The book

I’ve decided to write a book about male chastity and orgasm denial. There, I said it.

I have hesitated to embark on this endeavor for a couple of reasons. One, I like to start things but I don’t always like to finish them (for example). I figured if I ever told you people about the book I’d have to deal with the occasional, “How’s the book going?” thing which, while an innocent enough question, is a poisonous thing for a habitual procrastinator to hear. Second, I have a problem with the idea of writing the guide to this stuff. I have a very deep yet narrow experience set and I don’t think it’s necessarily applicable to everyone else looking to explore this kink. I’ve never really felt entirely comfortable being thought of as an authority, though I’ve kinda let go of that by asserting in the introduction exactly that: My experiences are my own, my opinions are my own, take them for what they’re worth (which is apparently whatever the book ends up costing), maybe it’ll work for you, maybe it won’t.

I expect I’ll release it as a Kindle book. Maybe iBooks, too. Maybe even as a Lulu print-on-demand thing. Minimally, it’ll be on Kindle. One of many questions I may have for you, my readers, as this goes along is how much you think I should sell it for? I have a price in my head, but I’m looking for some other opinions.

The next thing I want to ask, as I get into the planning and structuring of it, is what kinds of things would you want to see in it? I assume there’ll be all the practical gearhead chastity nerdery stuff that I’ve already regurgitated all over the blog, but what else? Again, I have my own ideas about this, but I think now’s a better time to ask for input than after I’m almost done with it.

Finally, there’s how this will relate to the blog. I expect a couple of things. One, I probably won’t be updating it quite as often while writing since all my energy for that will be going into the book (I guess that all depends on how my room full of monkeys with typewriters experiment goes and how how many monkeys I can procure). Who knows, though. Second, I will never (ever) make this blog nothing but a front-end sales pitch to the book. Promise. I’ll probably have some kind of element that promotes the book here, but I don’t see this being a giant hand reaching into your bank account. Third, it’s entirely possible that laying this giant thing onto the world will end up being some kind of dénouement for the blog. I’m already sometimes feeling like my tank is running low and there’s just not a ton of reasons for me to do this, but then again, I can’t imagine not doing it. I’ve tried blogging elsewhere about other subjects, but so far, I can’t stop doing this. I don’t say this to encourage a bunch of “BUT WE LOVE YOU!!” kind of comments, so please, don’t. I’m just sayin’ I can’t know how I’ll feel about blogging on this particular subject once the opus has landed. If it ever lands, of course. Blogging, in general, is a better way for someone like me to write in that I don’t like the idea of a big commitment, don’t want to plan much, and would rather say whatever I want whenever I want to, not according to some master layout.

Finally finally, has anyone reading this written a book on a subject like this? Or any subject, I guess. Any pointers? How did you approach it? What would you do differently if you had it to do over?

18 thoughts on “The book

  1. Good luck with your project, I hope you finish it. I too am full of ideas which never get finished…I too have announced projects which are yet to be started never mind completed. It’s quite depressing at times, but still. Take heart, it seems there’s a lot of chastity fans out there with very deep pockets, at least that’s the impression I get every time Sarah Jameson releases another £70 download… not knocking her, fair play if people are willing to pay it, why not?

  2. *doing my happy dance** You just too talented to NOT write a book . I have never published a book, only done some editing for other writers. I would love to help you if you really need it, but I suspect your gut will give you the answers you need. And since your blog has most of the info, it really is a matter of just organizing it all. What would be really special is if you also included just a short response/intro/POV from Belle. That would make the book quite special as well as valuable. I know many that read this blog have inquired about her. That said, while you feel like you have nothing else to say, I doubt that others would like to see you slow down posting here. I always enjoy hear your stories. Again, while I doubt you would ask or inquire, I would be happy to help you out.

  3. Actually, I’ve written several books (sorry, can’t say on what) and teach at a major(ish) university, so I know from writing.

    And since your blog has most of the info, it really is a matter of just organizing it all.

    Yes and no. Organization is crucial. You can’t just start writing and hope the organization will sort itself out as you go along. You have to have a clear conception of the entire structure from the start, and always be aware, as you write any individual element, of how it fits into the whole.

    It may well be that you have lots of material on this blog, but a proper book needs a cohesion that a blog by definition lacks. Here you can write about individual events in no particular order. Not so with a book.

    Which brings up the issue of what sort of book you want. Is it simply an abstract third-person discussion of the topic? Or will it have your own personal experience as the main theme? Judging by this blog as a whole, I’d guess a mixture. You could have some discussion of how you got into T&D, how your experience developed over time, why it appeals to you, that sort of thing. But also chapters that consider such matters (and also technical points?) from a more generalizing point of view. That is, some chapters on “here’s what I do” and some on “here’s how it works in general”. Sort of Xaviera Hollander cum (ha!) DIY information.

    What would be really special is if you also included just a short response/intro/POV from Belle.

