Tag Archives: cover art

Rainbow Awards Cover Contest, round 2

The Acceleration cover, featuring art done by the amazing Kerry Chin (aka Dragonreine) made it through to the second round of the Rainbow Awards. If you have a chance, hop on over at vote!

Acceleration-ecover-200x300

 

Edit: Oh! Inertia and Velocity made it, too!  Feel free to vote for those as well!

Inertia-ecover-200x300

Velocity-ecover-200x300

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Vote for Acceleration in the December Rainbow Awards cover contest.

Alas, Inertia didn’t make the cut from the November round, but there are still chances to recognize Kerry Chin’s gorgeous work on the Impulse trilogy. For the next two weeks, voting is open for covers released in December, of which Acceleration was one. Drop by and vote for your favorite covers and let’s get Kerry the recognition she deserves!

Acceleration-ecover-1800x2700

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Cover art reveal! Whee!

Yay! We have our cover art (and a banner, too!) for Giving an Inch, due out April 15.GivingAnInch_468banner

School is Back in Session

History grad James Sheridan thinks his biggest problem in life is trying to find a suitable outfit for his upcoming Ph.D. candidacy exam. That is, until he accidentally texts a changing-room selfie meant for his fashionable sister to his ex, the domineering Professor Carson.

James and Carson haven’t seen each since James fled their power games two years ago. Back in his undergrad days, Carson was his Professor, and not just in the academic sense: a man of unusual tastes and extreme sexual demands, James had been happy to sate Carson’s savage appetites. Too happy, in fact. He never could trust himself not to let Carson push too far.

Now James is older and wiser, and sharing some seriously flirtatious vibes with a cute menswear rep. When Carson replies to James’s errant text, ready to pick up where they left off, James can’t help being drawn back into Carson’s control. It’s only when Carson suggests involving the salesman that James has to ask himself how far is too far, and whether he’s willing to go there with Carson again.

GivingAnInch_500x750

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Cover reveal continued!

So, There’s one aspect of the GORGEOUS artwork Kerry did for Velocity that you can’t see very well on the ebook cover. The convention for the series until this point has been to feature a character portrait of the POV character and then a “couple” shot. Well, Velocity is told from both Derrick AND Gavin’s POV so the portrait feature became a bit trickier, as there’s only so much room on a book cover before thins begin to look crowded.

So, as you can see in the background here:

Velocity-ecover-1800x2700

there IS a portrait of the two of them, but in order to see it fully, you need to see the back cover of the print edition. For those of you who won’t have the print edition, however, I’m including it here.

Velocity-wrap-for-blog

 

If you want to see the portrait of Derrick and Gavin without the text over it, you can check it out on Kerry’s DeviantArt page, here.

Have I mentioned how much I love my cover design team? Because, I mean, really!

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Filed under Upcoming Releases, Velocity

SUCCESS!

As Kerry slept Sunday night (it’s Monday morning for her already) PayPal, only a few hours of sending her a canned response telling her that her account hold was there to stay, sent her another email rescinding it.

I can only suppose that a little bit of public pressure, in the form of this article by Nate from The Digital Reader, who helped lead the charge back in February during the SmashWords debacle, helped sway PayPal to a more reasonable stance.

So I’m very glad for Kerry (and her sister also, whose account was likewise restored) that they don’t have to go through the inconvenience of finding another means by which to conduct their businesses.

I hope this was an isolated incident, and not an attack on erotic books by new means. So far no other cover artists have come forward, which is a good thing.

I do think we all have to be vigilant, those of us who publish independently and even the small presses who may rely on PayPal to conduct transactions with vendors or customers. If PayPal does decide to go on the censorship warpath again, it could be a mess. Hopefully we nipped this in the bud.

Thank you all for your support.

