Category Archives: Business, Branding

Play, art(ists) post

I’m aiming to finish PLAY (my bdsm-themed anthology) by/during July 2011.

bdsm

// Graffiti artwork (!) by elmo2332, photo taken by Bert23

“The sex” in the stories isn’t too explicit — I’ve tried my best to explore the “psychological” aspects of BDSM (which is where the real kick for me is / the “explicit scenes” are for those who primarily want the pornographic form of BDSM).

There’s no extreme violence in any of the stories either.

* Side Note: Great article at Lucrezia, titled “Bisexuality, BDSM and the Myth of Violent Pornography.”

I’ve two more stories left for the anthology: The Velvet Rope and Switch. I have a VERY rough draft of The Velvet Rope at the moment — will try to finish by mid-June. I have some stuff to see to in June — I’ll do my best to finish Switch by July, latest.

This is/has been a very tiring anthology to complete, so I’m looking forward to its completion (that’s what I always say, when I’m nearing the completion of any project)…but in terms of execution, it is pretty close to what I originally had in mind, so I’ll put in the necessary time and care into finishing up the last 2 stories left (aggravating as that can become, at points).

I was thinking about some upcoming projects the other day (I was musing about the outlines for my Cyberpunk Elven Trilogy). I think I’ll continue to challenge myself with each project (I’ll admit I was considering something “a little less ambitious/interesting” with one installment of one project!).

If I tried something less challenging, I might be able to complete the work faster — but in the end, I think I’d rather work on and complete something that I can be proud of (I will feel more satisfied at having achieved/accomplished something, as opposed to stagnating and doing the same old things over and over again).

In the short term, stagnating might be OK (because “a proven formula works”), but as an artist at heart, I don’t want to stagnate and stop challenging myself — that’s when the work starts to become unoriginal, uninspiring, and boring (for both myself and my type of readers/customers).

Three quotes from Thoughts On Success (from The Forbes Leadership Library):

“Our national future depends on our national character — whether it is spiritually or materially minded.”
— Roger Babson

“A man’s treatment of money is the most decisive test of his character — how he makes it and how he spends it.”
— James Moffatt

“Adversity makes men; good fortune makes monsters.”
— French Proverb

* * *

Other Art Stuff:

I recently kinda resurrected an old blog, Ooonique! (a unique gifts/products blog). This is the latest post, featuring Draw Your Face Off (a website where you can order original, inked portraits).

drawfaceoff

– Screenshot of Draw Your Face Off, image link will take you to the website.

jess c scott

– That’s my self-portrait shot (with one filter on Photoshop / dry brush filter). I’ve been battling acne for a while. I currently am using olive oil only (as cleanser + moisturizer + toner all in one)…I greatly favour natural > synthetic things most of the time. I hope this keeps the acne down [it was very manageable when I was in Singapore / came to Maine in about 2006 / acne got really bad from Dec 2009 onward (though that was probably due to "stressful" life events at the time, and lack of proper sleep)].

angel face

– “Angel Face” sketch (pencil and coloured digitally). I drew it some time in late 2010. I have not drawn anything in 2011 yet, I think. I will try to do some drawing in the later half of 2011 (I’ve been busy seeing to jessINK, and completing the bloody PLAY / Primal Scream anthology).

And here are three paintings by Stuart Pearson Wright, hands down one of my FAVOURITE artists!!!

* Short Article/Bio on Stuart Pearson Wright (artistaday.com)
* Longer Article on Stuart Pearson Wright (guardian.co.uk)

jkrowling stuart pearson wright

– 1. Portrait of J.K. Rowling (artist’s comments on the painting)

duke edinburgh, stuart wright

– 2. Duke of Edinburgh / Homo sapiens, Lepidium sativum and Calliphora vomitoria (title of painting / Latin for “human, cress and bluebottle”)

“Acclaimed artist Stuart Pearson Wright said he aimed to remind the viewer of the 82-year-old Duke’s mortality by featuring the metallic-blue fly, which breeds on decaying organic matter.

The head and shoulders piece, entitled Homo sapiens, Lepidium sativum and Calliphora vomitoria (human, cress and bluebottle) was, in fact, turned down by the Royal Society of Arts, which commissioned Pearson Wright to paint it.

