One Year Personal Review
I’ve been deliberating over actually writing this or not. I decided to go for it, because I don’t think it can hurt, and I think some of you would be interested in reading it.
Before embarking on my journey of self-publishing, I used to work in some not so fun places. Lots of customer service and all of that. Just plain, basic things, and nothing very entertaining, but I didn’t mind it. I didn’t really like it, though, and I’ve always wanted to write, so on July 10th, 2012, I published my first e-book. I think I did it on Smashwords first, then I put it up on the other places after, so those places didn’t have it until July 11th, but I like to think of my “official” indie author anniversary as July 10th. It’s a pretty nice day, generally speaking.
So, anyways! I’m sure everyone’s done them, but a lot of places I’ve worked at like to do those yearly reviews, you know? I never liked those, and I’m sort of argumentative about them. I once marked down that I thought I went above and beyond in regards to dress code, because I try to look nice, right? Except, no, I was told that it’s impossible to go above and beyond on dress code. If you come to work appropriately dressed, then that’s it. Why did they have little check marks for anything besides “acceptable” then? I have no idea, and I asked that, but no one gave me a good answer. Just because. That’s just kind of silly, but I digress…
Now, as an indie author, I’m going to evaluate myself. If you’ve been following me for awhile, feel free to chime in, too. Let me know if you agree or disagree. I’d be happy to hear it!
First off, I initially planned to just write erotica shorts. My very first stories were Princess Miri, Moonlight Secret, Burning Need, Princess Miri’s Wet Sticky Mess, all written within the span of a couple weeks. I kind of cheated there, because I’d written the Princess Miri and Moonlight Secret stories a long long time ago, but I fixed them up and changed some things, and *POOF*, published!
Out of all those, I honestly didn’t know what exactly I was doing besides with the Princess Miri stories. I love all my stories, don’t get me wrong, but Moonlight Secret and Burning Need were kind of difficult for me. I think they’re good stories, and lots of people have enjoyed them, but I probably won’t be writing much more in the same vein as those.
Mostly, what I noticed within a few weeks was that I liked to write longer things. Hunted by the Beast and Dominant Dreams came up soon after those first ones, and both of those are noticeably longer. They aren’t long by any means, but I got to delve into more of what I liked.
And, basically, what I really like is plot. I think plot is kind of sexy, you know? I don’t know if that makes a lot of sense. Some people like to just read stories with an idea, but I can’t do that very well. A decent, popular example is something like… let’s say, the barely legal babysitter and the single father (or maybe not single? Scandalous!). It’s just the idea that arouses people, which is perfectly fine, but I can’t really get into reading or writing that too much. Something like that is more writing towards kinks or fetishes.
I won’t lie, I do it sometimes. Generally I add some plot in there, too, though. To a lot of people, that’s weird, but it’s just how I like to write. I think I provide something different and entertaining for anyone who wants a little more with their story.
That’s basically when it began. After feeling things out and getting more accustomed to what I preferred and how I preferred to write it, I went on to continue the Princess Miri series, Hunted by the Beast, and I started The Billionaire’s Ultimatum. These were all great choices for me. I did write some standalones in there, and to be honest you can read most all of my stories as a standalone if you like, but the plot was what drove me onwards, and I think people like that, too. The characters can build upon themselves and their world and explore it more, you know?
Miri started out as a bratty princess who was targeted by the daughter of one of her father’s vassels, but she became something else entirely. I mean, sure, she’s still kind of bratty, but I like Miri. I think Miri’s a really fun character. Thump grew, too. Then Allysin came into the picture, and we got to learn a little more about the castle from her perspective. Fleur evolved into… well, we won’t talk about Fleur (she’s kind of a bitch). The King, the citizens, Roy, all of it.
