Tuesday, December 28, 2021

Changes with M.E. Hydra books

I should have posted this earlier, but it's been a busy month yadda yadda.

A few weeks ago I received an email that eXcessica would be closing its doors and unpublishing all its books at the end of November.  First up, there's nothing controversial about this.  Excessica was started as a sort of writer's collective right before Amazon's Kindle blew the doors off self-publishing.  This was back when alternative book sites required "publishers" to have at least three authors in their stable and Selena Kitt wanted to both start her own career as an author and recognised there was a lot of untapped talent on Literotica that could be brought along for the ride.  I feel honoured and grateful to be one of those writers and have nothing but praise for Selena and her hardworking crew for having me along.

All good things must come to an end, and in an era where it's trivially easy for a writer to upload their work to Amazon and other places, there is no longer the need for writer's-collectives-cum-publishers.  It's time for us to make our own way, and I fully understand the decision.

What does it mean for M.E. Hydra books on Amazon and elsewhere?

As far as I know, the ones put out through eXcessica will be unpublished at the end of the month, so if you want to grab the old versions, you might want to do it pretty sharpish.  The books affected are Succubus Summoning 101 and 201, and the A Succubus for collections (6 of them).  The Sandwiched by novellas were fully self-published by me and won't be affected (I really should get back to finishing that series off!)

The books won't be gone for good.  As soon as I've sorted out the logistics of rights transfers and the rest, I'll be reuploading them under my own author account.  For Succubus Summoning 101 and 201, that will probably be right away as I'm happy with the current covers for those.  They'll just need some tweaks to the copyright page and the removal of the old logo and should be good to go.

As for the A Succubus for collections, I might use this as an opportunity to tweak these and rebrand the series as a whole.

As part of the rebranding I definitely want to redo the covers and number them as a series.

The other thing I might do is rejig the contents and running orders.  Sharp-eyed readers will have noticed links between characters and events, and realised these are all taking place in a shared universe.

This was not always the case.  Early on, I wrote them as standalone short stories, which means there are some that don't quite fit within that shared universe - the superhero parodies, that one science fiction story, some of the "Succubus vs." stories.

While I haven't put any books out for a while, I have continued to write stories.  Some have been Patreon-exclusives, others have been posted on Literotica.  I probably have enough for a new collection and some left over.  I'm thinking of replacing some of the older stories in the older collections, and then rebranding the collections as part of a much larger ongoing story in the same universe.

What do people think about that?

Go with the rebrand, or preserve the collections with their original line-ups?

Either way, expect the Succubus Summoning series to be reuploaded fairly quickly, and I'll likely follow with the new A Succubus for editions over the first half of 2022.  Maybe, if everything falls into place, a brand new 7th collection to follow the updated editions.

As for covers, I'm still checking on whether it's allowed, but the WOMBO dream app has thrown up a few pictures I wouldn't feel too bad about sticking on a book cover.

A Succubus for Halloween?

A Succubus for Freedom?

A Succubus for Remembrance?

What do you think?


  1. Pretty good covers, and each feel appropriate for their intended purpose. It's kind of strange, but a quick glance at each book in their unzoomed forms (looking at them on the blog but not clicking the pictures,) gives the overall impression of what the pics are for.

    But click on the pics, look at them up close, and it becomes apparent how the images are mashed together and eldricth-ish, rather than clearly defined forms. Ups the eerie factor pretty good.

    The first cover gives off a very Jack-O-Lantern vibe, with only the Jack-O-Lantern underneath Succubus as a recognizable if blurry Jack-O-Lantern. And am I off or does the Succubus have a bkack-horned Jack-O-Lantern as a head?

    The second cover seems to be a Succubus figure in a confined space, possibly a prison. Suitably ironic considering the name of the collection / book and the theme behind it.

    And the last cover seems to have its Succubus kneeling in what appears to be a graveyard, gazing at what look like distorted gravestones.

    Just what I;m getting from it, mind you.

    1. Yep. That's why I pulled those out. They're very abstract, but are probably fine for a book or album cover, where a lot already use abstract art anyway.

      Those seemed to convey the themes pretty well.

      Christmas and Saint Patrick's Day have proven a little more troublesome to find something that isn't an abomination. :D

    2. Hmmm. The festive style seems to be the best fit for Christmas pics, but it did seem difficult to get scarier / more menacing pics.

      Hmmm. I just got an interesting pic from “Krampus visits children” in the festive style, so scarier pics are possible in that style, might just need the right keywords. “Killer Succubus for Christmas” got a halfway decent result, not sure if it’s quite the kind of thing you’re looking for though.

  2. Ah, wait, just found something. Hearing that M E Hydra was looking at using Dream by Wombo pics as covers got me curious, so I looked up copyright and wombo on google. Reddit has an article about this with someone asking the same question, and one of the responses links to a Wombo Terms of Use Agreement page.



    Ugh. I think I remember M E Hydra commenting on the copyright before, and now I get why. It is a confusing mess to make any sense of. I don't think I see anything that clearly outright says you can't use the images, just the service.

    One Redditor found a section that comments on Intellectual Property Use and interpreted that to mean that any art created by the Dream by Wombo app / service belongs to Wombo, but I think an argument could be made that that section is talking about the service itself and not its creations. The wording is pretty muddy and unclear.

    1. Copyright on this feels like it would be very messy. Is it a tool, and the person is the creator because of the words they give it? If it's an AI neural network, presumably it's been fed a ton of artwork to train it, therefore do all of the original artists have a claim to anything produced by it? I don't really blame them for taking a "have fun with it, but don't try to pass the work off as something you painted yourself" approach.

      I did email the link from the discord and got this back:

      "Creators have full freedom over their artwork and are free to distribute or share them for personal, entertainment or educational reasons. For commercial use, please credit WOMBO Dream for the generation in some prominent way (we recommend using the trading card output if possible)"

      I'm going to cautiously take that as an okay for now and put the appropriate credits on the copyright page. Hopefully the creators will continue with a common sense open source approach and nobody takes the piss.

      Technology, always asking fascinating questions. :)

  3. Yeah, Google wasn’t giving me much more than the Reddit post, and that was only helpful in a limited sense. The WOMBO response is certainly better than that, but there does seem to be some wriggle room still. I have to wonder if that sort of wording is something that corporate lawyers would insist on for their clients to cover their rears just in case.

  4. Those pics you created MEH do look great for your kind of world. I own two of your books, Succubus for Remembrance and Saint Patrick's Day. The cover art looks good but I have noticed that you use a lot of the shadow image of a random succubi.

    Those Wombo images you made works really well because the succubi in your stories are mysterious, eldtrich, and bizarre. I vote you go for the rebrand man.

  5. Finally an author not afraid to write demons being demons. I get tired of works where monsters are so humanized they are practically humans that just so happened to have red skin, fangs, and horns.

    Glad you made it very clear the succubi have alien morality and doesn't think like a human.

    It would be boring if your succubi are just horny human women that just so happened to have a energy draining pussy as their "super power".