This. Is. AWESOME!!!

So the lovely Kate Laurens, my beta reader for all things Fawkesish, has repeatedly expressed her love for a certain arms-dealer-slash-hero. Well, look at what I received in the mail today, which underscores it all:

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😀 😀 😀 😀 It makes me smile SO BIG!!! And yes, I’ll be wearing it to Romantic Times in Kansas City, hopefully I’ll see some Team Jeremiah shirts around too! 😉

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Real life blues

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A real pic I took of the house

Why is it that, whenever you feel like your life is looking up, fate gives you a suckerpunch to the gut?

The last several weeks have had me focusing a lot of time and energy with two things: the “Anything He Wants 6” release, and getting the CPA of very-not-awesome to get me paperwork. Some of you may have gathered that the Dude and I are trying to buy a house. Beautiful home, a bit of acreage, out in the country – you know. Perfect. 🙂 One of the things the mortgage guys needed was a tax draft for 2012, since I was mainly a self-employed writer without a reliable income.

Except, the CPA we hired wouldn’t return my calls or emails. Worse yet, he’s four hours away, back in my hometown. Apparently he figured my distance meant I could be shunted to the back of the list, and he kept giving me the runaround or outright ignoring me until finally I sent him a nastygram voicemail message and got my do-NOT-mess-with-this-man father involved.

Sufficed to say, we’ve wasted so much blasted time, and the CPA didn’t do his job last year informing us correctly on what to pre-pay the IRS…there’s a good chance we won’t get the house now. 😦

It’s put a damper on a lot of things, including the AHW6 release. I generally don’t like sharing personal information online, and try to keep an upbeat energy on my blog, but dangit this is SUCH a huge disappointment. First off, we put a lot of trust into this tax guy to guide us newbies (neither the Dude nor I have been self-employed before), and apparently that trust was misplaced. Now we have a big tax bill that’s eaten way into our down payment…. *sigh*

So if I haven’t replied to your post or comment or other communication, I sincerely apologize. I’ve been a bit preoccupied with Real Life, and the various disappointments that lie along that road. I’m not looking for pity and I’m not trying to excuse myself for ignoring you but, arg, it’s so depressing. Not to say there haven’t been good points: AHW6 broke through the Amazon Top 100 Kindle ebooks yesterday, but fell back under today. It also peaked at #11 in the Barnes and Noble Nook store. So it isn’t like my life sucks monkey nuggets all the time, just in certain disappointing ways. 😦

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However, that said, I need to say once again a BIG THANK YOU to all my readers. I love you guys, there’s no doubt about that. I appreciate every bit of support I get, and even though I’ve been too overwhelmed of late to say it, THANK YOU. You, unlike my CPA, are FULL OF AWESOME. 🙂

Former indie author Jamie McGuire penalized for self-publishing?

Earlier this evening, during a break between edits for AHW6, I saw something on a Facebook page “What To Read After Fifty(50) Shades Of Grey” regarding Jamie McGuire, author of the indie (and now traditional) bestseller Beautiful Disaster:

** SPECIAL NOTE: Please Read This!! **

From Author Jamie McGuire:

I have looked into this as best I can, but being a Saturday, Amazon isn’t responding.

It appears that Amazon has sent a mass email to everyone who’s ever purchased the self-published version of Beautiful Disaster. They are encouraging readers to request a refund. When asked why they are offering this refund, Amazon customer service has given several different reasons, the most common is problems with content. THERE IS NO PROBLEM WITH THE CONTENT OF BEAUTIFUL DISASTER, and it makes no sense for them to encourage a refund for a book that has already been read and enjoyed 6+ months later, but that is the only information I have for now.

Customer service admits that if you do NOT get the refund, your copy of BD will NOT be affected. If you get a refund, they are offering to reimburse the $4+ difference it costs to purchase the $7.99 version, but what they aren’t telling you is that **I** am paying for every refund.

Last week, I sent an email to Amazon asking why the self-published version of my book is still experiencing returns. Returns are only allowed for up to 7 days after purchase. 6 months after the self-published version of Beautiful Disaster went off-sale my account was still seeing negative amounts for returns. I’m not going to assume the reasons behind this mass email, but it appears that Amazon customer service is now encouraging these returns.

