Thursday, April 21, 2016

Dont owe Prince a damn thing

My response to someone saying that as a writer, I owed Prince a debt because he fought censorship.

"Luckily for prince, other artists can sell things like grimoires or explicit romance novels without being banned/forced to do some other shit to keep the lights on."

You have no idea about the book market, do you? Most writers have a day job to keep the lights on because they will make less than a thousand in royalties. Same goes for most artists and musicians. Even today, all the book outlets can ban your book for absolutely no reason, and you can't do anything about it.

The only artists that Prince helped were artists who were or became famous enough to make so much money that it was stupid for outlets not to sell their stuff.

Small timers still suffer from the whims of the market and have to worry that some Christian will start screaming, "Will someone think of the children?!"

Amazon rules on erotica change the instant they notice that you are making money, and some Christian might get upset. 
As an erotica writer, my market was cut by over 90% because companies decided to listen to those who supported censorship. Prince did not help me one bit.

Monday, April 18, 2016

Am I being sued by the IRS (Scam alert)

This afternoon I recieved a message on the answering machine saying that I was being sued by the IRS, and needed to call a certain phone number to resolve the issue.

Uhh, yeah, right.

Nope, no thanks, I will wait until the IRS sends me a piece of snail mail saying that I am in trouble.

Remember the IRS will never call or email you; they communicate using good old fashioned snail mail.

(And for those interested, I have never been audited...because I have never made enough money to justify hauling me in. If the IRS actually sued me, I would have to send them a big bag of used cat litter---because that is what I can spare.)

My current writing itinerary (my boring life as a writer)

In case you wonder, my current writing projects include (in no particular order of priority):

A Necronomicon satire (which I am having way too much fun writing, and I figure will sell just a single copy if I ever am bothered enough to publish it)

A short horror story about a man who summoned a demon as a muse

Harmic Barrows--an urban fantasy series (think "orc" taxi driver forced to become a detective)

A series of random fairy poems

At least one Tarot deck (which is unlikely to ever be finished)

A Mad Uncle Morgan commentary about the "laws" of magic (magic as a science)

(As you can see, nothing terribly exciting or profitable.)

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Free USA shipping on pottery orders until Valetines Day (sponsor post)

Celtic Soul Jewelry and Pottery, and its sister Etsy shop Khari's Wiccan Treasures is offering free shopping for orders in the United States when you use the code VALENTINES14 until Valentine's day (February 14, 2016).

Some of the stuff available at Khari's Wiccan Treasures.

Cobalt blue small mortar and pestle. 

She can also make customized chalices with the triple moon symbol. 

I love how the glaze turned out on this one. 
Some of the stuff available at Celtic Soul Jewelry and Pottery

Isn't this cute?

Food safe, microwave safe, dishwasher safe. 

Fridge magnets including the Eye of Horus. 

Monday, January 11, 2016

Custom made chalices

And now a word from my sponsor (aka my wife):

Here are some of the chalices that were made recently. There is a large variety of symbols that can be used: Templar cross, Wicca pentacle, triple moon, and horned god. There are also several scrolls that can be applied. We have a variety of glaze colors to choose from; all of them are food safe. The chalices are hand thrown, underglazed and fired, then overglazed and fired a second time. The whole process from start to finish takes seven to eight weeks.

If you are interested in ordering a custom made chalice, check out Khari's Wiccan Treasures on Etsy.

Templar cross blue chalice. 

Templar cross green chalice. 

Wiccan trimple moon pentacle green chalice. 

Here is the selection of glaze colors to choose from. 

Red and black horned god chalice.

Green triple moon chalice. 

Golden brown triple moon chalice. 

Red and black triple moon chalice. 

Blue and green pentacle chalice. 

Blue pentacle chalice. 

Friday, October 16, 2015

Custom-made pet urns

As most of my readers know, my wife is a ceramic artist (a potter) who does wheel thrown pottery. One of the items that she makes are pet cremation urns. She can make ceramic pet urns with paw prints for dogs, cats, and ferrets. She does have a size limitation (basically she can't make an urn for a godzilla sized dog). The most common customization request is for the pet's name to be on the urn.

