Saturday, May 30, 2015

Top 3 Reasons I Started Self-Publishing

You might have noticed I've been self-publishing a lot of my books lately. Or maybe you haven't noticed. In fact, I hear most readers don't care who published the book. If we want to read it, we buy it. Decisions are based more on covers and blurbs.

The truth is, I made the switch to self-publishing for three simple reasons:

1.
Quarterly royalty cheque from one publisher (one novella)


2.
Quarterly royalty payment on 6 short stories

3.
Quarterly royalty payment on 4 short stories

I want to be clear about something: I'm not anti-publisher. Not at all! If not for publishers, I wouldn't be blogging at you today. I'm indebted to so ridiculously many industry people. You know who you are. I've learned so much from you. And if we don't work together anymore, it's not because I don't love you.

I guess I'm a hybrid author, because I do still work with some publishers--the ones that earn me money. Sometimes I worry I come off like a capitalistic asshole, but we're not talking "the rich get richer" here. I live below the poverty line. I say that with confidence, because I looked it up. Yeah, the poverty line is WAAAY above my head. Not complaining. I'm poor but happy. But I'd be a lot less happy if I couldn't pay my rent or buy food.

And I don't know what food costs where you live, but around here $1.90 isn't going to pay for three months of anything.

Writing is my job. It's what I do for a living. No fall-back. No day job. Just this.

Nobody's ever accused me of caring about money more than people, so I guess I'm just arguing against myself right now. I guess, deep down, I feel like I'm betraying old industry contacts by going my own way.

Mind you, many of the publishing companies that gave me my first chances have long since gone out of business, so...

Yeah.

This is going to sound totally backwards, but I think if a new author asked me whether they should submit their work to publishers or dive into self-publishing, I would advise them to try the old-school route first.

Following submissions guidelines, writing synopses, submitting and waiting and waiting and waiting did me good because it provided structure. 

Rejection letters crushed me back in 2006. Why would I want to put new authors through that pain? Because you learn from it. You learn from feedback. You learn what the market wants and what it doesn't--through the lens of a particularly editor, granted, but when you don't know what you're doing that's extremely useful.

I still get rejection letters--just got one last week, in fact. They don't have any emotional impact anymore. It's just part of the book business.

Same goes for edits. I remember I got my first round of edits back on my first ebook with Dark Eden Press, and I just cried. I said to myself (literally--said this out loud to myself), "That's it. I'm never writing another book ever again." The experience basically felt like taking a shot of wasabi (don't ask how I know this), but I learned so much. And I learned so much because I knew NOTHING.

From working with publishers, I learned marketing techniques that have come and gone. I learned about readers' expectations, and I learned that the queer fiction I was naturally drawn to was actually extremely unpopular. Who knew?

And I'm not saying all the advice I got early on was good advice. A few publishers told me not to bother writing lesbians and bisexual women because that stuff just didn't sell.  Well, my highest-grossing book just happens to be Nanny State, which just happens to be lesbian fetish erotica. It's also adult-filtered by Amazon, so I don't know how anyone even finds it anymore, but readers do. (Thanks, by the way) But, by and large, it's true--lesbians and bi girls and queer chicks and genderfuckups like me are hard to sell.

I write them because I AM them.

Oh boy. It would take three days to list everything I've learned over the past nine years. Thing is, I'd never have learned it on my own. Working with publishers was hugely beneficial to me. I realize now I worked with too many pubs (20 or 30, by my estimate), which meant spreading myself too thin. Placing 3 books each with 20 different publishers is a stupid thing to do. Feel free to learn from that particular mistake.

The publishing landscape has changed tremendously since I started writing. Even authors published by fancy-ass houses take on heaps of responsibility beyond just writing the damn book. Sometimes I feel like writing isn't even the work anymore--the real work is selling what you've written, as well as the neat little product called YOU.

The truth is, I don't like marketing myself. I'm not a showy-offy person. I'm too depressive and self-effacing to do the work publishers expect of authors these days. In that sense, self-publishing is my way of hiding. Self-publishing means I only answer to myself and my readers. Nobody's telling me I have to host a Facebook launch party or hit up GoodReads for... I don't know what they do there, to be honest. Reviews?

