Tag: The Theater of Dusk Page 1 of 3

Sataniasis and masturbosity

Source: https://pixabay.com/photos/herbal-tea-cup-tea-relaxation-4232777/

As you probably know, my physical book is no more. My guess is that someone reported it as inappropriate and Creative Space took it down. It baffles me why an overly sensitive reader would buy it since I clearly state in the description they will detest it, but go figure. Conservative types are usually all over inappropriate material faster than flies gather around a corpse. Perhaps they hope to save the rest of us innocent fools from the clutches of diabolical smut by reading it first. Or perhaps they have a metric system and the appropriate gadgets that measure masturbosity and sataniasis in a book. If the gadget starts singing hosannas, it’s safe to read. If the gadget screeches like a televangelist is having a colonoscopy sans anesthesia in a moving firetruck, toss that book into the fireplace and wash your eyes and hands with bleach. I mean, seriously now? Oh, I just don’t know, and it makes no real difference. The book was no more, period, and Amazon refused to give me the exact details why. Grrr.

Now, much as I wanted to mail to the Amazon KDP headquarters a bomb which would contain hordes of live roaches covered in glitter, I did not. I triple-facepalmed, yelled, fumed, cursed like a sailor, complained to my friends… and pretty much left it at that. It is sad, but one has to choose their battles wisely. So Amazon KDP does not want to re-print my book ever. So what. I’ll find another way, I said to myself.

I started looking for an affordable printing company and found one. I decided I’ll sell my book through my blog. The ebook is still available on Amazon. If someone wants to buy a physical copy, they will be buying it from me. They may as well ask for a signed copy; I won’t charge them extra. 😉 Nowadays everyone has Paypal, and so do I. Paypal protects the buyer if something is lost or not as described. Problem solved… or not.

You see, what I just described is a process. It’s not going to happen tomorrow. I hired a graphic designer to do a makeover of my physical book as soon as she has some time. While waiting for that to happen, it was a good opportunity to check the contents. After the graphic designer is done, I won’t be able to change the file again, so the stories should be in top-notch condition prior to the makeover. I was pretty certain they were in good shape, as I had hired an editor before publishing it. Right?

(Bit of advice here: never, and I mean never, let your guard down when it comes to checking and re-checking before publishing something. You may have hired an editor. You may have hired an entire team of them. I don’t care. Read the damn thing one more time before hitting the publish button. Do it for science. Do it for grandma. Just do it. You will thank me later).

So I re-read the contents, groaned, and decided to unpublish the book in order to make corrections. After three weekends of editing, reading, re-reading, re-editing, rubbing my sore eyes and wishing for death, the book was re-published. It’s much better than before, and it can be found here. If you want to check for yourself what this whole fuss was about and why anyone would go as far as to censor it, be my guest. Reviews have been very good on both Goodreads and Amazon so far, and now the book is even better!

Off to feed the cats. Be good to yourselves and have a lovely weekend!

Censorship at its most insidious

 

Let me tell you a story. I mean, that’s what writers do, right? They tell stories.

Back in 2014, when I started out my journey as a published writer, Amazon only published ebooks via its KDP service. KDP is short for Kindle Direct Publishing. If you wanted to also offer a physical version of your book, you had to use Amazon’s subsidiary company, Create Space. So I published my book, the Theater of Dusk, using both companies. KDP published the ebook. Create Space got the physical book. Good so far? 

I’ve paid for everything out of my pocket. By ‘everything’ I mean the cover, editing costs, the costs of organising giveaways and sending copies to the winners and so on and so forth. It was a large sum, and I don’t regret spending it. Other people spend the same money on shoes and the latest iPhone. I wanted to publish my book. Each to their own. Don’t judge me for my vices and I won’t judge you for yours. 

