When the Lights Go Out – the Official Anthology Cover Reveal

Come one, come all, and bask in the official cover of the Ink Slinger’s Halloween Anthology:

WHEN THE LIGHTS GO OUT

Featuring 25 tales of Halloween inspired goodness and an intro by horror author Rami Ungar, look for the anthology October first at your favorite ebook retailers! (Links will come when I have them). Featuring vampires, monsters, human transformation, murder, ghosts, and more, there’s something for everyone in the Ink Slingers’ Anthology – but you might want to read it with the lights on.

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A Paranormal Rant

It was recently brought to my attention (thanks to the Sensational Christmas Sale Event) that Amazon has classified Shades of Gray as a Young Adult/Teen novel.

Say What??

When an author/publisher uploads a book to Amazon they are allowed to choose a category to place their book in from a rather small list. Amazon then – apparently randomly – sticks the book in several other categories – like sci-fi shorts that you can read in two hours (This is a real category). And, as I said, they put Shades of Gray in the YA category. But why? How do they choose these seemingly odd extra categories for our books?

The question has been answered by Amazon help:

Hello Joleene,

Thank you for contacting Kindle Direct Publishing.

I understand you’re concerned about the category of your book, “Shades of Gray.”

Looking at your account, I see that based on your keywords selection, the category was automatically assigned to your book.

For your convenience, I’ve removed the following category:

Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Teen & Young Adult

It should no longer be visible on the website within 24 hours.

I hope this helps.

Thanks for using Amazon KDP. Have a nice day!

*****

First, I do want to give them kudos for removing it quickly, but past that I want to say again, “what?!?!” because these are my chosen keywords:

  • violence – doesn’t say YA to me
  • dark – eh, still not really
  • thriller – there are YA thrillers, but it’s not exclusive to the genre
  • Amarathine – just a series name
  • romance – doesn’t scream YA
  • vampire & paranormal – aha.

And so we get to the crux of the matter. As an author I dared to use the keywords vampire, paranormal, and romance together, which must automatically mean the book is intended for teenage audience.

Can I scream now?

I don’t have anything against teenagers. I even LIKE many YA books, but why in the name of all that sucks blood does the word “vampire” automatically conjure the word “teenager”? No, don’t answer that. I know why. Because people have forgotten Carmella, and Dracula, and Louie, and Armand, and all the other ADULT vampires that came first, and all they can remember is the sparkling, high-school-attending Edward and his Twilight gang. And if that series was for teens, then that must mean that EVERY vampire series is for teens. Just as every animated show is for children (another tired stereotype that the anime Now and Then, Here and There, among others, has proven wrong), etc. etc.

vampires

 

Maybe it’s time to remind the world of that? Or at the very least, Amazon.

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Calling Speculative Fiction Authors…

The Ink Slinger’s League is sponsoring a speculative fiction anthology in time for the holidays and we need your stories! If guild1you write:

  • Horror
  • Paranormal
  • Sci-Fi
  • Fantasy

Or any mix of the genres, then we’d love to have a story from you.

To submit:

Mail your story(s) that are between 1,000 – 10,000 words to Joleene@JoleeneNaylor.com by November 29th with a bio, author photo, website/twitter/facebook links, synopsis of at least one novel and buy links for that novel. It doesn’t matter if the story has been published before, so long as you have the rights to it. Stories do NOT need to have a holiday theme, though if you feel so inclined let the spirit move you. Authors may submit up to TWO stories for inclusion.

Stories can be adult subject matter, but shouldn’t be explicit erotica. If you’re not sure how explicit is too explicit, send your story and I’ll let you know.

We will not do ANY editing or proofreading of your stories, so make sure they’re the way you want them. Stories with lots of typos or grammatical errors will be declined.

Remember to invite other authors! There’s no limit on how many stories we can include, and the more writers we have, the more chance we get of being introduced to a new audience. Contributors do NOT need to have a published book available to participate.