Hmm... I didn't expect to write so much. Guess I had a lot to say. But I'm going to stop myself now or I won't stop at all.

Thanks for meandering through my thoughts with me. I usually keep them to myself, these days. Maybe I should share more often. I kinda like talking to you.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

If you've got 50 cents, you've got Ugly Naked People

You're not going to believe this, but my short story anthology Ugly Naked People is on sale for $0.50 in the month of May. You know what that looks like? Two quarters. Five dimes. 10 nickels. Change for your dollar. Peanuts!

From humor to horror and erotica to literary fiction, Giselle Renarde knows how to capture the LGBT (and straight) experience. Collected here, for the first time, are the short stories from this prolific author that have been previously published by Untreed Reads. We're sure you'll find something within its pages that will pique your interest and make you look at the world a little differently.

This collection includes:

Ugly Naked People
Mahaha's Victims
Nobody Gets Lucky
Dennis and Dad
Love Again

Buy now from my publisher, namely Untreed Reads: http://store.untreedreads.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=6_18&products_id=1175

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Tell me what you're up to, Jacob Louder!

Just before I post today's interview I want to note that author interviews aren't posted immediately, so it looks like the freebie mentioned in this one is no longer available for free (but you can certainly buy a copy--looks like a bargain).


Now, tell me what you're up to, Jacob Louder!

Jacob Louder:
So, I'm kind of stoked because my tiny erotic novella First is available as a free download on Amazon until Thursday. I tried to make this thing as queer and as dark and as Dennis Cooper-inspired as possible. I really fucking hope I succeeded.

Got a new book out? What's it called?

Jacob Louder:
First

Tell me about it.

Jacob Louder:
Okay, well, here's the blurb courtesy of Go Deeper Press:
For Nico, queer is everything. He comes from queer, he lives as queer, and now he’s having queer sex and, to his surprise, with many willing parties—his closest friend, his punk rock crush, his clique’s worst enemy, and the female-identified Robbie, who’s coming out in ways that are leaving friends and family in dismay. But Nico, who has no shame about sex, operates in “life queer” ways, taking what he needs for the people who need it and spying in on situations that most would have him think unnatural. The safety of having sex without judgment is compelling and exhilarating for Nico, but what will he do when his loved ones are threatened by a world that denounces his life choices?

Where can readers buy it?

Jacob Louder:
http://www.amazon.com/First-Book-One-Jacob-Louder-ebook/dp/B00JGJAVTQ/ref=dondes-20

Where can readers find you?

Jacob Louder:
http://www.jtlouder.com

Monday, May 25, 2015

Hot Oil Treatment

There's a new ebook available from the Transgender and Genderqueer Erotic Romance series!

Rainbow Award-winning author Giselle Renarde presents two sweet and sensual true sex stories. 


“Stories like Hot Oil Treatment and More Than Anything are blatantly about me. I’ll tell you that upfront. They’re first-person accounts of stuff that happened.”
~Giselle Renarde

These stories appear in the anthology Everybody Knows: 15 Transgender Love Stories.

Giselle Renarde is an award-winning author of queer fiction. Her erotica has appeared in well over 100 short story anthologies, including prestigious collections like Best Bondage Erotica, The Big Book of Orgasms, The Mammoth Book of Quick and Dirty Erotica, and the Lambda Award-winning collection Take Me There, edited by Tristan Taormino. Giselle's juicy novels include Anonymous, Cherry, Seven Kisses, The Red Satin Collection and Bali Nights.

If you're a Kindle Unlimited subscriber, you can read Hot Oil Treatment FREE!

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00Y7JMO6S?tag=dondes-20
Amazon UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B00Y7JMO6S
Amazon Canada: http://www.amazon.ca/gp/product/B00Y7JMO6S
Amazon Australia: http://www.amazon.com.au/gp/product/B00Y7JMO6S

Saturday, May 23, 2015

A Vampire-Alien Romantic Comedy for #MySexySaturday

The other day I told you about my quirky SciFi RomCom EARTH BLOOD IS EASY. Today I'm going to share a little excerpt with you, because it's on sale for $0.99 until the end of May and I really want you to buy a copy. Or read it FREE if you're a Kindle Unlimited type of person.





