Thursday, May 26, 2011

What's with treating authors like piranha?

As I mentioned in a previous post, the amazon forums are a mess. The genre forums are swamped by promotional threads and posts. The only notable exception is the romance forum.

Amazon finally took stronger anti-spam steps this week. It has outright forbidden book promotion on the existing forums, creating a new "Meet Our Authors Forum." The promotions are now segregated from the book discussions, which I believe is a good thing.

Needless to say, the new spam directive is causing a furor, particularly among the self-published writers who relied on such promotion to let readers know about their books. The title of my blog post is a quote from one of the unhappy writers. (I suspect the author meant to say pariah, not piranha.) Hyperbole rules in the MOA forum.

The spammers are hopping mad, never considering their masterpiece is one of thousands and thousands and thousands. Rather than look for new marketing avenues (like blogs or review sites), many continue to scheme. Most notable are the "tag parties" to artificially inflate Amazon book tag inventories, or using sock puppets to recommend books on the genre forums. The tag parties may have been busted. The Kindle books don't seem to have tags anymore.

Worst of all, many of the spammers blame the readers for their banishment. The angriest of the bunch are driving away the very readers who might buy their books.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Is BDSM Really a Lifestyle?

I say no.

A lifestyle is the way you live. It's a thread that runs through every part of your life: You eat it and sleep it. A lifestyle is both an environment and a mindset.

Most people live a life, not a lifestyle. That's true for kinky folk, too. With rare exceptions, BDSM is just a way of interacting, a sensual hobby, a sexual game. But saying "we live the BDSM lifestyle," sounds hipper, more alt, more extreme, than "We enjoy BDSM activities". The expression lends extra drama to a part-time endeavor.

Indeed, the "BDSM lifestyle" phrase is generally overkill; it's also pretentious and "cooler than thou."

Nobody ever says they live a "parenting lifestyle", although life changes drastically when you become a parent.

It's time to drop the "BDSM lifestyle" expression.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Like Paper Dolls

Beautiful Trouble Publishing has found a way to circumvent the expense of creating covers. Here's hoping the stories are more individualized than the cover art.