Tag Archives: epublishing

Publishing Update: Another (Expected) Rejection

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I just wanted to post a quick update on my publishing efforts, which I know I haven’t talked much about lately. There’s a reason for that, though. For the past couple months, I’ve been working with a former publisher to re-acquire the rights to a manuscript that was edited and prepared for publication a couple years ago.

That process took longer than I’d hoped, but it went through and I tried to re-submit the manuscript to the same publisher that published “Passion Relapse” and “Rescued Hearts.” I did this knowing it was somewhat of a long shot because my last three manuscripts to this publisher had been rejected. I felt if I could get this through, we would be back on track.

Sadly, that didn’t happen. Earlier today, I got a rejection letter. It wasn’t the rude kind, though. The editor offered me a sincere apology that they would not be able to publish my work. She claimed that things have been rough for small to mid-tier publishers. Unless your J. K. Rowling or Stephen King, it’s just hard to get any major project off the ground. I can understand that, but a rejection is a rejection.

I believe that after this, I’m done with that particular publisher. I’m not entirely sure of my next step. I’m still sitting on several finished manuscripts and one that is already professionally edited and ready to go. I’m not sure where to turn to next. I’m thinking of giving Writers Market a chance, but this is the part of the business I still don’t know much about.

When it comes to writing a novel or a sexy short story, I know how to do that. When it comes to the business and marketing side of things, though, I’m pretty ignorant. I’ll keep feeling my way around in the dark, hoping I’ll stumble across something. For now, though, my publishing efforts are a bit on hold. I hope it doesn’t stay that way. If anything changes, I’ll announced it in between sexy short stories.

To everyone who has supported and encouraged my efforts, I sincerely thank you.

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Publishing Efforts Update: ANOTHER REJECTION

A while back, I announced that I had submitted a manuscript for what I’d hoped would be my third published novel. I’d submitted it to the same publisher that had previously published my first two novels, “Passion Relapse” and “Rescued Hearts.” I hoped to continue building a larger catalog with them in the name of building a stronger partnership.

Well, I’m sorry to say that I heard back from them and the news was not what I had hoped. For the second submission in a row, I got a rejection letter. It wasn’t a mean one. The editors I work with are incredibly considerate and given all the submissions they get, they’ve been wonderful to work with every step of the way. Unfortunately, they just couldn’t get behind my story.

It is disappointing. I had high hopes for this manuscript. I wrote it with the intention of making it a real niche title that would’ve appeal to a specific segment of the erotica/romance market. I thought that would give it more appeal than the last manuscript I submitted. I guess I was mistaken.

I’m not sure what I’ll do with this or the other one they rejected. I’m still struggling to find other publishers who are willing to hear me out. However, I am not discouraged and I still intent to keep submitting.

As I write this, I’m putting what I hope to be the finishing touches on my next manuscript. This one is a bit more general and should appeal to more romance fans. It has many similar elements to “Passion Relapse” and “Rescued Hearts.” I have high hopes for it and hope to submit it soon. I also have another draft that I’m hoping to finish in the coming weeks.

In any case, I have plenty of sexy stories to tell, including more sexy short stories. This is a setback, but it’s not a defeat.

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Happy Labor Day 2017!

Today is Labor Day, that bittersweet day where we all acknowledge that summer is over, school is back in session, and our chances of seeing beautiful women in bikinis declines significantly. Unless you live in a tropical climate, in which case Labor Day is just another day off work, it’s basically the last chance to capture the sexiness of summer.

I like to think I’ve made the most of my summer. I managed to finish editing my next novel, “Rescued Hearts.” I took a trip to the beach, which was a lot of fun and very inspirational for future sexy stories. Sure, I got sunburned a few times and spent a good chunk of every day sweating my sexy, manly ass off, but it was so worth it.

Now, it’s almost over. Pretty soon, I’ll have to find a more subtle way to be sexy because the weather is about to get cold, the leaves are about to change, and working up a sexy sweat will be that much more difficult. I’ll find a way, though. I wouldn’t be much of an aspiring erotica/romance writer if I didn’t.

I hope everyone else finds a way as well to stay sexy in the coming winter. I also hope everyone takes advantage of this last summer holiday. Get outside. Go to the beach. Soak up some sun and admire the sexy swimsuits one last time. It may be a while before you can admire them again.

So on behalf of myself and all the sexy stories I write, happy Labor Day! Here’s to a successful summer and a hopefully sexy winter.

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Now Taking Donations For My Work

In case some of you haven’t noticed, in which case maybe it’s my fault for being too subtle, I made a little addition to this blog. It now has a special donation page that you can use to support it by contributing however much you can spare. It’s my first real attempt to get some money out of this blog, other than selling my novels.

