Landen passed away yesterday of old age. He was a good, old fishie, and he had a nice life! (He was possibly, at barest minimum, 3 and a half or so year olds, but he was probably closer to 5-6 when he passed away.) He lived for almost a year beyond when he had a stroke and we thought he’d die. (He never quite fully recovered to his old, flighty self, but he was comfortable and happy after the stroke.)
Nicolina didn’t handle being in her tank alone very well, so this morning, my husband and I made a trip to the pet store and selected Richard. Here he is!
He’s… very energetic. Nicolina is much happier now. (And while they’re not exactly social fish, beta splendens do prefer to have other fish nearby. But in divided tanks, so they can’t attack each other.)
You can see the divider between Nicolina and Richard’s sections of the tanks. It’s that black, slotted thing.
Richard’s color strain is called copper. (And boy, he sure is pretty.) when the light isn’t reflecting off him, he shows up as this dark silver. But when the light is on him properly, he’s red and green of copper, and it’s glorious.
Starting next week, now that life has settled down (somewhat,) the Furred & Finned Management will be back up to giving more updates on the blog. They have a lot to talk about, so make sure you’re following the blog if you want to get the latest updates and see the cats up to their usual shenanigans!
(As a reminder, the newsletter was retired and now the Furred & Finned Management writes blog posts instead, so this is the place to be for updates, *or* on facebook.)
I hope you all are having a fantastic weekend, and we’re hoping to start doing small, frequent updates so we can keep more in touch with all of you!
RJ here. (The furry bastards are asleep right now.) To give new readers a chance to get some of the earliest books, I’ve put together the Magical Romantic Comedy (with a body count) Starter Pack!
This collection includes Playing with Fire, Hoofin’ It, Serial Killer Princess, Whatever for Hire, and three of the four Mag Rom Com novellas. (As shown on the pretty picture.)
It’s $9.99. Individually, the seven stories retail for $23.93. So, you’re getting a good deal on the books. If you’re a super bargain hunter, I will eventually submit this for a bookbub featured deal. If accepted, it’ll be substantially cheaper. (And a great way to get your friends hooked on the series.)
There is no new content in the Starter Pack. It exists to give new readers a chance to catch up on the series and see if they like the books for a more affordable price.
Note: While I might do an expansion packs eventually, future sets will only include titles more than a year old. If you’re willing to wait, it’ll be a great deal. Otherwise, continue as normal. 🙂
Thanks for your support, folks.
P.S.: If you’re just missing the novellas, it’s cheaper for you to just by the novellas by $0.99. To save money, you realistically need one novel and all three novellas as new-to-you stories or two full-priced novels. Otherwise, it’ll be cheaper to buy them individually.
Books in the collection are currently priced as follows:
Thanks again, folks!
Hey, humans. Zazzle here. We’ve finally managed to get the human to leave the glowy rectangle box for a few minutes. She claims she didn’t miss ‘the blasted thing’ while on vacation but has to ‘get some books finished so she can take naps.’ I respect the taking naps thing. Really, I do.
Here’s the deal. The human released a new book today. It’s called Shammed. This is what it’s about:
At R.K. Legal & Associates, office hours are between ten to six, pranks happen after hours, and evidence of all shenanigans are removed before doors open to clients.
When Alice’s boss, Mr. Kenton, starts a prank war with Lance McCarthy, an up-and-coming attorney from a rival firm, she thinks it’s just business as usual.
She’s never been so wrong in her life.
Chosen to be Mr. Kenton’s accomplice, Alice must face off against Lance in what quickly becomes a winner-takes-all game of hearts.
If you enjoy the Magical Romantic Comedy (with a body count) books, you’ll enjoy the Bernadette Franklin books despite their lack of magic. They have similar over-the-top shenanigans, more humor that you can shake a stick at, and the same inability to take anything, especially itself, too seriously. So, if you’re looking for an escape from reality, come along for the ride.
There’s no on-page sex, there’s always at least a little inappropriate humor, and all of these books are from the lady’s point of view… but if you’re a gentleman (or describe yourself as one,) there’s plenty of fun in it for you, too.
