Tag Archive | writing erotica

CockyGate Update: It’s Over! Settlement Reached in Lawsuit!

roostercockygateToday, it was just announced on Twitter that the lawsuit between Faleena Hopkins and the Cocktales Anthology group of authors (Cocky Collective), Jennifer Watson, Tara Crescent, and Kevin Kneupper have been dropped and the trademark enforcement surrendered. Yes, all of this fight ended up in court, with Faleena Hopkins suing a large group of defendants, and it was announced today it is over!

View the tweet announcement here!

But why let this get this out of hand? I’ve read a lot on both sides of the issue. Everyone was fighting for what they thought was right. Faleena Hopkins was fighting to preserve her brand and the group of other Indie authors, were fighting to preserve their right to use the word “Cocky”. I’m not surprised it all ended up in the courts, because that’s how things can get when you’re doing business. I guess, that is something to keep in mind while being an Indie or self-published author. Research what you are doing. Believe in yourself, and fight for what you believe in.

Whether this is a good win or bad loss? I think it really deserves a look at the overall picture. I’ve seen this written up as a lot of “romance writers” having a cat fight. I’ve seen it demeaned into something of silly importance. But as it has been going on, it was pretty obvious how it could be applied to all genres, copywriting of words and series names to the benefit of the trademark holder. I think looking at the big picture was the best way to approach it, and belittling the significance has been the work of people that don’t understand the romance industry or how Indie publishing works. It was an easy way to take a blow at both.

Now that it is settled and dying down, I’m taking away that self-publishing has to be looked at as a business. Things can get ugly and real fast. Caution and research is always the best road to take in my opinion. Maybe people will look back at this time of history as the early days of the internet and how things were establishing. We’ll be able to say, we were there making history.

-Lynda

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Erotica and Erotic Romance Getting Shadow-Banned on Amazon

sexywriting So, being the Indie erotica and erotic romance writer, I’ve been on top of a development that started on March 22, just before the weekend. I went to a steampunk conference over the weekend, and missed the first initial hoopla and worry from what was going on. And then it all hit me in the face on Monday, March 26–Amazon was changing the rankings on erotica and re-categorizing some spicy and erotic romances into erotica.

When ever the Zon starts messing with things like this, it means something drastic is about to happen. Last time, it was KU2. That sucked to no end for people that wrote short stories, me included, where everyone started to get paid by the page instead of by single unit download. Now, they are starting to “shadow-ban” titles, spicy romance and erotic romance too, that has an “adult theme”.

The Low Down of What is Going On

There are a lot of rumors and speculation about why this is happening. In clearly the Zon’s fashion, there are no real answers when sending emails or messages to the powers that be at Amazon. Just answers to the point that titles are being reassigned to the erotica category because your book has “adult themes”. This is not only affecting regular erotica, but a lot of the steamy and erotic romance that clearly follow a romance plot line and isn’t all about the sex. Is it censorship?

Well, you have to look at why it might be happening. There is apparently a law that passed in US congress on March 21 that is supposed to help stop online sex trafficking. FOSTA or the Fight Online Sex Trafficking Act is supposed to help stop online sex trafficking, but it is having a much wider affect because it holds the websites accountable, retroactively. So, many websites, including Craigslist’s personal ads, are shutting down and purging of sexual explicit content. In essence, the new administration is cracking down on sexually charged content, and it’s leading to a purge on many sites like Apple, Reddit, and Amazon.

What Does This Mean To You As A Reader?

What does it mean to romance readers of adult romances (formerly new adult), spicy romance, erotic romances and erotica? It means you are going to have a harder time finding what you like to read. You can still find erotic romances and erotica on Amazon, but not in a general search. And since the general store ranking is gone, there will be less “customer also bought” suggestions for titles.

There are still erotica categories, but they are harder to find. I’m sure other websites may follow suit. I haven’t heard anything from Kobo yet, but they are in Canada. So, that might be the saving grace for them. ANY US COMPANIES will most likely be reacting to this law. But then, I expected something like this from this administration. I knew the suppression would begin, but wasn’t sure how.

So, what could be next? Well, it’s come to the time where I will need to, and many other authors, will have to consider KU2 a mute point now. The promos haven’t been as productive lately for me, and going WIDE, which means taking my titles to other retailers, will be the only way to get new readers and help me meet my bottom line. So, in all likely hood, as an erotic romance or erotica reader, you may not find titles you want to read in KU anymore. They will still be on Amazon, but harder to find, and you’ll have to pay more for them since it won’t be profitable for them to stay in KU any longer.