I’m not going to be coy about it. I’m not going to be some shady televangelist either and claim that donating to this blog will solve any of your problems. I’m basically a guy on the street, playing an instrument, hoping to earn a few bucks with his skill. This blog is that instrument.

I’ve been working on it for over a year. In that time, I’ve talked about everything from sex robots to sex-positive superheroes to Wonder Woman’s BDSM history to virtue signaling to advances in contraception to smart sex toys to caveman logic. I try to offer a diverse, interesting, and sexy range of topics that go beyond my novels. I want this blog to be a hub for a unique world that you can’t experience anywhere else.

I’ve long thought about monetizing my site. Since I began putting effort into this blog, I’ve seen traffic steadily grow. I’m averaging over 1,000 views a month. I know that’s not a lot in an internet full of cat videos, porn, and laughing babies. It’s a start, though. I want to do what I can to expand my little sliver of the internet. If that sliver can help me sell more novels and make a few extra bucks, then I’ll consider that a success.

Now, I thought about upgrading my WordPress account to allow ads for this site. I am willing to do that at some point. However, before I resort to blanketing this site with ads, which I know many users find annoying, I want to try something simpler. Donations is as simple as it gets.

Just click on the Donations page at the top of the site or click on the PayPal icon on the front page and that will take you to a PayPal site where you can donate. I accept any amount other than a dollar. I’m not asking for someone to pay my mortgage off or something. I’m just asking for whatever change you can spare. Any amount helps keep this blog free of ads and focused on sexier topics.

So please, if you can, take some time to donate to this blog and support my efforts to make a living talking about fun, sexy topics while writing hot, sexy novels. The more resources I have, the more time and energy I can dedicate to these efforts. Call it a donation. Call it a tip. Call it pity for someone trying to make a living talking about sexy issues. It doesn’t matter. Any reason or excuse for donating is okay with me.

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Thank you and I promise not to beg for donations too much. I hope as traffic for this site grows, new opportunities will emerge. Like I said, I want to make a living with this, writing sexy stories and talking about sexy issues. I’m willing to put in the work to achieve this, but I need support from others to make it a reality. So please donate what you can and help me make this world better, sexier, and everything in between.

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Announcement: “Rescued Hearts” To Be My Second Published Book

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When most people achieve one great triumph, it becomes a defining moment of their lives. They’ll celebrate, cherish, and relish that triumph, as they should. However, the likes of LeBron James, Michael Jordan, and Tom Brady are not most people. When they win one championship, they immediately think, “This is nice, but I want to win another!”

Earlier this year, I celebrated a major milestone as an erotica/romance writer. My published novel, “Passion Relapse,” was released. The publisher, Totally Entwined Group, took a chance on me and for that, I am forever grateful. They worked with me knowing I’m still learning the business and refining my skills. While I like to think I’ve learned a lot, I know I have a long way to go.

Now, I can once again say that I’ve taken yet another step. After the release of “Passion Relapse,” I began work on another novel. A few weeks ago, I submitted it to Totally Entwined Group. Well, it seems “Passion Relapse” was not a fluke because they accepted it. That means that by the end of 2017, I may very well have two published novels. Just typing that put a huge smile on my face.

That’s why it gives me great pride to announce “Rescued Hearts,” my second published novel. If “Passion Relapse” got your blood flowing in all the right ways, then this one will keep it flowing for all the right reasons. Here’s a quick synopsis:

Candy’s life couldn’t have been more unholy. She was a trailer trash whore in a small town called Haven Hill, a town that survived entirely by being a major drug trafficking hub. She was well on her way to being the kind of skank that kept that town going, but then a raging wildfire struck. She nearly died that night, but then a lone EMT named Ryan Roth saved her. At that moment, he became her angel. On top of that, he became her inspiration to leave that town and start a new life in Lightfood Grove, a lively college town in which Ryan happened to live.

It takes four years, elaborate planning and some gut-wrenching choices that put her at odds with friends and family. She still manages to escape. She even manages to go to college so she can train to be a nurse, saving lives like her angel. When she find out that Ryan is recently divorced and struggling to escape a perpetual cycle of misery, she sees a chance to reconnect with him. It’s a chance she’s reluctant to take, but circumstances once again bring them together. However, even as she seeks to reconnect with her angel, dark elements of her old life catch up to her and threaten to destroy whatever love she and her angel create.

