Tuesday, November 6, 2018

The Self-Publishing Apocalypse


No. There’s nothing wrong with self-publishing. It’s not in the dumps. As a matter of fact, it has all the hallmarks of Wal-Mart status, in that it has gained tremendous ground and influence, and could really end up in a major takeover. Sadly, to the detriment of the Big 5, small press, paperback book distributors/sellers, agents, market share has ballooned for the self-published author. They certainly seem to be out-selling small trade published authors like me, hands down. I can randomly click on the Amazon Kindle book page and check out any self-published author—Chances are they’ve slaughtered my sales. And you know what? I’m a hybrid author, too. Good for them. Why has this happened, baring special circumstances via the elite scribblers?


Indie authors can call the shots on any price change, free giveaway events or contests. Trade publishers are in control of that function, limiting themselves to such functions and their wares are typically priced a little higher  than the SPers. Adaptability is the key word here.

The SP authors can change their bios, synopsis and book cover art at will. They are the publisher—they call all the shots. They can adjust to changes instantly, to swing with any present or upcoming trend.  


Their crowd is dynamically huge—the Kindle Boards is just one example of their stunning population growth. These people support each other, buying each other’s works, whether they are collections, novels, novellas or shorts. The market share has made a dramatic shift in their favor. Once having bought trade books in the past, the SPers have opted for their own like. They are as loyal to each other as a tornado is to a trailer park. You can’t blame them. This stems from, I’m certain of, righteous indignation—they are pissed off at the publishing and agent contingent who repeatedly slammed the door in their faces. Not all of them mind you—we have best-selling and celebrity authors who jumped ship completely, and those other writers who dove into self-publishing from the get go.  


The incredible speed by which self-publishing makes it possible to churn out massive content, i.e, lots of books and stories, also keeps their name brand flagged and up front in the literary world.

They show no difference in their book info and stats on Amazon pages. They are not distinguishable from trade publishing pages, except for the publisher identity. But in many cases, they have their own publishing company logos. I know I do!


They are not subject to time constraints with editing. They can edit at will or hire out for services. They can swap editing with their fellows. Three or four of these swaps can clean a book up rather nicely.


They have their own Indie awards. They get news media hits and lots of attention. That means NYT and USA Today ink. Playing field—leveled. 


They hit best seller status on all and any retail outlets just like the big boys.

Man, I could go on and on…but we haven’t enough eye time for that. Am I jealous? You damn betcha. I paid my dues; I got vetted, laughed at, ignored, rejected and trodden upon, for what I thought was the initiation into the big trade world. Funny, after 27 years it’s still happening to me. So maybe the indie people knew something all along.


I just have a few problems with giving self-publishing an A+. Borders took a dive, as did many small independent book stores upon the e-book revolution. Indies who frequented book stores, quit and bought online, added to the number of readers who also discovered reading from the screen. To be honest, and I don’t know how long it will take, I think agents and publishers of the old school will vanish to browner pastures. Who will need ‘em? Hey, you don’t have to edit that well or follow paperback format. Clipart takes the place of painted book covers and photo conversion. You can write a novel in two weeks and post it on Amazon.
  

Who are you blaming, Chris? Sounds like you want somebody on the chopping block. I BLAME YOU, AMAZON, YOU GREEDY SONS-O-BITCHES. Hey, let’s publish the world and dilute the market stream so nobody can be discovered and make any money. All we’ll have left is printers. Today a parent can print up a book that their dog has left his painted paw prints in. Ad some clipart pictures and, damn! We have a children’s book! 


But underneath it all, I wish that I had got on board with the O-Niners. They hitched a ride on a star. That star didn’t burn out.

Wednesday, October 31, 2018

New Release--Genre Buster

 Blackmailed Bride
 
 It's kind of funny when my agent called this book a romantic comedy. My publisher insisted it was a romantic thriller. I was convinced it was an erotic romance. I don't think any of us saw eye-to-eye on it; I just think we loved and believed in it from our own perspectives. I don't know what to call it---it has all of those elements. You can find it on B&N, Amazon, Goodreads, Smashwords, and many more retailers to come. If you read this book, please comment or email me and tell me what you think this is. Note: the humor element has to do with my style, I'm certain of that.