I do that with all of my stories now, and I’m trending towards longer, which I think a lot of people prefer. I want you to know the characters and feel more intimately about them. When Miri clears out the dungeons and takes them over for her and Thump to use, and then she treats it like a very private place where they can hide together, be alone, talk and learn and explore their sexuality safely, I want you to kind of realize how Miri feels, you know? She’s a princess, and sort of a brat or a bitch, but she’s a human, too, and she’s not immune to weakness. She just doesn’t have anyone and she’s not sure how to relate to anyone, and so Thump being hers and exploring with her and letting her have her moments of being a spoiled princess while also being the dominant monster troll that he is, well…
I find that a lot sexier. Miri’s emotions and need and desires, and her shortcomings and fears and worries; it makes the entire scene more intense to me. It’s sexy and erotic, but it’s also something more, too. That’s how I feel about that, at least. You can’t get that in a quick barely legal babysitter story, you know? You can get the sexy and erotic part, but you can’t get the “more” that I personally want to go along with it.
I could give examples of this sort of thing throughout all of my stories, but if you’ve read them it’s probably easy to see, too.
In addition to all of that, I’ve started working more towards adding paperbacks, novelizing my serials, and working on audiobooks. The paperbacks and serials-to-novels are somewhat obvious, but one thing I’ve noticed is that I need to have a good schedule of this. I have a “Publishing Schedule” tab on my website, but I need to fix it up a bit. My general plan when I started, and what I want to do now, is to have a new novel for you all every ~2 months or so. The paperback first, then the e-book after. I have a lot of reasons for why I do it in that order, but they’re kind of boring marketing stuff, so I won’t go into that. What this generally will mean is that ~6 months after the start of a series, the novel version should come out soon after. That won’t always be exactly the case, but I should be able to stick pretty closely to that schedule for the foreseeable future.
Audiobooks are interesting and difficult, but in a good way. The thing with those is that I really want to find narrators that bring the characters to life, you know? Sometimes I go searching for the perfect narrator, and other times I’ll put a story up and let people send in their auditions. The audiobooks I have so far are good, but some of the auditions really miss the point. They aren’t bad by any means, and these are professional narrators, but I can tell when someone’s not really into the story and only wants to make money.
I want to provide you with an amazing experience, and so I will only produce audiobooks with narrators who can put the necessary emotion into the scenes. You’ll find a lot of audiobooks that lack this, and some of those audiobooks are alright. If you just want to “hear” the story, they’re perfectly great and I’ve got nothing against that. For what I do, because I want to provide you “more” in the e-book and paperback versions, I want to find narrators that will help you experience the story, too. Overall, I just want to give you more, because that’s what I would want.
And so! That’s about it. That’s where we’re at so far. I appreciate everyone coming on this journey with me, too. As an indie author, I think that the reader/writer relationship is a bit closer than with a big publishing house’s authors. I try to be a little closer, and like my stories I want to give a little “more” than what you’d get otherwise. I just want to let you know about what’s up and I like to provide you with as much as I can. I’m writing more, working on more, and will continue to try and discover ways where I can improve this in the future.
Also, my business attire is impeccable lately. Far above and beyond! (I like to write at night a lot while wearing pajamas. Shh, don’t tell anyone!)
What do you think? I’d love to hear your opinions. Whether as a new reader or someone who’s just started checking out my stuff, I think all opinions, feedback, questions, or comments are useful and valid, and I like to hear them!
Happy Valentine’s Day!
(At the bottom of this post are some fun flash fiction pieces from some characters from my writing. Scroll down to the “Valentine’s Day Stories” section if you’d rather get right to those)
“A Note from Me” or “How to be Sexy and Satisfy People (in a happy way, don’t get dirty thoughts here)”
I hope everyone’s having a great Valentine’s Day so far, and hopefully it’ll be even nicer later in the afternoon and evening. I think even if you’re single, today is a fun day, and everyone should enjoy it.
So I have some things planned for everyone for this Valentine’s Day to make it more fun and exciting, no matter who you are.
First, some DOs and DON’Ts, brought to you by the Daily News (mostly because I don’t know anything about this and they have statistics which seem neat).
Apparently 85% of people say sex is the centerpiece of their Valentine’s Day. That’s quite a bit. I don’t know how that works for single people exactly, but don’t forget to practice safe-sex habits, people. Besides that, I won’t judge. Do what you like and have fun with it!