Does that tickle your fancy, among other things? Well, there’s a lot more to come, literally and figuratively. At the moment, I’m working with an editor on a few pre-edits. Then, just as I did with “Passion Relapse,” I’ll do more extensive edits. I don’t know how extensive they’ll be, but I’ll do as many as I have to in order to make “Rescued Hearts” as romantic and sexy as possible.

I’ll provide more updates and information as it comes in. I don’t have a release date or any promotional material yet, but don’t worry. As soon as I have it, I’ll share it with the spirit of a giddy school girl on crack.

These really are exciting times for me. I’ve been working hard to establish myself as an erotica/romance writer. I still have a long way to go, but it feels like I’m making progress. I won’t say it’s on the same level as what LeBron James felt when he won his second championship, but it’s probably the closest I’ll ever get.

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Behind The Passion: What Inspired “Passion Relapse”

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Now that “Passion Relapse,” my first published erotica/romance novel by Totally Entwined Group, has been released, I can finally take a deep breath and reflect for a moment. I admit I’m still somewhat giddy. It’s my first release from a publisher. Like losing your virginity on your prom night, it’s an intense experience for all the right reasons.

I still intend to savor this moment and promote the hell out of my book. So if in my future posts, I keep sneaking in a mention of “Passion Relapse” and why you should buy it, you’ll know why. I’m not trying to get overly subliminal on my audience, but I do want this book to sell. I also want to grow my brand as an erotica/romance writer.

As part of that process, I thought I’d take some time to talk about gritty, sexy details of “Passion Relapse” and what inspired it. Like all novels, there was some inspiration behind this sexy story. It’s not just about two people coming together and sharing some sexy time. There are some serious themes that help heighten the passion. It’s a kind of passion you won’t find on any late-night Cinemax movie.

The first spark of inspiration for this novel came from discussions about sexual addiction. It’s actually a controversial topic and one that’s lacking in major substance. There’s even controversy over whether sexual addiction is really a thing because it doesn’t share some key qualities with other forms of addiction.

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Regardless of how real it is, I was more interested in the mentality of those who really felt addicted to sex. I do believe that addiction is more complex than anything Nancy Regan ever claimed. I believe it is possible for our faulty human brains to become wired in a way to that leaves people hopelessly addicted to this basic biological act.

What exactly goes through the minds of someone who’s addicted to sex? How do they see themselves and their addiction? What happens when that addiction becomes too much for them? That’s what I explore through the two main characters in “Passion Relapse,” Mary Williams and Peter Rogers.

Both of these characters struggle with sex addiction, but not in the comical way that bad porno movies joke about in between scenes. Their addictions really have ruined their lives and undermined their ability to function. They enter this story so broken, so devastated, and so utterly lost that finding love is the last thing on their mind.

That leads to the second major inspiration of “Passion Relapse,” which is somewhat related to the first. To highlight this, here’s a quick question that should put it into context.

Think back to your youth. Think of someone who had everything that others aspired to be. They were beautiful, charismatic, outgoing, loving, and affectionate. Everyone wanted to be around them. Everybody wanted to know them. They always had a lover. They were always the life of the party. They could enjoy every little pleasure with little effort. Getting sex for them was like getting a pizza.

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We’ve all known someone like that in our lives. I can remember a few from my youth. Now imagine that there’s a much darker undertone to that person’s charisma. Imagine there’s a problem gnawing at them internally, one they hide well, but never truly escape. It goes beyond addiction. It’s something more fundamental, something that addiction only makes worse.

Some people go their whole lives covering up this problem. Peter and Mary could’ve been one of them. In “Passion Relapse,” they were uniquely situated to basically mask every problem they ever had. They could’ve easily spent their whole lives never having to confront it.

That’s not how it plays out though. Like many addicts, Peter and Mary go through their own distinct “moment of clarity.” For them, however, the moment isn’t just difficult. It’s downright traumatic.

What happens to someone when they go through something so traumatic that it utterly breaks them. Psychological trauma is a very powerful force. It strains our brain’s ability to process our feelings, emotions, and everything in between. Add addiction to the mix and you’ve got a volatile cocktail of mental distress.

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That distress, however, can force us to become more honest with ourselves and others. It can also force us to see the world in a new way. For two people, like Mary and Peter, who once saw the world as an endless parade of pleasures, it’s sobering in the best and worst of ways.

It’s also through this distress that Mary and Peter connect. It’s not just an emotional connection either. It’s not just physical. How do two people who are struggling with addiction and mental trauma come together? What kind of passion does it take to forge such a connection? Just how powerful can that connection be?

I’ll stop teasing right there because that’s getting dangerously close to spoiler/foreplay for “Passion Relapse.” I’d much rather people actually buy it and see for themselves how these two characters come together through their pain. It’s a difficult journey, but one I do my best to make sexy as hell.