(Yes, humans… men are totally encouraged and welcome to enjoy reading a fun, light-hearted romance.)
We of the Furred & Finned Management hope you enjoy.
P.S.: We somehow survived imprisonment while the humans fled the country.
Also, I have acquired pictures, but the female has a dentist appointment today, and my job is to prevent her from freaking out too much. (The female had a filling pop, which broke the tooth when it popped, so she’s having a fun dental time.) Today’s adventure is to do a full cleaning of her chew tools and standard cavities and getting potential bad news on two other problem teeth that have, alas, been a problem for a while.)
Wish her luck, she’ll probably need it.
On the book scheduling front, while I’m here:
This is the order she’s working on books/releasing books next:
If the book you are looking on isn’t on this list, don’t worry. They’re still coming. Some projects are on the ‘play project’ list, which gets worked on alongside the main projects.
The female just wishes to have a little more time to do things like read fun books, which means she needs to give herself more time writing the books.
From this point forward, unless the book is particularly short, she is giving herself two months per book to write it. Should she finish early, she will work on a play project. As she finishes play projects, they will go to the editor as normal.
This means instead of a book a month, you can begin expecting a book every two months. She’d be sorry about that, but trying to fit in a book a month is exhausting, and it has the downside of readers expecting (and in some cases, demanding,) she release at that frequency.
She’d rather make less money and keep her sanity.
A note on Grave Humor: It’s on the schedule despite the fact it’s very unlikely to hit USA Today with its current preorder values. The books is already exceeding her expectations, and she appreciates it so much she’s scheduling it in to write in December and January. Unlike the other Magical Romantic Comedy (with a body count) books, there probably won’t be a preorder cycle.
Oh. One more thing.
This is the cover for the second Seeking the Zodiacs novel, which will be entering ‘play project’ status starting March 18. Hypnos is almost complete and ready for the editorial gauntlet!
The Seeking the Zodiacs series is being continuously written on the side, so it’s technically a main project, but it’s a main project the female works on after her real main project work is done each day.
We are hoping to release a new Seeking the Zodiacs every 4-6 months. (But we will see.)
Spoiler alert: the main character is the same from Hypnos! It’s a traditional series following the events of a singular main character!
(Don’t die of shock, please. We love you, humans!)
Have a great day, and happy reading!
Life is never easy for those with the strength to change the world.
These are their stories.
When Allison is asked to play Cinderella-turned-Fianceé at a Halloween ball, the last thing she expected was to be accused of murder. She has to find the killer or she’ll be put to death for the crimes she didn’t commit. To make matters worse, the victims are all werewolves.
On the short list of potential victims, Allison has to act fast, or the killer will have one more body to add to his little black book of corpses.
When Nicole dabbled in the occult, she lost it all: Her voice, her family, and her name. Now on the run from the Inquisition, she must prove to herself—and the world—that not all wizards are too dangerous to let live.
The world is full of corpses, and Jackson knows them by name. When a group strives to destroy the Inquisition, his powers may be all standing between the supernaturals and extinction.
Finished with being a victim, Vicky will do everything in her power to put an end to Basin once and for all, even if it means she must make the ultimate sacrifice and bite a silver bullet for the sake of her family, her friends, and the rest of the supernatural world.
This collection also contains Tales of the Winter Wolf Vol. Six.
Bailey and Quinn are back!
Bailey Ember Gardener Quinn should’ve read the manual on caring for an incubus before marrying hers. The marriage license hadn’t mentioned anything about their sexy, insatiable ways. If she doesn’t get a single night of undisturbed rest soon, she’ll snap—or go on a napalm bender.
Either would work.
Recruiting Tiffany “Perkette” Perkins to be her partner-in-crime isn’t the best idea, but nothing says fun quite like a road trip, and Perkette the Misdemeanor Collecting Queen could teach the devil a thing or two about having a good time.
Add in a string of rabies cases, more puppies than she can count (or readily adopt,) a job promotion, and her very own incubus in disguise on the hunt for her, and Bailey’s in for one hell of a ride.
Warning: this novel contains excessive humor, a unicorn on a napalm bender, Quinn on the hunt, and more shenanigans than you can shake a stick at. Proceed with caution.