Check out 7 paragraphs from EARTH BLOOD IS EASY:

“What is this place?” she asked, feeling stupid, feeling like a tourist. “I mean, what’s it called? Your club… what’s the name of it?”

“My club has no name,” Conrad said as he swept her hair over her shoulder. “Everybody in the group knows that when night falls, you come to Conrad’s.” His dark eyebrows lowered into a dubious expression. “But you’re not part of the group, so I wonder how you knew to come here. It’s a carefully guarded secret.”

What was she supposed to say? I heard about it from an alien squirrel? But as she struggled to formulate a response, the music inside the club went from loud to louder and she jumped right off the ground.

Conrad’s dubious grin swelled into a full-blown smirk. “You’re not from around here, are you?”

“Is it really that obvious?”

His eyes twinkled in a way that made her wonder if he enjoyed her discomfort. “Come on, let me show you my office. It’s considerably quieter in there.”

He took her by the arm with a grasp that told her she was going nowhere but with him...

$0.99 at Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00XX5PM4I?tag=dondes-20
99 pence at Amazon UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B00XX5PM4I

Friday, May 22, 2015

Must Love Dolls


Once upon a time, I wrote an erotic threesome story about a married couple and a love doll. It appears in a Rachel Kramer Bussel sex toy anthology called Come Again. Rachel springboarded extensively off Must Love Dolls to write this awesome piece called The Human Side of Sex Dolls: http://ladysmut.com/2015/05/15/the-human-side-of-sex-dolls/

It's really superb. You should give it a read.

You can also check out my interview about Must Love Dolls at the bottom left-hand side of this page: http://www.comeagainbook.com/#!comegainqanda/c370

Read interviews from other authors in the book while you're there.

Here's Come Again at Amazon if you just want to buy the book: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00NP8MLA6/ref=dondes-20
and Amazon UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Come-Again-Sex-Toy-Erotica-ebook/dp/B00NP8MLA6

Now back to your regularly-scheduled Friday.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Earth Blood Is Easy: An Out-of-this-World Vampire Romance

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00XX5PM4I?tag=dondes-20
Remember a while back when I asked your advice about what to do with my vampire-alien romantic comedy?

Remember how I told you it was a funny little book, previously published in a box set that's now off the market?

And remember how I said that, while I love this adorable novel, it's nothing like the rest of my work? It's a light and breezy romance about an alien who happens to be a vampire. There's no erotic content, so it's cool for young adult readers (and old adult readers, and pretty much anyone, really).

My main concern was that I didn't want younger readers to pick up Earth Blood is Easy and then go looking for similar works by this Giselle Renarde person. I haven't written anything similar. It's truly one-of-a-kind.

That's why you advised me to publish Earth Blood is Easy under a pen name. Remember that? Well, I took your advice. The cutest book I've ever written is now available (at the introductory price of $0.99!) as Earth Blood is Easy by Emily June.

Where did that name come from? Well, I asked my girlfriend, "What would be a good name to use?" and right away she said, "Emily." And I was all OoOoOo because that was exactly the name that popped into my head, too. Spooky, right?  As for June, that's a family name. It's also a pretty great month.

I decided to go all Kindle Unlimited on this book's ass, so for its first 90 days on the market Earth Blood is Easy will be exclusively available from Amazon. If you're a KU subscriber, read it free. I'll let you know when it's up at other retailers. I'll also let you know when the print version comes out. That'll be soon.

The moral of the story is: buy the ebook right now because it's $0.99. The End.

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00XX5PM4I?tag=dondes-20

Alexxia’s stranded on Planet Earth without a blood source! When she meets a mysterious club owner, will she become too entranced by Earth’s underground vampire culture to leave?

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00XX5PM4I?tag=dondes-20

Amazon UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B00XX5PM4I


Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Nom Nom Nom(inate me)

Hi Everybody!