Plus, I am going to try to continue my promotional bimonthly lists. It will still be a way for you to find fabulous erotica and erotic romances from good authors. But as far as the deals, there might be less freebies and more just $0.99 discounted titles.

So, yes, bottom line, you will most likely start paying more for these erotic romances and it will be harder to find them. But looks like I’ll keep up my promotions as long as I can. I’m also going to check with the other authors to see if they are planning to stay in KU. Not sure how this will all turn out, but like with most changes like this, adaptation is sometimes the only option. And to stay in business, sometimes, it’s the only choice for an author.

What Next?

Through all the things I go through as a self-published author,  I’m going to keep writing. I have some ideas for stories I haven’t finished yet, and will keep going. I’ve had to recently go back to work, and not write full time. That has been a set back too. But whatever happens, I hope you stick with me as I wade through yet another obstacle in the road for an erotica and erotic romance writer.

I hope you understand also, because not only do I write it, I read this genre too. So, I’m going to feel your pain. I am considering maybe ending my KU membership too. If enough writers and readers pull out, maybe Amazon will get a hint that this kind of censorship is just not what the customers want. But then, I’m just one little author in a much larger pond. But then, it’s all I have.

UPDATE: 

The ranking for the erotica titles for both indie and traditional published titles have come back on Amazon. It is possible that things either have been reworked and categorized, or more likely, it was some cliche that went on for more than a week.

An email from a Kboarder, Nate Hoffelder, is quoted as saying:

“A recent Kindle Store change inadvertently affected the display of sales rank for some titles. We have corrected this issue.”

Whether all the erotica being given new categories was due to a cliche, or something else, it is unclear. Some people still have had their titles recategorized, but the sales ranking has been added back on to many erotica titles that were missing them. So, I’ll keep updating as more happens with this.

 

Other blog posts about this subject:

The Digital Reader:

https://the-digital-reader.com/2018/03/29/amazon-has-shadow-banned-romance-titles-from-the-kindle-store/

The Motherboard:

https://motherboard.vice.com/en_us/article/bjpjn4/amazon-erotica-best-seller-rankings-removed

The Tech Crunch:

https://techcrunch.com/2018/03/29/new-federal-rules-blamed-in-disappearance-of-kindle-erotica-titles/

Kboards Thread on subject:

https://www.kboards.com/index.php/topic,261904.msg3642901.html

Forbes Media Article:

https://www.forbes.com/sites/adamrowe1/2018/03/31/amazon-deranked-romance-titles-week-restoring

I Am Working Hard For Your Reading Pleasure. I promise!

sexywritingGreetings everyone! I’ve noticed some feedback about where my new releases might be lately. I have slowed down in my writing lately, and I wanted to explain why.

I started this pen name to start writing erotica and erotic romance when I was very ill and wanted to live my dream, to write full time. I have been doing that for almost 2 years now.

But sadly, bills must be paid. So, I’ve had to start working again, now that I can, part time. So, it has slowed down my writing process, but I still have writing projects in the works. In fact, I’m trying to finish some of my other series before releasing new stories. I finished my “On Call series” and have created an Omnibus of the whole series available on Amazon. The last book in the series is called “The Perfect Fling”. For those that didn’t get a chance to look it over, here’s the link:

 

I’m also in the middle of finishing my exhibitionist series with the last installment. It will be a last couple finding their way to the exhibitionist club. Hopefully, this will be ready for release by the end of summer. I’m also working on a sci-fi erotic romance that may be out by next year. Plus, I have a steampunk series that I’ve been working on.

So, basically, I’ve been working on new, exciting fantasies for you to get involved in, but they are tending to be MUCH longer than previous stories. This makes the writing process longer since it involves more editing and writing time. This is due to some of my natural writing development and A LOT to do with Amazon switching to page reads for their Kindle Unlimited program. So, in order to make money, I have to write longer stories. This, of course, takes longer. So a lot of things have created a snowball effect making my process of getting a story out to you longer as well.

