Friday, January 10, 2014

I've Hit A Roadblock With My Lesbian Soap Opera

I have hit a roadblock with my lesbian soap opera...

The soap opera centers around the "Jeromes" which includes patriarch, Eddie Jerome (late forties) and identical twins Odessa and Olivia (mid-twenties). Eddie Jerome is the owner and CEO of Jerome Products, which is a major black hair car company. The company has made the family rich.

When Odessa and Olivia were children Eddie bought an old southern plantation. He remodeled it and nicknamed it Glory. When Odessa and Olivia became adults Eddie built each of them a cottage on opposite ends of the estate, while keeping the "big house" for himself.

Odessa and Olivia are identical twins. However, there is one thing that separates them: Odessa is disfigured. She lost her left eye in a car accident when she was eight years old. While still very beautiful, she wears an eye patch over her left eye. 

Odessa and Olivia are both lesbians (something that troubles Eddie, who secretly blames their mother, who abandoned the family when the twins were babies). However, their personalities are polar opposites. 

Olivia is an overachieving, hard-working, passive aggressive, studious young woman. She is loving and caring, but she can be ruthless and aggressive when needed. She is career focused. She is probably next in line to run Jerome Products. She serves as the company's CFO (chief financial officer). She graduated from Howard University with a degree in accounting. She got her MBA from Emory University. She sits on the boards of many companies and organizations. She prefers the simple life, and is quite humble about her accomplishments.

Odessa is a rebel. She does what she wants, when she wants and how she wants. She is selfish, manipulative, smart, vindictive and aggressive. She enjoys fast cars, fast money and fast women. She is flashy. She loves jewelry, motorcycles and expensive sports cars. She dropped out of college after deciding it was a waste of time (Odessa concludes she doesn't need to pay 30k a year to hear someone lecture on a subject she can teach herself just by reading a book). An extremely polarizing figure (the eye patch helps make her polarizing), Odessa is pretty much the bitch you can't help but love. I think of her as my JR Ewing. She is my Erica Kane. She is my Alexis Carrington

Olivia and Odessa are more or less the two sides of MY personality. 

The serial begins with Odessa returning home to Atlanta after spending two years in New York where she moved to pursue a career as a stage actress. She returns home to find her father, Eddie, engaged to his long-time receptionist, Sabrina. Eddie, a womanizer for most of Odessa's life, has decided to marry Sabrina without a prenup. He asked Sabrina to sign a prenup, but she refused. Despite her refusal, Eddie has decided to more forward with the wedding. Needless to say, this doesn't sit well with Odessa, who vows that a wedding will never take place. 

Odessa also discovers that her sister, Olivia, has taken up with the woman she left behind when she moved to New York. Before leaving Odessa asked the woman to marry her and move to New York with her. The woman refused to uproot her life. The two fell out. In the entire time she was living in New York, Odessa never spoke to the woman (though she did think about her a lot). Anyway, she comes home to discover her sister and this woman are together (a fact that neither Olivia nor Eddie bothered to disclose to Odessa). 

All hell breaks loose. 

While the soap revolves around the Jerome family there is a cast of other characters and storylines as well. 

I've decided to call my soap opera  Sweat.

As I've been writing I've been thinking of ways to offer the serial to an audience. I originally planned to post it chapter by chapter on bowtielez. In order to read bowtielez you have to purchase a monthly subscription. This seemed like the prefect setup because it would...
  1. Guarantee a monthly return on my hard work through subscriptions.
  2. Guarantee an audience to read my work every month.
Then reality hit home. 

Bowtielez is perfect for making money from BLOGGING. It is not so great for my creative work. The truth is I put more work into the creation of my stories than I do any blog. 

There is a way to get around not paying for content on bowtielez. Slick niggas can simply purchase a subscription and share it amongst their friends. They can copy and paste the content and email it their friends once they activate their subscription. They can allow their friends to log into their subscription. This works out great for folks who want to read my work, but don't want to pay for it. However, this sucks for me. 

Then there is the issue of copyright law. I copyright all my creative material. Since that process is completely electronic it is just a matter of upholding it to the copyright website. I don't think it would be wise for me to simply throw my copyrighted work up on the internet. What recourse would I have for others distributing the work I willingly put up myself?

The issue I'm having now is this: I have to find a way to sell Sweat to readers on a weekly basis. While I would prefer a setup where readers pay $1.99 a month for unlimited access (i.e., a subscription) I'm not sure if that setup will work because I also need a way to protect my work (i.e., make sure it cannot be distributed all over the place to folks who don't want to pay for it). 

To my knowledge there isn't a service that offers recurring payments for subscriptions delivered via PDF, which can be used to protect my work (i.e., there are features that prevent printing and copying in PDFs).  PDFs can also be password protected and you can put limits on the number of times a PDF can be opened/read.

I could offer chapters on Amazon kindle. However, there is a downside to that as well. I can't imagine selling chapters for more than .99 a chapter. With that price Amazon takes 70% and I, the creator of the work, keep 30%, which to me is a rip off.

So, I've hit a roadblock. 

If you have any ideas, or know of any services I can use to distribute Sweat, email me.
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