Branching Out

Hey look, a post that isn’t about new releases or how I’m taking a break!

So, last week, I did something that I was really unsure about, and released stories with covers made using 3D art.  I’ve dabbled in the field for a long while (like… seven or more years) and so i have some familiarity with the tools, but I’ve never really felt confident enough to share them with anybody.

However, I was finding it difficult to find good stock photos to use that fit my particular style, and also found that sometimes, when you want to put the same girls on the cover multiple times, you run out of photos.  Also, I was a little concerned about licensing, while the photo sites say you can use their stuff for ebook covers, there’s a lot of gray area around erotica.  All 3D assets come with pretty much 100% unrestricted usage of output renders (they really only care that you aren’t letting other people be able to make their own assets).

Anyway, I had reservations, but did it anyway.  At this point, I have no real reason to believe that it as a bad move.  Mind’s Vault has sold more copies in the first week than many of my titles (although it’s not the most resounding success.  It’s solid, is what I’m saying).  Power Plays is more meager, but I think a lot of people have gotten used to waiting for more to come out in a longer series before they purchase.  Either way, it’s sold enough that I don’t think it was bad.

To that, I’ll probably be using 3D covers from now on.  Also with that, I’ve decided to start a little experiment.  I mentioned in an earlier post that I was debating making a comic using 3D art, and I’m going to go through with it.  I’ve already brainstormed some ideas and kind of know how I want the story to progress, at least for my first test project.  I’ll probably share some of the initial stuff here, since why the hell not?

Now, one of the things that has me a little worried about such a project is that there’s actually a lot of this out in the wild already.  However, just like with eBooks, I seem to have found a style that was all my own, and I think people are enjoying what I have.  I consider my soft-core, story oriented format to be fairly successful, and I’m going to keep it that way.

A lot (and I mean a whole lot) of the visual stuff out there for mind control is of the “brainwashed the girl to be my fuck slave/mindlessly horny girl” type.  Often the main character has the control mcguffin, and there’s either a naked girl, a blowjob, or sex on almost every page (sometimes they make it 1 page before ripping their clothing off).  I’m not planning on doing this at all.  Just like with my stories, there should be build-up, and there should be some emotional attachment to the characters.  Yes, this means it won’t be for everybody, but I honestly think there are people out there who want stuff like this too.

The other thing is that a lot of the stuff that’s out there involves superheroes.  I fully understand why.  It’s difficult to have a controller who isn’t a villain, because they’re making a girl have sex with them etc.  Also, much of the available 3D assets just lends itself to this.  I’m not really interested in making superhero themed stuff, so I should stand out here too.  While I do plan to do some reality alteration / magic user stuff, I intend for it to be a bit more realistic style than superhero worlds.

Overall, I’m just experimenting.  We’ll see how it goes.  If it looks like it works and is popular, I’ll decide what to do from there.  I’ll probably release the first one on an inconsistent schedule directly here on my blog.  Please feel free to provide feedback once I have something to show.

That’s all for today, mostly just wanted to say something.  Also, still working on releases.  Second part of Power Play is written, just needs a revision pass, and the second part of Mind’s Vault is also at about 70%, just need to decide exactly how I want to present the story (it has POV swaps, but I think I’m going to do full releases in one POV.. On Call is getting a little much with POV shifts)

New Releases (06/24/2014)

Ah, time flies when you’re busy as hell.  Sorry that these are a little delayed.  Smashwords versions of these will be up probably tomorrow for those that are waiting, I want to make a couple small revisions to the covers.

Also, some of you may notice something a little different about the covers as compared to previous releases.  For a number of reasons, I’m giving 3D covers a shot.  So far, I don’t think it seems to make much of a difference.  I do plan to try my best to make the images of high quality, and I think the first couple have turned out really well.

Power Plays – Homecoming   Amazon  /  Smashwords

Power Plays - Homecoming SM

 

So, I’ve been teasing for a while that the On Call universe was far from over, and Power Plays starts off the third series.  Beth’s been a little absent while we’ve watched Jacob rise to power, but she’s back and ready to start having fun with her master.  Also, Shawna is still under the effects of the commands given to her by Leah, and she’s hard at work keeping Matt distracted and making sure that he won’t interfere with what Joshua has planned.