All the details:

The anthology will be published on Amazon, Smashwords & all of the places Smashwords distributes to (Including Apple, Barnes & Noble & Kobo) and will be offered for FREE. There’s no profit to be made, and we aren’t paying anyone for their stories except with exposure. Ink Slinger’s will handle the formatting and book cover (including any image purchases).

If interested, participants should host one another on their blogs/websites/etc. If someone would like to be in charge of organizing rosters for that, let me know (you can comment here with your email or drop me a message). It would be much appreciated.

And if you have any ideas for a title we’re all ears. The Inkslinger’s Anthology will do in a pinch, but it doesn’t really capture the essence of what we’re going for.

If you have any questions, ask! And remember – invite your colleagues!

Four Question Blog Tag

I was tagged by the prolific Barbara G Tarn – and when I say prolific I mean it. you should SEE the list of books she has out. Seriously. I haven’t managed to find time to read even half I bet. Yeesh! But that doesn’t mean YOU shouldn’t try. Seriously, check it out! http://creativebarbwire.wordpress.com

And now for the questions:

Question 1: What am I working on?

Clash of Legends – book seven in the Amaranthine series. I don’t have a nice synopsis written up because I’m only on chapter seven so I don’t know what is going to happen yet, but expect a few major changes for some of the characters. I think.

Question 2: How does my work differ to others of its genre?

There are vampire but it’s not YA. No one sparkles. There’s romance, but it’s not the number one focal point. There is fighting and gore and things blowing up ala an action movie, but the main character is a woman who is NOT a kick-ass heroine… So it’s a hard sell/tiny corner niche series. If I ever get time on my hands I’ll turn it into a manga.

Question 3: Why do I write/create what I do?

I write what I like. Hopefully other people like it too.

Question 4: How does your writing/creating process work?

It’s different for every book. This one doesn’t appear to want to be written in order. I have been writing a scene, then back tracking to fill in the things that go between it and the last scene and then editing the initial scene to fit with the stuff that went in between – it’s very timey-wimey for some reason.

 

I had a list of people to tag but after finding out that one of them passed away I am kind of in a bleh space, so if you’re reading this and would like to do it please take the tag and run with it. All my author friends have interesting WIPs worth sharing.

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One of *Those* Posts

Since the epic release of book 6, Children of Shadows, I haven’t been around very much. I’d apologize, but there are only so many hours in the day. Besides, I doubt anyone cares that much. For those who do care, or who find these chatty “what I’ve been doing post” interesting, well, this one’s for you.

Legacy of Ghosts is still participating in Cover Wars until the end of May, so if you get a chance stop by and vote. You can vote once a day, every day.

a super rough version

a super rough version

I’ve been working on Clash of Legends, the seventh book in the Amaranthine series. You can keep track of where I am on the rough draft by looking at that cool progress meter to the right – the one that has a little bean with legs on it. Why is he a bean? I have no idea, but I thought it was fun. As of this posting I have just started chapter seven of Clash of Legends. It’s going to be a very exciting chapter and I hope to have the whole book done by the end of the year.

We’re still settling my mother-in-laws estate. I know. You’d assume everything was done by now, but hardly anything is. It’s very frustrating for all of us.

We’re in the process of *maybe* buying a house. We are going to buy a house, but we’ll see if it’s the one we’re currently looking at or if we need to keep looking. Unfortunately, we’re looking at houses in South West Iowa, which makes looking at them, signing papers, etc. a huge pain in the but because it means running to Iowa all the time (a six hour trip one way) and so I lose the whole weekend every time we go. (And don’t even ask me about what the cell signals are like, not that my new phone has enough available data to make it worth trying).

If we do go for this house I’ll be gone a lot more with packing and such, and then when we close the house needs some immediate work, so I’ll disappear to do that… yeah, everything is kind of up in the air right now, but just settled enough to be a pain in the butt. I have a pile of projects stacked up to get to some day and a bunch of book covers I need to try to catch up on… but hey, I’m still alive, so that’s what counts.