Book cover artist Ryan Barlow of Martha’s Vineyard is having a cigarette break in a church parking lot when a bride falls out of a tree and lands in his arms. Candace Sabella, a 27 year-old drop dead gorgeous pole dancer has just runaway from her marriage to her finance Antonio Madera, a porn king and ruthless killer. She begs Ryan to take her into his home and hide her. He relents, with dangerous misgivings. He discovers that this little gal is full of piss and vinegar and carries more baggage than a Carnival Cruise.



     Ryan can’t wait to get rid of Candace fast enough because he’s currently separated from his wife, Gloria, and attending marriage counseling. Gloria left Ryan to move in with her parents after suspecting that he committed adultery. She also believes he enjoyed a tawdry sex act with a floozy at his high school reunion. Besides that, she can’t stand the smell of his oil paints, alcohol and linseed oil. Yet Ryan and Gloria are a hair’s breath away from reconciliation.



     Candace, rightfully fearing for her life, will do anything to draw Ryan’s favor to her; including stripping for a portrait, spiking his food with aphrodisiacs, performing risqué dance routines, openly flashing him and trying to sleep in his bed. Ryan, with his Christian upbringing, is forced to use desperate measures to fight off her provocative advances. His arsenal includes a savage masturbation episode, shows of temper tantrums and even prayers. Strippers and pole dancers are worthless trash, he keeps telling himself. His mother had taught him that even though he’d visited some clubs in his younger days. Yet this petite little gal begins to soften his heart and show him another side of life that he never knew existed.



Gloria discovers Candace in her home with Ryan and storms off, threatening to sue him for everything he has. 

    

Antonio has put his entire Mob Squad on the hunt for his runaway bride because she saw him commit a murder and he needs to silence her. Antonio closes in on her location, forcing Ryan and Candace to pack their survival bags and run to a hideout in the bluffs for six days. During this time Ryan finds out that he is smitten and hopelessly in love with Candace and vows to protect her at all costs. Bouts of intense passionate lovemaking seals their pact and they fall more deeply in love with each other.



     With the help of friends, Ryan and Candace escape on a shrimp trawler and are accosted by Antonio Madera on the high seas. A donnybrook fight ensues. Ryan and his friends are victorious, but the love of his life is shot through the chest during the end moments of the fight. He has no idea whether she will live or die, and he’ll do anything to be with her until the critical outcome.

NEW: BLACKMAILED BRIDE: https://www.amazon.com/Blackmailed-B...ckmailed+bride


 https://www.amazon.com/Blackmailed-Bride-Chris-H-Stevenson-ebook/dp/B07JDP1Z7X/ref=sr_1_5?ie=UTF8&qid=1539902629&sr=8-5&keywords=blackmailed+bride







Sunday, September 30, 2018

Writing the Sexy Stuff




Got an author's copy of my new romance book today.--pretty little thing, I have to say, but it's not only my first romance, but it is my first flaming hot and very graphic tome. I'm a virgin male author barging in on this popular genre. An Internet GF (which I sought out) contributed to the physical and emotional aspects between the lead characters, and we really ripped the seams open. And that was because we both researched the "how to of it" and read several romance and erotica books before we even started. I had never even read a romance book of any kind in 27 years.


We both emailed each other over and over again, laying down the dreams and fantasies of our genders, with an obvious main focus on true love with an HEA ending. I was really frightened of love scenes, and turned fifty shades of pink during this process. My knees went limp thinking about what my female agent would say about this after she read it. I thought that I might be seen as a dirty, filthy pig.
   

I'll admit that we both got rather worked up over this topic for months, and this fevered pitch really added to the excitement and discovery in the story-line. 

Hell, I think erotica is 75% foreplay before anything happens, and there is a way to write a sexy narrative tease so that you have your reader panting and white-knuckling their fists—aching and anticipating some kind of volcanic release (which they know is there but can’t see), until it starts to tear them apart. If they end up cussing and ripping pages, you’ve done your job.  
 

Speaking from a male perspective, I knew that I was going to need more than a little help--a straight leg-up opinion and advice from the female side. And THAT was a huge, huge highway to discovery for me—oh, did I ever learn a ton about the female mindset—feelings of intimacy and passion. Although my book is not a straight erotica, it is rated four out of five flames.


Just saying, I got lucky, went to bat and got a good hit. I’ll find out if it is out of the park when it finally comes out. My two cents:


Partner up, if you’d like

Research—read these books

Don’t be afraid

Experiment and have a blast.