In the continued interest of promoting the hell out of my first book, I’ll leave you with a quick excerpt that should get the blood flowing in the right direction.

“As my needs became a full-blown addiction, things escalated pretty quickly,” Mary said. “To exercise my growing libido, I made it more challenging on myself. I fucked police officers, aspiring politicians, pastors and even a gym teacher who worked at a local elementary school.”

“That doesn’t sound too bad,” commented Peter.

“Oh, yeah? I once blew the pizza guy in exchange for extra toppings,” added Mary.

“Okay, I take it back. It does sound bad.”

Are you curious now? Want to see more? Well, head over to Totally Entwined Group or onto Amazon to buy “Passion Relapse.” Your heart, your libido, and various other parts of your body will thank you.

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How NOT To Market Comic Books: A Marvelous Cautionary Tale

Let’s face it. We all make mistakes. We all do dumb things. We’re all just one “reply all” button away from humiliating ourselves and undermine our entire professional career. One time, I accidentally washed my hair with shaving cream instead of shampoo. It made me feel pretty stupid, but at least it happened in the shower and in private.

It’s only when we make mistakes that become public shit storms that we really agonize over our mistakes. For most people, that’s difficult enough, but usually manageable, provided you avoid the “reply all” button and don’t watch porn at the office.

For celebrities, it’s like walking on egg shells on top of land mines on top of hungry lions. If Taylor Swift accidentally washed her hair with shaving cream and did it on camera, it would blow up Twitter and turn into a week-long national scandal. We envy a lot of things about celebrities, but nobody should envy that circus act.

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Then, there are the non-celebrities who still find a way to make their minor mistake into a national shit storm. Taylor Swift doing something that blows up the internet is kind of an inevitability. A non-celebrity creating that kind of shit storm is an accomplishment.

A man named David Gabriel found that out the hard way last week. Who is David Gabriel, you ask? He’s not a celebrity. He’s not a pop star. He’s not even a famous internet meme. He’s the Vice President of sales at Marvel Comics, a company that’s very important to me as an admitted comic book fan.

It’s a job that’s probably much less glamorous than it sounds. He’s tasked with selling products that include iconic heroes, women dressed in skin-tight costumes, and talking raccoons. His products couldn’t sell themselves better without being laced with nicotine.

 

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Despite this advantage, Mr. Gabriel’s job has been a lot tougher recently. Overall, Marvel’s sales and overall share of the comic book market has been declining for the past couple of years. That’s somewhat odd, given how Marvel’s movies have made more money than the gross national product of some countries.

Now the reasons for this decline are too numerous and too unsexy for me to cover in a single blog post or multiple blog posts, for that matter. The real story here comes back to David Gabriel, a man whose job it is to figure out why the company he works for isn’t swimming in a fresh pile of money every year.

What’s his explanation for the sales decline? Well, if you thought you’ve ever screwed up badly at your job, take a deep breath and put your feet up. You’re about to feel a lot better about yourself because this is what Mr. Gabriel said in an interview ICv2:

Now the million-dollar question.  Why did those tastes change?

I don’t know if that’s a question for me.  I think that’s a better question for retailers who are seeing all publishers.  What we heard was that people didn’t want any more diversity.  They didn’t want female characters out there.  That’s what we heard, whether we believe that or not.  I don’t know that that’s really true, but that’s what we saw in sales.

We saw the sales of any character that was diverse, any character that was new, our female characters, anything that was not a core Marvel character, people were turning their nose up against.  That was difficult for us because we had a lot of fresh, new, exciting ideas that we were trying to get out and nothing new really worked.

The bold parts are my doing because it’s the bold parts that got made David Gabriel the most hated, non-politician man on the internet for a week. Comic book fans, movie fans, and fans of people who publicly screw themselves all took the time to jump in and pile on a man who probably didn’t fully realize what he was saying.

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On the surface, the words themselves don’t mean much. Marvel made a push for greater diversity in its comics. I even covered some of the issues that came up during this push. That push didn’t work as well as they’d hoped. Compared to the efforts of DC Comics with their “Rebirth” initiative, there was a lot of room for improvement.

This is where Mr. Gabriel’s internal filter failed him. He looked at the situation, tried to make sense of it, and came up with something that indirectly insulted comic book fans and non-comic book fans alike. I get what he was trying to say, pointing out that the response to their diversity push wasn’t what Marvel had hoped. He just ended up saying way more, if not way too much.

Indirect or not, we’re living in an age where anything you say can and will be misconstrued as bigoted, sexist, racist, homophobic, or anything else associated with the republican party. With Mr. Gabriel’s comments, it didn’t take much for anyone with a Twitter feed to twist his words appropriately.