Not sure I can say the same for all of my characters 😉 signature for white

Super Sweet

super-sweet-blogging-award21w6451So I have been gone between holidays and finishing book 6 (yes, the rough draft is done! Hallelujah!) and in my absence Tricia Drammeh was kind enough to give me the Super Sweet blog award – which of course means she won it herself, and with very good reason, so you should check out her blog and her books!

Here are the rules for accepting this award:

  1. Thank the Super Sweet Blogger that nominated you.
  2. Answer 5 Super Sweet questions.
  3. Include the Super Sweet Blogging Award in your blog post.
  4. Nominate a bakers’s dozen (13) other deserving bloggers.
  5. Notify your Super Sweet nominees on their blog.

The 5 Super Sweet Questions:

  1. Cookies or Cake? Cookies. I admit I have never been a cake fan. I just don’t like frosting.
  2. Chocolate or Vanilla? Chocolate!!!!
  3. Favorite Sweet Treat? Anything chocolate mint. needless to say I love Christmas.
  4. When Do You Crave Sweet Things The Most? The evening, mostly after dinner.
  5. Sweet Nick Name? Sweetness was actually my CB handle back in the day 

Now for the Super Sweet Nominees…

  1. Sassysue
  2. Paige Adams
  3. Barbara Tarn (I know you don’t do awards but I must list you anyway)
  4. Steve Evans
  5. Barbara of March House books
  6. CG Copolla
  7. Roger Lawrence
  8. Steph
  9. Vickie Hudson
  10. Daven Anderson
  11. David Knight
  12. Emily Guido
  13. Meagan Provan

Climbing on a Soap Box

English: Amazon Kindle DX Graphite displaying ...

English: Amazon Kindle DX Graphite displaying Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I’ve been working on this post for a couple of weeks. Some of the delay has been real life issues, and some because I’ve been trying to figure out exactly what I want to say.

Recently, Amazon announced that they were removing all ‘abuse’ and ‘incest’ pornography. On the face this includes rape erotica and other taboo stories, unfortunately it’s not only erotica getting taken down, but books that have “suspicious” titles or descriptions. I could give a long list of non-erotica authors (with non-erotica work) that has been targeted and taken down, meaning they are losing sales until they can get Amazon to acknowledge that – whoops! – they made a mistake, but there’s more to this issue than the collateral damage.

Of course, it should be easy to stay in Amazon’s guidelines, and anyone who hits that publish button knowing that they have broken those rules should be prepared for removal, right? Sadly, Amazon’s guidelines are pretty hard to nail down. the site itself says this:

Pornography
We don’t accept pornography or offensive depictions of graphic sexual acts.

Offensive Content
What we deem offensive is probably about what you would expect.

Isn’t it nice how much wiggle room that gives them? Obviously, incest rape is offensive and needs to be removed, right? Then why has Amazon NOT removed many of VC Andrews’ titles? As someone whose read all her early books, I guarantee that not only is there incest in nearly every book (including father/daughter, half-brother/half-sister and even full brother/sister), but rape in several of them. Of course, VC Andrews (or whoever the guy is who writes them now) has a big advantage.

They’re NOT self published.

And that, of course, makes the books – and many more like it that are traditionally published –“legitimate” books as opposed to the so-called “offensive trash” of the self published world. “They should just get rid of all that self-published crap that clogs up the market and outsells their traditional books.”

Indy authors were outraged by this, so what did many do? Why, they put out a call to battle, a challenge to arms, and suggested that  all of the “legitimate” indy writers with their “legitimate” books should band together and take a stand against this erotica. “They should just get rid of that dirty crap that clogs up the market and outsells their own, non erotica, books.”

Sound familiar? It’s like watching them turn into the very thing they purport to hate.

The principle argument for removal, and for the hallelujah chorus as books are axed, is that erotica books don’t belong on Amazon where innocent children can see them and become forever scarred. They belong in adult stores  next to the adult movies and adult toys, which of course Amazon doesn’t sell . (If you follow the links you’ll note both are sold on Amazon and as freely accessible to minors as those ebooks).

