Thursday, June 8, 2017

Kindle Saga, Part 5 + Beta Tested Prequel

So, I was wrong about one key detail here: Kindle Unlimited isn't included with Amazon Prime. My bad - I don't use either, and should've read that more closely. This is what happens when I do stuff in a distracted way. I apologize for any inconvenience that may have caused any of you.

In the meantime, I have written a prequel to Beta Tested - I was speaking with someone about the implausibility of Mitch's super genius, and got to thinking about why he's so smart. Naturally, this led to writing about it a bit. (There's also a little backstory concerning his financial backers.)

Anyway, here it is:

“Right now,” Mitch said, “Your brain is completely conscious. You’re awake. NINA is just intercepting the signals your brain would send your body. Instead of moving my arm out there,” he waved his arm, “I’m moving my arm in here. In the training mode, it pushes you into an altered mental state, one where your brain is much more receptive to new information. It skips past your conscious ability to filter what it’s told and just adds facts to your subconscious.” 
Skips Past. 
I wasn’t sure why that sounded so good, but I pushed it aside and asked, “So it programs us?” 
“Right!” Mitch nodded and smiled, “It hypnotizes the user to get their brain into the correct theta brain wave state, then it supplies information. Memory retention is phenomenal. What we’re doing now is like a lecture, but your Lessons program your brain almost like a computer.” 
Program My Brain. 
I could feel my cheeks burn, and wondered if the game rendered that sort of detail as readily as my arm moving. Maybe Mitch couldn’t tell that all of this was turning me on. I hoped not. My fingers clenched reflexively at nothing, and I wanted him to put me under even more. At the same time, a little voice in the corner of my mind was very insistent that I needed to push back: 
I Must Not Submit To Hypnosis. 
The thought was very clear to me, but I couldn’t say why. I’d never seen someone hypnotized except on TV. All the same, I felt very clear about that. I asked, “So you can make me think I’m a cow or chicken or something?” 
Mitch swiveled in the chair and looked up at me. He said, “You know I would never do anything like that. You know you can trust me. I’m your Teacher.” 
Trust Him. 
My Teacher. 
I could hear the words echo in my brain, in Mitch’s voice. My mouth opened before I could think about it again, “Trust… you…” I blinked and asked, “What are you doing to us?”
As promised, this book will be available for at least four weeks via Smashwords. I'm also offering a coupon for 50% off there through June 15th: BY98H to help make up for all the shuffling I've been doing, and to thank you for checking up on this blog. 

Hope you all like it, and I hope you're all having a good summer. :)

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Kindle Saga, Part 4

Hey, all.

I went ahead and pulled the rest of the stories I intend to pull off of Smashwords, in preparation for posting them to Kindle Unlimited. The rest of the list is:

A Hard Bargain Driven
All Dolled Up: Transformation 
'Bate and Switch: Tales of Subverted Brainwashing
Beneath His Desk: An Anthology of Brainwashed Sex Slave Stories
Beneath His Desk 2: More Slave Stories
Bent For Her Birthday
Brainwashed Company Slaves: The Bet
Camera Shy
Conditioned to Serve: Bought and Sold
Conditioned to Serve 2: Billionaire's Slut
Conditioned to Serve: Prototype
Conditioned to Serve: Complete
Hack Her
Helping Harry Hustle: A First Date
Princess Gets Unwrapped
Wage Slave Bukkake

I'm skipping two categories of stories in the transfer:
  • Monster stories. I like monster erotica sometimes, (and will write more when I feel so moved), but it's neither especially in tune with most of my catalog, nor really Amazon-friendly, so I'm just leaving it parked where it is.
  • Stories that I have offered for free elsewhere. I posted a couple of stories for free to get people interested in my work pretty early in my time here, and I'm not taking them down just to make a couple bucks. I'm experimenting with trying to earn more money for my efforts, but not at the expense of fairness. ;)
So, to recap: starting with my next story, (which I'm about halfway done with now), I'll debut stories on Smashwords and Amazon to give people a chance to buy them outside the world of Kindle. After a month or so, I'll 'archive' stuff to KDP so that Amazon Prime users can flip through those older stories at their leisure. The timetable there is negotiable, and depends somewhat on my flaky schedule. I'll err on the side of 'longer.'

If anybody has any other requests or observations, my door is always open. (I've been kicking around branching into non-erotica for a long time now, and I'm sort of flailing at 'what kind of business model would I even use?' right now. I will always write smut because I love smut, but I really am itching to stretch lately, and I want to figure out what that would look like on the back end this year.)

Friday, May 19, 2017

Kindle Saga, Part 3

So, I've had all week to look at this, and am course correcting slightly.

Here's where I'm at right now:
  • I've dropped Nook for the time being.
I never did very well there, and I was having some issues on the back end anyway, so I went ahead and pulled my catalog from Nook. I apologize in advance for any difficulties that may cause. I will admit it was probably happening even without the other changes I've made here.

