Barbarians at the Gates!
Red Lips
victoriafoxxe
Barbarian Women I originally wanted to write a post in “Defense of Erotica” in response to the current PayPal shenanigans. However, I want to change my attitude a bit. Lately, Ive been thinking about us “Indie Authors” and how dependent we are on the current infrastructure. In fact, the exact publishing and payment systems we sustain are also our direct competition. I’m sure that played a role in Bookstrand’s decision to axe it’s Indie Publishing pages. We can’t be confident we won’t see more of the same. The self-published writer can create work that rivals large publishing houses. So, I think we’re seeing the beginning of a clampdown, as traditional publishing tries it’s best to close the gates. In order to prevent the flood of savage self-publishers from overwhelming them.

It doesn't take a genius to see the way the tide is turning. It’s obvious that things could easily become more difficult for independent authors. Right now there are only two distribution channels of considerable worth, Amazon and B&N. (Smashwords isn't terrible, but they've proven they are very dependent on outside vendors). 

So if we’re actually indies and this is indeed a revolution doesn’t it make sense to focus our eyes on the next prize: Distribution and Payment. Right now we’re subject to the whim of the distributors. One change in policy at Amazon could grind the current e-publishing wave to a halt. And for a variety of reasons this would be a tragedy. For the first time in history authors can sell their work unfettered by big publishing. Not only that, they can keep a majority of the profit for themselves.

The principal force powering this transformation is Amazon. That is worrisome. Amazon is rapidly developing it’s own publishing imprints. What happens if or when they decide to favor  in-house writers over indies?
If indie authors are to become self-sufficient we need to start thinking about distribution. How can we deliver our work unfettered by corporate interests? Is such a thing even possible?

Right now we indies must deal with Amazon or B&N to be successful. Even further, we must make sure our books are compliant to rules set down by the leading credit card companies and PayPal. As we’ve seen any one of these entities can affect our livelihoods with a tersely written email.

Onwards and upwards...
Red Lips
victoriafoxxe
Recent events in the e-publishing world have been crazy. And I have to admit I got caught up in the wave.
It's time for me to get back to what I do best.. and that's write. So, I'm moving on from the past and looking towards a glorious smut-filled future.. 
So what the heck is next?????
Vicky's Project List or aka "Coming Soon"
- Chocoloate For Sissy -Interracial TG/CD Erotic fantasy
- Blood Claimed - Vampire Inspired TG/CD Erotic Fantasy
- Passionate Blood --- TBA


So stay tuned folks.. I've got some great good old-fashioned dirty smut coming your way!

PayPal and Censorship - Have they gone too far?
Red Lips
victoriafoxxe
This President's Day weekend was a wild one for indie erotica writers. As email notices from two of the biggest independent distributors (All Romance E-books and Bookstrand) delivered some shocking news. Author's e-books had been removed from circulation due to an ultimatum delivered by PayPal. Bookstrand went as far as to take down it's Indie Author's page. What prompted these two book sellers to act so rashly?

Apparently, a threat from PayPal demanding any short-stories or e-books containing offensive material be removed. The problem? Many of the targeted books were perfectly legal by any standard. High on the list were stories that contained Barely Legal and/or Pseudo Incest themes. Most of these works centered on relations between 18-19yo women and older men.

Why in the world should PayPal care about these fictional scenarios? Were they really awful enough to demand they be removed?

For the past year or so the e-book market has been flooded with so called Daddy stories. The rate at which these stories sell, would seem to indicate that there is a hungry market for this scenario. Despite this, ARE and Bookstrand caved into to PayPal's demands and removed as much of the objectionable material as they could.

I for one am made nervous and very skeptical about this weekend's past events. What's next on the list of unacceptable titles? GLBT themes... Or BDSM. In fact one very successful erotica author/publisher was flat out told that BDSM was considered rape, during a phone conversation with PayPal. While this technically isn't an infringement on free speech, it's certainly unsettling.

I don't like the idea of a payment processor being able to determine how a book distributor runs its business. Furthermore, also being able to determine what type of content that a distributor can sell. What if someone with a particular political or social agenda is able to use the power of a behemoth like PayPal to further their goals?

