UPDATE (27 Jan 2011): Basically, most of this blog post is redundant because I’ve decided to switch to LSI (for some of my print books) — that’s the better choice for long term > short term. CS was/is great to begin with, but I’d be taking the next step sooner or later ;)
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I’ve been hovering up and down with expanded (print) distribution — I think I’ll try out CreateSpace’s expanded distribution ($39 upgrade per title), for two books first (EyeLeash: A Blog Novel, and The Other Side of Life). I am not exactly sure where exactly the print copies will turn up (besides the other Amazon outlets, such as Amazon.co.uk, Amazon.ca, etc.), but I guess I’ll find out in a few weeks’ time.
My case is a little bit unusual, due to the content/themes/lack of literary morality in my more transgressive projects (I love that word: ‘transgressive’). I think LSI would be a good choice for commercial mainstream/genre fiction. I’d consider 4:Play to be both literary/commercial erotica, but I’m not really keen to spend the time/money to set it up on LSI, if it’s eventually going to disappear from other distributors’ websites as well.
Personally, I’m still a bit hesitant to enroll all of my titles for print, via Lightning Source straight ($70 processing fee + $30 shipping fee, per title, and $12 per year per title for inclusion in digital catalog, + ISBN fees). I’d only consider ONE of my print titles right now to be more “mainstream/commercial” than alternative/unusual — and since Amazon’s begun to remove/delete products without warning/explanation, I wouldn’t be surprised if other distributors followed suit. Therefore, I’m not really sure I’d like to come up with the higher upfront fees for LSI, when a lot of my erotica books could be similarly (unceremoniously) pulled across various distributors (which is what one is essentially paying for re: LSI, I think).
So right now…I intend to “try CreateSpace’s expanded distribution” for two titles (would be nice to see them available internationally / not just on Amazon!)…and have my deviant material available for purchase via Lulu (for print copies). I sell more digital than print copies (ratio of 10-15 : 1), but *I* still like having print copies of books, so ideally, I’d like to at least have my material available somewhere, for old school readers/customers like myself who really like having the tangible object (not just as a soft copy). I guess those pieces on Lulu might be something like “collectible items” then, heh.
Since I have a Lulu account / store front, I suppose I might just upload all of my books there in time (since different people shop at different places). I think I’ll continue to attack whichever projects I feel like doing first — it’s a good thing there’s a balance between erotic vs. non-erotic work, since I can’t always be checking all over the place to see if my erotic work “is still online.” I think I’ll complete a few more titles, then see to jessINK. I like doing the hard/difficult work first, lol.
P.S. I wouldn’t really call it TRUE independent publishing when the POD party has the final say as to whether they’ll print/publish the project, but that’s just me. I am quite unimpressed with Amazon (in the sense that Lolita, Delta of Venus, and Marquis de Sade’s works are still available for purchase — no doubt these are literary classics, but if incest-themed / books with “offensive content” are going to be banned/deleted, then ALL books with this content should be pulled), but I’ll take this chance to say that such policies make no difference to my writing perspectives (which I might elaborate on further, via an article on jessINK, once the website’s finally up…).
The bulk of my erotic work isn’t plain porn, and it’s what my customers seek. I’m not going to alter my characters’ voices/views just because someone else said I should. Besides, I watch enough of (the awesome-tastic) ID Channel to notice there’s been at least two closeted homosexuals on Twisted, who embarked on killing sprees (targets = dozens of young, good-looking gay men). Did sexual repression have anything to do with their homicidal actions?
I make three assumptions:
1. We are all supposed to believe that sexual repression leading to violence, aggression, etc. = A Casual Coincidence.
2. The power of fantasy is potentially more offensive/criminal than the actual act committed (looking at some of the laws with regards to ‘threatening emails’ vs. ‘rape and murder’, for instance).
3. (not my words): “A [sexually deviant criminal] internalizes all that sexual energy (that everybody has at that age) and it twists, contorts, rots his/her insides, and makes him/her do really weird stuff. We (in the U.S.) end up paying $65,000 a year to put him/her away in jail, and as a result end up with an uneducated ex-convict that is probably twice as crazy and has now learned to be violent. Great system!” — courtesy of calina @ Huffington Post
P.P.S. If I had the time, I’d sit down and hand-make each print book (as and when orders came in). Takes the concept of ‘book art’ to another whole level!
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More Links (LSI vs. CS vs. Lulu):