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It’s not about copyright: A clarification on the PayPal matter

Yesterday, in an attempt to be jaunty, I made a big issue of the fact that one of the transactions targeted by my cover artist was of Loki. I did this because at the time, we weren’t sure specifically which other transactions were being targeted by PayPal because my cover artist was still going over her records comparing transaction IDs.

This gave some people who are discussing the matter elsewhere, the impression that the problem was actually copyright.

It’s not. That much is very clear by the email PayPal sent my cover artist, which reads as follows:

Dear KERRY CHIN,

We are hereby notifying you that, after a recent review of your account activity, it has been determined that you are in violation of PayPal’s Acceptable Use Policy regarding your sales / offers of adult commisions of digital art on http://dragonreine.deviantart.com.

Transaction ID’s redacted.

Therefore, your account has been permanently limited.

Per the User Agreement, when PayPal permanently limits an account due to an Acceptable Use Policy violation, we may hold your funds up to 180 days. In addition, you will be liable to PayPal for the amount of PayPal’s damages for each violation of the Acceptable Use Policy.

To read more about your liability, the actions we may take and other
relevant information pertaining to the User Agreement, please refer to the
following URL: https://cms.paypal.com/us/cgi-bin/?cmd=_render-content&content_ID=ua/UserAgreement_full&locale.x=en_US

You will need to remove all references to PayPal from your website/s and/or auction/s. This includes not only removing PayPal as a payment option, but also the PayPal logo and/or shopping cart.

The PayPal User Agreement states that PayPal, at its sole discretion,
reserves the right to limit an account for any violation of the User
Agreement, including the Acceptable Use Policy.

Under the Acceptable Use Policy, PayPal may not be used to send or receive payments for certain sexually oriented materials or services or for items that could be considered obscene.

The complete Acceptable Use Policy can be found at the following URL:
https://cms.paypal.com/us/cgi-bin/?cmd=_render-content&content_ID=ua/AcceptableUse_full&locale.x=en_US

To learn more about the Acceptable Use Policy, please refer to our Help Center page here:
https://www.paypal.com/us/cgi-bin/helpweb?cmd=_help

We thank you in advance for your cooperation. If you have any questions, please contact the PayPal Brand Risk Management Department at
aup@paypal.com.cn.

Sincerely,
Jared
PayPal, Brand Risk Management

Now. I’d say there is very little ambiguity in that message regarding the fact that the issue here is “obscene” images. Upon further research, it turns out one of those redacted transactions was my second payment for the

We still don’t know what the third transaction was, because in the process of freezing her account, PayPal is also cutting off Kerry’s ability to view her own transaction history, and she cannot find the email receipt for the third transaction yet.

ETA: one of those three redacted transactions was the down payment for the cover of Acceleration, and the other one is the second and final payment for the cover of Acceleration.

How the Loki art got mixed up in there, I can’t guess. Probably they’re trying to legitimize their targeting of the suggestive/homoerotic art by tacking on a little copyright intimidation.

Now, here’s the kicker, and this is why we are in absolutely no doubt that PayPal is on an anti-obscenity kick, even if it’s small-scale. I have been vague about naming names and details because I didn’t know how private the person was about this matter, but she’s being very open about it, so I’m going to share it here.

This is an email received by Kerry’s sister, who is a fetish model, when HER account was frozen, within minutes of Kerry’s account being frozen:

This is kath’s email. Note the vagueness of their accusations, and if you check the listed sites, she never asks people to pay for shoots with PayPal. She read aloud all her received payments to me, and they are all for sales of secondhand clothing, or contributions from friends to help her buy her higher-priced corsets.

———- Forwarded message ———-
From: <**********>
Date: Nov 8, 2012 11:12 PM
Subject: Your account has been limited

To: <***********>

Dear Kathy Chin Chew Lee,

We are hereby notifying you that, after a recent review of your account activity, it has been determined that you are in violation of PayPal’s

Acceptable Use Policy regarding your sales / offers of fetish and pin up
photo shoots on
http://kathteakatastrophy.blogspot.com/?zx=e666d08f00168f92,
http://www.modelmayhem.com/2337096, and
http://kathtea-katastrophy.deviantart.com/.