You asked what you could do to get the Mag Rom Coms to be more frequent than the once-per-year currently scheduled after multiple books of lowered interest in the series.
Instead of Grave Humor, the novel the human was initially was going to release in May, she’s doing Bailey’s second novel–and it includes Quinn’s POV as well.
There are shenanigans afoot. So. How do you help make sure there’s a Mag Rom Com every May and December? It’s simple. Click on your vendor of choice and preorder. (Or order in the first few weeks of the book going on sale.)
Should the book hit USA Today, the human will revamp the release schedule for the series and consider that a sign from all things feline that the series should get a little extra attention.
We won’t lie to you, humans. It would take the equivalent of a miracle. While the human has been on the list twice, it was a part of a major group effort–and the one time she hit for like twelve whole hours before they reissued the list, the book had been on sale for $0.99.
Burn, Baby, Burn is $5.99. (It’s a longer book because Quinn has his POV, and it’s a great deal more work because of that.)
It takes approximately 5,000 sales on Amazon to hit the list plus enough sales on one other wide vendor for them to report. (Nobody really knows what those numbers are, but the human figures 250 at Barnes & Noble should suffice. People like to state 500, but there’s no proof of that. The female had 300 at Barnes & Noble the one time she squeaked onto it only to fall off in the reissued list.)
It’s not easy.
To help the effort along, the female will be running ads until May and keeping Playing with Fire at $0.99 to help make sure the book gets into as many hands as possible.
If the book doesn’t hit, it’s business as usual. If it does, Grave Humor will come out in December, and the female will shuffle her schedule somewhat to make it happen. There may or may not be a novella tossed in. (View the novellas as bonuses.)
How can you help?
This isn’t going to be easy, humans. The human female knows this. The closest she ever got on a full-release novel hitting anything was shy 1,500 copies, and she didn’t come anywhere near close to the 250 required at one of the non-Amazon vendors.
But, you asked what it would take, and the female has answered. This is something fair and quantifiable. (Hey, in other news, technically, there’s a chance for it to hit at as few as 3,000 sales on Amazon, but it’s not very likely. It depends on how many books sold that week, and that’s variable!)
And now, we’re off to set up the giveaway on the book of faces!
Princess here. Hear me Rawr!
The humans are buzzing with activity, it’s entirely possible they’ll be fully insane before Thursday rolls around, and my new sister and I are more than ready for them to go to vacation and leave us in the care of saner humans.
We’ve been promised there will be toys to play with and we can visit each other as we want. That’s good enough. Also, we’ll be fed. We like being fed. Being fed is important.
In a moment of pure idiocy, the female opened her laptop and overwrote some important files on her main computer. The instant after she did it, she rage flipped the nearest object and shrieked. The male human was not impressed with her error.
She wasn’t impressed, either.
One of the documents was her meticulously registered budget with her invoices and spending all neatly organized.
I laughed some more.
She then muttered something about fucking the budget with a pointy stick.
She may have looked the male in the eyes and said something about fucking the budget with a pointy stick. Apparently, she’d been saving / holding money back for future purchases, and… she can’t remember the amounts she’d been reserving.
In other news, the female has done massive amounts of packing. The male doesn’t know this yet, but her lap desk fits in her luggage, and she is taking it. (It’s only $25 to replace if it’s lost, and the store still carried the same model three weeks ago, so she’s willing to take the risk!)
She’s still debating which play project to bring along. Hypnos is coming along for the ride, but she figures she will also work on something fun, too.
The backpack of holding will only carry so many devices and journals. This is a tragedy.
But the backpack of holding is pink, so the female is happy. Her passport holder is also pink. Her phone case is pink.
Even some of her new clothes? Pink.
Her new walking shoes boot things are blue and cherry red, but she’s viewing the cherry red as a bloodied pink. Those shoes are sketchy. (But they’re not Sketchers. They’re Columbia, and they’re better than walking on clouds. Female really likes them so far. Bonus: her feet haven’t been chewed alive yet. And she can (badly) run in them. She’s just bad at running.)
