I think I need a Russian translation of my book …

I’ve refrained from comment on the events in Russia, to this point because — frankly — I felt others were doing such a tremendously wonderful job of it already; I could think of nothing to add.  Bravo to Amsterdam and their flying of Pride flags from the government building when Putin (it was Putin, not some Ambassador, right?) came to visit.  Kudos to whoever was responsible for the rainbow crosswalk in front of the Russian embassy.

Of course, too, shame on Russia for this unconscionable law of their’s!

Then I read about this art exhibit thing, and decided that I did have something to say and contribute.

I’ve checked, and discovered — to my deep disappointment — that none of my sales channels include Russia.  I know, in this day of the internet, that Russians can probably get the book through various of my American, EU, UK, Australian, etc. channels.  For example an Aussie purchased my Kobo edition via the US store.  The thing is, sometimes for various reasons these transactions are not possible from certain countries.  Anyone know if Russians can use other countries’ eBook stores?

Makes me wish I had a Russian language edition.

Then again, I’m not entirely sure how this law works.  Would it only be I who was the Russian criminal, and not my reader?  If so then absolutely!  For that I’d learn the language and do the translating myself!  If the reader would be in trouble too (the articles I’ve read indicate that no matter how things go, I’d be ranked guilty of criminal offense — c’est la vie), then I hope that my book is not easily obtainable in Russia and that any Russians who find my work are either sensible enough to use discretion, or to think carefully about what they’re doing if they’re going to be indiscreet.  Protest is all fine and well, and to be encouraged; getting yourself arrested for reading a lesbian romance because you told the wrong person about the story or talked too loudly where the wrong people can hear … let’s no one be that person, shall we?

On a related, if tangential, note — I think the painting below is actually rather good.  I’m not sure, given what the article says the painting represents, that I fully understand the meaning it’s attempting to convey, but it’s rather striking and interesting even if you haven’t the slightest idea who the two are or what the artist was trying to portray with them.  I hope it isn’t the Russian legal authority’s wont to destroy such works once they’re finished their criminal proceedings.

On Tuesday, police raided an exhibit at St. Petersburg’s Museum of Authority, taking several works of art. Among them was a portrait of Vladimir Putin in a negligee and Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev sporting a busty female body. The police, apparently, did not see the humor in the satirical painting. The artist has fled the country in the interest of safety: he fears criminal charges as authorities “have already said directly that my exhibition is extremist,” Agence France Presse reported.

The artist, Konstantin Altunin, might have been right in his assumption that getting out of town was the best plan of action. Earlier this summer, Russia passed a law that, effectively, outlawed any discussion or representation of homosexuality. In late July, Dutch filmmakers became the first tourists arrested under the new law, Salon reports, after they were caught interviewing young people about their views on homosexuality for a documentary they’re making about human rights. One of the other paintings Altunin contributed to the exhibit—at the gallery’s request—was of a lawmaker who had led push to ban “gay propaganda,” (Continued: Russian Authorities Are Deciding If It’s Illegal to Paint Putin in a Negligee | Smart News.)

Difficult decisions, difficult thoughts

You’re no doubt tired of hearing about this; I know I’m tired of thinking about it.

I’ve reached a final decision regarding Now & Forever‘s publication: I’m going to just put it out myself.

This really wasn’t an easy decision. By making it I am shutting myself out, completely, from certain sales channels – and things like the Scholastic Book Fair is not something to be set aside lightly if one is trying to write YA fiction. I’m also shutting myself out of some marketing channels – just TRY to find a reviewer willing to touch something self-published.

Still, YA romance readers are unlikely to be reading literary review blogs and mags, so no huge loss. The scholastic thing … well, no guarantee I could convince my publisher or agent to make the fight to carry my book there (unless it’s changed a lot since my days in school, I can’t imagine them happily taking a lesbian romance with a cheery smile).

Publishers don’t put forth enough promotion effort to be worth continued headache looking for an agent who then would have to find a publisher and … with some luck, hopefully by being out sooner I will make up for the loss of being on a Barnes & Noble shelf – the only part that really stings in this decision. Well, that and the prospect of an advance – given how my truck’s been behaving of late, that cash in hand would have been nice … though slow to arrive, I suppose.

As a result expect Love or Lust by the end of this month. When? I’ll get you a better estimate as soon as I can. It could stand one more scan for typos. Some rather silly ones slipped through the cracks somehow.

There’ll be a print edition via CreateSpace. I don’t know, yet, if I’ll bother with the expanded distribution at first or not. Feedback on how much people would rather order it from somewhere other than the CreateSpace store and Amazon will help with that – meaning, if you have an opinion, now is a great time to voice it.

There’ll be eBooks for: NOOK, Kindle, iBooks, and Kobo. There’ll also be copies available through Smashwords and a place called DriveThru Fiction. If you have a different preferred source of eBooks now is a great time to name it. These are all the ones I’m familiar with is the reason for their inclusion, I’ve no qualms adding to the list.

Pricing I’m still thinking about. The print edition pretty much has to be us$10, given the length of the book. The eBook, though? Well, I think most retailers make the minimum 99¢. I’ve contemplated this price – certainly keeps it in my budget. There’s much debate over how seriously people take books at that price point. Thus I’m considering as high as us$5.99.

Feedback helps. If you have an opinion on pricing, say. I’m listening. Don’t want to say publicly in the comments? Contact me.

The sample chapters are, and ever will be available. So, give them a look. Given that this is a YA series, feedback on stores and pricing from parents or teens is doubly hoped for.