The Daily News article makes some really good points at the end, though. Don’t overindulge and don’t set your expectations too high. This is supposed to be fun! There’s no need to spend a fortune and it’s not -just- about sex. Talk and enjoy yourself and build up some excitement and anticipation. If it doesn’t work out exactly like you wanted? Well, that’s alright, because I bet it can be just as exciting if you just go with the flow.
I’d absolutely love if everyone’s relationships were as wonderful as some of the ones in erotica and erotic romance, but sometimes they need a bit more work than that, too. Why not talk about it with your boyfriend/husband/girlfriend/whatever you have and figure out a way to make it happen, if just for a day?
One thing that I think could be really sexy/fun is to have your partner(whatever their gender) read aloud from one of your favorite erotic books and really try to get into it. Even if it’s a bit silly, that’s alright. Maybe act it out after, or fulfill some fantasies through that? Are you a girl and think two guys falling head over heels for each other is really attractive? Ask your partner if he’d be willing to read some passages from a gay erotica story out loud and imagine it’s him playing the role of one of the characters.
It’s not going to be perfect, but it can still be fun, and that’s what this is all about.
If you’re single, there’s a lot you can do, too. Ask someone out on a date or stay home and make a special night of it for yourself, or whatever you like. What do you have to lose? Single men and women all like going on dates, even if they don’t lead to anything, and a Valentine’s Day date is especially nice because it makes people feel even happier about the date than regular. I don’t have any real statistics here, but I bet people are more willing to go out on a limb for this kind of thing on Valentine’s Day and accept an offer for a date.
Just, maybe, don’t go overboard there? If it leads to some bedroom antics afterwards, I’m not going to say you should or shouldn’t do that but just be careful. And if it doesn’t, that’s fine, too, because it’s still a fun and nice thing to do.
Also, hey! Epiphora. I love this blog and I think she does a really good job of being down-to-earth and telling it like it is, without getting too crass and without the TMI moments that a lot of stuff like this could have. Check her out here if you’re interested (Please be aware that this is a sex toy review site, so the content is best not viewed in places where this could be potentially awkward).
If you need something to supplement your Valentine’s Day in a pleasant way, she’s probably got a million ideas ready and waiting for you. If you want some erotica/erotic romance stories to help out, too, I’ve got plenty of those, myself. Between my stuff and her site, you should have all your bases covered! (Haha)
Anyways, I think that’s it. Just have fun today! Do you have any plans you want to share, or other ideas, too? I’d love to hear your comments below(just keep them PG-13ish if you do share. Sneaky secrets are more fun than blaring ones).
And, without further adieu!
“Valentine’s Day Stories” (None of these are canon, but just for fun)
These include potential spoilers if you haven’t read the stories! Continue at your own risk.
Miri was sitting in her room in the castle, absolutely bored. Thump had left with Allysin for whatever reason, and no one else came to amuse her, and this really bothered her. Today was… well, today was a day when no one should be bored(especially her!) and… except maybe Thump didn’t know? Did trolls have Valentine’s Day where they were from? She’d never asked, merely accepted it as a universal truth that everyone should know about it.
But he didn’t, apparently! Ugh! So she was the only one on Valentine’s Day stuck without a lover, was that it? What had Allysin needed to steal him away for, anyways? The cursed servant girl barely touched upon the subject and just skirted around it like it was some vague, unknowable thing. “Oh, yes, I need to borrow Thump to do a few things and then I’ll bring him back.”
Miri needed Thump to do a few things, too, and she needed him now. She could do a few things with herself by herself, but she just didn’t want to.
Someone knocked at the door.
“Go away!” Miri screamed.
They didn’t listen to her and opened the door anyways. Ignoring them, Miri heard Allysin whispering something to Thump, and Thump quietly arguing and sounding rather bashful. That was her favorite thing about him, actually. He acted innocent sometimes, sort of, but then… well, later in bed he was anything but. Dominant and strong and willing to take control!
