Exciting new novel from A.M. Manay!

There are some authors who catch you in a certain way, so that whenever they release a new book — no matter what it is — you snap it up right away. A.M. Manay is one of those authors for me. I adored her modern vampire/paranormal series, the November Snow  series, despite the fact that I am not usually a vampire person. The characters and the story are what made that series so good. So when I had an opportunity to read an ARC of her new novel, Hexborn, I jumped at the chance.

Hexborn CoverAnd I have to say, I was not disappointed.

Once again, A.M. Manay has taken a genre that usually leaves me feeling ho-hum (in this case, Young Adult Fantasy), and created a story that made me eager to turn each virtual page. They say the best fiction is based on fact, and by that logic the best fantasy should be based on history. This was masterfully done in Hexborn. A.M. Manay took inspiration from the story of Henry VIII of England – he of the famous six wives – and used it as a jumping-off point for a detailed fantasy world of intrigue and power, sex and murder, tragedy and magic. Strong characters and sticky situations made every chapter a delight to read, and full of surprises at every turn. I don’t have to tell you I ate it up.

My recommendation? Buy the book right away! And go ahead and sign on for the sequel, as well — Ms. Manay is sure to deliver.

Copy of kidpit 2

Hexborn. Abomination. Unclean. Young Shiloh knows
exactly what she is. She just refuses to let that stop her. Her
illness might make her an outcast, but her broken body hides
great magical power. And she intends to make the most of it.
Silas, the king’s ruthless fixer, seeks to use that power to
preserve the uneasy peace the kingdom has enjoyed since the
end of the Siblings’ War. Silas hauls Shiloh from her
mountain village to the wizard academy at the king’s court, where magic and political intrigue conspire to create danger around every corner.
Can this child of war save the peace? Or will old sins rise to threaten Shiloh, Silas, and the kingdom of Bryn?

http://www.ammanay.net
http://www.ammanaywrites.blogspot.com

Advertisements

Smashwords Summer Sale!

I do love a good “stick it to The Man,” and Smashwords is a fabulous way to do so. Now I appreciate Amazon for many reasons, but it is anything but a small, creative haven for indie authors. In case you were wondering, here are some reasons to love Smashwords:

  • Wide distribution to many different online markets
  • Erotica-friendly! There is NO adult dungeon, and they are much freer with what can be included on sexy covers.
  • Larger share of sales (60%-80%)
  • Complete author control over book pricing, sales and coupon promotions
  • Support smaller business and feel good 🙂

And of course, the main reason I’m writing this is to promote the fabulous Smashwords Summer Sale! Through the entire month of July, many Smashwords authors are offering their work at a huge discount, or free. Naturally, I hopped on this boat. I enjoy sharing my work with a wider audience, and this is a perfect opportunity to do so. (Authors, if you have any work published on Smashwords, you can join the sale anytime. So don’t hesitate!)

If you’ve been curious to read some of my erotic stories, but just don’t feel ready to shell out the 99 cents, that’s okay. Head on over to my Smashwords Author Page and read some for free! As usual, my only request is that you leave a review. Those reader reviews are an indie author’s main sales pitch, and we appreciate each one!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Publish or Perish!

As it has been, oh, a VERY long time since I’ve managed to write anything, I’ve been reflecting lately on that wise old saying: publish or perish. The data behind it is solid, in my limited experience. Whenever I publish a new story, it tends to sell best in its first few weeks of existence. And sometimes, having a new story out gets more exposure for older work, causing a spike in sales. All of this is great! However, the flip side of the coin is that, inevitably, if there is a dip in publishing rate, there is also a lull in sales.

This must be true for many traditionally published authors as well. Plenty of books out there are excellent, but if somewhat older, and not big names, they have their heyday on the bookshelves and then are set adrift in the bottomless maw of Amazon.com. Unless you’re J.K. Rowling or otherwise independently wealthy, there can be no sitting on your laurels. However, “publish or perish” hits indie authors particularly hard. We’re little fish in a huge pond, and the only way to makes waves is through exposure — getting our work into the hands of as many readers as possible. And the only way I know to do that is to write lots (and well); publish quickly; push and celebrate your new work as long as it is “new;” then do the whole thing again. It’s an exhausting cycle, but that’s the way the writing business works.

Which is why, at least in my case, writing is a wonderful craft I work to improve. I’m proud of my stories, and I strive to make them excellent. But, I am also okay with limited sales during my slow writing times. Life happens, and that always must take priority. The good news is, I have confidence that when the time is right, I’ll be back in the saddle and into the old “publish or perish” cycle once again.