My book doesn’t sell, and it comes as no surprise. Since Amazon will publish even the manuscript of a monkey with basic IT skills, the floodgates were opened. Everyone hoping to make a quick buck or having delusions of grandeur jumped on the bandwagon. The market was and still is buried under tens of thousands of cheap, similar, awful books. Standing out became impossible, unless there was a team of professionals behind your book who used their knowledge and some serious money to promote and advertise you. Since I don’t have a big publishing house behind me, I had very little hope of getting noticed. In fact, I never stood a chance. This, by the way, does not mean I regret publishing my book. I will never regret that.  

About a month ago I made updates to both versions of my book and re-uploaded the manuscripts. Create Space contacted me shortly afterwards and told me they will stop publishing my physical book because it violated their standards. I sent several emails asking them to point out the exact problem, because they wouldn’t even tell me if it was a title, cover, description or content issue. My book just violated their standards, end of conversation. They refused to answer my emails and explain what the problem was. And of course the book remained out of print.

Create Space is currently in the process of becoming one with KDP. The physical book was recently transferred to the new company. As soon as that happened, it was blocked there too. Wowsers! So I contacted KDP asking for help to solve this issue, hoping they’d be more professional and give me information. I mean, unless you tell me what the problem is, how in the blue blazes am I supposed to solve it? I waited and waited and got the same vague reply. That my book violated their standards, and consequently it would not be published.

At the time of writing this entry, only my ebook was available. I am surprised they haven’t taken that down too. Now, I would love to think I’m too shocking for the minds of common men, and my literary genius has scared them senseless and they cowered before my immense depravity. But believe me if I tell you I’ve both read and written some very extreme things, and my first book is nowhere near close. All things considered, it’s rather mild, it has a ton of trigger warnings in the description, and even the erotic scenes are few and in between.

How hypocritical is it to sell books like 50 Shades as Amazon and refuse to sell what doesn’t even qualify as porn?

How hypocritical is to sell mysteries and thrillers with excruciating details of gruesome murder and torture and refuse to print what can barely be labeled as violent?

I am disheartened, because it has been a non-stop uphill struggle for four years and it doesn’t look like it’s going to improve anytime soon. I also know why they won’t tell me what the problem is. If they did, and I had money, I could have taken legal action. By keeping the details vague, I can’t accuse them of something specific. So they get to do what they want, and I have no say in the matter. A meek, obedient, perfect little cog, keeping the Great Machine running.

A meek little cog with visions of cities burning, of angels mating with monsters and giving birth to abominations, of deepest darkness, the Night Without End. Of beauty inseparable from suffering, for all beauty leads to suffering. Of compassion, cruelty and despair, and everything forbidden and forgotten, desolate and alone, crying out under starless, empty skies.

Still want me to be your cog? Because I don’t think the shoe fits.

I don’t even know why I bother writing this entry, except for the fact I am too bitter to keep it inside. It’s not going to change anything and I know it. But I’m sick to my heart by constant adversity. And my only outlet is, unsurprisingly, writing. I mean, who would have thought.

Uriel Serafini

New ebook giveaway!

Photo credit: https://www.facebook.com/Uriel.Serafini/ (Image used under permission)

Sorry I have been awol. But as I said in a previous post, unless I have something to say, I’d rather spend more time writing than waste my diminishing brain cells on social media. I am prone to it anyway, in fact too much so. 😉 So here goes. 

So, lo and behold, I have organised a new ebook giveaway. Two winners get free copies of my ebook the Theater of Dusk! To participate, please go to my Facebook page here. The rules are simple, and you get a free copy of my book if you are the winner (plus one more for your tagged friend). Giveaway runs from the 18th of May until 1st of June, 2018. 

Please be aware that the book contains material some readers may find shocking or offensive. Also, there are strong emotional triggers. Themes include BDSM, suicide, murder, violence, blood, scarification, non-consensual sex, M/M sex. If any of these offend you or could act as triggers, please refrain from participating. Also, please be aware that some stories contain material suitable only for adults. (+18)  

Thank you, please share this post, and good luck!

Ebook Giveaway

 

I am running a giveaway on my Facebok page. Winner gets a free copy of my ebook the Theater of Dusk! To participate, please go to my Facebook page here. The rules are simple, and you get a free copy of my book if you are the winner. Giveaway runs until the 31st of January.