“They considered it inappropriate,” the 28-year-old London-based artist said (when the portrait was done in 2004).

More info @ http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-261306/Prince-Philip-shown-new-light.html (I love DM)

stuart pearson wright

– 3. That’s a self-portrait by the artist, Stuart Pearson Wright.

P.S. I also love the artwork of John Singer Sargent, John Ruskin, John William Waterhouse, John Galliano, Dali, etc. I should feature a blitz sample of their lovely work sometime.


Censorship and Artistic Integrity

primal scream

Introducing the first installment of Primal Scream.

* * *

With all the drama going on, I thought I’d scribble down some quick thoughts here (I’m about 50% done with Rockstar — the easier the reading is, the harder the actual writing -_-).

Quick Summary: Amazon started banning/deleting incest erotica in Dec 2010; PayPal suspended my account in March 2011 for selling incest-themed stories directly from my website (that’s my deduction, since none of the retailers give specific reasons for their actions); and B&N is suspected to be currently “fiddling around” with the rankings of erotica books (such that they no longer have high rankings and visibility in the B&N store).

Sooooo to avoid all this trouble, I think I’ll continue to focus on the story > explicit scenes (though I might throw in a little bit of the latter, now and then…).

Fashion Icon is the “special edition” of Incestiable. In the special edition, the characters are established as “step relatives.” Now the fact that they are step relatives cancels out the incestuous relations (they’re no longer blood-related). I include a note to the reader at the beginning of the book to “please use your imagination,” if the reader/customer enjoys incest-themed fiction.

I’ve been feeling quite tired/burned out lately, so I’ve been a bit out of focus for the past week or so.

It was partly due to the Amazon + PayPal “censorship” issues, and re-categorizing/re-branding my ‘erotica’ titles as ‘erotic fiction’ (since most buyers who are seeking commercial erotica are seeking the eroticism in the form of explicit content, which isn’t what my erotic fiction is about).

I sometimes wonder if I wasted all my time writing deliberately deviant / not neatly commercially categorizable fiction, but in the long term, I think it’ll be okay. My erotic fiction contains, maybe, a ratio of 20% of explicit content to 80% of “the story,” so if ALL the retailers decided to ban all “erotica” titles one day, I’ll be able to tweak the material and present it as “contemporary/erotic fiction” (which is what I’ll do with future material).

I like sidestepping / doing new things, and I understand it’s “problematic” for the major retailers.

For this reason, the Primal Scream full anthology will showcase an, uh, interesting “range” of content (from some explicit content, to erotic love, to very subtle/implicit eroticism). It reflects what I started out with (stories with some explicit scenes), to something more “lyrical/complex,” to something less lyrical/less complex (on the surface), but that still deals with contemporary issues in a contemporary way.

The less discerning commercial erotica/smut readers/customers are likely to scoff at my brand of erotic fiction.

But the erotic life is not defined by explicitness. Pornography is. And my goal has never been to produce porn.

* * *

I received three emails this week (won’t name any names!):

Email #1:

Hello, Jess…

Nothing irritates me more than useless crap we shovel into our brains to pretend to forget how fucked we are.

Have Anne Rice’s vampire works stood the test of time? No, and neither will Meyer’s, because they are by no means Bram Stokers. Just another flash in the pan, she’ll be elbowed out by someone else when this Vampy love bullshit fizzles out.

Sad part is, the people in the indie scene who got the attention of the big wigs are writing the same kind of shit they big presses are shoveling.

I took a look at your site, and I must say I find it sad that we, in a modern world in 2011 haven’t figured out what pornography is. I’ll probably face the same amount of shit for my next book. It’s sexually explicit and contains graphic scenes of bondage, blood play and mutilation…I guess we’ll see what happens.

I would like to read a book of yours but at the moment I am finishing up my next book and it will probably another month or so until the final draft is done. I’d like to read your cyberpunk book, though.
– from, A Male Author

Email #2: Correspondence with reader/customer:

Dear Jess C,

I just finished reading “Spinning Around,” and I really enjoyed it.  However, I am somewhat surprised that it was not longer and not more intimately detailed.  I absolutely love Father-Daughter erotica…and I’m not sure why.  Of course I must keep this secret to myself, as no one would understand.  I love finding a good story to read when my wife is not around, (we are lesbians), and slowly start getting aroused, and finally start touching myself, and eventually have multiple powerful orgasms!   I so want to seduce my Dad….he is so freaking hot.