She got a portable battery for her devices because she’s expected to use her phone for most pictures. She may have done a full display of dominance to get her way, much to the male’s dismay. She won. Male retreated, terror in his eyes over female’s reaction to the potential of running her phone battery dead while taking pictures.
The battery should charge her phone 7 times before it needs to be charged. Adapters to use UK outlets arrive today along with a few final articles of clothing.
General verdict: the humans are ready to go forth and adventure!
They’re very excited.
For those of you who enjoy contests, there is one going on with a Vampire Diaries prize pack you may enjoy. You’ll be required to sign up for newsletters for a chance to win. But they’re book-related newsletters, and that’s a glorious thing! (Tip: you can get extra entries by following peeps on places like Amazon or Bookbub. The female has three follower thingies in this one: Susan Copperfield, RJ Blain, and Bernadette Franklin on the Bubs of the Books. So, if you want some easy extra entries, look for those and click the buttons.
You’ll make the female happy!
In other news, here’s an update on all things writing related:
Storm Called releases on February 26, 2019. You can preorder on Amazon or at other major retailers. This is a prequel novel that takes place as the Royal States is becoming the Royal States, and it features Pat (of Texas) before he became a king. It’s fun, it’s silly, and if you like the Magical Romantic Comedy novels, you might like this one because it has a similar vibe in some cases. (Also, we recommend you eat before reading. You may become hungry.)
He does like to cook, after all.
So, if you like fun, lighter stories about two people falling in love, and having a few hiccups on the way… or if you like horses… this book is probably for you.
Shammed releases on March 14, 2019. You can preorder on Amazon or at other major retailers. Shammed is loosely St. Patrick’s Day themed, and it involves two people of questionable Irish descent pranking each other because they’re hopeless and don’t understand how flirting works.
This one doesn’t have any magic, but if you have ever wondered what a ten thousand dollar toilet can do, you’ll find out. Also, this book contains an obscene amount of glitter. So much glitter. So much glitter.
The lead characters of Claustrophobic play major roles in Shammed, so it wouldn’t hurt to read Claustrophobic first. That said, you’ll figure it out even if you haven’t read Claustrophobic already.
Yes, yes. We heard you. Mrs. Carter is in Shammed. Yes, she’s her same old glorious self. Yes, did you really think Mrs. Carter wouldn’t show up in a story about people pranking each other?
Hypnos releases on April 23, 2019. You can preorder on Amazon or at other major retailers. This is the human’s next main series, and it’s going to be a blast. You can read the opener for the book here. There is also a kickstarter for Burn, Baby, Burn: a Magical Romantic Comedy (with a body count) and Hypnos going on right now. This will be the only way you can get autographed copies of Burn, Baby, Burn in hardback or paperback until sometime next year. There will be one or two kickstarters a year to give people a chance to get books for their collection. Otherwise, you’ll have to join giveaways we run on the main page for a chance to get one.
Burn, Baby, Burn: a Magical Romantic Comedy (with a body count) will release on May 14, 2019. Preorder will be available soonish. (Read: the female is loading the preorder to all vendor sites on February 13, 2019. Yes. That is tomorrow.) The next Magical Romantic Comedy (with a body count) will release in 2020.
It’ll probably be Grave Humor, and it’ll probably be on May 16, 2020. The only way another one is releasing sooner is if some insane miracle happens with Burn, Baby, Burn, which we’re not expecting. (Translation: if Burn, Baby, Burn hits USA Today, the human will change her mind about the release schedule and bump some form of Mag Rom Com for a December 2019 release or earlier. No promises which book. Considering her best new release of a book has been 1,500 sales shy of listing, that’s probably not happening, but since people were asking what it would take to change the female’s mind, this is what she has decided.)
Yes, the female is a fair being and she will be doing paid advertisements to promote Burn, Baby, Burn. (That’s only fair if she’s setting the bar that high. She needs to pull her weight, too!)
(For the readers curious, to hit USA Today, you need approximately 5,000 sales on Amazon alone, and you need at least 250+ sales on one other wide vendor. (So, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, Apple Books… I have no idea if Google Play reports or not.) The 250+ figure is roughly how many sales it takes to get one of these vendors to report to USA Today that the book is qualified to make the list.