If you are interested, you can check out her Etsy shop.

Handmade pet urn.
Ceramic pet urn.

Monday, September 21, 2015

Four years in the self-published marketplace

Today, I realized that I have been in the self-publishing marketplace for four years (well, almost four years). My first ebook, Pizza Boxes on the Floor, went live on Smashwords on October 15, 2011. And my first dubious erotica self-published offering, CBM1LA (yes, that is code because I do not share my erotica pen-names with the public), went live on Smashwords on October 30, 2011.

Now, I had been thinking about self-publishing for a long time before I went the self-published route.

I started writing for profit in 1984 when I realized at a truck stop that someone had to be getting paid for writing dubious erotica. (I had written some extremely bad science fiction and fantasy stories in high school--based on The Hitchhikers' Guide to the Galaxy and The Hobbit.) And my first check for dubious erotica was cashed in 1985, a whooping twenty-five dollars.

The first time that I considered going the self-published route was when a traditional occult publisher rejected one of my ideas, stating that my potential market for the idea was only a hundred people. At that point, self-publishing meant shelling out money to have a print shop (or vanity publisher) run off a hundred or more physical copies of your book---books that you then sold and shipped out of your basement. Working in food service, I never could scrape together the bank roll to make the initial investment.

The self-publishing market changed drastically on November 19, 2007 when Amazon released its first Kindle. While there were ebooks before this point (pdfs are ebooks), it was the creation of ereaders that made the current self-publishing environment viable. Smashwords, which went live on May 6, 2008, is a success because of ereaders. Without ereaders, the current self-publishing market would not exist.

Now, I will admit that I was a late adopter of the ebook market (late as in I missed the initial gold rush). When I became unemployed in October 2004, I tried to make a go at it as a full-time professional writer....but that was a complete failure.

There were (and are still) problems with the print market. For instance, the pay rate for short dubious erotic stories was twenty-five dollars in 2004---the same amount that was being paid in 1985. And acceptance and rejection letters were a long time coming. I once got paid two and a half years later for one story that got accepted---the first indication that the story had actually been accepted. Most of the time, one had (and probably still has) no clue if something was rejected or not (maybe a tenth of the erotic magazines send out rejection letters).

When the new ebook market started, I was in community college, and pretty much missed the news. It was only when I started to get ready to graduate that thoughts of getting back officially into writing occurred. Not that I ever really left writing, at that point I was writing for pay-by-the-view sites (most of which are now dead). Reading various blogs and websites, I became aware of the new marketplace.

Now, my decision to enter the new ebook market happened in December 2009. It just took me awhile to actually enter once I had made the decision. The article collection Pizza Boxes on the Floor, was from the onset of me deciding to write a monthly column for Hearthstone Community Church, meant for republishing in the ebook market. I didn't actually put the ebook of the 2010 HCC newsletter articles together until October 2011.

Of course, I also decided to put up one of my dubious erotic short stories up. It was a test. In the first quarter, I made a whooping ten dollars from that single story. And since then, I have collected some loot every quarter from that story.

Please note that the erotic ebook market has suffered several setbacks since then. Apple has removed almost all of my dubious stock, as has Kobo and several others. And let's not talk about the antics of Amazon.

But the decision to go self-published, despite the potholes that have developed in the market, still looks like a good decision. Even in a non-working quarter (I had mental health and personal issues), I make as much as I would have in a hard-working quarter in the print market.

Rite of the Magical Images of the Wiccan Wheel of the Year
My latest unsuitable for the traditional print market ebook is the Rite of the Magical Images of the Wiccan Wheel of the Year. It is a ritual that I created and performed at the June 2013 Hearthstone Community Church Open Full Moon ritual. It is available on Amazon. (As well as Smashwords, and (probably--I haven't checked yet) Kobo, Apple, Barnes and Noble, Scribd, Oyster, and a couple other outlets which names escape my memory at the moment.)