(transaction IDs redacted also)
Therefore, your account has been permanently limited.

Per the User Agreement, when PayPal permanently limits an account due to an Acceptable Use Policy violation, we may hold your funds up to 180 days. In addition, you will be liable to PayPal for the amount of PayPal’s damages for each violation of the Acceptable Use Policy.

To read more about your liability, the actions we may take and other
relevant information pertaining to the User Agreement, please refer to the
following URL: https://cms.paypal.com/us/cgi-bin/?cmd=_render-content&content_ID=ua/UserAgreement_full&locale.x=en_US

You will need to remove all references to PayPal from your website/s and/or auction/s. This includes not only removing PayPal as a payment option, but also the PayPal logo and/or shopping cart.

The PayPal User Agreement states that PayPal, at its sole discretion,
reserves the right to limit an account for any violation of the User
Agreement, including the Acceptable Use Policy.

Under the Acceptable Use Policy, PayPal may not be used to send or receive payments for certain sexually oriented materials or services or for items that could be considered obscene.

The complete Acceptable Use Policy can be found at the following URL:
https://cms.paypal.com/us/cgi-bin/?cmd=_render-content&content_ID=ua/AcceptableUse_full&locale.x=en_US

To learn more about the Acceptable Use Policy, please refer to our Help Center page here:
https://www.paypal.com/us/cgi-bin/helpweb?cmd=_help

We thank you in advance for your cooperation. If you have any questions, please contact the PayPal Brand Risk Management Department at
aup@paypal.com.cn.

Sincerely,
Jared
PayPal, Brand Risk Management

This is not about copyright. If it were, there would be Cease & Desist letters being issued, not account closures. That is traditionally how IP owners have handled the matter. Furthermore, if it were about copyright, my cover for Acceleration would not have been targeted, nor would Kerry’s sister’s account.
This is about PayPal being on an anti-obscenity crusade, even if it’s not a very large one. Are we clear on that? Good.

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(NEW) New covers, upcoming releases, housekeeping, and GO VOTE!

So. Remember those new covers for Inertia I rolled out a couple weeks ago?

LOL, well, it turns out those aren’t going to be the final versions. While the high-contrast filters looked wonderfully bright and eye-catching on the computer screen, it just wasn’t going to work in print, especially on the Acceleration cover. So my wonderful cover artist Kerry put her head together with Michael from BookNibbles to come up with something that combined Michael’s eye-catching layout with Kerry’s brilliant art. The results are below.

Sorry things have been a mess while my lovely artists have worked this out, but I think it’s for the best. I’m waiting on the latest version of the print proof for Inertia, but assuming the proof goes well, I hope to have that available within another week or so. I had intended to have it available by now, but we faced two setbacks. One was that the cover simply didn’t work in print, and the other was that in the process of trying to remake the cover, a hurricane struck the east coast, which affected our ability to work with Michael to get things finalized. Of course, redoing the cover for the print version meant redoing the cover for the ebook version as well, so now I’m on my third release of this title with different cover art. the listing over at GoodReads is a mess, BUT I think it’s worth it to have the best possible cover.

Speaking of Hurricane Sandy, don’t forget that from now until Nov 7, I am donating a dollar for each copy of Inertia sold. If you’ve been thinking of checking it out, now is a great time to do so!

Another area the hurricane has affected has been the editing process of Acceleration. For a while it had looked like my editor might be able to get the edits back to me earlier than our contract had specified, but Sandy has set that back as well, and so now instead of the late November release I was considering, it might be pushed back into early December.

