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Tuesday, Aug 11, 2020
Worlds Of Lesbian Fiction
What's Going On With Kodi...

Friday, January 13, 2006

Post #112

Written by Kodi Wolf at 12:00 AM

I recently found out that some of my work was posted online without my permission, which is illegal under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. In addition, no credit was given (my name or copyright notice) and the title of the work was also not posted. I've worked through the legal system to rectify the matter, but this situation has made me consider the possibility of making this a subscription website as an alternative to taking my site down completely, which is the last thing I want to do. I just know I need to do something to protect my work and requiring a fee might help keep the average websurfer from deciding to casually repost my work without my permission.

If I do make this a subscription-based site, there are several things that will happen.

First, I will need to figure out exactly how to make this site a paying one, which will most likely require a lot of time and/or money (unless someone out there knows how to do what I need for cheap and is willing to volunteer/cut me a break for their skills - see below).

The subscription would most likely be set up through PayPal, since I already have an account with them. I've talked to the people who host my domain to find out how something like this would work and they pointed me to some websites where I found a script that will work (it's called aMember), but it costs $140 (plus another $40-$60 for each plugin I'll need to integrate it with a forum (phpBB or InvisionBoard), a Content Management System (Mambo), etc.). Plus, I may need some extra custom work on top of that and I have no idea how much a programmer will charge for the custom work, so I'm probably looking at a minimum of $300 just for the initial cost of setup. Before I lay out any money, though, I need to make sure I really want to do this, which I think I do, but I'm still thinking (sorry for the rambling stream of consciousness).

Also, though I'm a web designer, I'm not really a web programmer, so I'm trying to get comfortable with the idea of using scripts to configure my site for user names and passwords. I want to set this up so that my members will be able to choose their own username and password and then later edit that information if they want to without needing me to do it for them. Those are the kind of member sites I personally like the best, so that's the kind of setup I want to offer.

I'm not sure how much I would charge for the subscription service (maybe $10 per year?). If I could get even 10% of the people currently signed up to my announcement list (538; 10% would be about 53 x $10/subscription = $530 divided by 12 months = about $40 per month after the fees PayPal charges), then I would be able to cover the costs of doing this in the first place and even have some money left over to put towards publishing one of my stories (the fantasy then continues with making enough money from readers who buy the first book to put towards publishing the next book, and so on).

Also, if I make this a paying site, I will guarantee a minimum of 1-2 story updates per year. If I fail to produce, I'll refund your money, or you can get the next year for free, whichever you want.

However, ever since I started thinking about making this a paying site, I seem to have gotten very serious about my writing in a way I haven't been before. Not that I haven't been serious about my writing because I'm very serious about it. It's a part of who I am; it's one of the main ways I define myself and it's the one thing I love doing more than anything else.

There's this quote Whoopi Goldberg uses in the movie Sister Act when she's talking to the main teenage protagonist. I can't remember who she's quoting from, but basically it goes like this: Some aspiring writer asked some accomplished writer whether he (the aspiring writer) was really a writer, and the accomplished writer replied that only the aspiring writer could answer that question. If the person woke up each morning and all he could think about was writing, then that's what he was meant to be. Well, that's the way I feel about my writing. I can't not be a writer and still be me. Whether I'm good or bad at it doesn't even matter; it's just something I have to do.

However, anyone who's been following these updates knows from past installments that I have some serious anxiety problems, so it's not always easy for me to do what I want when I want to. As I've mentioned before, having people hound me for updates tends to have the exact opposite effect on me because it just puts pressure on me, which freaks me out, and then I can't write. That's why I've asked everyone not to do that. I don't want to cut myself off from my readers because I think the input I receive about my stories is very valuable, but I need to do what I need to do to make sure nothing interferes with my writing.

It's like, if I'm having a panic attack, the worst thing anyone can do to me is act like I should be fine because I know I'm not fine and I can't just suddenly be fine just because someone wants me to be. Feeling like I have to do something that I know I'm not capable of just creates more anxiety for me because I know I can't do what's expected of me. One of the ways I combat that is to not surround myself with insensitive people. I mean I don't want to be coddled, but I don't need to be put down either.

Anyway, a lot of this stuff is tied up with my self-esteem, too. Because of the anxiety attacks, I haven't been able to work. I generally try to rationalize my self-worth by doing housework (I never thought I'd grow up to be a housewife :)), so that I feel like I'm at least contributing something to the household, even if it's not money. But it's a pretty thin rationalization for me, no matter how many times Corene tells me she loves me for me and not my money and that I offer other things to our relationship, like emotional maturity and honesty, etc. It's just that I live in a capitalist society and it's difficult not to think in those terms most of the time (at least where I'm concerned; I don't tend to think about other people in those terms). When you're unemployed because you're a mental case, it can be a bit difficult to see yourself as 'worthy' sometimes.

But most of the time, I'm okay self-esteem-wise (I can even be downright conceited at times, but I try to keep that to a minimum :)). The point of all this is that the possibility of making this a paying site has turned it into my dream job. I don't feel like I have to justify to myself the time I spend writing the way I have in the past. I think before I was subconsciously filtering my view of myself through how I think other people see me, which is that I'm mooching off Corene and wasting my time on a "hobby," as if I don't have the right to spend my time writing (these are mostly nameless people; like I said, it's me doing the filtering through what I think other people think of me, though there are a few people who have made their opinions of me and my place in Corene's life rather clear).