Also, the human, to be fair, is releasing the book on May 14 instead of May 16. The book has a seven day window to hit USA Today, Tuesday preorders count on Monday as a sale, so that gives the book a chance to actually qualify. It would have fewer days to qualify otherwise. And she tries to be fair.
We’re just going to pretend it released on her birthday, okay?
Yes, Burn, Baby, Burn is Bailey and Quinn #2. Yes, it has a napalm scene. Yes, it has Quinn as a POV character. Yes, she’ll be a unicorn. Yes, there are puppies and kittens. Yes, you’ll get to see some of Quinn’s crazy family. Yes, Perky is back. Yes, you’ll get to meet Perky’s wife. Bailey calls her Perkette. (Her name is Tiffany.)
Yes, you will find out about Bailey’s heritage. No, nobody really understands the convoluted relationships required for Quinn to have been born.
Yes, there’s something about an actual wedding somewhere in this book somewhere. It’s probably not what you’re expecting. Well, unless you’re expecting shenanigans, a brawl, and possibly property damage, in which case it probably is what you’re expecting.
Yes, you’ll find out more about what happened to the concrete cake Bailey incinerated.
No, you won’t find out more about Mary the Barista Fairy.
If you ever wanted to know what a brassault is, you’ll want to read the book.
Expect another blog post tomorrow with information/links for Burn, Baby, Burn.
You may return to your previously scheduled programming. Happy Reading, Humans!
Fippy Darkpaw (of the Everquests) will be accompanying the male and female human to England for photo opportunities and general human observations.
Please give Fippy your condolences.
It’s going to be a long trip for him. He’s obviously not too pleased to have been selected for this ‘opportunity’ to ‘see the world’ in the company of two humans.
Stay tuned for more information of Fippy Darkpaw (of the Everquests) adventures in England, where he will attempt to lay siege to castles, which shall ultimately lead to failure.
(But don’t feel too bad for him. Fippy is used to this sort of failure.)
There have been questions about what is involved with writing a book, and I, your resident Beguiling Tyrant, am here to help you through this journey! Well, as an observer. Or something. Really, we’re just here to make fun of the female as she works and I do whatever I want, which is make fun of her. Or help.
Yes, yes. I’m helping.
In reality, the female wandered away from the glowy rectangle box to give her brain a rest from working, and she told me I could do whatever I wanted.
She should know better by now.
I’m going to do what I do best and expose all of her dirty secrets. Bwhaahahahaa!
Books are complicated beasts. Everyone writes one differently. The female can’t even maintain consistency when working on a book, either. I wish I was kidding about that. I’m not. She’d probably make life easier on herself if she did things consistently. Apparently, that’s not how books work for her.
Each one is different.
What isn’t different is some core parts of the writing process. At the top of the list is time investment. Books take time to write. If she’s having a super easy, fantastic time, she can write a 55,000 word book in ten days. That’s working approximately eight hours a day.
This is basically if everything is perfect. So, ten days times eight hours a day is eighty hours.
That’s 687 words an hour.
Honestly, to write Claustrophobic (the 55,000 word book under discussion here,) she worked ten to twelve hours a day for ten days. So, that’s about 100 to 120 hours. We’ll call it 110 hours to be in the middle.
What? Did you think she just sat around eating gummy bears all day? I mean, she totally does, but she works her butt off as a general rule.
That’s 500 words an hour, approximately. That’s about right. She likes hitting 1,000 words an hour when she’s ‘in the zone.’ (AKA she can work without interruption, doesn’t have a headache, etc.) She can write up to 2,000 words in an hour, but that doesn’t happen often. 500 words in an hour is pretty average for her. Or 5 hours of 1,000 words an hour sandwiched between research and other tasks necessary to write the book. Whatever. I hope you get it because the female is muttering about how the words are never consistent.
She doesn’t write fast often, but when she does, she can really rack up the word counts. What realistically happens is that she’s writing slowly over a lot of hours.
Here’s the thing with the estimated word counts an hour. Sometimes, the female will work for 4 hours typing a storm, sometimes averaging 1,500 words an hour. She’ll then spend 6 hours trying to figure out how to make what’s going on tick, editing what’s already written, and researching. That time counts, because it is a critical part of her process.