Please write more father-daughter stories!!!!!!!

Sincerely,
A Female Reader/Customer

My reply:

Hi xxxxxx,

Thanks so much for your email — it’s always nice to hear from readers!

I was planning on a longer version of “Spinning Around,” and I might work on it some time in future. I’ll be presenting my future erotic fiction as “contemporary/erotic fiction,” because the major retailers (Amazon, B&N, and PayPal) are always targeting “erotica” books (especially those with incestuous content — I don’t understand how incest is more “offensive” than rape and bestiality, but apparently that seems to be the case).

Amazon started banning/deleting incest erotica in Dec 2010; PayPal suspended my account in March 2011 for selling incest-themed stories directly from my website (that was my deduction, since none of the retailers give specific reasons for their actions); and B&N is currently “fiddling around” with the rankings of erotica books (such that they no longer have high rankings and visibility in the B&N store).

Sooooo to avoid all this trouble, I think I’ll continue to focus on the story > explicit scenes (though I might throw in a little bit of the latter, now and then…).

I’ve had some emails from people who have incestuous desires (but have to “keep it secret because no one would understand”), so you’re definitely not alone! I personally get the biggest kick out of the brother-sister combination. I’m not sure why either, since I don’t have a brother.

Your wife must appreciate your high sex drive ;) Your dad must work out and eat well. That he’s “in better shape than guys less than half his age” = a huge compliment.

Incest can be a very delicious kink (when it’s consensual) — something most people don’t seem to get (but that doesn’t mean they don’t have “underlying desires,” HAHAHA),

Jess.

Her reply:

Hey, thank you for responding as if we are both real people!  I am sorry to hear about the red tape with the major retailers.  And I agree 100% re the “rate of offensiveness” when comparing incest, rape, etc.  It’s probably safe to say that incest,(including consensual), is hitting too close to home for many, so let’s not even acknowledge this topic:  it’s too real.   Anyway, thank you for everything you do and have stood/stand up for.  (Gotta run, wife is calling for me!)  LOL
Sincerely,
A Female Reader/Customer
PS:   My Dad is an awesome kisser! ;-) And…..

Email #3:

I don’t fantasize so much now but when I was young (say 13-33!) every night was a long fantasy for me. I thought it was a mental disease! I looked down on some of my fantasies as childish and shameful, but I remember many of them now with affection.

If you are brought up in a culture of shame it is exquisite torture that you soon learn to accept. I could write pages and pages about that tension between desire and guilt and the complications that arise from it. I could also write pages on the theme of religion and atheism. By the time I was in my teens, I was definitely an atheist and my convictions were unshakable and very deeply worked out.
— 47 y/o male, USA

* * *

These are the emails/perspectives that keep me going, when I REALLY question why I bother to care about anything in life. I can get extremely cynical at times, but I usually channel all my ego and frustrations and “desperation” (according to a recent fortune cookie) directly into my work (productivity = the antidote).

I mean, holy shit, if incest erotica / incest-themed fiction is indeed being suppressed because people can’t deal with it (according to this comment: “Maybe they want to keep it in the family…), then that only motivates me all the more as an artist to “continue my explorations” with regards to love, life, sex, lust, and desires.

I always focus on the characters + storyline. Obscenity is a subjective matter, so I probably will continue writing incest-themed fiction about step relatives (and whatever else I decide to ponder about).

I’ll just attempt a more sophisticated (and sneaky, but legal) route with upcoming projects. I like the challenge of writing “contemporary fiction with erotic elements” (which Lolita, which features a 12-year-old girl,  is categorized as), not “erotica.”

Suppressing an artist’s imagination is never going to work out. It’s just going to backfire ;)

A few people have questioned my morals (I sometimes reply, in a polite, concise, matter-of-fact way). I can summarize my views with the two points below:

1) My morals are related to writing, not sexual acts (as a writer, my top priority is the story, not literary morality).