I was not notified of this. This email has nothing to do with my publisher Atria books. If you do not get a refund, your copy of BD will not be affected. If you do, the refund will show as a negative amount in my Amazon KDP author account. Because BD is no longer available, this money will be taken out of my Providence sales.

In other words, this is very bad, and I have no idea why this is happening. Please do not return your copy of BD, and please help me spread the word to not return your copy of BD.

I will let you know what else I find out from Amazon. In the meantime, your support has brought me to tears. I love you all. ♥

Well, you can imagine my shock at reading this. While I have yet to meet Ms. McGuire, she and I were fortunate enough to share similar career choices around the same time when our bestsellers were picked up by (separate) publishing companies. I won’t lie, I found this story difficult to believe; Amazon surely wouldn’t be this stupid, would it? I purchased BD as an indie book in 2011, long before the author signed a contract allowing the novel to receive a wider, worldwide distribution.

Yet, an hour ago, this is the email I received in my inbox:
Continue reading

Expectations, and AHW2 future plans

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Expectations can be tricky.

For example, when I first published a short story titled “Anything He Wants”, I never expected it would start this rollercoaster journey through the realm of publishing. I figured, hey, a couple people might read my story and that would be cool – now it’s in languages like French and Portuguese, on shelves across the world. Wow! I never expected that I’d get such an awesome publisher like St. Martin’s to allow me to expand my audience, and yet that’s exactly what happened. I never expected people would be at all interested in a serialized novel, or be so excited about the sequel.

If I’d planned this whole writing thing…wow, I’d never have guessed where I’d be now! The journey has absolutely blown my mind so far.

I had some expectations on how the AHW sequel would be released, but I’m super excited to tell you that the continuation will be coming to you sooner than even I anticipated. Many of you know that AHW was originally released as a serial, or, in other words, a short story/part at a time. This allowed me to get the story out to you as I wrote it. My lovely editor Delta fixed and edited for me as we went, but essentially as I finished each part, I released it to you. I won’t lie, I really enjoyed doing this. Serials, or something very much like it, are commonplace in fan fiction, and I used to avidly follow my favorite authors with baited breath, desperate for the next part. AHW was an experiment to see if a format I loved was viable on the open e-market and, to my pleasant surprise, many of you seemed to enjoy it. So this time, I’ve opted to do the same thing: release each part as it’s finished, then later release it as a novel, both in electronic and paperback format.

Now, a promise to my readers before I go any further.

One of the mistakes I made the first time around was not being transparent enough that the individual parts would eventually be bundled together into a novel. I received many reviews, usually on the novelized version, about how people felt cheated that they’d bought each part of the series when they could have had the book altogether. So I’m going to tell you now, and will remind you in the coming months as each part is put forth: there will be a “novelized” sequel. Each of the individual parts released over the next few months will be bundled together into a “true” sequel, a complete paperback and ebook novel that you can, eventually, hold in your hands (or on your Kindle/Nook/Kobo/etc). So if the thought of having to wait for each part is too difficult, or you only want to pay for the story once, I totally understand. Please don’t feel pressured into buying each individual part as the novel WILL be available, hopefully as soon as this summer.

Another issue I feel obliged to discuss regarding each part: length. The very first serialized part of AHW topped the word-count scales at just over 8k words. Given that a manuscript page is roughly 250 words (Amazon’s ebook calculations are closer to 300 words per “page”), that was only 32 pages. Now, almost a year later, this length isn’t enough for me. The final serial released, AHW5, was a hair over 20k words, two-and-a-half times the length of the first part (~80 pages) and closer to a typical novella-length work like you see in anthologies. I am making a promise to you now that anything I put out story-wise from now on will be at least that long, if not longer. Cross my heart.

