Thursday, May 30, 2013

Apple iBookstore removed Bad Monkey from its stacks

Bad Monkey cannot be brought in the Apple iBookstore.
[File this post under: Mysteries about the business world I will never know or understand.]

As most of my regular readers know, I write a monthly column for the Hearthstone Community Church ("The OFM people") which I later collect into 99 cent ebooks. One of the collections (the 2011 articles) is called Bad Monkey.

Now, awhile back Bad Monkey was uploaded to Smashwords, and then it made its way though the distribution network. Including the Apple iBookstore. I know--I searched for it--it was available on Apple. Pity, I did not take a screenshot of this fact...

...because it has been removed from Apple.

We have all heard of the difficulties that erotica writers have with the iBookstore. H***, I have experienced them firsthand (under two of the pennames that I wrote erotica under). Now, I am experiencing the same crop of problems as an esoteric/Wicca/pagan writer.

And I will never know why my ebook was pulled from sale by Apple. One of the hazards with using Smashwords to upload my stuff is that I do not get to see the notices that Apple sends out when they remove stuff, or outright reject it. Why am I using Smashwords? Because I do not have an iDevice (yes, you need an Apple computer to upload to the iBookstore directly).

My paranoia says that this is the reason that it was pulled off of the iBookstore. 
But I have a paranoid theory. And it involves another about-to-be published book...also called Bad Monkey. I really hope that I am wrong because if my paranoid theory is right, then if a traditional and very popular writer decides to use a book title that is also being used by an independent (indie) writer, then the indie writer loses part of their stock. Apple would never actually do something like this, right?!

Oh well. Bad Monkey: The Collected 2011 Hearthstone Community Church Articles is still available on Kobo, Barnes and Noble, and Smashwords.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Made the top 500 on Yahoo Voices in April 2013

Yes, I took a screen shot of this because I was excited.  
And this is how I imagine that other people will feel about it.
So, I made the Top 500 in April 2013 on the Yahoo Contributor Network--for having a really big audience on Yahoo Voices (formerly Associated Content). What does this really mean? Probably nothing at all. Or that the audiences are really small. Or perhaps that my small payment for pageviews were in the top 500--in which case, it is just proof that even the best writers are starving artists--or not, depending on the clout level (levels nine and ten get paid more than clout level eight). Still I thought that I would say something because I do not remember the last time that I advertised my work on Yahoo Voices.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

How often should you check your sales figures?

One of the things that I notice about a lot of writers is that they are obsessive with checking their sales figures reports. And the more often that the sales figures update, the more often they check their reports. Even reports that update only once a month are checked at least once a day. And those that update every hour are stared at constantly--or so it seems.

Now, don't let me let you think that I am innocent of this behavior. I am not. I can be quite obsessed with my sales figures.

But here is the deal--the obsession with your sales figures does nothing to actually budge your sales. That's right, starring at your sales figures does not actually change what the numbers say.

My opinion is that you should never check your sales figures more often than once a week unless you are doing something that is (hopefully) going to budge the amount of book sales that you are doing. In other words, promotions and advertising campaigns are the only times that you should ever look at your sales figures more than once a week.

What should you be doing instead of checking your sales figures? Well, writing new material, of course. After all, it is the activity that gives you the most bang for the buck as a writer. Or at least, in my neck of the woods, writing is the activity that gives me the best rate of return for my investment of time and energy.

So how did I come to this conclusion? Well, I learned it while being a food service manager. I watched managers who ran a sales report every ten minutes...and it accomplished nothing other than stressing them out. I learned that it did not matter how often I ran the report, my numbers were still going to look the same at the end of the day. Unless I was doing something productive that is (prep, talking to customers, etc.); and to be productive, I had to step away from the reports and get to work.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Been a little disgruntled and feeling troll blue

Disgruntled Turtle Monkey knows how I feel. 
I have been feeling a little disgruntled lately. And a little blue because one of the trolls in the parade has started to foam at the mouth again. Yes, I am not famous yet--but I already have troll parade of mean little haters to remind me that I am worth less than a bagful of stink bugs. I just wonder how they would react if I actually became wildly successful.