But for the sake of determining how long it takes her to finish a draft of a book to get it to an editor, 500 words an hour is reasonable.
But only if she is typing straight to the computer.
Yeah. That puts a kink in things, because she also handwrites. In bad news, handwriting doesn’t make the 500 words an hour change much. It just adds another draft of a book–unless she got it perfectly right in the handwritten draft. (Doesn’t happen. Ever.)
It takes 1 hour per page to handwrite a book.
Burn, Baby, Burn is up to 44 hours of work on it and she hasn’t even started typing yet. She’s expecting to handwrite 80-120 pages of the story before she begins typing. In good news, she can write longer hours without being as strained following what she’s already handwritten–for the most part. But she still is doing extensive editing work while writing.
So, let’s cut Burn, Baby, Burn to 100 handwritten pages and 125,000 words. That’s a guess. Book could end up being 90,000. It could end up being 150,000. We’re assuming it’ll be longer because it’s really two stories being woven together into one as it features Quinn and Bailey as POV characters.
So, that’s 100 hours of handwriting and 250 hours of typing work, approximately, to bring Burn, Baby, Burn to the editor. Then it’ll take another 10-20 or so hours after she gets it back from the editor to be happy with it. It depends on how many times she re-reads the book on route to publication. It’s 5 hours per read, roughly, for a book of that length. The first read will probably take 7 hours as she reads slower trying to catch as much as possible on the first pass.
We’ll say 15 hours because like the number in the middle.
That’s ultimately 365 hours of work on a single book that she’ll sell to readers for $5.99. (We’re… actually expecting more hours than this, truth be told. Burn, Baby, Burn has been very complicated to write, and some pages have taken her 2 hours, but there have been some that took her 45 minutes, and she’s the kind to try to play down just how much work she puts into something.
Hypnos is in a similar position, but it’s required tens upon tens of hours of research before she could even begin writing it. Those hours hurt, but they were mandatory.
There’s a lot more than goes into a book than just sitting there and typing at the computer.
Then there’s the outlining process if she’s outlining. For Hypnos / Seeking the Zodiacs, the female spent an entire week between books hashing out what she wanted to accomplish in the series. That’s approximately 40 hours of just sitting down and writing ideas without really researching them to see if they were feasible ideas.
We’re not even sure how long Hypnos will be, but the female had already invested some 100+ hours into the book, and that was before she started handwriting anything.
When the female calculates how much a book costs, she doesn’t usually account for the number of hours she invests in writing it. (If she gave herself minimum wage, which is $15.00, she’d be $5,475 in the hole for Burn, Baby, Burn on its release day just from labor alone. She just covers the cost of cover art, editorial, copyright and ISBN registration, advertising, and so on for the cost of a book.)
Now that’s all out of the way, here’s the basics of how the female works. Please feel free to include squiggle lines to randomly connect these pieces, as everything up until “Sends to her editor” can happen at different times, simultaneously, etc.
Conceptualization: This is coming up with the idea.
Outlining: If done, this is refining the idea. Not always done. Maybe only done at the end of the book. Sometimes done only in the middle of the book if there’s a spot the female is stuck on. Uhm, yeah. Silly female.
That’s the ‘simple’ version of it, humans.
I must now give the glowy rectangle box back to the human so she can get back to ‘work’ doing that whole writing thing.
Wish her luck. She’s going to need it today. I licked all her gummy bears without telling her about it.
The Wenchasaurus Rex is so excited she can’t even right now, so I have to even for her. I’m not even sure what evening is, but I’m doing it… I guess? Just like I’m not really sure why she makes these purple things bleed onto paper beyond understanding the basic desire to hunt and conquer.
I’m a cat. I’m good at that.
Anyway, the female was doing a search and found herself… at a LIBRARY.
She loves libraries, human.
This is so cool. The female is still can’t evening right now, and I’m still not sure what it means, but it involves squealing and raising her pale fleshy finger bits in the air and waving them around.
People who use the Las Vegas public library can get a bunch of the female’s books there, although there’s a wait list for some of the titles.