    I’d say no. If it’s your book, then it should be yours. Now, that’s not to say that you couldn’t co-author the thing, but if that’s the case, then the co-authorship should cover the whole work. I get the impression that this blog is really just yours.

    Finally, you talk about not finishing projects. That’s defeatist talk. A book does take a lot of determination and hard work, but it’s hardly insurmountable. Just stick to it, and don’t set yourself up for defeat from the start. If you want to do it, do it!

    FWIW, I’ve enjoyed the information, both technical and personal, that you share here. (You’re a lot more hardcore than I am!). Much luck with your endeavor.

  4. Good for you!!

    I’d love to hear about how it started, the emotional ups and downs, and how you and Belle have dealt with it at different stages. Also how you to initially introduced it and how you then keep her engaged in the process through it all to the point where she is now actively involved.

    As to price, I really have no idea. I guess checking the competition would be the most logical route. When I think of self published e-books, I think of really low prices, which doesn’t at all reflect the work that goes into them.

    “I will never (ever) make this blog nothing but a front-end sales pitch to the book. Promise.”

    *smile* Thank you.

    Ferns

  5. There are books and then there are _books_. The sort you buy or even borrow from the library and can’t wait until you get home to dig in. So you get off the freeway, turn onto a side street, and gobble up fifteen minutes of delicious reading until you can get home and sink into it.

    I’d read anything you wrote with delight. If you wrote about cleaning out your garage, I’d read it. I find your prose shiny, clear, charming, honest, funny, scrumptuously readable. More than a man who writes a blog, I think you are a writer.

    Before the internet and blogging, I could learn about the writer’s process if it was mentioned in their biography or if their letters were published. Occasionally something about the writer’s process is published in a literary magazine. I’d relish reading entries on your blog about your own process.

    In a Kindle version I’d be comfortable in the $9 to $14 range.

  6. It’s an odd thing how so many of the sites I used to read slavishly when starting my own chastity journey have changed; some beyond all recognition. Tom’s site has more or less self-destructed, for reasons known only to him. Sarah’s site (still a latecomer in my mind) has gone from practical, clear-headed advice to a marketplace first and foremost. Only Mrs. Kelly’s playhouse seems to be more or less fun to read, and yet scott has probably had the most changes of anyone currently ‘well-known’ in online chastity blogging.

    And then there’s you. I agree with many that you have a very enjoyable writing style. Anything you wrote (and finished) would be a worthwhile read. But it is obvious that you seem to have reached a point in your own journey where it starts to seem repetitious, at least to you. I haven’t read the entire blog, but I’ve read a lot of it, and from what I have seen, it is the story of a man and his wife exploring his sexuality and fetishes. What works, what doesn’t, how you feel when *this* happens or *that* doesn’t, and so on.

    But the ‘active exploration’ phase appears to be drawing to a close. You’ve circumnavigated your world, and know all the coastlines there are to see. Now what? Condense it all down into a book, I suppose. You have a stable situation where you’ve tried various devices and found things you like, and how they fit into your mental picture of yourself. Belle has been brought into your world, and found her own place in it, comfortable as the object of your desire, and master of your orgasms. Unless you have something nasty happen like scott Kelly (knock on wood), you may be on the threshold of a long period of (somewhat) calm stability, at least sexually.

    Is that a bad thing? Not necessarily. Young men chase young women because they crave sex (leaving aside non-traditional sexual roles for a moment). Then what usually happens is they get married, and get all the sex they want. But then they miss the thrill of the chase, even when they got what they initially craved. So are they happy? The answer will vary with the individual, and over time. You chased the idea of chastity. Now you’ve got what you wanted, with Belle having total control over your orgasms. Are you happy? Or do you miss the excitement of experiencing new devices, trying to fit them (and Belle) into your inner landscape?

    The answers to questions like that will determine the ultimate fate of this blog. I hope it goes on as long as reader and writer both enjoy it. But it’s unknown territory; a generation ago, the whole concept would have been dismissed as outlandish, if not pornographic. Like rock stars in their 70’s, there are no guidelines *yet* to follow.

  7. Tom’s site has more or less self-destructed, for reasons known only to him.

    Mrs. Edge and I started on the chastity/OD stuff over a dozen years ago, and the ‘active exploration’ phase, as you put it, has been over for a while. I’ve spent a lot of time trying to educate people on chastity, and on kink in general, and more importantly, I’ve spent a lot of personal energy trying to get people to understand that kink is not necessarily what you see on the internet – and for a while I was feeling like I was just banging my head against a wall.

    That is, when someone starts exploring bondage, femdom, chastity, or whatever, the first thing they hit on a Google search are the “Pro” sites, or the erotica sites, or the wanker sites. Sites like Thumper, Ferns, or mine aren’t exciting, flashy, or porn-laden. More importantly, we all take a common-sense approach, which isn’t what most people are looking for when they first start exploring.