Except he wasn’t that now, and it struck her as curious, so foregoing her attempt at ignoring the both of them at the door, she glanced up. Allysin pushed the ten foot tall monster into the room and slammed the door behind her.
In the doorway, blushing, Thump held a pretty pair of white panties with the cutest little blue bows on the sides by the hips.
“Are those for me?” she asked. Oh, she hoped so, and really, who else would they be for?
“Allysin tell Thump give to Miri and say Happy Valentine’s,” Thump said, shy. “Here is!” He held them aloft in both hands, stretching them out for her to see them better. “Happy Valentine’s, Miri.”
“Come! Come here! Let me see them. Ooh… they’re cute! Did you pick these out yourself? Do…” She didn’t know why she felt so shy all of a sudden, but she did. “Do you want me to try them on right now?”
Thump smiled at her with his toothy, ugly grin, but in her mind it was the most handsome thing she’d ever seen. Eyes glimmering, mischievous, he said, “Yah.”
His Absolute Valentine’s Day: The Billionaire’s Ultimatum
I knew Asher needed to work, since it was Thursday, but I really wished he didn’t. It was Valentine’s Day–our first together–and I had kind of hoped we could spend the entire day together. Maybe a little unreasonable, but… no, I told myself. I couldn’t begrudge him for working, because he loved his job and I didn’t want to make him feel bad about it no matter what.
That didn’t help me right now, though. Sitting in his guest house, re-living old memories, nostalgia slipping in, I remembered everything we’d gone through. Worrying about this one thing seemed so silly and inconsequential when I thought of it like that and it made me laugh. Valentine’s Day, really?
We did have plans, but I didn’t know how I felt about them. Asher wanted to take me out to the restaurant we’d gone to the day after I met him, which was nice. I told him I didn’t need anything fancy, though; I just wanted to spend time with him. He nodded and smiled and laughed it off.
I half-suspected he had some secret plan, but neither he nor Jeremy would tell me what it was. If there even was one, I reminded myself. Sometimes I ended up expecting so much from Asher–though honestly, he never really disappointed me in those regards, either–but I knew I shouldn’t.
Well, it didn’t matter. It bothered me, but what was the use in that? Was I going to mope around the house all day, hiding away here instead of staying in the main house where I could find more people or things to occupy my time? No! I refused.
But I wanted to look upstairs once more. Awhile back, Asher asked Jeremy to buy me new clothes, and I’d kept some of them here in the closet in the master bedroom. There was one thing in particular that I’d hidden away on the outskirts of the closet because…
Just because. I couldn’t wear that! My gods, it made my cheeks red just thinking about it.
Except I could wear it now, since no one was around. Sneaking up the stairs, slipping into the bedroom, I opened the closet and pulled out the beautiful red corset. I’d never really worn a corset before, but I loved the look of this one. And, made by Frederick’s of Hollywood no less! My heart quickened imagining myself wearing it, laying in bed while I beckoned to Asher, seeing the expression on his face when he saw me there and then wondering what else he might do afterwards.
I nearly tore off my clothes in order to try on the corset. It wasn’t a real corset, not really. It looked and acted like one, but without all of the boning that trained your waist to look thinner. I thought my waist was fairly nice as it was, so I didn’t really need something like that, but the look of it… shoulderless, pushing up my chest, giving me a more accentuated hourglass figure…
I dressed, now wearing only the corset and a matching pair of red underwear. I skipped to the bathroom to inspect myself in the mirror, except…
Asher stood in the bedroom door, watching me. I stared at him, mouth wide open, aghast.
“Asher! I thought you wouldn’t be back until later?”
“I wanted to surprise you for Valentine’s Day,” he said with a grin. “Apparently you’ve got some surprises, too.”
I blushed and tried to cover myself with my arms, for all the good it did me. Asher strode over and grabbed my wrists lightly, pulling my hands up and over my head. Leaning forward, lips so deliciously close to mine, his breath hot and heavy and wonderful, he said, “I had plans to take a long weekend and bring you somewhere special, but we don’t need to leave for a couple hours…”
“We don’t?” I asked, feeling shaky, my voice fluttering.