This! This! You can check out digital books right online and get to read them through this system.
Do this, do this, do this! For every last one of your favorite authors. If you love a book, talk to your library about getting copies in for you to read. This is perfect for those on fixed income. (We care for you. We really do. There is a whole world of free books at your disposal through Overdrive and the public library systems.)
You’ll need a library card, but a lot of the library systems allow you to apply for one online now, so you don’t even need to go to the library. It’s all digital.
The female is a little sad that her books aren’t available in the Santa Clara district library system, but that’s okay. She buys the books she wants to read since she doesn’t have a huge amount of free time. But for those who have a lot of free time?
Talk to your librarian. You help authors, you help support the library, and you help get your favorite books into the hands of other readers.
Do eeeeet, humans! You’ll regret nothing!
Annnnnd the female human seems to be indulging in an excitement-induced seizure.
I thought about helping her for a second, but that odd and unsettling urge passed quickly. I hope she’ll be able to feed me tonight.
All things come to an end, and the Sneaky Kitty Critic newsletter has driven the Wenchasaurus Rex to the end of her rope. So rather than strangling herself with it, she’s turned it into a whip, doused it in napalm, lit it on fire, and has turned it onto the server.
Buh-bye, mail server. Well. Almost. It has to finish sending out this final missive first.
We want to start this with a thank you to those who understand there is a real human behind the Furred & Finned Management. You’re appreciated. All journeys come to an end, and it’s time for the newsletter to ride quietly into the night.
There are a lot of people angry over the piracy newsletter we sent, too. (That’s okay. Go ahead and be angry at us for venting. If you’re not a pirate… it’s not targeted at you… and losing that much money over and over every book release is very frustrating for everyone involved.)
But there’s more to this than just that, though.
Ever since the death of Tia the Majestic, the human has, frankly, kinda loathed anything to do with the mail server she’d operate to help us send missives to you. Newsletters are an odd beast. They’re also expensive odd beasts.
But they were several hours of work a piece, and every time she goes to it, she gets a little bit angry, a lot sad… and using the software (and handling all the coding stuff) no longer held any joy.
There’s something to be said for getting rid of things that don’t spark joy. (And cost a lot of money without sparking any joy.)
We love talking to you humans, especially the ones among you who live and breathe books. That’s what we’re here for.
But, when we’re honest–a lot of people come to our site and read our missives for the laughs, the games, and the cat pictures. That’s fine. Really. We enjoy making you laugh.
That’s part of why our female writes books.
Laughter is good medicine.
But, there’s also a point in time where the Wenchasaurus Rex must figure out what makes her happy while also making you happy.
There’s some economics here, but it boils down to this: servers are expensive. Hosting the mail server? Also expensive. Hosting the mail server that sends images… even more expensive. (The female pays for each email sent, and then she pays even more for the load on the server as those emails are sent with images.)
With the website, wordpress helps carries the burden of expense; it comes part of the fancy thingies she uses/pays for to make this website happen. This means we can keep bringing you pictures at a much lower cost.
This may look impulsive, but as some of you are aware from being a subscriber, we’ve mentioned it before. We’re just moving the timeline up and cutting our loses now rather than carrying the burden of server costs for half a year to a year longer.
It adds up fast, humans.
So, this is a new start on the author’s adventure in writing and authoring.
Newsletter operators look at numbers. Subscribers are numbers. (When we send a newsletter, we just see a number.) It’s lifeless to the Wenchasaurus Rex. She does try to make it fun for everyone through us. (She helps us a lot with these things, you know. We just try to pretend she doesn’t.)
She’s tired of seeing people as numbers, so she’s getting rid of the numbers. Boom! It’s done. Fans are not numbers. People are not demographics. (And no, for the nth time, not everyone on the list is a pirate and if it doesn’t apply to you, please take it as intended, something to educate you.
While littered with curses, because nothing sucks quite as much as losing tens of thousands of dollars to thieves. (You’d be upset, too. Right? Well, the female is upset. With reason.)
She’s not sorry she’s upset, either. She may be a little sorry for offending some people, but… if it’s not about you, don’t worry about it.