So, please hang with me. I promise more sensual and erotic stories to come your way. If you’d like to support me, please consider writing a review for any of the books you’ve read on Goodreads or Amazon. That is probably the best way to support and help your favorite author. Spreading the word about what you read and think about an author is probably the best way to help. I do make my living writing and pay my bills with what I make. So, any support is appreciated. Thank you!

To all my followers and fans, thank you for your continued support. Have a fabulous summer! Keep checking back for updates and more monthly erotic deals. If you want to stay on top of all of my releases, please join my mailing list/newsletter.

Salut!

-Lynda

How Reviews Can Give You Insight Or We All Wear Our Corsets and Garter Belts Differently

snapsinfrtcorsetBeing an Indie writer since 2007 has brought about a fairly thick skin. I’ve been self-publishing for awhile, now in three genres. I’ve got a whole bunch of freelancers that I hire to do beta reading, development and editing, and cover design. Lately, I’ve been doing my own formatting and have experience in High Tech PR. So, I’ve always done my own publicity.

So, I know the no-nos of not commenting on any reviews you may find for books. But there is one that happened today that got me thinking. It’s a one star review on my Bordello of Vampire Pleasure Omnibus edition that made me think, really, what is up with this? It’s a fairly LONG scathing review that points out what seem to be many glaring errors. Most are opinions of course, but I tend to be a stickler for detail. So, I went back and checked on some of the comments. I came to a conclusion after checking some of the claimed facts. Everybody has their own experiences that they bring to a book. That is what they judge it by. And that everyone wears their corset and garter belt differently.

Now, if you think about the many experiences a person can have, reading and in life, you get a vast amount of ways a book can be interpreted. In fact, good writers can make it that the reader thinks that you wrote it, when in case if they really check, they assumed it from your clues. Those assumptions, what you create in your mind from the book, is the magic of reading. And for every person that reading experience will be different. That’s why some people will read a book and love it, and others will hate it. We all bring different experiences to the reading of the book.

So, in the review, I wanted to check some facts just to make sure. It would bug me if I missed something. I checked on the claims about corsets and how to wear your garter belt. So, the review claims that corsets lace in the back and snap in the front, and garter belts have to be worn underneath underwear. Well, I did go back and check, and I did mention the hook being unhooked. I don’t specifically say in the front. But one can assume that it was in the front. Or back. Or where you would think it would be. I’ve had all manners of corsets. Mine mostly unhook in the front. Some clothes could be in the back if they are custom(like bras). Really would depend on what you’ve experienced, and you’d imagine this in your reading assumption.

I also was in a floor show cast of Rocky Horror Picture Show (played Magenta by the way) when I was younger. We always wore our garter belts on the outside, with panties underneath. We didn’t need to pull them off. Just went swimsuit style, where you move the material to the side, right?

Also, I have to admit, I’m not part of the BDSM lifestyle, and I’m not trying to be. I wrote it as the vampires reading the minds of the humans and then creating the fantasy they wanted in the brothel. About whether I spelled Dom or Domme, I could always go back and change that. But then, I also called a incubus a succubus in another story. I sited it as being of the succubus race. So, I wasn’t trying to emulate the lifestyle, just the fantasy of it. So, it works for some people. It’s fantasy fun, erotic hopefully for those that read. The vampires feel that way too, even when they temp the humans into becoming vampires themselves. Death is on the line. Even that can be erotic.

So, what did I come away with? Even scathing reviews can be helpful. I realized that some people just wear their corsets and garter belts differently. There’s nothing wrong with that. And that I still don’t understand why people write huge, long scathing one star reviews. I don’t think I’d have that much mind space to rant about something negatively.

Even one of the lowest reviews I gave for one of my favorite authors, Anne Rice, was more of a 2 star review. It mostly said “Can we stop writing about angels for awhile and get back to vampires?” But you can always take away something positive from the most negative things. I hope Anne Rice did. She put out Prince Lestat a few years later after my review. Maybe enough of her fans told her we wanted more vampires, and she listened.

None of the people that write one stars are fans or in an author’s demographic most of the time. So, for those other authors out there getting a one star review, lament a bit. See what you can get out of it. I’m sure there is a positive kernel you can retrieve. If anything, go back and read some of the reviews where people enjoy your writing. There will be more positive reviews to follow that one star review. Soon, it will just make your book look like it’s been read by real humans that have opinions. It will spur on others to try it. Now, get back to writing and remember, we all wear our corsets and garter belts differently.