I’ve no doubt there will be some people who still don’t approve of this method, and I understand. That is why I’m being as up front as I can regarding the certainty of a novel at the end. AHW2 (which yes, will eventually have its own name lol) will be out in ebook and (in English, I’m not sure yet about the translations) print format by this summer. As we get closer to the end of the book and I know a bit more, I’ll be sure to announce novel release dates and other schedules.

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I’ll try to answer any questions you might have in comments. As before, Facebook and Twitter are the best ways to get ahold of me, but I’ll answer any blog questions sent my way as promptly as I can. There is a good chance you may not see the paperback sequel in stores this summer but it WILL be available online.

Questions? Thoughts?

Things that make my head go ‘splody

I try to keep politics, big name controversies etc off my blog, but sometimes I get so riled up that I need to rant.

You know what I find funny? LOLcats. Cute animal videos. Dennis Leary. South Park. Tiny weener dog puppies in a hotdog bun.

You know what I don’t think is funny?

Rape.

So when I’m pointed via Twitter to this lady’s story about a comedy club experience, of course I get outraged. I’ve never in my life actually heard a rape joke – maybe I’ve been lucky with my “comedy” exposure, maybe it’s a niche market.

But you know what really pissed me off?

All the articles written IN DEFENSE of the comedian’s actions. Wow, folks, way to ace Douchebaggery 101. Ha ha, it’s SO FUNNY to ruin a girl’s life through non-consensual* forced sex. Ooh, even funnier, let’s make it a gangbang! Hilarious!!

Fuck you.

I managed to escape a rape attempt once and it screwed me up for a long time. I know women who didn’t escape, who survived the horrific act, and spent years dealing with the psychological aftermath. People have killed themselves over the pain, unable to live with the guilt and shame.

Is suicide funny now too?

If there is a subset out there that enjoys rape stories, the damage and loss of power/self that comes along with it, I don’t want to know them. Several articles had YouTube videos of previous skits don’t by Daniel Tosh (of Comedy Central’s “Tosh.0”) that focus on rape as humor – I didn’t watch them. This whole thing makes me sick.

Filed under Head Splody. Cuz that’s what I’m about to do.

* Yes I realize women have rape fantasies, yes I realize there can be consensual forced sex. However, in REAL LIFE those actions have a number of rules and guidelines usually talked about in advance. If you and your partner want to explore rough sex, then for fuck’s sake REMEMBER TO SET A SAFE WORD BEFOREHAND.

Things that make my head go 'splody

I try to keep politics, big name controversies etc off my blog, but sometimes I get so riled up that I need to rant.

You know what I find funny? LOLcats. Cute animal videos. Dennis Leary. South Park. Tiny weener dog puppies in a hotdog bun.

You know what I don’t think is funny?

Rape.

So when I’m pointed via Twitter to this lady’s story about a comedy club experience, of course I get outraged. I’ve never in my life actually heard a rape joke – maybe I’ve been lucky with my “comedy” exposure, maybe it’s a niche market.

But you know what really pissed me off?

All the articles written IN DEFENSE of the comedian’s actions. Wow, folks, way to ace Douchebaggery 101. Ha ha, it’s SO FUNNY to ruin a girl’s life through non-consensual* forced sex. Ooh, even funnier, let’s make it a gangbang! Hilarious!!

Fuck you.

I managed to escape a rape attempt once and it screwed me up for a long time. I know women who didn’t escape, who survived the horrific act, and spent years dealing with the psychological aftermath. People have killed themselves over the pain, unable to live with the guilt and shame.

Is suicide funny now too?

If there is a subset out there that enjoys rape stories, the damage and loss of power/self that comes along with it, I don’t want to know them. Several articles had YouTube videos of previous skits don’t by Daniel Tosh (of Comedy Central’s “Tosh.0”) that focus on rape as humor – I didn’t watch them. This whole thing makes me sick.

Filed under Head Splody. Cuz that’s what I’m about to do.

* Yes I realize women have rape fantasies, yes I realize there can be consensual forced sex. However, in REAL LIFE those actions have a number of rules and guidelines usually talked about in advance. If you and your partner want to explore rough sex, then for fuck’s sake REMEMBER TO SET A SAFE WORD BEFOREHAND.