Friday, April 28, 2017

YouTube and its Advertisers Need a Chill Pill


Did you know that a lot of content on YouTube (one of my main sources of entertainment) is being dubbed "not family friendly" and is having their advertising yanked?

Yeah, I didn't either until some of my favorite YouTubers began mentioning what was going on. Some of them have lost up to 80% of their revenue due to the changes, and they're almost all small 'Tubers who don't have the large numbers that, say Stephen Colbert has.

Yes, I know there's a reason he has those numbers. I love me some Stephen too. But we're talking the creepy, the horror, the #KeepYouTubeCreepy members of the community like me, who love to watch things like Rob Dyke's Seriously Strange series or Cayleigh Elise's Dark Matters.

Why does Deadly Women's channel continue to get advertising when Criminally Listed doesn't? Because they're from a major network, that's why. And as YouTube grows and changes, it overreacts to things like the Wall Street Journal's article on "objectionable content". I won't link the article to you because, unfortunately, you probably can't read it unless you're subscribed to their paper. I tried to look it up and was unable to read it because I'm not. (I did link the below headline to the paper's article if you want to try and read it.)

So. Yeah. Even sites without the creepy content, like AnimeAmerica, are getting hit because I'm not sure what's hitting them (YouTube algorithms are said to give nuclear physicists hives), but I bet it's that pesky "family friendly" thing YouTube is stressing about.

The Vintage Files, a channel that discusses old murder cases, disappearances and other things, is missing revenue because of the YouTube issue. I understand there's a whole list of words that can't be put in the description or title or else the video does not receive advertising.

I worry, as an author of romance novels who writes things that are a bit on the spicy side, that this trend could wind up impacting people like me or others who write even spicier novels. Content doesn't need to be "family friendly" on a website where a simple click can take you away from the material you find so offensive. Guard your kids, people. Watch what they watch. Don't just assume YouTube will babysit them for you, do it yourself.

My kids watch YouTube, but we can see their computers from where we sit (or my husband can since we moved into the new house, and let me tell you he's far stricter than I am). If he or I see something we don't want them watching, WE MAKE THEM TURN IT OFF. Simple as that.

We had company two weeks ago, and one of the boys wanted to watch hunting videos where wild hogs were slaughtered. I told him no, I don't watch that in this house and neither do you. Luckily his mother backed me up, he turned it off, and that was that. No advertiser needed to pull its slot, no YouTube needed to blacklist the video. It was done, taken care of.

So please don't babysit my content, YouTube and your advertisers. Let me do that. I can do it just fine, thanks.

P.S. For those, like me, who adore true crime stories and creepy content, you can use the hashtag #KeepYouTubeCreepy to support those YouTubers who give you that content. You can also subscribe to Patreons or buy merchandise, but you  have to check individual YouTuber channels to see who is doing what.



Friday, April 7, 2017

Beta Readers, WIPs, Print Books and Cover Pretties

Gods, it sounds like a lot to go over from the title of this post, but really there isn't that much to discuss.

Hide and Seek is with my beta readers now. Once they're done with it I'll hire an editor to go over it and polish it up for publication.

As for my current projects, I've got...two? Yeah, two going on, and one that needs to be outlined.

First, I've got Hour of the Wolf back from my MIL with lots of notes for me to go over. Hopefully, the fresh perspective will allow me to fix the problems and finish the novel.

Second, I've started a series for Entangled's Otherworld line called Terra Noctem. The first novel in the series is called Sound's Familiar. I've got the novel outlined and I've started working on it, but I still have some research to do before the novel gets into the full swing of things. I love creating new worlds and getting ideas on how it should (and shouldn't) work. (Plus I promised someone months ago that I'd start this series "soon", and I hate breaking a promise.)

Thirdly, I've started a rough outline of Hope in Darkness. I know a lot of you are waiting for this one, and I promise that it's coming. It's going to be darker than a lot of my other novels due to Hope's ongoing issues and Jamie's... erm... insanity. I need to maybe binge watch Dexter to wrap my brain around poor Jamie.

Man, that's a lot of stuff already.

Okay. Print books. I'm working on that. I need to figure out how to make ebook covers become print book covers, since all I got from Samhain were the ebook covers (it's all they had to give me, so it wasn't their fault). Once I figure out sizing, trim, etc. I'll start my print publications.

Lastly, I have a cover pretty to share with you! It's the cover for Speak Thy Name, the third Nephilim book! I've already shared it on Facebook, but I know not everyone follows me there so I thought I'd share it here as well.

This Nephilim book will be going to print as I'm self-publishing this series from now on. Paper & Sage did the cover art, and they did a beautiful job with it. I'll definitely use them again.