“No,” he said. He picked me up by the waist and tossed me onto the bed, admiring me.
Right about them I was pretty sure I loved Valentine’s Day.
(More to come later, possibly! Check back soon!)
I love paperback books.
When I was growing up, they were the majority of what I read. Hardcover books always seemed alluring and mysterious and coveted, but paperbacks were simpler and easier to get. I never really went to the library, though. I don’t know why, but I prefer owning a book as opposed to borrowing it. It seems more real then? Like, what if I want to read it again sometime, but I don’t have it? I do reread my books every so often if I enjoyed them, but usually this is years later. I don’t -need- to own them, but I feel like I should.
I released the first Princess Miri as a paperback awhile back. I wanted to try it out since CreateSpace doesn’t cost much for the author(I bought a proof copy to check it out, but that’s it), and I wanted to get the formatting down. It came out alright, but since that’s a short story, I don’t see a high demand for it. It’s a really cool item, I think, but still.
Anyways! I was thinking about this, and I’d like to get more into it. Most of my short stories are part of a series, and I know a lot of people like to read the entire series as opposed to waiting. I can totally understand this, but for me it’s not really feasible, you know? Not to go too far off on a tangent here, but as a writer there’s a huge mix of stuff you need to deal with. I’d love to say that I only have to worry about the writing and can write all day and it’s lovely, but it’s not always like that. There’s editing, and I make my own covers, plus what if people don’t like the story? What if I fully wrote the Billionaire’s Ultimatum(which is approximately 395 paperback book pages in length), but no one liked it? As a writer, I loved writing it, but as someone who needs to sell her writing in order to pay bills and eat and all of that, it’s tough. Also, I’d like to think that most of my stories can be read as a standalone, since I try to do minor recaps here and there to bring people up to speed. If one doesn’t appeal to you, then you can skip that one and move on to the next in the series.
So, tangent finished there, I realize that some people prefer to read an entire series. And some people prefer paperbacks. My solution to this is that once I’m finished a series, I’ll do my best to promptly release a paperback version! I think that works out for everyone, right? Some might have new cover art, while others will have similar covers as the eBooks(though a bit different). I’ll also eventually release each story separately(like the original Princess Miri), though that’s more for fun than anything else, and random collectibility.
I’m also working on audiobooks, but that’s for another blog post entirely, so we won’t go there for now.
The full paperbacks will be a little cheaper than if you bought the entire series as an eBook, but you’ll also have to wait until the eBooks are finished in order to get one. I’d also like to say that I don’t get nearly as much of a percentage from paperback sales as eBook sales, so this is purely a fan thing. I want people to be happy with my writing and I want to please as many people as possible, and this is a part of that. Despite generally losing out on it and not making much, if any, profit, I’m still going to release the paperbacks for those who prefer them.
The two that are currently slated for this are the Billionaire’s Ultimatum books and the Princess Miri ones. The Billionaire’s Ultimatum will clock in at approximately 395 pages total, while Princess Miri is approximately 215 pages or so. I’m not sure exactly how to manage Allysin’s Sexy Side Story, but that will be included in the Princess Miri paperback, also. Do I put it in between part 3 and 4 like it fits, or include it at the end as an extra? I may also write an epilogue-styled story from Fleur’s point of view about what happens to her once she escapes from the castle.
Those are my plans as of now! The paperbacks will be done through CreateSpace and will be available at Amazon(.com, .co.uk, .de, .fr, .it, and .es) and the CreateSpace store. They -should- also be available through Amazon.ca, B&N online, plus a few others(I’ll get back to you on this one once the book is up and available). Technically you could order the books at a B&N store for instore pick up, but they probably won’t be stocked on the shelves otherwise(though I might be able to convince a few local B&Ns to do it, but that would be a New Hampshire/northern Massachusetts only thing).
So that’s what’s going on! If you liked this blog post or you have any questions/comments about it, let me know by “like”-ing it or commenting on it!