Think about it! Is it really your credit card companies or PayPal’s business what you read? Should they have the power to dictate what you can buy with your hard-earned money??

Frightening times ahead folks, and something all of us should keep an eye on.

P.S. I in fact received a notice from Bookstrand this weekend to remove my books from their service. Most of my work is queer in nature. So it wasn't just younger woman older man.. but also younger man/older man scenarios as well. 

Here is a copy of the follow up notice I received, with further explanation. 
------------------------------------------------------------------
Dear Publisher/Indie Author,
Firstly, thank you for your support in promptly removing titles that PayPal has identified as "obscene."  
We are working diligently to unfreeze our PayPal account, mainly so that our customers can continue paying for their purchases using their preferred method of payment.
Please note that regardless of PayPal's disruption by suspending our vendor account, all sales will be paid out to publishers and indie authors as they become due and payable. The next scheduled distribution is April 30th, 2012. You do have the option of changing your payment method from PayPal to to Direct Deposit to a U.S. bank account in yourBookStrand.com account settings.
We may or may not consider finding an alternative to PayPal in the future. This is not only a PayPal issue. We were told by PayPal they have to comply with Visa/MasterCard regulations so that they do not get fined. We will also comply to all minimal requirements to continue to process online credit card payments through Visa, Mastercard, and American Express.
***
Secondly, "keyword search" played a major role in PayPal's identifying content on our site as "obscene." Searches for incest or rape or bestiality produced results containing titles considered to be in violation. Without notice, our account was suspended and our PayPal processing gateway disabled, requiring our immediate attention. We were told to remove content containing these themes. 
If your book is NOT about incest or rape for sexual titillation, or does not contain sex scenes with a naturally occurring animal that will not shift into a sentient being, we recommend that you go through your titles (including blurbs and excerpts) and remove the words rape, incest, or bestiality and substitute with a more "appropriate" word. Otherwise, it will show up in a keyword search, which may get your book banned. 
Your book will be considered for reinstatement if you feel that a title you published has been blocked erroneously, i.e., rape was not for sexual titillation, or your book was mistaken for "bestiality" when it actually is a sentient shape-shifter (i.e., sex involving dragon-shifters, wolf-shifters, etc.).  
If you want reinstatement of any of your titles, please submit a ticket at the Contact Us link http://www.bookstrand.com/contact-us. Please include your publisher name, the exact title of your book, and the phrase "For reinstatement" in the body of your message.  Do not respond to this email with your requests because it will not go to the right staff member for handling.
Please note that it may take a week or more for reinstatement because we have to process each title one by one.
***
Thirdly, please review our rules for uploaded content at www.bookstrand.com/suppressed. These rules will be updated in the upcoming days to clarify any vagueness or to remove confusion. PayPal and credit card processing rules influenced some of these criteria as they pertain to the words incest, rape, and bestiality.
However, our criteria on the Suppressed page are not based entirely on what is considered as legal or illegal regarding consenting adults. Our criteria are based on what BookStrand is willing or not willing to sell on our site. 
Now that the majority of  titles containing these three words have been removed from BookStrand, we will reactivate the Indie Titles page shortly, which was the page that had the most PayPal "violations." 
Sincerely,
xxxxxxxxxx
BookStrand.com
------------------------------------------------------------------
Some other blogs about this subject

Selena Kitt’s blog
http://theselfpublishingrevolution.blogspot.com/2012/02/slippery-slope-erotica-censorship.html

J.S. Wayne’s Blog
http://jswayne.wordpress.com/2012/02/16/censorship-and-paypal-unconstitutional-and-wrong/

Marlene Sexton’s Blog
http://marlenesexton.blogspot.com/2012/02/paypal-bookstrand-and-censorship-part-2.html

Online Petition To Stop PayPal's Censorship Efforts
http://www.thepetitionsite.com/7/stop-internet-censorship/

Holy Crap, I'm #47 now in Kindle Erotica! http://amzn.to... on Twitpic
Red Lips
victoriafoxxe
Holy Crap, I'm #47 now in Kindle Erotica! http://amzn.to... on Twitpic

Wow.. by the time I posted this I was #41!