I can’t help but wonder how long it will be before that joyful choir is singing a different tune. Today it’s those erotica books that “cheapen” all self-published writers, but tomorrow it may be the horror novels, the serial killer stories, or the religious books that get removed because they “offend” someone.

Or maybe, it will be YOUR book.

I only hope if it is, that someone shows you some support instead of suggesting we should disown your non-legitimate work and wish you good riddance.

You note when paypal demanded Smashwords take down books, Mark Coker went to bat for erotica authors. What has Amazon done? makes you wonder why we’re all so fast to publish there and buy from them…

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Here’s a really good article on the whole thing – http://www.the-digital-reader.com/2013/10/13/amazon-bn-whsmith-now/#.UnB-CI0jIeo

 

 

 

 

Amazon’s Folly & Corpse Shopping

I got this in my email today and it made me giggle:

amazon

Quick! Buy the entire Joleene Naylor collection from Amazon today. Amazon told you to, so you know you have to do it. 😉

Let me rush right out and buy those. Be nice if they are sending this message to other people (sales have been abysmal so far this summer, probably because I’ve done no marketing), but I doubt it. Amazon is just desperate to get me to buy something and those were probably the last things I looked at.

Yeah, I have been mainly offline for awhile. My house flooded, as I may have mentioned on here, and we had to move, which of course was an unexpected disaster. We’re nearly settled in; the bedrooms aren’t done yet, and we still have no couch, but all the junk/ruined stuff has been gotten rid of and we at least have regular internet again. Maybe I’ll get back to posting. Wouldn’t that be nice?

And while I am sharing funny things, look at this spam comment I had:

comment

“They do, however, charge you for every corpse they take.”

I’m not sure WHO charges per corpse, but I guess it’s nice to know they aren’t PAYING for them. 😉

New website coming soon. I may post previews later.

Have a good one!

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Vampire Facials…

Blood Sweat and Tears. Number 2

Blood Sweat and Tears. Number 2 (Photo credit: Jakob E)

 

Fellow author Steve Evans was kind enough to share an article with me about a new beauty craze dubbed “Vampire facials”. The essence is that your blood is drawn out, spun around in a centrifuge machine to separate the platelets, and then, in many cases, after your face is “perforated” the blood is then slathered over your skin. or, in other cases, it’s injected into troublesome areas (the treatment, it seems  originated as therapy for sports related injuries).

 

No, it wasn’t Dracula that brought this new craze out into the open, but rather Kim Kardashian who tweeted a bloody faced photo of herself that has since inspired people all over the world to have themselves slathered in their own blood. While Verchiel is all for this, I’m a little bit repulsed (as I like my blood in my veins, not on my face.) But what do you think?

 

Source article: http://www.stuff.co.nz/life-style/beauty/8509964/Kiwis-thirst-for-vampire-facials

 

The Great Cover Experiment

When I released the Special Editions I conducted a cover experiment – in other words I went for a more “mainstream” look.  At the time I placed a bet that the more traditional style covers would’t make them sell any better, and so far I’ve been right BUT the other half of that bet pointed out that there are too many variables for it to be a fair test. For instance, since they’re double books,  they’re more expensive. They  have no reviews and there aren’t as many back links to their Amazon/B&N/Smashwords pages.

So, to be 100% fair, I’ve decided to remove a few of those variables by temporarily creating new covers for the books on Amazon Kindle only (this will not effect the paper back versions). If my Amazon sales leap upwards at a higher rate than B&N etc. then that *should* tell me that, yes, the covers are an issue. If not, well, then I win.

Over the next five days I’ll reveal the new covers, so get ready to be… um… inundated. 😉

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  • Goddess of Night

    A war four-thousand years in the making.

    The final installment of the Amaranthine series raises the stakes. No longer the weak woman she was, Katelina will have to step up or lose everything she’s ever cared about.

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  • Joleene Naylor

    Joleene Naylor

    An independent author, freelance artist, and photographer for fun who loves anime, music, and writing. Check out my vampire series Amaranthine at http://JoleeneNaylor.com or drop me a line at Joleene@JoleeneNaylor.com

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