Watch how the story unfolds as Joshua and Matt become more aware of each other, but there’s always the chance for something new on the horizon

 

Mind’s Vault – Opening   Amazon  /  Smashwords

The Vault - Opening

Speaking of new things, I’ve stared an entirely new series, Mind’s Vault.  I spent a long while debating on the name (it’s getting harder and harder to name these things).

Greg’s just found out that his grandfather died, but it was several years ago.  Due to some strange terms in the will, he’s set to inherit a lot of money, as well as his Grandfather’s remote house.

Now, he and his girlfriend are heading out there to take a look at the place, and he finds out from the caretaker that there’s a mysterious vault in the basement that only he is allowed to enter.  And what he finds there should make his girlfriend much easier to live with.

 

Well, that’s it for the new releases.  This week has been a little busy, but I hope to have a release or two up before the 4th of July.  Both of these series are going strong, and I have plenty of ideas, it’s all about time at this point.

 

The Third Dimension

As some of you may remember from a few months ago when I asked about 3D renders on covers, I’ve dabbled in 3D CG art for a while now. For a number of reasons, I’m pretty seriously thinking about switching to 3D covers again.   While the response to rendered covers was tepid at best, there also weren’t many people who responded, so it’s not exactly a good sample size.

Part of the reason for the switch relates to licensing for the images for the covers. While the stock photo sites don’t prohibit using them in this way, there’s some wiggle room that could come back to bite eventually. Also, if I were to create the covers in 3D software, they could be much more spot-on in terms of character. I have already looked into assets that would make for great covers for some of my most recent stories.

Ultimately, the cover is such a small part of the story that I don’t think people will really object. We’ll see how it goes.

 

Another thing I’ve been thinking about, in line with the above, is trying to employ some 3D rendered material in my writing. After debating with myself for a while, I think I’m going to try and fold it in to my work in two ways.

The first way is as bonus art in written stories. While the primary focus will of course still be on the writing, I think an image or two sprinkled throughout, and maybe an image at the back, could help increase the quality of my work. Ultimately, I don’t think it’s going to add a lot, but I do think that it would be a low effort way to try and help convey the visuals of what I’m thinking.

Since I still plan on selling these stories through Amazon, these images would have to be of a non-explicit nature, because of Amazon’s terms for KDP releases. Also, the writing really would be the main focus, however I think it could be cool if stories like On Call showed you the girls being mindless, or Spell Bound showed Casey throwing a neat looking fireball. Also, I have some ideas for new stories that would be greatly helped by a visual or two.

The second is that I’m considering the idea of trying to make a comic. There’s a lot of Mind Control themed comics out there, which lets me know that people are interested in them. However, many of them, like most erotica, focus very heavily on the sex elements and don’t go a lot into narratives. I consider my writing so far successful, and as many of you know I tend to focus a little less on the sex and try to incorporate character development and interaction. I’m curious if I could take this down into a comic format.

Since these would still be erotic comics, I wouldn’t be able to release them on Amazon, so they’ll probably be for sale directly from my blog, or through some other site. That’s a part I still need to work out. Ultimately, it’s all just experimentation, and if the whole thing doesn’t work, it’s not like it’s a big deal to stop. However, I think that I’ve gotten enough experience over the years to put out something that could be pretty fun.

The first few will probably be a bit more on the sex-heavy side, while I get comfortable with what I’m doing, but I’m also thinking about maybe converting some of my stories into a comic format, if things work out well. I think a story like Soft Bots, or maybe even Spell Bound, could be pretty neat like that. Both of those stories have solid MC elements, sexual themes, but also action or adventure themes that could work.

Mostly just rambling, but wanted to get it out there, and writing things down always helps. Now, back to the regularly scheduled.