Excitica: more self-publishing options for erotica authors

So with the recent demise of our smutty old friend, All Romance eBooks, indie erotica authors  were left somewhat bereft of self-publishing options. Besides mega-business Amazon and upstart Smashwords, which offer so much content erotica can get lost in the crowd. Plus they censor your best nude covers. Well mourn no more! Excitica is here to pick up the pieces.

The What: An online bookstore selling only romance and, especially, erotica.

The How: It’s fairly easy to set up a publisher account, either for yourself or multiple authors sharing the same publisher.

  • You’ll need to do some legwork on your own, in terms of file preparation and conversion. (The free e-book program, Calibre, is great for this.) They take Epub, Mobi, and PDF documents.
  • You also need a complete cover, 1000 pixels height maximum. (Covers can be more explicit! Hooray! Booties and (most of) boobies are welcome. No gentleman’s bits, however, as far as I can see… alas.)
  • Everything else is up to you, the publisher, to input: blurb, categories, etc. (Lots of sub-categories are listed, which is nice. Shop around, though, or you may miss one that applies to your book!) You also set the price, anything from $0.00 on up.

The What-ElseExcitica is a place for all your dirtiest stories!

  • Here is a brief list of some popular tags: Anal, Menage, BSDM, Brother, Creampie, Daddy, Gangbang, Dubcon (dubious consent, in case you didn’t know), Horror, Incest, Rape, Schoolgirl, Sister, Taboo

And there’s plenty more! Anyway, the good news is, if you write anything like that (and hey, don’t we all, sometimes?) then you’ll be among your people. There’s also a romance section, but from a brief glance at the homepage, it’s clear that Excitica is centered on erotica.

The Sales?: Honestly, not great so far for me. Perhaps their readership is limited. Maybe my stuff isn’t dirty enough, or my artsy covers don’t appeal among the sea of naked torsos. However, in the month since I’ve been signed up, I’ve had several downloads of my free stories, and one purchase. So hey, that’s a start!

If you’re an indie erotica author looking to get out there, get more visibility, and sell more books, you might take a look at Excitica.

2017 Writer’s Resolutions

Making New Year’s resolutions is rather silly, really. If you want to do something, why pick an arbitrary date to get started? However, I understand that the calendar year is a handy tool for setting goals, so this year I shall plow forth and attempt to lay out these, my 2017 writer’s resolutions.

  • First, I am determined to finish and self-publish all the stories I have rolling around in my head around the fairy tale theme, and compile a collection. Because I simply can’t go another year pondering how to make frogs sexy. I just have to do it. (I’m thinking something about the slippery skin…)
  • Second, I resolve to write more themed short stories for anthology submission. I’d like to get my name out there more with other folks in the genre, and anthologies are a great way to do that! I have a few thoughts lurking, just waiting for the right potential publisher to appear…
  • Third, I resolve to start a mailing list. I tried this once, got stuck, and gave up. This year, I’m gonna do it!
  • Forth, I plan to give away more books, and do a better job promoting said giveaways. The whole point of writing is getting your stories into readers’ hands, and I’ve found that giveaways are a fantastic way of accomplishing just that. Stay tuned for upcoming freebies!

And I think that’s enough for now. After all, the whole point of making resolutions is because you want to keep them! How about you, my fellow writer friends? What are your plans for wonderful, newborn 2017?

Flirting with Amazon: diving back into KU

Like many indie authors, I have a love/hate relationship with Amazon. Besides the fact that it employs about half of my hometown — resulting in a Seattle housing boom and shocking real estate prices, I might add — Amazon makes almost every book in the world available to anyone. You have to admit, that’s really great. In addition, Amazon has made it possible for independent authors to publish their books at no cost, unlike most “vanity publishers” who continue to ask hundreds of dollars for the same service. Without it, readers in Great Britain or France or India (all of which have bought my books) would never even know my work existed. My first book was published through Amazon CreateSpace, and honestly, I never looked back.

So, yes, I’m grateful to Amazon. And I will continue to go there first when looking to publish my work. But the trick to Amazon is the exclusivity issue. To benefit from KU (Kindle Unlimited), and have access to author-driven promotions like book giveaways and price reductions, an author must agree to make their book available through Amazon alone.

flowers-working-cover
Flowers for the Ancients — now on KU!

