Friday, May 31, 2013

Washing Powder, for men

Congratulations to Distinctive Wash, a company has actually come up with a gendered product even more ridiculous than pens for womenDistinctive laundry powder for men.

 My best guess would have been that it included a lot of lubricant and an anti-biotic, because the only gendered way to wash you clothes would be to agitate the wash with your dick.

But apparently the difference is that it smells manly (a.k.a. like trees who are all famously macho and stuff), protects your manly designer clothes for men, and is advertised with super creepy video that involves spying on your female "house-sitter" via CCTV.

And all this extra manliness only costs six times more than a mid-priced large-brand unscented washing powder.  I guess this is a product for guys who don't realize that they can apply manly scents directly to their body and just use plain old ordinary soap powder to make their clothes clean.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

The Rule 34 of Fundraising

Rule 34: is "if it exists, there is porn of it." And now there is a Kickstarter for sexually explicit projects seeking crowd-sourced funding: Offbeatr.For those of you who, like me, had missed this caveat, Kickstarter does not allow: "...offensive material (hate speech, etc.); pornographic material..."

MARKET Spirited Sapphire

Publisher of lesbian fiction, Spirited Sapphire Publishing (publisher: Rylee Scott), doesn't seem to have a website. They are on Amazon (where their logo still has a stock photo logo on it, so contrary to usual practice I won't be posting it).  And according to their press release they have made it through their first year. They require writers to be female. I don't know if they are open to submissions.

Friday, May 24, 2013

Michelle Bachman inspired (somewhat horrendous looking) erotic romance

The internet is atwitter at "Fires of Siberia" an erotic romance transparently based a fantasy about Republican congressman Michele Bachmann (from Badlands Unlimited). As a blatant reach for free publicity, it seems to be working quite well.

See:

Market: Rooster and Pig

Rooster and Pig is a new publisher started by Lor Rose and Viktor Alexander, both authors of M/M. They are open to submissions in all genres.

See also:

Should Books Have Ratings?

Clean Teen has an unusual gimmick, all of their books are rated according to a rating system for "adult" content.  And for just $99 they'll pass judgement on your book too.  Interestingly, despite the name, they seem to accept "unclean" books--they just put a descriptive rating on them. So the idea, I guess, is that consumers and authors will be attracted by this feature.

They call this a "Full Disclosure Rating" and it has a few quirky aspects.  For example making fun of some one's religion is listed as a type of violence, but not making fun (for example) of their race or sexuality. The categories covered have a religious feeling, they are: drugs, sex, cursing and violence. "Use of any heroine [sic]" gets you a 5/5 for drugs--so maybe they are really into M/M ;)

IMHO I would rather have a rating system that gave a full a frank warning of issues like: 'no HEA', 'rampant run on sentences', 'extreme Mary Sue ahead', and 'copy editor asleep at the switch'.  But that's just me.

Which is probably beside the point. Despite the tag line "... because you deserve to now what you are reading" I think this is clearly aimed more that the parents of YA readers rather than the readers themselves. If not a new publisher name might be advisable. I mean what teen wants to be seen with a book emblazoned with a name like "Clean Teen"? And I suspect many teens would be more likely to seek out the books rated with taboo 5's than the ones rated with 0's.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Romance First Publishing


Romance First has a blog that points to a website that points to a new website. They have now closed to any submissions other than M/M.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Dr WTF?

Yes, I know a lot of erotic romance is fairly thinly disguised fan-fiction., But there is a difference between a thin disguise and the emperor's new clothes.

I mean what would you think of a hero who:
  1. Is a time traveler
  2. Is an alien
  3. Is described as having a "Tom Baker-like pout"
  4. Wears a bow tie 
  5. Wears odd hats including a red fez
  6. Bears a "passing resemblance to the tenth Doctor as portrayed by David Tennant"
  7. Is prone to "wildly gesturing his hands and arms in his over-the-top manner"
And that is just from the blurb and first page, before you look at the author's blog with the TARDIS wallpaper and the first book where the heroine and hero meet at a Dr Who convention, and so forth.

Seriously? Can you really escape the trademark problem by using every single distinguishing feature of a character other than his "name"?