 

One other thing I wanted to add on is that I have officially begun work on the Third Series for On Call. The Third series will be Power Plays. I’ve already gotten about halfway through the first release, so I’m hoping to have the story ready to go sometime this week. One bit of feedback I got was that while the POV jumps in remote control weren’t bad, they could be disorienting. Since Power Plays will actually have MORE of them (since there’s now 4 POV characters) I’m going to start chapter labeling with the current POV character. Also, I’m going to number the chapters to the series, rather than the release. This is because eventually the books will be combined into Omnibus format and released as a single unit.

That’s all for this post. If anybody has any comments, please don’t hesitate to send me an email at Tri3Ax@gmail.com. I always enjoy hearing from people.

Releases (06/08/2014)

So, I managed to figure out what was causing Amazon to not publish my stories, even though they still haven’t responded to the email I sent to them Thursday morning (they state in their auto-reply that they have a 24 hour response time, 7 days a week, clearly not).  It looks like the problem was the author name switch, so I’m going to only put my new name on new stuff, and I’ll abandon trying to relabel older stuff.

With that, however, I am glad to announce that I now have some releases!  They’re just omnibus editions, but I know there are people who hold out for them, so I’m happy to announce:

Hypnotic Condition    Amazon / Smashwords

Complete SM

This story was something I wrote because I really do enjoy a good hypnotic story.  While Deepening Desires worked, and was a great story, it ended up without a whole lot of room for more.  Hypnotic Condition, however, lends itself much more to having further fun stories with the characters.  This Omnibus edition contains what I consider the first Arc of the story, and shows how Malcolm manages to use hypnosis to get his long term crush Wendy to be more receptive to his advances.  More to come in the next arc, but I don’t think this story will disappoint.

 

Crystal Rapture – Girlbot Marie    Amazon / Smashwords

Crystal Rapture - SM

Crystal Rapture was another fun story, even though releases took a bit of a break in the middle.  I like many of the images that this story conveys, since the thought of a blank, mindless girl with an athletic body is one that can really stand out in my mind.  As is usual, it has my more romantic twist on it, but overall I think it strikes a nice balance between control, eroticism, and softer elements.

 

And now that the wheels are actually turning, I’m going to be getting back to the grind and starting to write some new stuff.  No comments or commitments on what (which people should be pretty used to by now).  Soft bots is definitely toward the top of the list, since it’s an unfinished arc, but I’m not sure if I want to write something totally new (I have at least three really strong ideas for completely new series) or a follow-up (which I have at least four strong ideas for follow-ups).

So much to do, so little time.  Stupid day job.

 

Trying to Dust Off

So, the good news is, things have finally calmed down enough that I’m trying to dust off and get back to writing.  The bad news is that Amazon decided to block the first two things I tried to release, which were the Omnibus editions of Hypnotic Condition and Crystal Rapture.

My theory is that it’s because I’m trying to change around my author name, and that they’re basically accusing me of copying myself (even though my old name is still listed as an Author).  In usual Amazon style, there is almost no information about why they blocked the title, leaving me to guess what happened, only this time the email notification of the block included language that my account could be terminated if I submit more material with the same problems.  Because of this, I’m hesitant to try again in case they’ve suddenly decided that something else is the problem.

I’ve got an email in now asking for at least more detail about the category of the issue, but we’ll see. If they don’t respond with more info, I’ll probably go ahead and try releasing under just my old author name and going from there (maybe just only release truly new stuff under Amy Sadal, but I want people who don’t read this to follow the switch).

Either way, that managed to zap my motivation to almost zero.  If things get resolved today or tomorrow, I’ll start working again, but that’s going to be at the top of the list.  Once things do get moving, I’m planning on writing the third part of On Call, finishing the first part of Soft Bots, and working on something else, but I’m not quite sure what yet (I have a couple new stories I want to write, but some part of me also wants to either keep going with Hypnotic Condition, or maybe further Spell Bound in a story line that came to me during the break).

Either way, I appreciate any patience, and feel free to raise your fist at Amazon for their obscure rejection schemes for me.