For a while, I didn’t like this. It didn’t seem like a good deal; Amazon is so full of books and information, my work was easily lost among millions of others. Not many readers seemed to be using the KENP feature, which pays per page read by subscribers. So, I branched out. I used Smashwords and AllRomace eBooks – both of which I also appreciated for their more open-minded view of erotica. No adult dungeoning. That place is not as fun as it sounds.

However, again and again I’ve been forced to admit that, despite diversifying, most of my sales still come from Amazon. In which case, it seems silly not to take advantage of their KU program. So, basically, I’m back in. Not all of my work is KU; I picked the stories that sold mostly there, and kept the others up on Smashwords & ARe.

Amazons Equal ebook Cover
An Amazon’s Equal, back on KU!

Also, don’t forget that I offer two short stories for free on any platform, Amazon included! (How did I get Amazon to offer them for free? Price matching. Read this Smashwords blog post for instructions on how to do it.)

Grab One Night To Tango and Taking the Reins as freebies, then go on and check out all my KU books on Fionna Guillaume’s Amazon author page.

The Paramount Importance of the Blurb

So I do a lot of book shopping, as you know. Hell, this afternoon I dropped $75 at the used bookstore down the street! (Don’t tell my husband…) And while I love browsing – and overspending as a result of far too many tempting paperbacks out there – I do, naturally, also indulge in a good bit of Amazon.com perusal. When I go to the bookstore, different elements might catch my eye. Maybe an evocative title, an artistic cover, an attractive table laid out with books like a literary buffet, or a friend’s recommendation. (In the aforementioned case of the $75, I can blame it all on my friend! I only went with the list she gave me… the list of 8 books I just MUST read!) When shopping online, however, there is really only one deciding factor in whether or not I’ll buy a book. And that is the blurb.

They say you can’t judge a book by its cover, and that’s true. However, you can absolutely judge a book by its blurb!

I can’t really say how many god-awful blurbs I have come across. And, sad as I am to say it, the majority of those are from self-published authors. I think many of us ignore the blurb and just kind of throw it together. This is a huge mistake, because it is the one element – yes, even more important than a snazzy cover – that will convince someone to buy your book. It is a chance to highlight your writing style, present the plot and characters, and give just enough information to make them yearn for more. And, you know, purchase the book. 🙂

So what makes a good blurb? Now I am hardly a blurb-master myself. (In fact, no doubt my work would be well served if I were to go back and rewrite some of my earlier ones…) However, there are some general rules to follow. Plus some major what-not-to-do’s. Here is my humble two cents on the subject:

  • The blurb should give a fair interpretation of your writing style. If the blurb has lovely, long, flowing sentences, that’s what I expect in the book! If it’s Hemingway-esque, you’d better deliver the clipped, raw goods. And if the writing in the blurb sucks, well, I’m pretty sure the book’s writing is equally bad! (As we all know, life is too short to read bad writing…)
  • The blurb should introduce the characters, the setting, and the problem (also known as the story!), without giving everything away. Even if your book is not a mystery, the blurb should be. After all, you don’t want to reveal your fabulous twists and wrinkles – of sheets or plotlines!
    • On that note, lots of people fill their blurbs with questions. This isn’t a bad thing, per se. But when I’m picking a book, I don’t want to play 20 questions. I want to know some major themes, the people involved, and where it’s happening. Limit questions to one or two really juicy ones.
    • If your blurb is a full summary of the book, that’s bad news. Just an introduction, please! Think of it as a preview to a film. You give glimpses, but don’t haul out all of the best bits for the teaser. (In other words, don’t model yourself on the overly-detailed modern previews. I didn’t even watch Revenant and already I know everything that happens. Go for an old-school, classy, suggestive kind of preview…)
  • If your book has any accolades – prizes won, bestseller lists, and such – they should go at the top, but discreetly. One line is enough to get all that info out there, and then let your reader get on with the blurb!
  • I was recently critiqued on this one: it’s best to keep blurbs concrete. Mention specific details – maybe a hot scene, a building tension, something unique about the setting. Generalities will not give a reader enough to sink their teeth into. I have reread my old blurbs and made many improvements with this in mind.

A good blurb is a tempting peek into the book. Kind of checking out its ass in those nice jeans, without really knowing all the goodies hidden underneath… It’s a flirty meet-and-drink at a bar, just getting to know the guy, trying to decide whether to take him home. Think about it. What would convince you to take that man(/book) to bed? For me it would be an interesting question, characters I want to meet, a place I want to go… and some slick writing. When you are able to seduce in just one paragraph, you are the blurb-master!