Friday, May 10, 2013

Guest Post: THE FOUR-FOLD TWITTER APPROACH


Sex sells. At least that’s what we hear over and over again, and it does to an extent. Erotica sells quite well to a specific audience, but then mystery sells well to a specific audience, too. With over 950 books being published every day in the USA alone, the trick is getting your book seen by that specific audience. The key to Twitter and any social network is finding that specific, or niche, audience and making a personal connection with each and every person. The more you can identify and connect with your niche market, the more successful you will be. The more you can build and maintain relationships with that following, the better your sales will be. 

I’ve been on Twitter since 2009. Under my original name, @christinerose, I made the top 100 authors on Twitter for 2009, sharing that title with names like Neil Gaiman and Meg Cabot. It was quite the honor. I learned how to use Twitter relatively early, before it became the massive social network it is today. I now have over 10,000 followers on both that account and @omgrey. 

Since 2009, social networking has become part of daily life, both professionally and personally, for millions of people around the globe. 

A harsh reality: No one cares you wrote a book unless you are already a well-known author. However, the people who already care about you as a person or colleague are interested that you wrote a book. Social networking is building an extended family and professional base, people who care about YOU. When they care about you, they’ll be interested in your books.

Social networking isn’t about marketing your book. It’s about marketing YOU. Brand yourself, not your book, as it won’t be your only book, likely. Your Twitter name, FB profile/page, blog, etc., should all be your author name, not your books. Not your characters. YOU.

The best strategy in Twitter, as in all social networks, is to be yourself and focus on your strengths. Again, social networking is about making a *personal* connection with readers and followers. Although we’re talking mostly about Twitter today, your complete social networking marketing strategy should all lead back to your blog and/or website. I advise in my Publishing & Marketing Realities for the Emerging Author book to turn your blog into your website. Two in one. This is for SEO (Search Engine Optimization) placement and frequent new content, which helps new readers find you and keep others coming back, respectively. The optimum plan is to update your blog three times a week, but at the very least once. Don’t blog about your book, except very rarely for announcements like a new review or new release or an award. Don’t blog from you character’s POV. Don’t blog about the writing process.

Blog about what your niche audience would be interested in. As a writer of romance and erotica, choose one day a week, for example Wednesdays, to post relationship advice, a sexy picture of the week, how to spice up one’s sex life, or tips on deepening intimacy with your spouse. Choose another day, like Mondays, to post something about you, your book, or a free steamy short story or piece of flash fiction. Then, on the third day, say Fridays, post reviews of other romance/erotica books. This helps build author networks for cross promotion (Cross Promotion is GOLD) and helps new readers of romance/erotica find your site. You want your blog to service and benefit your readers, not you. Have very visible links to purchase your books on the sidebars with big, beautiful cover images leading directly to Amazon using your Amazon Associates, so you make a few pennies whether the reader buys your book or something else on Amazon. More detailed and step-by-step information on how to do all of this in my Publishing & Marketing Realities book, written under Christine Rose. 

Now, Twitter. This along with Facebook, Goodreads, Tumblr, LinkedIn, whatever-other-network-you-like all lead back to your hub: your blog/website. Similarly, with Twitter you can’t just post links to your books and hound people to buy buy buy. You can’t only talk about your characters or your plot. You must build relationships.

Twitter is like a big party, the biggest party in the world with millions and millions of people all talking about different things at the same time. You cannot talk to everybody; your voice will get lost in the din. You must find the clique of people talking about BDSM or LGBT or Historical Romance or whatever. You do this by using #Hashtags and joining ongoing conversations that discuss things relating to your niche audience.

You must not tweet every five minutes, or even every hour, about your book. People shut you out. This is about creating a human, personal connection with other human beings.

I developed my 4-Fold Twitter Approach to build and maintain relationships with your target audience on Twitter while letting them know you are an author, you have a great book for sale, and you have much to add to the conversation. 

Personal Tweets. These can be anything about you, as a person. Tweet about enjoying that frothy mocha at Starbucks. Tweet about being stuck in traffic. How your cat is interrupting your typing by laying on your keyboard. This is how people get to know you. Use your strengths, especially if you have the gift of humor. These tweets, remarkably, get the most replies because people can identify with needing a cup of coffee or treating oneself to a mocha or being frustrated and late for a meeting. People can relate to not being able to work because the kids are screaming. When people can relate, you’ve just made a personal connection.
 