Please be aware that the book contains material some readers may find shocking or offensive. Also, there are strong emotional triggers. Themes include BDSM, suicide, murder, violence, blood, scarification, non-consensual sex, M/M sex. If any of these offend you or could act as triggers, please refrain from participating. Also, please be aware that some stories contain material suitable only for adults. (+18)  

Thank you, please share this post, and good luck!

Reviewers needed for my wee monster!

I am desperately looking for reviewers. I am particularly interested in reviewers who can publish on both Goodreads and Amazon. PLEASE be warned, my book contains strong triggers: BDSM, suicide, murder, violence, blood, non-con sex etc. If you have 10+ reviews on Goodreads and you’re interested, please message me for an ebook. In order to confirm your Goodreads account, you will need to message me from Goodreads. If you want a physical book, due to my very tight budget (unemployed at the moment) I can send out one book per month. PLEASE share!

My Goodreads profile:

 

All reviews of my work, positive, neutral or negative, are welcome. Reading a book is a completely personal experience, so an honest review is a blessing. Even a negative review is better than no review. It shows that people read my work and validates the positive reviews. So please contact me if you are interested. Thank you!

Giveaway happening now!

I hope you had a wonderful Halloween! I’ll keep this short and sweet. The giveaway has started and the book is available to all countries. Enter now for a chance to win. All you have to do is be a member of Goodreads. If you have written reviews, your chances of winning improve a lot. Don’t hesitate, you may be one of the two winners!

You can enter the giveaway here:

https://www.goodreads.com/giveaway/show/261536 

If you like dark fantasy and twisted tales that don’t always have a good or moral ending, then you’ll probably love my little monster. Good luck!

Brain soup

The title is what happened to my grey matter while considering ways to override Goodreads’s system of giveaways. Their system doesn’t work for me. I give away books to possible reviewers only to discover that once they win my book, they abandon their accounts. Or fall sick. Or they habitually enter giveaways and have won hundreds of books they are supposed to review, but since their winnings are a three digit number, it might take them a couple of years (or ten). Or that they just won’t write a review, full stop. If everyone fell sick or abandoned their accounts after winning my book, I would be worried my writing is somehow responsible. You know, they read the book and suffered a stroke. Or were abducted by librarian demons. Or something.

So I am thinking about organising a giveaway through my blog. I am working out the details in my head. It’s a bit more complex than it seems, because I want to make sure participants have written a lot of reviews in Goodreads before entering my giveaway. Other than that, I am organising a new giveaway on Goodreads, too. Damned if I do, damned if I don’t. Wish me luck. The link is on the right upper corner of the blog and the giveaway will start on the 31st of October. Oh, and before I forget, happy Halloween!

It’s time for darkness!

Summer is here. For goths, misanthropes and dark souls, this is the worst time of the year. Sun, sweat, people. So many people. Yikes! So I decided to help you. I’ll run a promotion for the Theater of Dusk. Just 99c for the ebook and $4.99 for the physical book. Wowsers! Promotion will run from the 18st of June till the 30th. If you’ve always wondered what my writing is like, this is the perfect chance to discover it! And hey, visiting the darkest corners of my mind for just 99c… that’s a bargain, isn’t it? So grab your copy now!

You can find the book here:

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00HV4584Q 

I’ll be more than grateful if you could share this information for any dark fantasy fans out there; forums, Facebook groups, anything. Sharing is caring and it costs nothing, but makes a world of difference to a self-published writer.

I hope you’ll enjoy the darkness (and the shade). All reviews, positive, neutral or negative, are very welcome. Thank you!

Brutally honest

Ladies and gentlemen and non-binary sweethearts, good evening to you. I trust you are all good?

I haven’t been here in a while. Truth is, I have nothing noteworthy to write. I got news from the Binge Watching Cure, and though they enjoyed my short story, they won’t be publishing it. I was really disappointed, because it brought me back to square one. The problem is simple. I can’t promote my published book, the Theater of Dusk. Or rather, no matter how much I try, I see no results whatsoever. There are some logical reasons I know and can refer to. 