    Plus, I’ll confess that I’ve been spread a bit thin; I have other web projects that I work on (in Vanilla space and otherwise), plus a business to run, family life, riding during bicycling season, and weightlifting when it’s colder.

    Ah well.

    And Thumper, it’s funny – I started blogging in part because I thought it would be better than trying to write a book. 🙂 If you need any help editing or reading over, feel free to drop me a line.

    :mutters:
    self destructed, my ass…
    :/mutters:

    1. Tom, your site is your site, to do with as you wish. But from my chair, it was once the go-to site for chastity information; not porn, but intelligent discussion, great stories, and a fun place. Then it turned into a site devoted to recording your physical training. As far as chastity goes, it was as interesting as looking at a stranger’s baby photos. Now it’s some sort of odd in-joke about ‘first world BDSM’; porn with little or no relevant content. I don’t know how other people feel about it, but it just seems like you’ve lost interest. Still, as I’ve said before (on your blog), you’re not required to be the Internet’s chastity guru; you’ve done your bit, and I thank you for that. I liked your site the way it used to be, but you’re not required to cater to what *I* want.

  8. Hi Thumper!

    I have not written a book, but I have translated Lucy Fairbourne’s book into German; the translation is now available in print and in ebook format on amazon.
    If you are interested in a translation, contact me once you’re finished. If you feel a need for the view from the other side of the ocean, I’m at your service, too.

  9. Add-On (my ideas):
    Don’t waste too much on the technical side. What is more important are questions (usually those from the man’s partner) like
    “Why does a man want this?”
    “What is in it for me?”
    “Does it hurt/cause damage?”
    These often seem to be the biggest obstacles in entering the MC world.

  10. Hi Thumper,

    it seems natural that you want to “distill” the blog into a book – and I say: go for it. I am sure many of your dedicated readers will buy and love it. As for the price: I think you should first decide on why you write the book – is it to make money or is it to give advice to those seeking it…? Sarah Jameson has quite a high price-tag on her BCWYWF and still people like me have bought it, because many of us agree, it is a very good resource. Then, again, not everyone will have the spare money to purchase it. So if your intention is to have a large audience, the price-tag should be probably a bit lower. I would say anything between 15 and 25 USD would be suitable. Male chastity is like a “hobby” – if one of us is interested in it, we are prepared to spend a few bucks.

    As for self-publishing: I have never done so myself but looked more deeply into the option for my job (an organisation I work for frequently publishes material and we wanted to see if self-publication would be an option for us). I found “The fine print of self-publishing” by Mark Levine a good read – it covers a lot of the questions one has to address before going ahead with the project. Plus it comes with detailed recommendations on a number of practical things.

    The one thing that many successful self-publishers seem to agree upon: Pay the money to have a professional proof-reader / editor go over your script. This is the one thing normal people can’t do. It is not enough handing the script to your family or some retired English teacher. This is almost an art and one really worth paying for. The level of proof-reading or editing is variable. You can just require correct English or you can find someone who also suggests improvements in the wording etc. After having read most of your blog (I have just reached October 2011…) I think you do not need someone to change your language – it is lively and your fans love it – it’s part of why we are here. But the classical proof-reading would probably help a lot.

    Anyway good luck with the book.

  11. I just ran across this, thought you might be interested:

    According to research done by Smashwords, an online e-book publishing and distribution platform for authors, publishers, agents, and readers, $2.99 to $5.99 yields the most profit for self-published authors, and although 99 cents will get you more downloads, it’s a poor price point for earning income (see Smashwords’ presentation on pricing here).

    On the other hand, Lulu, one of the bigger online self-publishing operations, says that authors who price their e-books in the 99-cent to $2.99 range “sell more units and earn more revenue than those in any other price range.”

    It’s important to note that Amazon’s 70 percent royalty for authors only applies to Kindle books priced between $2.99 and $9.99; otherwise, the rate kicks down to 35 percent). As for going free, well, Smashword data indicates that free e-books get about 100 times more downloads than priced e-books.

    How to self-publish an ebook June 2012

    Ferns

  12. I know I’m totally late to the party here and I haven’t read all the comments, but my honest advice to you would be to speak to people already writing non-fiction in this area and check out their prices. You have to pitch to the market. As an author of fiction, I can tell you what I sell for but that’s not even faintly helpful because different genres have different demographics. Even the difference in price in straight or ‘gay’ fiction is astonishing. There are a lot of Facebook groups specifically for people who write both fiction and non-fiction in this arena. I’d speak to them – it’s the fastest way to get a handle on the current status quo.

  13. I would happily pay 10 for a book by you. I am just starting into multi-month denial periods. your insights into long term denial psychological effects have helped me so much. nerdy geeky stuff is fun too, but there are not so many real and informative voices on long term denial out there. thanks. would be happiest if you published on smashwords.

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