However, instead of putting extra pressure on me the way I was afraid turning my writing into a job might, it seems to have given my writing more of a purpose. It's like the possibility of having the opportunity for an income (no matter how tiny) and that it would be based solely on my skill and effort, which is completely under my control, has really... Well, to use a cliché, it's sort of lit a fire under my butt. And it's a huge boost to my self-esteem to think that people might actually pay to read my stories. Of course, I won't know if/until I actually set this all up, but just the idea has been enough to get me working on even A Bondage Primer, which I haven't touched in quite some time.

So anyway, even though I will only guarantee 1-2 story updates per year, I'm planning on a lot more.

Second, I will need to remove my original (not fanfic) stories from the other sites that currenly host them in order to keep the content exclusive. I might offer the Palm Pilot formats on my website (as well as PDFs I create, etc.) if the site that currently hosts them allowed me to (though the material is copyrighted to me, the formatting is someone else's work, and I would either ask or pay the person to convert the files for me rather than just taking them and putting them on my website).

As you can see from my rambling above, all of this is very much in the planning/outline stages. So... Not to encourage this, but... If you've been putting off making a copy of my stories, now might be the time to do it. Just remember to abide by the terms stated on the Terms of Use page; you can make one printout of each story, one electronic copy, and one backup electronic copy for your personal use only (i.e., it can't be available to the public), as long as you include my copyright notice. You may not post my stories online anywhere for any purpose without my written permission.

Anyway, before all the stress of finding my work (without my name attached to it) on someone else's site sent me into a 24/7 panic attack, this is what I was working on storywise:

The Vampire Hunter series - I've been working on the rewrite of Bloodlines, which has been coming along pretty well. I think the scenes I'm adding and changing will really tell the story the way I wanted to from the beginning, but didn't have enough experience to get across several years ago (I think I've learned a lot since then, at least I hope I have). Oh, and I don't think the changes are anything that will confuse you. I'm just following up on some stuff I only hinted at before, showing stuff instead of telling it (first rule of writing).

Also, I can't remember if I've mentioned this before, but I've decided to split Bloodlines up into two books/parts: Blood Quest and Bloodlines (the first book/part The Vampire Hunter has gotten the subtitle Blood Bound). Blood Quest follows Gabrielle's world tour and Dana's hunt of her, while Bloodlines covers the challenges in the Amduat and the final sex scene (the split occurs at the point where Dana arrives in Egypt). The sequel, which I've been referring to as Blood Moon, is actually three books/parts as well: Blood Origins, Blood Moon, and Blood Parallels.

The Kindari Academy - I've done some more editing on this book, and I think I've realized that it needs to be completely reworked, which sort of sucks since it's basically completed. It's just too young the way it's written right now (I think that's why I've been so reluctant to post it; I knew it wasn't up to snuff). I really want more emotional angst from the characters, and it's just not there. However, I think I can use a lot of what I've written by just rewriting a few key elements. We'll see, anyway.

Fallen Angel - Mostly just minor edits to the rewritten beginning before moving on to the next section, though I have written some dialogue snippets that just need to be fleshed out with some narration around them.

The Trine - I've finally gotten past the first few chapters and have started to write new ones, but I got derailed early last month after Corene got into a car accident (yes, before the stuff with my writing happened, things were bad enough with the car being totaled and not having a replacement and dealing with the insurance; Corene's okay, by the way; she was just a little bruised and missing her car, but we've just settled with the insurance company and have finally gotten a new car :)). Now that things are starting to return to some sort of normalcy around here, I've been able to pick up where I left off (with my other stories, too).

A Bondage Primer - I've finished the first half of Day 11 and have worked on several scenes for future days in the story.

Xena: Warrior Slave - In preparation for making this a paying site, I've started working on edits to take this story out of the Xenaverse, so that I can list it as an original work (I'll probably create a separate site to host my fanfic stories, which will be completely free; I don't want there to be any confusion about what is meant to be a not-for-profit fan endeavor versus my original stories, which I would like to get paid for someday for all my hard work). Part of that means writing all new backstory (possibly shown in flashbacks the way the first part currently shows how Xena got to the point where she starts off as being on a leash held by Gabrielle), but the flashbacks will have to be extended in order to make it work. The only reason X:WS works now is because there's the whole history from the show behind it. Once I take the story out of that universe, I'll need to replace that lost history. Anyway, so that's what I'm doing. I do still plan to write the last two parts in the Xenaverse to finish up the story, but I'm also going to rewrite everything so that it can stand on its own as an original work of fiction. This is the only Xena story I plan to do that with, though Morpheus' Influence might lend itself to a modern day camping trip if I ever decided to come out with an anthology of short erotic stories. Anyway...

Well, I think that's pretty much it.

Oh, one more thing. If you see my work posted on a site other than this one and not listed on my Links page, please let me know. Only this site and the sites listed on my Links page have permission to offer my stories to the public.

Sorry, I almost forgot. One more thing... If you have any suggestions for what you would like as a perk of being a member (besides updates, since that's the whole point of the site), please send them to me (you can find my e-mail address on the Contact the Author page).

I would like to add a member forum and/or scheduled monthly chats (I got the idea from that Talk to the Author thing I did way back when on The Uber Abode). I've also had requests in the past for polls, which I could use some suggestions for what they could be about. I also want to set up a member review/rating system for my stories, so that non-members can read reviews and see how well (or how badly) my stories have been rated (1-5 stars) before signing up for a subscription, but only members will be able to review/rate. However, I can't promise anything, since I have no idea how to set up anything like what I've just mentioned (or if it's even a viable option), so I'll have to look into it. Whatever I do, I want it to be free of ads, so it will most likely cost me some money.

So anyway, if you have any suggestions, let me know. I've never done anything like this before, so I have no idea what I might be missing that one of you out there might really want.

Well, I think that really is it.

Take care, everyone.