A interview with…. ME!

interview image

This week I had the great pleasure of spending some time (via e-mail only, alas!) with Ms. Eeva Lancaster. You may know her as The Book Khaleesi, a talented designer who works with self-published authors to prepare top-quality covers, interior formatting, media kits, and more all affordable for hardworking indie authors. (Her work is so good, I commissioned her to redesign a couple of my own book covers… and you know how picky I am about my art!) She is also the author of several highly-rated books, including the super-informative Now What? series. (Anyone interested in online freelancing MUST read her work! As an online freelancer herself, Eeva really shares what it’s like in the trenches.)

I first connected with Eeva through the ASPA (Alliance of Self Published Authors), of which she is the founder.  It’s an amazing group of authors, working together to promote one another’s work. What I love about it is that the group brings together all genres, backgrounds, and nationalities. My reading there has enriched my perspective – and my craft – many times.

Today, however, I am delighted to share Eeva’s interview with, well, me. Everyone loves to be interviewed. It gives you the warm fuzzies – and show me someone who doesn’t like talking about themselves, and I’ll show you a liar! It was also a lovely opportunity for me to reflect on my writing, and my plans for the future. Plus, it’s tons of fun!

So please, hop on over to Eeva’s blog! You can read my interview there, and hey, you might just come across lots of other great reading material, too. 🙂

Self-publishing options for erotica authors

As an author, I am all-indie: I do my own cover art, editing, formatting, and self-publishing (in addition to the writing, of course!) Admittedly, I have not been brave enough to dip my toes into the dark, whirling seas of traditional publishing. Reaching out to agents and big publishing houses makes me feel, mostly, depressed. (As an aside, I did go the traditional route for an earlier, non-erotica book of mine… Got encouraging feedback from several agents after they read through it, but none of them wanted to take it on in that huge and heartless world of brand-name publishing. It was a story I believed needed to be told, so I self-published anyway!)

Being an erotica author has many perks, but visibility and mainstream publishing are not among them. That said, it has been fun to sleep around – in a manner of speaking – with the different attractive self-publishing services out there. Now I am far from promiscuous with my publishing; surely there are many other fine venues to distribute your work. However, I’m currently working with three. So here I thought I would offer you my insight into how my experience has been with each of them.

Amazon

Ah, the little hometown book business that has somehow morphed into a global megamarket of STUFF-SELLING! Now I like Amazon for a variety of totally silly reasons; not least of which is that they employ about half the population of my city. However, they also offer some serious benefits to authors.

  • Pros:
    • Super easy eBook publishing option with KDP. The cover creator tool can make your bland little photo look all arted up, like a professionally designed book cover. They help with formatting and proofreading to transform your manuscript into an honest-to-goodness Kindle eBook.
      • And all of that is free, of course.
    • Everybody uses Amazon. Like, everybody, all around the world. If you publish with Amazon you have instant access to their huge global market.
      • It’s easy to leave reviews, which encourages readers to respond to your work. Whether or not they bought it at Amazon, anybody can rate & review it.
        • Handy for when you give out advanced reading copies, people buy paperbacks, or shop through another online retailer, etc.
    • They keep it professional by tracking sales and keeping a record of all transactions.
      • You also get paid on a regular basis. Sure, it may be only a couple of cents (particularly with international sales, unless you happen to be a huge hit in, like, Japan or somewhere. You never know.) Still feels good to see those little deposits every month.
        • Oh, and you can get paid straight into your bank account. Very secure – it’s Amazon; they’re on it – and no middlemen to deal with. (Yes, I’m talking about you, Paypal).
    • Your author page is a built-in feature, that you can easily customize as you wish. Great way to get your work displayed in one attractive place; you can also add a link to your blog posts so readers can stay connected.
    • This is a big one: Amazon makes it easy to produce a beautiful print version of your book. Createspace offers structured guidance throughout the process, from formatting to cover creation, to proof review and sales. For those who love the feeling of a paper book in their hands, you can’t go wrong here. (And, besides ordering prints and shipping, Createspace is also free).
  • Cons:
    • Amazon is huge. Your book is one of millions. Unless you are super good at the keywords game – or you have a secret fan base – your book baby will pretty much be swimming in a crowded sea. Like those little infant jellyfish, where so many are produced it doesn’t matter how many get eaten by plankton so long as a couple hundred grow up to complete the cycle. Basically, chances of your book standing out among ALL the others are, frankly, small.
      • Keep in mind that your indie book will be in direct competition with all the traditionally published stuff out there. You know, New York Times bestsellers and the like. Competition is stiff and brutal. As usual, money does most of the talking…
    • Authors don’t have much control over pricing. $0.99 is the minimum; I do not believe you can set your book to perma-free on Amazon. (If any fellow authors out there know how, please enlighten me!) And that’ll only get you 35% royalty. To get 70% royalty your book must be $2.99 or more.
      • Huge preference is given to books that are published exclusively with KDP. Called KDP Select, this system offers subscribers the chance to read as much as they like during the month, for one block payment. The author gets a couple cents (CORRECTION: half a cent) for each page read. So, not a bad system overall. The catch is your book must be published exclusively with Amazon in order to benefit. Super-strict monogamy; the jealous-lover vibe doesn’t jive with my wild side.
      • You can only do free promotions for your book if you are a KDP member. And even then it is limited to a maximum of 5 days her KDP enrollment period (about 3 months).
    • And here’s the really bad news: Amazon censors smut. Yet, anything considered too exciting – say, a female nipple, ass cheeks, or even underboob; or catchwords like “breeding,” “cum,” and god-knows-what-else – will get your book placed solidly in the Adult Dungeon. This is basically a no-search zone. Your book will exist, but no one can really find it unless they have a direct link there (or happen upon your Amazon author page and browse your full body of work). Yeah, the adult dungeon is a bad place to be. Lots of perfectly good erotica ends up there. It’s sad.
      • I hate censorship. It’s against my American principles. Free ALL THE NIPPLES!