A lot of this can be chalked up to the fact that I’m such a neophyte at this self-publishing gig. I’m still learning the best and most efficient way to go about things. If I had to do it all again, I would have held off on the release of Inertia until Acceleration was closer to being ready for release, and I would have made any sort of public statement of intent for the release of Acceleration based upon mere estimates and guess work. I think things will be much more streamlined moving into Velocity as now I have a better idea of what all is involved of balancing a release with marketing. That wasn’t an issue I faced with Inertia.

One thing I will be working on more in the near future is adding more feature content to this blog. So far it’s been pretty exclusively dealing with details of my upcoming releases, etc. I actually feel quite self-conscious pimping myself so much, but so much of what I do now is focused on preparing for the print release of Book One and the release of Book Two that there isn’t much else for me to say. But as I build my back catalog and branch out into other realms, that’s going to change and hopefully the blog won’t be so much “oh, hey, look at my book! (that you’ve seen a hundred times before.)

Before I close this out, allow me to encourage all my readers in the U.S. to get out next Tuesday and vote. There is a lot riding on this election; don’t let your vote go to waste.

And while we’re speaking of voting, the M/M Romance group over at GoodReads has opened up nominations for their Readers’ Choice Awards. I’m not egotistical enough to nominate, or ask for nominations, for my own books, but I would really love to see Kerry and Michael’s hard work acknowledged by seeing one of these covers nominated for the Best Cover category.

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Filed under Acceleration, Announcements, Inertia, News for Released Titles, Upcoming Releases

Acceleration COVER REVEAL and HALLOWEEN EXCERPT!

So, I bobbled this a bit. The wonderful folks at Top2Bottom Reviews were supposed to host my cover reveal for Book Two and a special Halloween-themed excerpt. Which they did! But while they posted what was a very fun interview and a lovely review by Gabbi (thank you Gabbi!) there was some last-minute confusion and changes to the cover art so the version they have posted there isn’t the final version, and also the excerpt I sent them apparently wasn’t formatted properly so it’s a bit hard to read.

SO! I am going to put the cover art and excerpt here as well, with TONS of love to T2B for hosting me yesterday!

Image

Special Excerpt from Chapter Seven of Acceleration

(ARC-quality excerpt; this has not received a final proof-reading)

Continue reading

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Inertia print cover and interior sneak peek!

Michael at BookNibbles has been hard at work making the cover and interior for the upcoming print edition of Inertia GORGEOUS! So I thought I would share a peek at them with you now!

We’re working on a few tweaks and awaiting the cover art for Book Two, and then I’ll be releasing the print version and revamped ebook!

As promised, Kerry Chin’s amazing cover art remains intact, and in fact gets a little more screen time!

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Exciting news! (and a little bit of pouting)

So I’m going to be sulking just the tiniest bit over the next few days because it seems like the cool kids are all going to play in Albuquerque at GayRomLit 2012, but I got involved in the m/m romance publishing biz too late this year and on too tight a budget to make that happen. SO JEALOUS! I wanna go play! Instead, I’ll be following their tweets avidly and stewing in my sad disappointment.

No, seriously, guys. Have fun and I look forward to hearing the war stories!

In other news, there are some very big things happening in the next few weeks.

The first is that sometime within the next week, Inertia is going to be available in print through Amazon CreateSpace, complete with an all-new cover by BookNibbles. The ebook cover will be updated to match as well. Never fear, I’ll still be keeping Kerry Chin‘s amazing artwork. Only the layout will be different.

And around Halloween, unless catastrophe strikes Kerry, I’ll be doing a cover reveal for Acceleration over at Top2Bottom Reviews, complete with a Halloween-themed snippet from Acceleration itself! So be sure to check back on the 30th for a sneak peak at one of the most entertaining chapters from Acceleration, Impulse Book Two.

Sometime in the near future I’ll also be doing an interview over on the blog of the amazing Brandon Shire, about which I’m very excited. Brandon is a writer to admire, both in the lgbt genre and as a fellow self-published author, and he’ll be sharing an entirely different sneak peak from Acceleration.

