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.

Works in progress and question for readers

Hello all,

Yeah, two posts today.  The first was a release announcement and I hate combining those with the more status-update style posts.

So, as I mentioned in the last couple posts, I’ve been working on something, and it ballooned out of control and ended up jamming up my queue for a bit.  However, once I managed to get it out the door on Saturday, I was able to ‘ride the wave’ so to speak, and put in a hard weekend of writing.

At this point, I have two releases that are in what I would consider “ready for editing” state.  That means they’re done, I just want to give them a once-over to make sure they’re release quality.  If all goes according to plan, I’ll be publishing them Wednesday, barring anything at work coming up.  I’d like to try and get back into the habit of two short pieces a week.  I did it when I was first starting out, but the holidays ended up gumming up that plan.

Oh, and both of them are completely new plot lines, in episodic format.  One of them, Hypnotic Condition, is a back to basics series featuring realistic hypnosis, and the other, Soft Bots, features technological mind control / robotic personalities.  Both should be pretty fun.

With these two, I’m up to four fully active series I need to put work into (These two plus Crystal Rapture and Dream Girls), but now that I think about it, historically my best work happened when I had a lot of options to work on.  I also have other lines that I can work on, but they’re mostly on semi-hold.  We’ll see where the future takes us.

With the upcoming works pipeline out of the way, I do have a question for my readers at large.  It’s becoming more and more difficult to find good pictures for my covers (for a number of reasons, but I’ve already used many of the models from stock photo sites that really caught my eye).  More than a few authors in the erotica genres rely on 3D rendering technology for their covers.  Ultimately, it has absolutely no bearing on the content of the story, just on the cover that is shown during browsing.

I’d appreciate some feedback.  I’m not planning on going completely to them, but I might end up doing it for a couple of my serial stories.  The reason being that sometimes, it’s hard to find multiple pictures that look good, to have a different one on each story.  As always, the poll is anonymous!

With that, I’m out for now, back to working on more for you to read.

[polldaddy poll=7807309]

FYI – This is about the quality that I’d be targeting for renders (click to see the picture in full size, wordpress is doing some funny stuff with transparency)

Something at or around this quality

Something at or around this quality

My Style – Covers

Morning All,

So, I’m going to try and avoid turning the blog into an ad-stream, and won’t be posting my release information directly to this place.  If you really want to be told about new releases as they happen, either sign up for Amazon notifications, or send me an email at tri3ax@gmail.com and I’ll be starting a mailing list once I get a few people.

Now, on to the meat of the post:

It’s nowhere near the first time that I’ve mentioned that my sales have exceeded my wildest dreams.  I’m honestly new to the whole writing thing (up to about 7-8 weeks, honestly) but people have taken to my stuff pretty well, and I’m always enough of an analyst to try and figure out why.

Then, of course, I realize that there’s no way I’ll ever know WHY people like what I write, and I’ll instead try and analyze WHAT I’ve been writing, to at least know what it is that people like (for reasons unkennable).

So the topic for today’s ramble will be covers:

When I was first starting out, I spent a lot of time debating, with myself and a couple other authors who were helping me out, on the topic of covers.  I took a look at the covers that were available on the many books on amazon, smashwords, and elsewhere, and found that they had a few things in common.

1) Almost every cover has a picture of some scantily clad female, who was mind-blowingly hot, often sweaty, and frequently has her mouth open and is sucking on her finger or showing her tongue

2) Almost every cover has said female in front of a scene, like a kitchen etc.

Now, it would probably not be THAT hard to have done the same, but taking a look at the stock photography, there was only so much available, and I was worried I might not have enough options without repeating pictures others had used.

But then I realized something.  At the time, my books were things like the first Proteus, Essence, and Deepening desires.  None of these stories features a female lead who’ll walk into any room and start licking her lips, or sucking on her finger.  Nothing I’ve ever written since features women like that either.  It’s not my style to write stories about hot temptresses.

Instead, I thought about the kind of girls and stories I write.  Most of the girls in my stories wear “normal” ish clothes (although I will admit I have more private school girls than normal, but meh).  Also, most of the girls are supposed to BE normal.

Then it hit me.  Rather than putting some ultra-hot glamazon on the title of my books, why not put pictures of girls who are like the girls in my stories.  They’re cute, pretty, sometimes a little hot if they put some effort into it.  The girls in my stories flirt, smile, and often act sweet, because I write softer stories.

Also, there’s millions of stock photos of pretty girls who are looking at the camera with just a little flirty smile.  It’s pretty much stock photo girl 101.

I want the girls on the covers of my books to be the kind of girls that could be sitting next to the reader as they’re reading.  My stories are about things like controlling a coworker, so why not have the cover girl be somebody who could be the reader’s coworker.  Or the reader’s classmate.  Or the reader’s friend.

And that’s where I got my cover style from.  I wanted something recognizable, so I started putting simple color backgrounds behind the girl I’d chosen to look like the character in the story.  Now, when I log in to amazon and look at a book and see recommendations, I can immediately recognize my own books, because while everybody else has a kitchen, or a bathroom, or something else as the background, I have a bright, colorful indicator.  I’ve even gone so far as to try and keep the same colors in the same series, although that’s getting harder, so I might have to start to re-use.

Ok, this has gotten a bit longer than anticipated, but I think it covers my point.

Until next time

Tri3Ax