Remember Runts?
I haven't done this in YEARS, but I'm going to swallow my pride (which shouldn't be too difficult--it's about the size of banana Runts) and ask if you wouldn't mind nominating me for something.

Every year a free Toronto paper called NOW does this best-of-the-city thing, and they actually have a category for Best Author. I'm a Toronto author, but I'm not sure other Torontonians are aware that I'm ONE OF THEM (or maybe they do and they're just not proud of it--who knows?)

Anyway, the main reason I'm asking is that it is SO RIDICULOUSLY EASY to nominate me. You don't have to submit any personal information. Not your name. Not your email address. Nothing.

All you have to do to suggest a nominee is click here:
http://bestof.nowtoronto.com/2015/nominate.cfm?category=154&subcategory=1369
...then type Giselle Renarde where it says NAME

You don't have to fill in the address or phone # sections (that's more for nominating businesses like restaurants or shops) and you don't have to enter ANY person information--not even your email address.

Please nominate me!
Big Hugs,
Giselle

Friday, May 15, 2015

#MySexySaturday Flash in the Pen: 24 Extremely Short Erotic Stories

Got a minute? Read a quickie!

Flash in the Pen features two dozen tantalizing tales—one for every hour of the day, if you can wait that long to read them. Once you start, you might never want to stop! This book is erotic tapas. You get a delicious taste of everything from tantric energy exchanges to sudden stranger sex, from BDSM to butt plugs.
  • Girls acting like kitties and pretending to be puppies.
  • Fisting. First times. Fantasies.
  • Sexy surprises.

There’s a little something for everyone in this collection, so get ready for a frenzy of flashers!

Since it's My Sexy Saturday, here's a 7-paragraph excerpt from Flash in the Pen. This one's from a story called Two Girls Kissing. I wrote it as I watched two girls kissing in the park across the street:

I'm sitting by the window, gazing out at the park across the street, and what priceless display of wanton lust catches my eye?

Two girls kissing.

Two girls kissing... oh my GOD, it's two girls kissing. Am I seeing this right? Is it wishful thinking?

Nope, it's real. They're young and pretty, wearing short shorts and tight tops because even at eight in the evening it's still hot outside. Their long limbs are all tangled together. They're wrapped up in each other's smooth bodies. One is petting the other's bare thighs... and they're kissing.

They're kissing the way I used to kiss when I was young and in lust. They're kissing in a public park, right there for everyone to see. I used to do that, too, when I was young... and in lust... and in love.

There's something in the way they lunge at each other, devouring mouths, tongues, smashing their full lips and their tiny breasts together and running their hands through each other's hair that reminds me of my youth.

There are no subtle pecks, no flighty "because I have to" shows of pseudo-affection. These are unanticipated guerilla kisses. I can tell. It's like neither of these girls expects the kiss to happen until they're neck-deep in it.

Flash in the Pen is a steal at $2.99. Grab your copy from:

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Flash-Pen-Extremely-Erotic-Stories-ebook/dp/B00XNP1ZDA?tag=dondes-20
Amazon UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Flash-Pen-Extremely-Erotic-Stories-ebook/dp/B00XNP1ZDA
BN: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/flash-in-the-pen-giselle-renarde/1121921143
All Romance Ebooks: https://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-flashinthepen24extremelyshorteroticstories-1805097-362.html
Kobo: https://store.kobobooks.com/en-CA/ebook/flash-in-the-pen-24-extremely-short-erotic-stories

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Tell me what you're up to, TK Hansen!


TK Hansen
Writing. Always writing . . .
Got the book published on Smashwords. Amazon refused it because of the adult content. Their guidelines appear to have changed considering what they have sold in the past! Can't please everyone I suppose, ho hum.

Giselle
Amazon's picky about stupid stuff--I had a book blocked because the word "virgin" appeared in the blurb. Not that they'll ever tell you exactly what the trigger was. Usually it isn't the content that'll get your book banned, but rather the blurb containing some word they've red-flagged or the cover being too explicit. Tricky stuff.
Anyway, got a new book out?

TK Hansen
Final Night

Giselle
Tell me about it.