  • Some of you did still want to buy stuff away from Amazon.
So far, I've only had the one complaint about that, but I respect the issue. Some of you have to share your Amazon accounts with people and want to keep your kink on the down-low. I hadn't really thought about that, and that's my fault.

Sorry, folks. :(

I would like to keep you as readers. So instead of only offering new content on Amazon KDP, I will post stuff to Smashwords for a limited time. I figure 2-4 weeks should be fine - almost all my sales of a new book on Smashwords occur in that window, and anybody who would like to keep up with my latest stuff can just sign up for Smashwords Alerts.

I'll post Ready For Business Use there at a later time - it's a three month wait after removing it from KDP Select before I can do that, and I'm not ready to pull it until I have more content over there. (I'm juggling a lot right now.) However, I will make it available away from Amazon at a later date, and I will post a half off coupon here to make up for my mistake.

My next book, which I am currently working on the first chapter of, will be available in this way: Smashwords + Amazon, then retired to just Amazon after the first month.

  • I am moving more old titles to KU.
Conversely, I am seeing a fair number of pages read at Kindle Unlimited. Like I said above, most of my sales on Smashwords are pretty early in - people see the book, get excited, buy it, move on to someone else's book. Cycle of life, you know? There's always something new to read, and people like me make most of our money when titles are brand new.

In the spirit of that - and as I mentioned in a prior post - I'm beginning to pull old titles off Smashwords in order to make them available for readers on KU in batches. This afternoon, I pulled the following titles:

A Tough Act to Swallow 
Always On Her Mind
Doll On Call
Jacked & Jilled: Stories of Stolen Slaves 
On All Fours 
Rapt for Christmas 
Rear in the Window 
Secondhand Slave 
Shared With His Permission
Stripped & Wired 
Two for One: A Breeder Recruited 

I'll check and make sure they're clear for KU next week, post them, and move on to some more titles.

I hope these arrangements will better serve all of you. 

With that out of the way, I'm back to work. I want something new out soon. Thanks again for checking in with me. I appreciate you. :)

Monday, May 15, 2017

Ready For Business Use

Hey all,

As promised, I'm still here doing this. New book out today, available on Amazon and included in the Kindle Unlimited Program!

He asked, “So, how was your day?”
“Pretty great!” I replied enthusiastically. I stepped to the fridge and pulled out a beer for him. As I poured it into a glass for him, I added, “Spent most of the day with that fitness program.”
“How far are you in it?” Ken asked.
“Tomorrow’s lesson is hypnosis!” I said. It felt a little funny saying it out loud, but I couldn’t help but look forward to it. I set the mug in front of Ken and asked, “Anything else, dear?”
“Hazel,” Ken asked firmly, “Would you mind taking off the apron and bra while you eat, so I can have a better look at your chest?”
Take Off My Apron And Bra.
Ken was so sweet, wanting the view while he ate. Besides, I didn’t need to wear a bib. I agreed happily, “Yes, dear.”
As I peeled out of it, Ken asked, “So, hypnosis? How do you feel about that?”
“It’s weird,” I said, “I mean, you think about that, you mostly think about people clucking like chickens or something, right?” I set my clothes on a spare chair, then got my own plate. 
“Right,” Ken agreed, digging into his food. He raised a bite to his lips, but before he took it, he asked, “But it’s not, is it? I’m not going to come home to you clucking like a chicken?”
I poured myself a glass of wine and took a seat across from him, keenly aware of his gaze on me. The attention was nice. I shook my head and said, “No, it’s not about making me do funny stuff, it’s just about relieving tension and anxiety. Like guided meditation or something. I’ll just be calmer and happier.”
“So you’re not worried about being, like, programmed to do a bunch of extra sit-ups or something?” Ken asked, clearly joking.
Mind Control Isn’t Real.
The thought was immediate, almost reflexive. It was also completely true. I shook my head and giggled, “That’s silly. Mind control isn’t real. Hypnosis is perfectly natural and safe. You must know that, I mean, you’re involved in the product launch.”
Hope you all like it. I'm off to start something new ASAP, maybe play with the format a little. :)

Monday, May 8, 2017

Update on Things, and other vague blog titles.

Previously, on my blog:

I said I was going to wait a week to let vendors pull my books, per Smashword's recommendation. While I was vetting everything to make sure it had come down, I found out that The Doll Academy: Passing Notes was being offered on a scam site without my permission, so I ended up filing my first ever DMCA complaint. (If they hadn't been trying to steal credit card information with my stolen content, I might have even been flattered... but identity theft is not okay.)

I spoke to the Amazon team about everything, and they recommended holding that one back until the scam site is down. I was a little frustrated by that, but Amazon's representative was very kind about it, and I appreciated their prompt and professional response. So for the time being, I placed the other four titles on Select to make them available to read for free on Kindle Unlimited. Hopefully there won't be any other issues with that. I've only ever used KDP once before, and that was from day 1, which is a little different than this month's project.

The story I am currently working on yet isn't quite done - this all has me a little stressed and distracted - but I should have it ready to roll soon. In the spirit of giving this experiment proper time to succeed or fail, I'll be releasing things on Amazon exclusively for a little while just to see how that goes. If there are further changes, I will post about them.