Smashwords

I have a fond place in my heart for Smashwords. They were the second place I began distributing my work, and I appreciate their independent, creative spirit. Also they are erotica-friendly. Lotsa good smut on Smashwords! (Still need to cover up the nipples, alas. But at least you can wear a thong…)

  • Pros:
    • Smashwords distributes to several well-known online retailers. At last check, that includes Barnes&Noble, iBooks, and a couple others. This gets your book distribution on a wider scale than simply through Smashwords alone. (Still most of my sales come from Smashwords, straight up.)
    • You, as the author, have pretty much all the control. By this I mean you can set your price – or not – however you like. Smashwords has pricing flexibility, and all get you more or less the same royalty percentage. And you – the author – get the lion’s share. This means:
      • You can offer promotions whenever you want (either by creating a coupon to share with folks, who then can buy your book for free or a discounted price).
      • You can set your book to free, or let the reader set the price – attractive options to get your work out there into readers’ hands.
      • Smashwords is helpful and clear when it comes to recording sales and keeping track of earnings.
    • Smashwords has its own program for converting your MS Word document into several marketable formats. Yes, you have to follow their formatting guidelines, but these are not too difficult. Mostly, the conversion quality is correct, though you have to keep an eye on it. It’s a real help to those who aren’t comfortable doing their own file formatting & conversion.
    • Much less censorship with Smashwords. You still need to keep some things under wraps – I was told that third party retailers, such as Barnes&Noble, won’t accept “nipples, bare buns, or floppy bits,” but almost everything else goes. Also much more flexibility in your wording options, grossly offensive profanity aside.
    • Smashwords is exclusively a publisher of indie books. So, your indie creation is safely among its peers, where it can stand out as the superb piece of writing (or piece of crap, depending) that it is. It’s comparing apples to apples, instead of apples to kumquats, if you will. At least you aren’t competing with the big boys.
  • Cons:
    • You have to provide your own completed cover, ready to upload. Sorry, no help from Smashwords there. BYOA – Bring Your Own Art.
    • Smashwords pays only once a quarter (about every 3 months). You only get payments transferred if they are over $10. Also, it is paid into a Paypal account, which is less convenient than direct transfer to your bank. This is fine, but can be annoying if you don’t use Paypal usually and keep forgetting your password.
    • Most of the people who shop at Smashwords also publish on Smashwords. Keeps your work circulating around fellow indie authors, but I don’t know how many everyday folks really go eBook shopping there. This kind of limits your market. Though, it can be a great way to connect with fellow indie authors.
      • This makes getting/leaving reviews difficult. People can only rate & review if they bought your book through Smashwords directly. Lame.
    • Although you can download several different versions, it does not communicate directly with a Kindle. So if you have one of those it will require the middleman intervention of another program (like Calibre – an excellent free resource) if you want to transfer files around.

All Romance eBooks (sad note: as of January 2017, ARe is no longer in business. I leave my review anyway, for the sake of reflection.)