ReTweets. This is when you tweet someone else’s tweet, essential because it shows you are paying attention to what other people tweet and showing the value of their words by reposting them. This also makes a connection. It says: I see you. When you see them, they see you.
 
@Replies, or Mentions. This is similar to tagging in Facebook when you mention a person in your tweet or it starts a one-on-one conversation between you and that other person. Again: I see you. What you say is important, valid, valuable. Even moreso, it’s joining in on the conversation. It’s deepening that initial connection by forming a relationship through dialogue and sharing ideas, thoughts, dreams, experiences, complaints, whatever. 
 
Marketing Tweets. You obviously have to have some marketing tweets, otherwise, no one will know you wrote a book or where to buy them, but it is only one prong of the 4-Fold Twitter Approach and should not be more than 25% of your tweets. Many of these tweets can be automated, and I go into great detail about the time-saving benefits of automation in my Publishing & Marketing Realities book. After all, you still need time to write. 

By using this strategy, a NY Agent found me and my Steampunk Erotica novel Avalon Revisited, which went on to be on Amazon’s Gothic Romance Bestseller list for four months. Because of Twitter, I have representation in NY. Because of Twitter, I get hundreds of new hits on my blog every day. Because of the content on my blog, which benefits my readers more than me, I have readers come back for more and more.

Happy Tweeting. 

-_Q

Olivia M. Grey writes Steamy Steampunk, like the Amazon Gothic Romance bestseller Avalon Revisited. Her short stories and poetry have been published in various magazines and anthologies, like SNM Horror Magazine and How the West Was Wicked. Ms. Grey also blogs and podcasts relationship essays covering such topics as alternative lifestyles, deepening intimacy, ending a relationship with love and respect, and other deliciously dark and decadent matters of the heart and soul.
Read more by O. M. Grey on her blog Caught in the Cogs, http://omgrey.wordpress.com
O. M. Grey is the alter-ego of Christine Rose, both Amazon bestselling authors. Pick up Christine Rose’s Publishing & Marketing Realities for the Emerging Author to help define and execute your publishing path and marketing strategies. 
 
 

Thursday, May 09, 2013

Gold Orchid Publishing

Gold Orchid want to publish various genres but they list romance and erotica forst, which might mean something.

I am wondering why the orchid on their logo is pink-->

Their guidelines are... well, extensive. And their web content includes a lot of massively run on sentences:

"We offer corrections of grammar and language, and while we would prefer the story to be spellchecked and generally finished, we are going to contact you about possible inconsistencies where we feel it's necessary and have no problem with advising on/fixing any language difficulties if you feel that you require some help, or if we feel that the language is not at an appropriate level and have reached an agreement with you about fixing it."

The cover artist gets 10% of net sales.  I don't know if this is reasonable or not.  A flat fee would seem to be more sensible?

When I checked their website the store area was down so I don't know what their books are like. The owner and/or editor-in-chief are not named.

Wednesday, May 08, 2013

No Ordinary Cover

Okay, so I am hitting middle age now and my eyesight is not what it used to be.  So I am going to need some help here.

This is the cover for "No Ordinary Love Story" a sub-female romance, sequel to "Diary of a Submissive".


I just have to ask:

1) What is with the Twilight-like sticker.  That picture was not on the first book, it showed a plain string of pearls. Is it just there for no particular reason, to clutter up the cover?
2) What is that silver thing? Inquiring minds want to know.
3) And, is that a real woman or a mannequin?

Tuesday, May 07, 2013

Sunburst Press


Sunburst Press opened on May 1st. They plan to focus on science fiction romance. The owner is Misa Buckley.

A Kylie Moment

I am not bothered by the Succubus having red skin.  But why on earth is the other woman wearing 80s tangerine-colored eyeshadow and enough mascara to sink a battleship?