It wouldn't be so bad if the troll did not leap to conclusions. They have absolutely no idea of the local job market, nor do they have any idea what I am actually working on (the joys of working under numerous names--many which are secret). What they do know is that I am unfit to be a writer...because...lack of information...lack of nice thoughts...they are related to Little Ape...who knows what their actual problem is.

I just hope that what they think about me (worthless writer, etc.) helps them sleep at night. Because all it is doing on my end is reminding me that I live for pure spite--I had a really good art day last week, all because of their comments. Keep up the good work troll--keep telling people that I am worthless and mentally ill; it just makes me work harder to prove you wrong...or look for something crawly to throw at you.

And remember, dear troll, that the best way to annoy me is to tell everyone you know not to buy the pagan friendly children book series that I am helping to create--aka Turtle Monkey--in fact, line up your friends with picket signs and scream at the top of your lungs that I am a very evil man. After all, the whole point is to make sure that I never become more successful than you are; it is what you must accomplish--the complete and utter crushing of my little monkey dreams.

[Update: July 2013: Due to differences in sales expectations and business philosophy, in early July 2013, I ceased to be involved in the Turtle Monkey project.]

Sunday, May 5, 2013

An Erotic Writer Achievement List (NSFW)

(NOT SAFE FOR WORK--more or less)

This is an erotic writer achievement checklist that I first saw on A. Vivian Vane's blog...which she got from the Darknest Fantasy Erotica Forum. Thought that I would fill it out and add a couple of items to the list...because I can; this is how the blogosphere works, after all. Of course, mine is pretty blank at this point...and I am not really sure if the second achievement here refers to just stuff I have published, or if it includes stuff that I sold to magazines (one way, I make the cut; the other way, I don't...yet). There are a couple of these that I am moving towards completing...because I just am. We will see where I am at an year from now.

[X]Cherry Popping – Publish First Story.
[?]Dirty Thirty – Publish 30 stories.
[ ]Filthy Fifty – Publish 50 stories.
[X]Minute Man – Write a full short in a day.
[ ]Feel the Carpal Tunnel – Write 10,000 words in a day.
[X]I Guess What I’m Saying is Bukakke – End a story with the protagonist drowning in it.
[ ]Out-earning the Day Job – Earn $100 in a day.
[ ]The 1% – Earn Five Digits of Income in a Month.
[ ]Your Author Rank Is Not a Video Game – Hit the Top 100 Amazon authors in any category
[ ]Did I Just Read a Story About Me? – Write a story about a real sexual experience you had and email a link of it to the other participant(s)
[ ]Well, At Least Someone Read It – Hit the Top 100 Erotica Free list
[ ]Well, At Least I’m Rich Now – Hit the Top 100 Erotica Paid List
[ ]King Nothing – Hit #1 on the Free erotica list.
[ ]Setting Feminism Back a Hundred Years – Publish a Breeding Story.
[ ] Fucking Freaks – Write a Monster/Tentacle story.
[ ]Full House…of Fucking – Publish a PI story with each hetero pairing. (Father/Daughter, Brother/Sister, Mother/Son)
[ ]Not Quite World Famous – You have at least 10 fans in your email list.
[X]Just Don’t Look – Went a whole day without checking your sales reports
[ ]The Moon My Pack Howls To is Green – Publish a Werewolf Story.
[ ] Just Call Me Alexandre – Publish one million words in a year.
[ ]Sticky Pages – Sell a paperback.
[ ]Aural Sex – Sell an audiobook.
[ ]Is There A Gif For How I’m Feeling? – Get at least one review on Goodreads.
[X]I Am Secretly An Important Man – Have more than one penname.
[ ]Hot Man-love Pays The Bills – Publish a Gay Male story.

[X] Twice in one night -- Quit writing erotica for an extended time period, just to resume writing it years later.
[X] No Lube! -- Lost a significant amount of money to the censoring policy of a sales outlet or payment service (aka "We have changed our policy and can no longer allow you to publish such smut.")
[ ]Honesty is the best policy -- Does your mom know what you write?
[ ] Love you long time -- Write a novel length erotic story.
[ ] Extended family -- Not only have you done the full house, you gone on to deal with the grandparents, first cousins, and all the aunts and uncles.