The other thing I wanted to mention:

I've been working in 1st person POV since... I wanna say my third story. It's good for unreliable narration, which is a hallmark of the kind of mind control erotica that I've been writing here. (I used to think I'd write a bunch of different things, but the truth is that I'm happiest writing things that appeal to me, and I have some very specific tastes in sexy stories.)

However, I'm wanting to tell some longer stories, and I personally find 1st person to be too constraining. I know some authors kick ass with that, (*waves to Jim Butcher*), but I just haven't ever gotten the hang of it. Both the Doll Academy and Beta Tested books were experiments with just hopping around characters a little bit between sequels to give stories a better sense of scope. I loved all five of those books, but I'm not sure how well that part worked out for me.

As a result, I might be trying some other stuff with an eye toward longer stories, just to kind of break things up a bit for myself. As with the KU thing, I'm hoping this will be a change people enjoy.

Thanks again for reading! I really appreciate each and every one of you. :)

- Jessie.

Monday, May 1, 2017

Kindle Unlimited

I've decided to give Kindle Unlimited a try on a limited basis. For those of you who don't know, that's a program where Amazon customers with a Prime subscription can read books published to the Kindle without having to buy them. You'll be able to either purchase them to own as before (without needing Prime), or just borrow them. I'll still be paid in either case, either for pages read that way, or traditional sales.

I'm hoping this situation is win/win: I would like to reach a wider audience both because I hope people like my work, and because this is technically a job to me. While money is not my primary motivation in writing erotica, I have to make sure I can afford to spend the time it takes. 

The down side of this is that Amazon requires an exclusive deal for any participating title. As long as a title is available on Kindle Unlimited, it can't be sold anywhere else. There's also a three month period of exclusivity after removing a title from the program, so if I don't like the results, there'll be a brief waiting period before I can change my mind about it. 

I'm not going to switch everything over right away, as I have 50 individual titles and only so much time for this. Plus, I'm not sure this will work out. 

This morning, what I've done is take the Doll Academy series and Beta Tested books off of Smashwords and Nook. Next Monday, after those books are no longer available at the laundry list of places Smashwords goes to, I'm going to submit them for inclusion in Amazon's program. (I'm really anxious to move forward, but I have to give vendors time to pull the titles.)

If that goes well - no hitches or complaints from Amazon - I'm going to pick through my catalog and move more stuff over in batches. Not everything will switch, as some of my content is a little risque for Amazon anyway. (Most recently, Hot & Swappable was too dirty for them.)

If it goes poorly, well... lesson learned, and I'll just keep doing what I've been doing. 

I will post again to keep you all updated. Right now, I just wanted to give everybody a heads-up, as this would be a pretty big change in how I do things, and that's 5 titles that have been made less accessible this week. I will continue to offer updates about progress here as I take further steps either toward this, or to change stuff back.

I also wanted to let everybody know that I do have a couple more stories in process right now. I'm sorry that I'm so much slower these days. 

Thanks again for reading. I firmly believe the idea that anything worth doing is worth doing for an audience. ;)

- Jessie

Monday, March 27, 2017

Beta Tested 2: Target Audience

Like I mentioned before, I enjoyed Beta Tested enough that I started work on a sequel immediately.

“That’s right,” I agreed, “The game can’t control our minds.”
Even as I said it though, I wondered if that was necessarily true. The smoke was already clinging to the ground in our cell, but it didn’t smell the least bit sooty. It was more like someone had plopped us in a field of wildflowers in bloom, heady and sweet. I inhaled deeply, and my chest felt warm. My body began to relax again, taking on the heavy drowsiness I had felt when we first logged in. My arousal hadn’t dipped at all either. 
The game was certainly affecting my body.
Jenny voiced that thought. She wriggled a little, getting comfortable in the corner of the cell and asked, “But why not? It’s putting images and sounds and smells right in our heads.” She took a deep breath for emphasis and asked, “What’s the difference between putting in the idea of a smell, and the idea of kneeling?”
Just the mention of it made me want to get on my knees. I wondered dully if she might not be right.
“Like brainwashing?” Nate asked. His tone was skeptical, but his voice was dull too. Whatever the smoke was, it was definitely affecting all of us, not just me.
“Mm,” I agreed, “I know it isn’t, but I can imagine it. Maybe not like…” I paused, finding it difficult to express my thoughts verbally, “… not like thoughts right in our heads, but training us by making us feel things. Experience things.”
I was starting to feel uncomfortably warm, even in my new and low-cut clothes. I unfastened the bustier idly, letting it slip open. 
Nate protested weakly, “That’s still not mind control though. The game can’t control our minds. It can’t do any real harm.”
Can’t Control Our Minds.
Can’t Do Any Real Harm.
That was all true. I definitely wanted to strip and kneel of my own free will.
As the excerpt indicates, it's an indirect sequel - this is the self-contained story of four gamers who play Lost Skeloath after its release.

It's available on Smashwords already, soon to be on Amazon and Nook. Hope you all enjoy it!