The implications are as apparent as they are misguided. Comic book fans don’t want diversity. They just want to read comics about the same old white guys who save beautiful women in bikinis that they’ve been reading since the Kennedy Administration. If a character is black, female, or does any that straight white men don’t approve of, then they’re not interested.

Again, that’s the implication. That’s not the actual substance of Mr. Gabriel’s words, but that doesn’t matter anymore. It doesn’t even matter if he meant something else entirely. The angry, politically correct whims of the internet and social media has spoken. David Gabriel and comic book fans are in league with the white male fascist order that’s intent on making the world one big sitcom from the 1950s.

That last part was sarcasm, by the way. I know it doesn’t take much to kick up a shit storm of outrage these days, but I feel like I have to cover my ass with an adamantium plate. There are too many people in the world who just can’t resist a good dose of whining.

Naturally, Mr. Gabriel’s remarks triggered a week-long sideshow where everyone weighed in to voice their outrage, even if they weren’t comic book fans. Most of the outrage was pretty standard. It can usually be boiled down to the following remarks:

“HOW DARE YOU ACCUSE OF US BIGOTRY!”

“HOW DARE YOU TRY TO SPEAK FOR ALL COMIC BOOK FANS!”

“HOW DARE YOU IMPLY THAT DIVERSITY IS A BAD THING!”

“HA! YOU ADMIT YOU’RE A RACIST, BIGOTED, HOMOPHOBE!”

No less than 95 percent of all reactions can be boiled down to something of that nature. One side claims the other is being a bigot/racist/insert-minority-hating-term-here. The other side claims Mr. Gabriel is wrong, stupid, and doesn’t speak for the majority of comic book fans. Somewhere in between the shit storm are just people who want to read awesome comics. They’re basically stuck smelling this stench.

I can already spoil how this is going to play out. The outrage will continue to be a controversy for a while. Then, something else will come along that’ll start another outrage-fueled shit-storm about racism, sexism, homophobia, etc. After that, David Gabriel will go back to being a nobody who wouldn’t be recognized if he had a two-foot cock plated in gold. I’m sure that day can’t come fast enough for him.

It’s not just human nature. It’s part of the system/flaws in marketing. People have very short attention spans. Unless it affects their livelihood, they get bored pretty easily. People are also very selective with their outrage. It doesn’t matter how asinine or misguided it is, even if it’s something as simple as a Halloween costume. Outrage is inherently irrational.

It’s an important, albeit bittersweet lesson for anyone looking to market anything in a day where we’re all just one offensive hashtag away from a really bad week. Since I’m trying to sell my own books and preparing to launch my first published book, it’s a lesson worth learning.

We don’t live in an age where a bad add or an off-hand remark can be swept under the rug or forgotten. We live in an age where everybody has a camera and a recorder in their pocket. We live in an age where anything you say or do can be misconstrued in any number of wholly ridiculous ways.

Whether you’re a straight white man working for Marvel or a black transgender lesbian working for BET, your words and actions can and well be skewed if you’re not careful. Professional trolls like Ann Coulter, Lena Dunham, Michael Moore, and Milo Yiannopoulos can get away with it. Most people trying to make a decent, honorable living can’t.

Now I believe that David Gabriel is as decent a person as the rest of us. I don’t think he believes that diversity is a bad thing in comic books or anything else in life. He just made the mistake of saying a certain sequence of words that evoked a knee-jerk reaction from a public that’s more and more sensitive to anything remotely bigoted, regardless of how valid that sentiment might be.

These are strange and volatile times. Today, the worst thing you can be is opposed to diversity. Marvel Comics is behind the curve, unfortunately, because so many of their iconic characters were created at a time when the market almost exclusively favored straight white men. They can’t undo that or the legacy that helped build their company, even if a new generation of politically correct hippies despise that.

If I could say one thing to David Gabriel, I would say, “Take a step back, open a cold beer, and just wait for everybody to get bored being upset with you.” Hell, I’d even buy him the beer.

Even as we forget about David Gabriel and what he said when he underestimated the internet’s capacity for outrage, there will be others like him who fall flat on their face in their effort to sell their products to a public that’ll jump at any reason to get outraged. It’s a challenge, and an annoying one at that, but it’s challenges that make us stronger.

That’s why I still have high hopes for the future of Marvel comics. It’s also why I have hopes for the future of my novels. I doubt I’ll sell anything as well as Marvel sells its comics, but if I can do that without generating misguided outrage, I’ll know I’ve done it right.

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