  • The  book is a collection of short stories. Readers prefer novels.
  • The short stories don’t belong to one genre but many. This makes it even more difficult to pitch it to an audience.
  • There are tens of thousands of new books published in Amazon every month, so mine is buried under the sheer bulk.
  • I don’t have money for advertisement.
  • I am self-published, so I don’t have a publishing house to take care of promotion and advertisement.

As a result of the above factors, I was hoping to publish my second book in order to help the first one too. But I don’t have the necessary money for editing, so that isn’t going to happen. The Binge Watching Cure collection would have helped me reach a wider audience, but they don’t want my story after all. And every other method I’ve tried so far has failed. Here are some examples:

  • I’ve contacted dozens of reviewing blogs. I haven’t heard back from any of them. Two blog owners who contacted me and said they were interested, were probably abducted by aliens because after that they vanished.
  • I have organised three giveaways in Goodreads, in which I gave away a total of ten books. Three were lost in the post and I had to post them to winners a second time. In the end, all I got was one review and two ratings. Oh wow.
  • I’ve paid for Facebook advertisements. As I said in my previous blog entry, when I do that I get sales before the advertisement, which renders the whole endeavour surreal and pretty much useless.

As you can guess from the above, I got sick of struggling. I’ve been trying and pushing and racking my brains for three years now and haven’t achieved anything, so I will no longer bother. I’ll go back to writing and try to save money in order to publish my novel. If anyone needs to contact me, please use my Facebook page. I will update this blog when I have something book-related to say, which I hope will be sooner rather than later. Other than that, I really should devote my free time to writing rather than rambling.

I hope to have good news for you soon and thanks for reading this blog. I do appreciate every pageview I got. 

Magician

Art is a cruel mistress

Art is a cruel mistress… Source: http://brilandsurrounding.tumblr.com/image/153124857372

I don’t have the necessary money for editing my novel. So for the time being, it will be shelved, or rather, stored in my hard drive until further notice. I was hoping I’d be able to publish it in 2016. The editing costs are waaaay above my paycheck. This saddens me but there is nothing I can do. I need to accept it and move on with my life.

I have discovered a unique time/ space disturbance in relation to my published book. Every time I attempt to advertise it, I get sales before the advertisement runs. Not during, not after. Before. If the same thing happened to me with the lottery numbers before the draw, I would have solved my editing issues, together with most of my problems. It wouldn’t have made my heroes real so that I can have hot experimental sex with them (did I write that? Oh dear) meet them, but pretty much everything else would be covered.

Other than that, I submitted a story from my published book the Theater of Dusk to the Binge Watching Cure. If you read their very interesting disclaimer, they want to cure your Netflix (or Amazon, Google movie, or Hulu) addiction and help you return to your first love, reading books. The editor told me he liked my story and he is considering it for publication. I will know for certain around the beginning of next year. If someone keeps in mind they receive 20-30 stories per day, I am immensely proud for the fact they are even considering it. It means I am doing something right (hopefully).

I am no longer sure what I’m doing right. At least I haven’t given up. I want to write books and publish them, though it seems harder than ever. It reminds me of something I read in the book Letters to a Young Poet by Rainer Maria Rilke. The book is the correspondence Rilke kept with a young poet. In one letter, Rilke asks the poet to try and imagine his life without writing. Let me quote:

“Go into yourself. Find out the reason that commands you to write; see whether it has spread its roots into the very depths of your heart; confess to yourself whether you would have to die if you were forbidden to write. This most of all: ask yourself in the most silent hour of your night: must I write? Dig into yourself for a deep answer. And if this answer rings out in assent, if you meet this solemn question with a strong, simple “I must,” then build your life in accordance with this necessity; your whole life, even into its humblest and most indifferent hour, must become a sign and witness to this impulse.”

Well, I’ll go insane if I don’t write, so it is not a matter of choice. We do what we must, regardless of how difficult it may be.

Page 1 of 3