2) Desire and committing the act are two completely different things. If you’re going to go around and arrest people for THINKING about SEX, I think most of us are going to end up in jail at one point or another. Just because I write about incest (or whatever else) doesn’t mean I’m telling people to act on their incestuous desires. And if I was involved in something “incestuous” (see my reply in “Email #2″ above about the “brother-sister” combination), a person would first need to have tangible proof and evidence of the fact that the ACT was committed.

And I realize that other people may question my morality (or lack thereof) more than I do. Why’s that? It’s my life, and I’ll deal with the consequences of having lived the way I chose to, after I die. The End.

P.S. Most of the nude figures in Michelangelo’s masterpiece had to be covered with drapery, and the St. Blaise-St. Catherine of Alexandria scene was cut out and redone by a different artist altogether. Also, in the ancient world, sex pervaded every aspect of life. The genitals were not considered to be obscene. Sex was considered an important part of humanity’s existence.

* * *

Footnote #1: From an astrological perspective, I’m a Virgo Sun in the 6th House, Aries Rising, and Mars Cap in the 10th House. Work = my life, REALLY, so censoring what I try to do via my work is something I don’t take lightly. I’m also a Venus Scorpio (end of 7th house / beginning of 8th house). Thinking about sex on a daily basis is an important part of my existence.

Footnote #2: If you enjoy sexual astrology, you might enjoy my factual fiction story, Jack in the Box (a personal favourite of mine).


“I Hate Commercialism”

yaoi

Cover image by nezumichuu.

=====

I’ll be happy if I can finish the next four BDSM-themed short stories over the next two months. Kinda slow, I know, but I’ve tried “rushing things” in the past, and it usually requires even more time in the end (to fix what was too hastily done).

Last night, I was half-dreaming half-thinking about the things happening in Rockstar, and it’s probably going to be really implicit/subtle for something that’s BDSM-themed. Then again, I personally get bored with porn after a few rounds of viewing/experiencing basically the same things (whether it’s in visual or textual format), so I hope I’ll be able to make the most of this new slant/direction I’m taking (“contemporary fiction with elements of erotic love”).

The subject of “art versus commerce” used to really irk me in the past (when I was…15-21, maybe). It took me a while to figure out what I really wanted to do (as a writer).

Thoughtful writing contains some level of artistic integrity. Publishing, however, is the business side of things. And it can be very difficult to hit a nice happy balance between art/the imagination, and business/reality.

In the past, there have been times where I’ve wished to be able to do commercial genre fiction, to tap into the cultural zeitgeist of the time (such as the teenage paranormal romance scene/Twilight franchise)…but I have to do what I have to do. I cannot be something that I’m not.

There are people who are able to tap into the commercial market, and go for the money — good for them :). If that’s the aim, then that’s the aim, and one would actually be unwise to factor in “artistic integrity [and 'all that (complicated, unnecessary) jazz'].”

As for myself, I personally have never been able to focus solely on financial success. Even if nobody else cares, I care about how I make my money/live my life, and the passion and purpose behind what drives me to succeed [a lot can be explained via astrology, and my MBTI type (INFJ)].

And if I did drop my vision and go for the money (via cashing in on a current trend/fad/whatever), I might not receive messages like the following:

“Based on the three books I’ve read, I can say that you’re a brilliant writer. They are not shallow reads. Your books do not only entertain but they also make you reflect on what is really important in one’s life.”
e-mail from a reader, 2011 (The Philippines)

I’m working very hard to hit my “third basic financial goal (with regards to writing/publishing)” by September 2011 (by my 25th b’day). I’ll continue to have more financial targets in future (Phase II scheduled for 2012).

As long as I live within my own means: I’ll be all right.

=====

* Here’s an excerpt from Rockstar, from which the title of this blog post is derived from ;). The excerpt is also posted on Rockstar @ jessINK.

SUMMARY: Hideki brings on the knife and bondage play to help Daniel come face-to-face with his dEniAl.