Man, am I glad I stumbled across this one! A large online market exclusively for romance and erotica eBooks. In other words, exactly the place to go for any number of steamy reads. If you’re in the market for eBook love, this is the place to go!

  • Pros:
    • They sell only romance and erotica. So, your readership is pre-selected; people know what they’re shopping for at ARe! (And they expect to get it.)
    • Also a collection of all-indie authors, so your book is in good company.
    • You have tons of control over your book’s features. This includes:
      • What format it is offered in (up to 10 different formats available, but you choose the ones you want to provide)
      • Cover art (Nudity is allowed! AT LAST!)
      • Pricing (anything from $0.00 on up; also it is easy to change pricing at any time.)
        • I give away a LOT of my free work on ARe. It’s a great place to get visibility in that respect.
      • Fixed-duration discounts are also super-easy to set up. People love to snag freebies when they’re offered!
      • Excerpt from your book, to entice readers in.
        • It can be explicit. Yay!
        • You also can include multiple product tags. Readers can contribute tags, too, making a rich collection of links to your work.
    • Readers who purchase can have their romance eBook sent directly to their Kindle email. Convenient for Kindle readers – like me – who do not shop exclusively at Amazon. One less middleman to deal with!
  • Cons:
    • No formatting help here, folks. You must provide your own, ready-to-go eBook documents in whichever formats you want to distribute. (Once again, Calibre is a tool to use in order to make this happen; there are others, too, but I am very satisfied with Calibre!)
      • Same goes for cover art. You have to get it ready, and it must be submitted in a very specific size (200 x 300 pixels). Bit of a pain.
      • In fact, their whole file submission process is a bit of a pain. Lots of weird rules like no spaces or symbols in the file name; weird system of uploading; annoyance when stuff is inexplicably lost and you have to start over. It takes patience, cursing, and lots of wine to make it happen.
    • You only get paid once a quarter (every 3-ish months, as I said), and only through PayPal. Also they take $1 for every deposit. Minimal handling fee, whatever, but it’s still there!
      • Actually, I’m not sure what royalty I get from them… definitely have been paid, but what percentage? Dunno. It does, however, give a breakdown of sales for any given period, and describes how much goes to you, the author, for that amount of time. Kind of hard to get a big-picture overview of sales, though.
    • It is a relatively small market.
      • That said, I tend to make a lot more sales on ARe than either Smashwords or Amazon. This, I think, is because it’s already targeted to romance & erotica readers. So, it is definitely a good venue to distribute my work!

Well, folks, that’s my insight! I hope it may be helpful for some of you other hardworking indie authors out there. Don’t give up! Keep on writing, and remember why you’re doing it: for love, not money. 🙂

Keeping the balance… and keeping your day job

Many years ago, I went to a talk by one of my favorite young adult authors, Tamora Pierce. (I was in fact a very young adult at the time, so this was truly an amazing event! Now I am a somewhat older adult, but Tamora is still amazing.) Anyway, after the talk she gave time for questions and I – being a very timid teenager – was so shy I almost didn’t raise my hand. But I grabbed my courage, lifted my arm, and she called on me.

My question: “What advice would you give for a young author?” (Cliche, I know, but I WAS one, and I really wanted the answer! I don’t know what I expected, but in the end she said exactly the right thing.)

Her answer: “Keep your day job.”

Good advice.

I didn’t quit my day job. In fact, I have had many wonderful day-jobs, some incredible satisfying, others just to fill the bank account. In any case, I have devoted the bulk of my time, energy, and study into being the best I can be at my day job. (Other people simply call it “my job”! My coworkers don’t know that I’m an erotica author, naturally.) Anyway, I love my day job, and I’m good at it, and it’s my career and I intend to get better and better.

With the rest of my time, I write.

My writing is good – that’s why I publish it and sell it for money, because my work is easily worth that dollar. But as a self-published author especially, one has to keep things in perspective. And the reality is that, although I love writing, constantly work to improve my craft, edit, read, publish, and sell, for most of us there is simply not a full-time, tax-paying career in erotica. We write it for the love of it, and for the craft of it; we improve because it matters to us. But as Tamora said to me all those years ago, keep your day job.

So if you don’t see a lot of new posts from me lately, now you know why. I’m devoted to doing my very best job at work, just the same as I am devoted to writing the very best erotic stories I can. In the end, that’s what it’s all about: doing your best, being your best, and keeping the balance between all the passions in your life.