This is great... but I need to turn off the computer and unwind! Getting much too excited!!!

I made the top 100....
Red Lips
victoriafoxxe
Recently Amazon launched a new program for independent authors, Kindle Select. It's an option that gives the author access to promotional and marketing tools, in exchange for 90 days of exclusivity rights. I.E. as long as your book is in the program you aren't allowed to sell it anywhere else. 
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94 Books sold in one week!
Red Lips
victoriafoxxe

So I just tallied up my sales and I've sold = 94 books for the first full week of Oct! I'm flabbergasted and I had to re-calculate to make sure it was real. My sales were mediocre before, thank goddess for the advice I got from some awesome writers.  If this keeps up, I could very well make 500 sales for the month! Read more...Collapse ) See my books on Amazon!

Oktoberfest: Bring on the Pr0n!
Red Lips
victoriafoxxe
Well the witching season is upon us and I'm busily at work. I'm hoping to have my "Halloween Compilation" up and for sale this weekend. I also need to get my ass in gear and get 'Passionate Blood" off to my editor. I'm waffling a bit on the story and having a little bit of "impostor's syndrome" right now. 

But I've pledged to myself that I will push through it. 

In the fantasy world I've created for myself, I'm a young Anne Rice. Working away in the Bay Area at a dreary office job, while I write saucy stories at night. Hoping one day to sell enough to make my living writing! Yes, I know this is over-the-top but I was a DRAMA MAJOR. You never quite leave that behind! 
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Some Like it Rough! Yes, they do
Red Lips
victoriafoxxe
I'm so excited, I'm in my first anthology: Some Like It Rough! An anthology of rough sex adn raunchy times! This is a free book from the "Erotica Collective" a little group of people with dirty minds, who got together and had some fun. We were each given about a week to write a new story and then compile it into an anthology. 

So if you want some free smut, click here to get it for for free. This link will take you to Smashwords... so no spam or anything. Once you are there just choose which format you want to read in (html, Kindle, ePub..etc..). Really, free smut and no catch. Just enjoy. 

Hanging out with the Erotica Collective has been a blast, and I hope I do more with them! 

Wait..it looks like I have series going now!!!!!
Red Lips
victoriafoxxe
I was looking at my titles and lamenting how "all over the map" the subject matter is. Then it dawned on me, I had written for three distinct markets. Rather than agonize over it, why not just organize them using the titles? That's a big break-through for me...

So I updated my titles three series:

- Tranny Temptations (All my sissification/cross-dressing stories)
- Gay Erotica (my two m/m pesudocest stories)
- Erotic Fantasies (My heterosexual stuff with a hint of kink/unusual)

You can check out my Smashwords page to see how the titling works. http://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/VictoriaFoxxe


That's a big breakthrough for me..I went to B&N and Amazon to update today as well.

Also finished three pending Short Stories this weekend and published one! The other two need editing of course. And I'm super excited about the coming promotional anthology!!! Trying to get prepared for that to happen. 

*Yes, yours truly is going to be in a anthology with some heavy hitting erotica indies. I'm trying not to faint, but most of these guys/gals are mad talented. I'm feeling a little nervous! 

***Rough Riders**** is slated for an October 1st release I believe. 

Vacation is over, and some random thoughts about e-publishing
Red Lips
victoriafoxxe
Well, I didn't use my vacation time as wisely as I should've.I spent a lot of time sleeping, running some errands, and generally being lazy. I hope to get a lot of writing done, but I technically still have four days left. So I think Ill have to lock myself in the house and get some work done this weekend.

Things that did work out this summer:
I definitely have a good editor on board now.
It looks like I'm going to be in an upcoming anthology!
And I got a few story ideas sketched out.

The biggest thing though, is that I got some much-needed rest. It feels like I've been running on empty for a while. The day job was pretty much exhausting me. And I usually spend 4 to 5 hours a night, working on writing. All in all, that means I've been working 15 hour workdays.

Let me tell you something folks Writing is HARD WORK
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