But what happens when those waves come crashing down on him?
A young hitchhiker, Max also decided that living at home was not worthwhile. Trying to make it to New York, he has no interest in forming any ties or getting involved with anyone beyond just getting a ride.
But what happens when being a loner turns into being lonely and the heat of desire is felt after so much denial?
Will Jake continue to stand by his guns and not get involved despite a building attraction to the young hitchhiker? Will Max still keep to himself and bide his time until he gets the next ride?
Or will both men surrender to their primal needs finally and enjoy their brief time together?
…I’m nothing if not a professional…
I’ve been hired by three dorm mates of a prestigious college for a night they won’t forget. At first, I treat it just like any other job: satisfy the client, get paid, maintain The Gentleman’s sterling reputation.
…But his body is driving me wild…
And then I meet bashful Ty, his rambunctious boyfriend Josh, and their arrogant but gorgeous roommate, Brandon. Brandon and I get off on the wrong foot, but his hot gaze as Ty and Josh take me is too much to resist.
…I just need to take him for a ride…
I’m all too willing to give the three of them the attention and experience they need. After all, there’s enough of me to go around, and we’ll see how fast Brandon’s arrogance lasts when he gets his Share of Shane.
Maybe it’s the allergy thing or maybe the stress of this whole watching my income drop overnight and trying to scramble for a solution but I just seem to be really upset about this. Usually I can see the other side, usually I can let shit go and see things like a proper, understanding adult. This time around is difficult. Maybe because it’s another fucking blow, another damn hit in this line of self publishing dreams turned tainted.
I don’t even know where to begin. To put it simply, it’s another censoring thing. Instafreebie pulled my book and said it was ‘inappropriate.’ One of the reasons I signed up with instafreebie was because they were welcoming to erotica. They had a category just for it, as well as one for LGBT. But they just pulled Robyn. They have no stated rules as to what inappropriate content is defined as, aka, inappropriate is whatever the fuck they say it is at the moment. The email back and forth revealed dubcon and incest as their justification.
So, they welcome erotica, but it has to be erotica on their terms. They get to decide what sexual fantasies are appropriate for people to enjoy, and which ones are not.
I’m so fucking tired of this bullshit. You cannot even understand how fucking tiring censorship is. Writing is supposed to be fun. It’s freeing. You can change people’s lives with a story. Yeah, with a sex story. No joke. You can give people an escape, show them that they are not alone, that they’re not a freak, that they are perfectly fucking fine inside for liking all the different things they like. There is nothing to be ashamed of in a sex fantasy. But here is another business support tool going no, we don’t think what you write is appropriate. We don’t think people have a right to get those stories. We want to erase them from the world.
Freedom of speech doesn’t come into it. That they’re discriminating against me and a group of people never comes up. It’s policy. And for the love of fuck, what has happened to the world where people just continually shrug their shoulders and keep moving on when policies exist to discriminate?
Book banning is discrimination. (I bitch about religion a lot in this. I’ve had a history with it. Please don’t take it personally; it’s the bitterness of my battle. I truly believe we all have a right to religion even if I bitch about my own experiences.)
I’m at the point of being done with Instafreebie. They offered a compromise where I could put Robyn back up, but I’d have to mark it as private. I don’t think it’s worth it. First because now I’m facing the possibility that they’re going to pull the majority of my books because dubcon is a very real theme in my writing. Heat is up there—seriously, they want to tell me they read through my books and Robyn was the only one not appropriate to their unlisted standards? Sure. Two, because fuck that. Seriously, fuck having to put my stories in the closet. Fuck having to hear, once again, that some sex is fine but the sex I write is wrong and needs to be hidden. I’m bisexual. I write about gay characters. I have gay, lesbian, male, female, trans, ace, straight, bi and oh so wonderfully queer friends. Do you really think that I don’t see the motherfucking problem of a group going this is the only way you’re allowed to love and have sex? To my fucking FICTION?
It’s a business. It’s my business. My business is being told, again, that it can’t flourish while others can. My books are not illegal. I am not breaking any laws. But again, exiled and shunned.
I am done compromising myself to make others feel comfortable. I am done not calling discrimination what it is. If something is marked as erotica then adults, who erotica is written for, know that sex occurs in those pages. No one gets to go into that genre and decide what consenting, intelligent adults are allowed to read of their free volition. Who are they trying to protect? Who the fuck is anyone to say what is and isn’t allowed in a book? Write a snuff fic for all I care—because, dear fuck, no one is censoring and banning horror, now are they? That would be discrimination against people that like to read thrillers. What if they started pulling books that contain references to God? Mexicans? Rifles? Gay people. It’s discrimination. It’s wrong in every other context so why should I pretend it’s okay for erotica?
This is just another throwback to puritan bullshit putting morality on sex and forcing everyone to conform to their tight-ass ideals. Obsenity. We’re still fighting this shit today. Grown adults told that they can’t be as they are because a group of people are offended. You know what offends the fuck out of me? The KKK. They’re still protected under free speech. Whatever. Fucking whatever. I did not get into writing to start some fucking civil liberty movement. I just want to write. Motherfuck.
The world should be better. I bet someone said that ten years ago. I bet they said it 100. We don’t fight for freedom day to day but generation to generation. Fear and shame just keeps pushing back against equality. I’ve had enough though. I won’t live in Trump’s repressed, self-hating America. I won’t be silent about this shit. And yeah, maybe I should just roll over and get the fuck over it, but no, I won’t. I’m already tired. Sometimes it’s more energy to back the fuck down and give in to what you know in your heart is wrong. Robyn is fun, sexy, and totally raunchy and by the end, people feel good about themselves, not bad. I’m totally going to write a sequel once I figure out how to handle the pronouns.
Smashwords continues to allow anything on their website and they take pretty much the smallest cut from the author than anyone else. Bookboast has recently expanded into a system similar to instafreebie and to the best of my knowledge, they’re welcoming of all types of erotica. I never had an issue from their newsletter side. Dreamhost, the site that hosts my website, I found on a top hosting for adult websites. They have no limits on free speech and I love them for it.
I’ve been struggling with this problem since Thursday now and I don’t feel any better about it. Not remotely. I don’t like being excluded. I don’t like my work being called inappropriate. I don’t like that readers who enjoy books like Robyn are being pushed out so that everyone else in their cloudy bubble can feel a little more comfortable with the world by pretending we don’t exist. Nothing about this feels good to me. I guess I just need to be honest with how much this sucks, how much this hurts, and how angry I am about it. I am fucking angry.
Is making a subscription site a retreat from putting my books out there where others can find what I write and know they’re not alone? I really don’t know but I can’t stop wondering about it…
Sorry if I brought any of you down. The weather has been fantastic and I think I’m going to get away from the html for a while and get the rest of the sun before it sets. Peace, my dears.