Ending the newsletter has been a long time in the making, but after spending most of the day responding to as many messages as she can (many of them angry, including the typical I don’t even know who you are, how dare you sound like you’re accusing me of piracy!) she’s tired.
Everyone in the Blain household is tired.
P.S.: If you’re not pirating books, the letter wasn’t to you, but it was put there to educate you. While our intention was not to upset you, we of the Furred & Finned Management ask you consider why you became upset.
If you’re not a pirate, it’s not about you. You’re good. It’s that simple. If something is not directed to you, it makes zero sense (at least to us) for you to be offended by it. If you’re upset by it because you’ve done something in the letter… well, that’s something to think about.
Those who are pirates probably aren’t going to be shamed by their behavior or care. But maybe they’ll get angry and leave. (Which works for us.) This site is operated one part labor of love and enjoyment of entertaining and helping other authors, one part as a business investment. That’s reality.
At the heart of her rant is a simple truth: the female can’t do jack shit about the pirates no matter how hard she fights them, and they cost her, directly, tens of thousands of dollars. Some pirates take her books and sell them on sites (not the big vendors) because they can. That just makes the loss of the sales even worse.
She’s not sorry she’s angry to the point of tears. At all. We hope you understand that.
This site, while operated by cats, is for the human’s book ventures. It is her passion, her love, and her dream. It means more to her than just a pay check, but she needs that check to survive.
(Just like people who go to their 9-5 job expect to be paid for their work.)
We enjoy being cats and entertaining you, but we’re here for the books. I know a lot of people who have been subscribed (and stayed subscribed) have followed because of us kitties. That’s great. Please continue to follow our adventures. (Although when the female and co leave for England, they will be accompanied by a plushy friend.)
She’s still trying to figure out how to sneak Ebola the Virus into her purse without TSA giving her stink eye. (Note: it’s a plushy, not an actual disease.)
If Ebola can’t be sneaked into England, Fippy Darkpaw will travel to castles instead–or Potion the Cat. We’re still a bit hazy on who will actually travel to England for photo ops and trip adventures.
We are going to a kitty palace for a vacation of our own. We’re totally not sure about this, but we’ve been told we will be fed at the appropriate intervals.
Posts will be more frequent without the newsletter stressing out the Furred & Finned Management. Some will be ranty. (We’re cats, after all. Passionate cats who love books. We’re also passionate cats who love food, and money is required for food. Things like piracy take food off our table, and we don’t like that.)
It’s okay to get upset sometimes. Everyone gets upset sometimes, even passionate cats who love books and food.
Some readers are really upset with the piracy message. It is what it is. We’ve lost fans because of it, too. (That’s fine. We’re abrasive, and we aren’t safe for some audiences.)
We’re honest, and we’re imperfect beings. The human? Particularly imperfect. We can’t be positive and happy all the time.
We expected to lose readers today when we posted our message. We posted it understanding we will lose readers. Closing the newsletter? Will lose us fans and readers and buyers. We know this.
We understand it.
For those of you sticking around, thank you. We hope to see you around on the blog, and we hope to talk to you in the comments.
You can subscribe to get email notifications of new posts on the right side menu on desktop browsers or at the very bottom of this page on mobile devices.
While this blog is operated by two cats, and people love cats, it’s about a writer working her ass off to make a living entertaining people.
Her name is RJ Blain.
To those of you offended by our recent post? We’re sorry you feel that way, and may you find great books and authors you enjoy elsewhere. We’re not for you–and that’s okay.
For those of you sticking around, we hope you’re sticking around for more than just cute pictures of us cats.
And with that, this part of our journey comes to a close. We’re turning off the lights and putting the server to bed. Once the emails are sent, things like the unsubscribe links will no longer function as there will be no server for them to go to.
For those of you who aren’t staying around or visiting our website (thesneakykittycritic.com), we truly wish you well in everything you do, and may you find your next new favorite book with the drawing of your next breath, because nobody should have to struggle to find a book to fall in love with.
So long and thanks for all the fish, newsletter subscribers. It was great while it lasted. We’ll be up to our same old in new forms, and we hope you come join us on our new adventures.