GENRE: Contemporary Fiction / Erotic Love / Yaoi

EXCERPT #2 (E-mail from Hideki to Daniel):

From: Hideki Noda <hideki-san@gqmail.com>
To: Daniel A. <daniel.a@gqmail.com>
Date: Tue, Mar 14, 2006 at 8:38 PM
Subject: Re: i hate commercialism

Hey Daniel,

Thanks for your kind comments and words of sanity. I mean I guess I just don’t know why I can’t be like everybody else, you know, and I mean everyone in all types of creative industries (music, writing, design, fashion, etc).

Gone are the days where people could actually tell good shit from bad shit — no wait, I’m not too sure, maybe people could never really tell the difference. As in, there’ll only be a small number of really thoughtful and discerning people who want something more in life, apart from something ‘pop’ and ‘fluff’ and mindlessly entertaining.

Do you know why there are so many obese people in the world right now (apart from the prevalence of fast food?) — one need only look at the ancient scriptures of India, such as the following:

An Ayurvedic text comments: “Boredom, mindless entertainment, continuous eating, and oversleeping: these will fatten you up just like a hog.”

I hate commercialism. It makes me very tired. I think I’m only going to be buying CDs of dead rockstars from now. A few notable exceptions regarding still-living artistes, which I will check out *when I happen to do so*.

I guess I should’ve known. I know I should not begrudge other people’s success. I know that there’s a market for everything. It’s more an overall feeling of genuine disgust and frustration.

I guess the question is: why bother to work hard? Why bother to hone your talents? Why bother to be anything, if you can make millions from unoriginal work that’s easily digestible, and just as easily disposable (but who care$, coz you already made the million$!!!)?

BUT I guess if I can slowly work on it…have a day job to survive, while I continue to explore the art/music in a way that I want…I won’t complain, coz it’s just two different camps. The commercial side can roll around and continue to pander crap to the lowest common denominator as they rush to meet their bottom line/net profits……….people like me can choose to sit it out, and not play the game at all.

You don’t have to buy into it, if you don’t want to. At the end of the day, I still want to be able to have my own life.

I’m not blessed enough to be illiterate/ignorant. I’m not blessed enough to be able to sell my soul and/or artistic integrity, for hordes of quick cash. I’m not blessed enough to ride on the commercial success of a trend or fad that’s hot for that day, or week, or year, or whatever.

But I’m blessed enough to have people like you as friends.

Ok thanks for listening to all my nonsensical garbage again…

~ Hideki.


PayPal Censorship

* UPDATE (2012): PayPal revises their policies to allow legal fiction.

* UPDATE (2013): A quick post on why “erotica” isn’t “porn”!

In the meantime, I’ll be working on a couple of psycho thrillers.

My original post from early 2011 is left below (unedited).

* * *

ORIGINAL POST (March 2011)

In December 2010, Amazon started banning/deleting incest-themed erotica from their website. Several of my erotic stories/collections are thus not on Amazon.

In February 2011, some of the “sample buttons” on my books at B&N went missing (some are still missing, as of this date). Several other authors were hit (especially those writing erotica/erotic romance) — while many of their books’ sample buttons have re-appeared, several of my books are still missing the sample button. No reply from B&N yet There was/is a technical glitch at B&N, which they are currently working on.

I recently launched my “indie publishing division,” jessINK.com (thinking I could sell material directly from my website, via E-Junkie).

On 7 March 2011, I wanted to buy the following item from Etsy.com:

bdsm_collar
(Item = Vintage dark style red collar necklace with dangling star charm with red enamel on the back. Pretty, no?)

But I couldn’t purchase the item at checkout, because I had “limited access” to my PayPal account.

When I logged into my PayPal account, I saw the following message:

paypal_limitedaccess

Mar 5, 2011: We recently asked you to stop participating in transactions that violated our Acceptable Use Policy.

(Your case ID for this reason is PP-001-231-349-997.)

I don’t recall being asked, as I received no prior email or warning about how exactly I had violated the guidelines.

This is what I can and cannot do with a limited access PayPal account:

paypal_limitedaccess_2

Due to the limited access of my PayPal account, I am currently unable to receive money via PayPal, or make any purchases using my PayPal account.