Monday, May 06, 2013

Three sure-fire ways draw attention to your book on Amazon

  1. Randomly apply boldface to some of the words.
  2. Make a big deal about how CONTROVERSIAL it is. 
  3. Mention right in the title how mind-blowing your book is. 
This is brilliant; why did nobody else think of it!

Charlie Harding presents....

Well here is a new development.  A line of books not written, but "presented by", a relative celebrity.  Specifically a line of erotic e-books presented by porn star Charlie Harding. The first two books are written by Geoffrey Knight and Anne Brooke, with an upcoming book by Patrick Darcy.

The tag line is: "get your erotica from an expert!"

The publisher is Wilde City Press. They seem to be fairly new.

3D Piracy

3D printer: Creative Tools / Foter.com / CC BY
I desperately want a 3D printer, but they are too expensive and most of them are still pretty difficult to set up and use. Basically it is a little box that you feed plastic string into and it can print three-dimensional objects in layers.

Eventually this will means that places online will be able to sell you digital "real" objects.  That is, you by the file that tells the printer how to make a particular toy or sculpture, or even a small appliance with basic moving parts.

As the tech develops the items you can make will be bigger and more hard wearing. There will be different materials that you can put together in modules and perhaps add electronic parts. I, personally, think that it will be very cool. People may actually get involved in making and repairing things again, and really knowing how they work.

3D printed frogs: Creative Tools / Foter.com / CC BY
Oh, and as a side effect a few people who didn't know why some digital artists are so upset about piracy will discover that it pisses them off too, when pirate files of their artworks and widgets start to spread around.  When other people use them and even take credit for inventing them....

Maybe then we will finally have sensible, pragmatic and properly enforced copyright laws and regulations? Well, I can dream anyway.

Next step: the Replicator becomes real!

Sunday, May 05, 2013

Not a Stick Shift

"Four on the Floor" is a story about Mike Steele, race car driver and gay playboy.  But going by the cover art, he isn't going equipped.


It's an interesting pose to choose if you aren't able to actually show anything.

Saturday, May 04, 2013

The Mixed Metaphor of "Orphaned Works"

The idea of an "orphaned work" is that some creative products get separated from any data about who made them or when. Rather than cutting these works off from display or development they could be essentially liberated.  Which is all very well unless it is your work being liberated because you didn't leave a trail of bread crumbs back to your real identity. This whole concept has recently been revived in some suggested changes to UK copyright law.

SMU Central University Libraries / Foter.com
The thing that bugs me is the contradiction right in the name of "orphan".  This idea comes right from the "data wants to be free" camp.  They argue that no one can own an idea. Everyone should share things freely without worrying about where it comes from. If you share freely, they suggest, gratitude, fame and money just somehow manage to flow back to you.

But on the other hand anyone who doesn't brand, track and monitor their work, assert ownership on a website with great SEO, and hover over it like a paranoid helicopter is deemed to have abandoned it in the snow for the wolves to eat--free for anyone to rescue. In terms of a central metaphor, there seems to be some inconsistency here.

Friday, May 03, 2013

LOL Amazon

One of the these things is not like the others.

And yes I was specifically searching in the pet department, not just by keyword
.


Thursday, May 02, 2013

Oldest

My mission was to find an erotic romance author older than Desiree Holt (76).  Well, I still haven't done it and may have to concede that she gets the title.... But honorable mention goes to (non-erotic) romance author Ida Pollock, who is 105 and still writing. She is the author of 124 titles. It is hard to tell what is the more recent book given how many have been re-issued and her plethora of pen names.  Her upcoming title is said to be called "Runaway".

Wednesday, May 01, 2013

Taliesin Publishing

Opening today is Taliesin Publishing, an epublisher seeking "[m]ainstream and Erotic Romance, Contemporary Fiction, Suspense, Horror, Thrillers, Mature Young Adult, Sci-Fi, Fantasy, Paranormal Romance, Urban Fantasy, Historical Romance or Romantic Sagas, M/M Romance, BDSM Romance, and Ménage Romance."


They offer e-publishing and selective print publishing. Authors not offered print can use the edited files to print self-publish (they will need to pay an unspecified fee for the cover art). They are also offering self-publishing services. The Editor-in-Chief is Georgia Woods, formerly of Liquid Silver Books.