Anything else? Hmmm... Anything I might have been holding out on you guys?

Oh, yeah. That's right. I have the cover for Hide and Seek already.

The wonderful Angela Waters did this cover. It made sense to ask her, as she's done all of the True Destiny covers up till now. Another amazing cover artist I adore and will use again.

So, that's it! I hope everyone has a lovely weekend!

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

RIP Precious Bell

??/??/2001 - 3/27/2017

At least, I think she was born in that year. We know she was a year and a half roughly when we got her, and that she might have had a litter before she was picked up. She was good with people despite being in a shelter for four months. No one wanted her because it was said she had pitbull blood in her.

Well, we wanted her, and she turned out to be the sweetest pup I've ever known. She was also a Houdini dog, getting free of her backyard lead many times to hop the neighbor's low fence to freedom. (She always came home, but still! How did she unhook her collar?!?) She'd also somehow get under the deck and tie her lead around poles in ways even we had trouble figuring out unless she shrank to the size of a baby bunny (which is what we think she was chasing when she did it. Smart bunnies:1000; silly dog: -1000.)

We'll miss you, pretty girl.

Monday, February 13, 2017

Samhain Closing

On February 28th, 2017, Samhain Publishing will close its doors forever.

So what does that mean for me (and you)? Well, if you have books you purchased from Samhain's website, go download them now while the site is still live. If you have books from Samhain through third-party vendors (like Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Kobo) you should be fine. The books won't be yanked from your device.

As for me, it means I get to enter the wonderful world of self-publishing.

Oh yes. I'll be self-pubbing the Halle Pumas, Heart's Desire, The Nephilim and the True Destiny series at a minimum. There's a lot of work ahead of me to get this going, but the author community is awesome and they're all willing to help someone who needs it, especially Carrie Ann Ryan and Piper J Drake. One gave me sites to investigate and the other let me vent my fears and frustrations. Others have offered their input as well.

I'm lucky to be in a field where we are willing to help each other succeed. I hope to pay it forward some day.

So Speak Thy Name will come out sooner than June, the date Samhain had given me. I have to hire an editor and a cover artist before I can upload the book to the different sites. I understand the Google bookstore is not accepting any new authors, so I may not be for sale there in the foreseeable future, but all the others should be doable. It also means that Hide and Seek will be up as soon as I finish the two sex scenes I still have to write, have it go through the Meat Grinder and the beta readers and have the rights back to the rest of the series.

I'm hoping the rights reversion doesn't take too long.The sooner I own the rights once more the better. I have to find out if I need to get new ISBN's for the books that are already in print or not. I have to arrange to purchase the covers for both print and eBook editions. I need to learn how to format for ebook and print editions as well. There's so much to do, so many lists of things I need to take care of, so much to research...I...adulting is...

Stick a fork in me. I think I'm well done.

Favorite Quotes

"I had the right to remain silent, but I didn't have the ability." Ron White

"So let me get this straight. You want me to kill the little guys, kill the big guys, crowd control those I can't, buff the team, debuff the boss, keep myself alive, AND keep you alive, all while waving a stick and dressed in a towel?" - Anonymous Role Playing Gamer

"I think that statue over there is a statement on modern life. The statement is, "Well, shit." - Varric, Dragon Age II

"Why is it all claws and guns? Can't we piss off a fuzzy planet? Still dangerous, but hey. Bunnies." - Joker, Mass Effect

"Last night, I lay in bed looking up at the stars in the sky and thought to myself, "Where the heck is the ceiling?" - Dilbert

"Aim at the high mark and you will hit it. No, not the first time, not the second time and maybe not the third. But keep on aiming and keep on shooting for only practice will make you perfect. Finally you'll hit the bull's-eye of success." - Annie Oakley

"It is only when you fall that you learn whether you can fly." - Flemeth, aka The Witch of the Wilds, Dragon Age 2

"The very existence of flamethrowers proves that sometime, somewhere, someone said to themselves, 'You know, I want to set those people over there on fire, but I’m just not close enough to get the job done.'” - George Carlin

"I hear there's a wild bridge tournament down the street. And you know Bridge. It's a lot like sex. If you don't have a great partner, you'd better have a good hand." Barry Weiss, Storage Wars

"You know, I used to think it was awful that life was so unfair. Then I thought, wouldn't it be much worse if life were fair, and all the terrible things that happen to us come because we actually deserve them? So, now I take great comfort in the general hostility and unfairness of the universe." - Marcus Cole, Babylon 5, "A Late Delivery From Avalon"

"I aim to misbehave." - Capt. Malcolm Reynolds

"Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid." - Albert Einstein

“If you think you can or think you cannot, you are correct.” - Henry Ford