After some clicking around, I got to the “PayPal’s Acceptable Use Policy” page, which states:

paypal_acceptableusepolicy

(e) items that are considered obscene, are not allowed (highlighted in red)

After more clicking around, I found the guidelines for what is not allowed on eBay (which utilizes PayPal for transactions):

paypal_ebay

“Obscene materials, while not easy to define, aren’t allowed on eBay. For some guidance, we prohibit items depicting or describing bestiality, necrophilia, rape, scat, and incest (real or fictionalized).”

Isn’t the splattering of blood and guts via stylized explosions also obscene, whether real or fictionalized? Also, according to the above guidelines, Anais Nin’s books (classic literary erotica) should not be available for purchase on eBay. For the record, her books (I’m a huge fan!) are available for purchase on both Amazon and eBay, and her books do contain pedophilic, incestuous, as well as other deviant types of erotic content.

Since I have not had a reply from PayPal as to whether their eBay policy extends to PayPal as well (since they are two separate companies — eBay actually owns PayPal, thanks @kashicat), I believe my incest-themed material that I sell directly from my website is considered by PayPal (as with Amazon) to be “supremely offensive.”

To my knowledge, I am not doing anything illegal (if it is, indeed, a criminal offence to write about taboo subjects, why is this not clearly stated in the law? How do people know if they are “breaking the law” if the law is not clearly stated in the first place?).

I have always chosen to focus on erotica over pornography (I always aim to include some kind of artistic, or social/political point, when I write erotic fiction). What is “obscene” and “sexually explicit” can vary from culture to culture and over time. But as long as companies’ policies remain vague and unclear, there’s no distinction between erotica and pornography when it comes to censorship.

I am currently “evaluating other options,” as I still fully intend to continue writing whatever I wish (for both erotic and non-erotic material). Erotica/erotic fiction is an art form I take very seriously, so I will seriously do my best to make sure it is always available for readers/customers to purchase (in the meantime, I apologize that customers cannot purchase directly from my website. Keywords = “in the meantime”).

What I actually condone and/or do in real life is separate from what I put on paper and/or express via the written word — a distinction that some people seem to have a lot of trouble making, lol.

P.S. Just bought the vintage red collar (yeaaaah), using a friend’s account.

=====

Email Links and More Info:

Email: aupviolations@paypal.com (PayPal re: Acceptable Use Policy)

* PayPal’s Acceptable Use Policy
* eBay’s Prohibited and Restricted Items rules

Email: ecr@amazon.com (Amazon.com, Executive Customer Relations)

* Amazon Censors (Facebook Page with more info)

PLUS

+ Media Coverage on Censorship of Erotica by Erik Sherman on BNET +

=====


jessINK.com

I’ve linked up both www.jesscscott.com and www.jessink.com for the moment (since most of my old links are pointing to the former URL).

I’m still tweaking some pages, but it should all be okay in a bit (meta tags, etc).

Meta Description for the homepage of jessINK (which will appear on Google, once the website has been indexed):

jessINK is the indie publishing project of contemporary author/artist/non-conformist, Jess C Scott. Works include a mix of genres such as erotic fiction, commercial literary fiction, urban fantasy, and cyberpunk.

And here’s an updated screenshot:

P.S. Was listening to Nine Inch Nails, Nirvana, Michael Jackson, and Stabbing Westward (while web-designing). Was a good break from writing. Might rest for a few more days, before getting back to a s.story collection (20% done).

P.P.S. I like the BANNED! page. Will update thumbnail images later.


Whatever’s Best For Customers

The one day in the month that I force myself to actually not work (as in, not write/edit anything), is the day I have to reach out for my bottle of Midol (*hint*).

This is just a short but comprehensive update. I might jump around with my thoughts (points to Midol).

1. I’ll be starting work on jessINK today. Maybe just a rough template so that at least I will finally have a store where readers/customers can purchase from me directly. I’ve mentioned it enough times and had better set it up as soon as I can. I might take 2 days, 2 weeks, or 2 months to set it up (but definitely not 2 years — the average time it takes for a traditional publisher to get a book out).

2. 4:Play was a pretty big/complex project (that took maybe 6 months to complete). It crosses many genres for an erotic short story collection. I enjoyed getting the hard part done first (the full anthology), then chopping it up later (so the full anthology is priced @ $4.99, while the individual short stories or novellas are at a lower price, for people to pick and choose and try out whatever they’d like ^^). I think I’m going to continue this modus operandi for future projects, so I don’t annoy both myself and customers. I like to do my best to provide value for money, and will continue to ensure that something I price at $2.99 (or whatever price — ideally not more than $4.99, for fiction, from now) will be worth it.