If all goes well with the editing process, Acceleration should be released in late November or early December, in both ebook and print format. In early to mid November I hope to release eARC review copies for reviewers who want them in advance.

I was largely quiet through September because I was working on a new project, a manuscript intended to be my first-ever submission to a publisher. I wrote over 65K words in 29 days, which was an incredible accomplishment for me. While of course I hope the manuscript is accepted, even if it’s not, I’m very much looking forward to the learning experience that comes with submitting to a publisher, especially any sort of editorial feedback I might get in the process of the rejection, if it does end up being rejected. I actually take a huge amount of enjoyment in receiving edits and critique, because I’m always looking to improve.

I had intended to work on Velocity, Impulse Book Three for NaNoWriMo in November, but finishing up this manuscript intended for submission ahead of schedule left me with three weeks I hadn’t anticipated having. I’ve decided to use that time to begin working on Book Three so that come November, I have more available time to work on the final edits and release of Book Two. Ideally I would like to have that released in time for the holiday shopping season, though it all depends on how much work is entailed in the editing process. I have a very good feeling about the manuscript, in that I believe it’s well paced, well plotted, and well characterized. My brilliant editor, however, may disagree.

With Inertia I knew there were issues with the manuscript with regard to plotting and characterization, which was why I decided to use my editing budget on a  developmental edit rather than a line edit. And I was absolutely right. The feedback I received in that edit resulted in a complete, from-scratch rewrite of 40-50% of the book. Anyone who has remarked that they loved the characters or felt the pacing and development of the relationship worked? They have Danielle Poiesz to thank for that.

I don’t have that feeling with Acceleration, that feeling that it needs a lot of work to be the book I want it to be. I feel  like it’s an incredibly solid book, probably the most solid I’ve ever written. I can attribute at least some of that to the learning experience I had during the editing process of Inertia. The wonderful P.D. Singer did a pre-edit beta read for me and seemed very positive about it as well, so I think it’s not just me. 😀 As a result, the editing service I’m paying for this time around is a line edit with developmental features instead of a developmental edit. Unless those developmental features end up requiring a lot more revision than anticipated, the editing should go pretty quickly and allow for a timely release.

So! A lot of REALLY EXCITING STUFF coming down the line in the next month or two! Stay tuned!

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Filed under Acceleration, Administrative, Inertia, News for Released Titles, Upcoming Releases

Impulse Book Two, Acceleration, is written

Today I finished writing the first draft of Book Two. Now comes the editing.

This is unfortunately complicated by the fact that, going the self-publishing route, sales have not yet yielded enough for me to hire the freelance editor I used on the first book. The upside of self-publishing is that I get to use my own cover artist, who does such amazing work (seriously! I mean, LOOK at that!) The downside, however, is that editing comes out of pocket.

The deal I reached with my husband when he decided to invest in the first book was that we would find money in the household budget for editing the first book, and that the proceeds from that book would fund the editing of the second, etc. That goal has not yet been accomplished.

It was absolutely worth it, hiring Danielle Poiesz to edit the first book. She’s top-notch and I’m very grateful for her work. The story and characterization came out so much stronger, thanks to her. I look forward to working with her again. Having learned so much from the developmental/substantive edit she did on the first book, I’m hoping the story and characterization in the second book are solid enough that we can instead focus on a more technical edit and proofreading, which I had to shift for myself to do on Book One because I had spent my editing budget on the developmental edit.

I’m hoping sales will pick up soon, as more reviews come out. I know a few different review sites have looked at the book and will hopefully be posting reviews this month. I also have a lists of another dozen or so sites I didn’t know about, when my first inquiries about reviews/interviews/giveaways went out, which I can now contact now that I’m not busy writing all day. 😀

I’ve already been in contact with Kerry, my cover artist, and we’re brainstorming cover art. I hope to do an unveiling of that once it’s finished, by which time, hopefully, editing will be well underway and I’ll have a better idea of when I’ll be releasing Book Two.

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