TK Hansen
A transgender crime story. Very adult content.
Sandra Kirk is trying to come to terms with a violent sexual assault. She is part way along the difficult road to gender reassignment, still in the merry-go-round of psychological assessment.
Fortunately, she has supportive friends, although they are troubled that she must resort to selling herself for sex in order to raise the necessary capital to complete the gender transformation in Thailand. The end - as Sandra is fond of saying, perhaps to convince herself - justifies the means.
Then her boyfriend takes her on a business trip to the Isle of Wight where, to her horror, she encounters the two people who assaulted and raped her.
From the depths of her anguish she evolves a plan to pay them back for the pain and humiliation they have caused her ...

Giselle
Wow, that sounds kick-ass! Where can readers buy it?

TK Hansen
https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/520318

Giselle
Where can readers find you?

TK Hansen
My own website: http://bit.ly/1A8rgze
Free short stories on there too. Generous or what :)

Giselle
Thanks so much for telling us about your book!

Monday, May 11, 2015

Flash in the Pen Cover Reveal

Coming soon to an online bookseller near you...

Flash in the Pen: 24 Extremely Short Erotic Stories

 Got a minute? Read a quickie!

Flash in the Pen features two dozen tantalizing tales—one for every hour of the day, if you can wait that long to read them. Once you start, you might never want to stop! This book is erotic tapas. You get a delicious taste of everything from tantric energy exchanges to sudden stranger sex, from BDSM to butt plugs.
Girls acting like kitties and pretending to be puppies.
Fisting. First times. Fantasies.
Sexy surprises.

There’s a little something for everyone in this collection, so get ready for a frenzy of flashers!

Coming out March 15 2015 from eXcessica Publishing

Friday, May 8, 2015

#MySexySaturday Pushing Boundaries Box Set

You know what? Don't even read this post. Just click this link: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00XCRDYXS?tag=dondes-20 and preorder Pushing Boundaries Box Set for $0.99. It comes out May 15th (that's next Friday) and, trust me, you're never going to get another opportunity to grab my "incredibly nasty"* lesbian ageplay novella along with Lexi Wood's smutty stepfest Dance for Daddy, Salome AND a lesbian sleep sex story I wrote for such an amazingly low price.

*according to Lisabet Sarai

But it's My Sexy Saturday, so I'm going to have to TORTURE you with an excerpt from this collection. Sorry! I know how much you hate lesbian nannies and the college girls who love them!

When Summer moves in with her mother’s friend, she expects to be treated like an adult. Fat chance! Victoria exerts control over every aspect of her life. That changes the day Victoria catches Summer watching some very kinky lesbian porn. The landlady soon becomes the ‘Nanny’, coaxing Summer into her big bed. But what happens when Summer wants to include a girl her own age in their play time? Will Nanny punish the wayward girl or accept another charge into their uncommon household?

So, here we go with 7 sexy paragraphs from the smuttiest lesbian love story you're ever going to read:

An antagonized flash crossed Nanny Victoria’s face. Even in the dark, I could see it. “You’ve been with a boy, haven’t you?”

“What? No.” She might as well have asked if I’d been to outer space.

“Take off your clothes.”

She was standing a few paces away from me, but she could have been on a distant planet. I didn’t understand what she wanted.

“Take them off, Summer. Let me have a look.”

“At what?” I stepped out of my pants, wondering if this was all a game. Maybe we’d end up in her bed again, just like last night. That would be good. My pussy was swollen and aching with want after spending a whole night with Kira.

I hissed as I peeled off my bra and Nanny Victoria came close to investigate. She didn’t turn the hall lights on, but she didn’t need to. Even the moon in the sky could see that my nipples were abraded. She looked down at my pussy next, my clit poking rudely from between my slick shaved lips. God, I hoped she would touch me.

Hey you! Buy Pushing Boundaries! Preorder it now for $0.99 and you're set for next weekend. Do it!
http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00XCRDYXS?tag=dondes-20
http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B00XCRDYXS

Oh, and if that cover looks familiar maybe you've seen (or purchased) Banned Books Box Set from Smashwords or Barnes and Noble. Pushing Boundaries is the same book, just adapted for Amazon. Exact same content. Only the title's been changed.