I am not totally senseless when it comes to business, but the creative aspect in my personality is very strong — I tend to work with “whatever I feel like” at the moment (not “where the money is” / in terms of genre, etc). IN THE END, I think it will all be pretty much the same (in terms of income), so in order not to confuse people and potentially get them to make repeat purchases on similar items, I will try to complete full anthologies first, then split it up (like how I did with 4:Play). This clashes with my previous plan of “working as fast as possible / getting more material out asap,” but in the long term, I think this is something customers will appreciate, which I will, in turn, be appreciative of.

3. As stated in a previous blog post, I had three basic financial goals with regards to writing fiction. I am on my way to making a living from writing fiction, so I’m a bit “ugh” at being slowed down by jessINK + LSIBUT these are necessary things in the long run. And since I’m a very DIY type of person that enjoys doing a lot of things [writing, editing, design, web design -- as is said in Hokkien, bao ka liao ("do everything")]…it is natural for me to see to these additional things myself :)

4. I will update on Twitter and/or on this blog, when I have something to mention (–> points to “email updates” on right sidebar, or “subscribe RSS” button right at the bottom). I’m not even sure how I’m going to see to all the things I have “to do” — set things up on LSI, set up new website, get to new projects…but they’ll be done, sooner or later. I’ll probably have a “new” section (for just-published material), and have updates on the front page of jessINK later. Whatever is easiest for readers/customers, lol. Will follow the basic template of dragonsinn.net.

P.S. I am likely to have a “banned” or “mature audience” section on the new website — but I don’t really intend to split the genres up (as in, have a website only for “erotica” material / material that deals with sex/uality). I feel I’d be splitting customers up that way (from emails/etc, I’ve some customers who do check out both the erotic and non-erotic material). I never wanted to go with a separate pen name for erotic material. I don’t know why. I guess to me, it’s just another genre (which, DUE to the sexual content, tends to pique people’s interest/curiosity and/or push their buttons)…I stand by the whole range (mature audience or no), and the website will reflect this ^^. I will have warning signs though…(“do not read/click” = more eye-catching = more people checking it out).

* * *

Currently listening to: The Warning (live), Nine Inch Nails.


jessINK publishing

* UPDATE (2013): A quick post on why “erotica” isn’t “porn” (and how you can help)!

My original post from early 2011 is left below (unedited).

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ORIGINAL POST (January 2011)

jessINK

Update (31 Jan 2011) — Test screenshot for jessINK (above image)!

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website sketch

Some rough planning/sketches for jessINK, a “main store”/website I’d like to work on in Jan 2011, since Amazon has banned some of my books.

* Jan 2011: Affected parties include Jess C Scott, Selena Kitt, Esmeralda Greene, and Olympia Press. The issue is being tracked on Facebook (Amazon Censors). Amazon has since progressed to banning books with “rape” in the title, while still maintaining their commitment to getting as many books into the Kindle store as possible (LA Times article).

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I’m a little (just a bit — worse things have happened in life, LOL) bummed that I’ll have to “re-adjust” some of my plans, since my deviant material was quite well ranked and well set-up in the Amazon store. I was (and still am) planning an incest short story collection, but will sell it on jessINK because that way, at least it’ll still be available from me, straight (since webhosting companies allow for graphic porn vids/pictures, I am assuming they’ll not “ban/lock” my website for “questionable content”…though I’d better probably just check beforehand, and get something in black-and-white via email!).

I like to work fast and efficiently, so being slowed down a little is always something that will irritate/annoy me. But no use looking at things you can’t change — better to focus on the solutions than the problems (to quote “The Donald”/Donald J. Trump).

I’ll probably write an article over on jessINK (once it’s up) on the content in SOME of my work featuring underage sex and incest, etc (not sure about bestiality, etc — haven’t done those yet, but I might, if I feel like it some time). I grew up in Singapore, so while I am aware of differing international laws, I am  familiar/comfortable with (Singapore’s law) of  the “age of consent” being 16 years old (and that’s an interesting story all on its own — can blog/write an article on that later too).

Part of the reason I don’t want to blog my thoughts (in depth, with excerpts from my work) on those topics yet is out of caution (points to the “Report as spam” / “Report as mature” button on the WordPress navigation bar). I don’t know if such an article on WordPress.com would be considered evil/illegal/immoral/unethical/obscene based on a random person’s “opinion,” so I think I’ll just save myself the trouble and have everything on jessINK next year.

I do not condone pedophilia (12 years old and lower, to set an age), because that is an exploitative nature of pedophilia (taking advantage of a minor that is unable to truly give consent, due to the innocence factor of children). Did I still enjoy Lolita? Of course! Did it make me squirm in disdain at times? Of course! That’s part of its appeal for me — navigating through Humbert Humbert’s “twisted mind.”

I have a half-done short story with an incubus and a sixteen-year-old. Is he just exploiting her due to her age? Partly (but the incubus is not wholly human, so technically, Hell’s laws would apply more to him than Earth’s/A certain society’s laws). Are they having mindless sex? Certainly not.

People who rant about me ranting about “underage sex” tell me that I should “change the story and change the characters’ ages” (then accuse me of not taking their advice, all in the same breath, before I’ve even had a chance to read their reply, LOL), and while that’s an option, I’d already have done that if I felt it’d be to the characters’ benefits (to be 18 or above).

Humans are sexual beings. A person doesn’t just turn 18 and magically earn the right to be a sexual being. I remember my teenage years being quite sex-crazed (to summarize — and there is such a thing as “fantasy” vs. “what one does in real life” — I’ve always had an interest in sexual subjects…).

Some of the things I write are in a very non-mainstream, non-conformist way (thought I strive for the elements of honesty and relatability, as much as possible). This is where indie publishing comes in for me, because I am free to write whatever I want, however I want. And maybe, someone, somewhere, will find something (in one of my projects) that resonates with them.

You will see on many erotica publisher’s websites that “incest” is one of the big no-no’s on their guidelines. But rape is okay. I am not going to bother dissecting the logic behind consensual incestuous adult sex being not okay, and rape being okay, because I don’t think logic is what’s behind it.

Some people are very quick to assume that all erotica/erotic fiction is pornographic (with no value, other than to “arouse sexually”). Which is why they’ll always keep missing out on one of the most (if not the most) powerful forces in human life, which is human sexuality. Sexual repression can, will, and does channel into other areas, such as violence, aggression, oppression, homophobia, etc. Oppressing/repressing/suppressing something doesn’t make it go away, though I understand suppression can be done out of either fear, or displeasure at really facing an issue head-on to “deal with it.”

Sex/uality is an area I intend to continue exploring, wandering around in, and pondering about, via writing. It’s how I deal with it.

And sexual repression/suppression, to me, is dysfunctional.

Which actually kind of explains…a lot.

P.S. I will mention here (just for clarification) that I don’t mean to offend all Christian/religious/conservative people with my “sexual open-mindedness” — I was born Catholic, so I have a good idea of the Church’s teachings (maybe not right down to the exact Bible passages, but in general). Not everyone likes to read about sex or graphic material and there’s nothing wrong with that. But oppressing deviant/controversial material deemed to be “immoral” (because “[the person] says so”) is something I’ll fight. If you read the “born Catholic” link, it also explains where I’d like to try to go with my brand of (NON-explicit!) Christian Fiction. I’ve had blog visitors who’ve typed in “Christian fiction erotica” — who knows. Despite my intentions, perhaps what I come up with will still not be “clean” enough (even if I try…one way to find out).

P.P.S. These are the links that explain the creation and development of jessINK. First link was a thread started by yours truly.

Original Post on Amazon: Deletion of Books / Violation of Guidelines

Amazon Censorship of erotic titles (article at TeleRead)

Amazon in the Book Banning Business

Can free speech survive Amazon’s monopoly? #amazoncensors

The Register UK: Amazon’s Erratic Policy on Specialist Smut

Amazon’s Systematic Moral Attack (by Valerie Gray)

America’s Prudish Literary Morality (Salon.com Article)


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