Friday, August 15, 2014

Behind the G-String Paperback Version Out Now

My first book, Behind the G-String: Dion's Guide to Becoming a Male Stripper, is now available in paperback. Buy it at Createspace.

The e-book is also available at Amazon.   

Here is what the readers had to say:

"I just got the book -- it is a great read even if you are not trying to break into the business!"  - LivingImageofAten from Reddit

"This book will give you pretty much all the tools you need to be a successful male entertainer. The stories and interviews add humor and insight into this bare-all profession. I highly recommend this book to all curious about the business."  - Matt

"After reading it, I was able to apply the concept described in the book and was able to seduce many women. Would recommend to my future male children and grandchildren."  - Chris A

Included in the book:

- Candid interviews with male strippers and booking agents

- Brand new and exclusive stories, including the wildest party of Dion's career

- A list of booking agencies that are hiring

- A list of touring companies that are hiring

- How to make yourself more attractive and presentable to the ladies

- An extensive walk-through of a typical stripping routine

- Common myths about male strippers debunked

- How to deal with difficult customers

...And much more!

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Behind the G-String - Now Available on Amazon

My first book, Behind the G-String: Dion's Guide to Becoming a Male Stripper, is now available. Buy the e-book on Amazon for the Kindle. 

Don't have a Kindle? Then download the free Kindle reading app so you can read it on your phone, tablet, or PC. 

Here's the description of the book:

Explore the unique and hidden world of the exotic male stripper. This comprehensive guide tells you everything you need to know on getting the most entertaining job in the world. If you ever wondered what it's like to be a real life Magic Mike, then look no further. Discover if male stripping is the dream job for you. 

Also included:

* New wild stories that are not on the blog
* A list of stripping agencies that are hiring
* A detailed routine for private party male strippers

Don't like e-books? No need to worry. A print version will soon be available. 

Sunday, August 3, 2014

E-mails Regarding Height

Lately I've been getting a lot of e-mails from male stripper applicants who feel that their height may be an issue. Here's what they have written (all spelling and grammar errors remain intact):
Marcc M. wrote:

Heyy i need help im 5'5 do you think they'll accept me to do stripping

Irvin B wrote:

Well I am 22 about to turn 23, I am a good looking mexican,  I noticed as I am getting a bigger and muscular aesthetic body I am looking better ( facial), I am not a shy guy to dance in front of women ( even thought I never been on stage ), I have move, naturally I love to dance, great personality and many women always told me I look like the type of men to be a flirty one even thought I am not flirting just smiling most of the time.However  I am 5'5 tall ( pretty short) maybe 5'6 with boots lol, I am moving out to tampa. With all the experience you have, I will be grateful to receive an honest reply/opinion from you think I am able to make as a stripper? Side note: for some reason it seems that males get attracted to me since I am always getting compliments from them pretty often lol, which I think it would be the case for women as well... 

 Michael V. wrote:

Hey there, I have been reading your blog for a while (great guide seriously, thanks for putting your experience on the internet) and I am interested to start a stripper career. And I was wondering what is your opinion about my height/weight/physic about a job like that. I am 5'8'' and around 154 lbs . I'm not very muscular and not very tall and I just want an expert opinion. 
Thank you once more for this blog it is really helpful !
Best regards ,Michael

Isaiah W. wrote:

Is there a specific height limit that agency's prefer? Thanks man 

My response:

 I'll be honest and blunt with all of you. Height is a very important quality of male strippers, with taller being better. An agency might consider a shorter guy if he is better built and better looking than most of the roster of other muscular and good-looking guys at that agency. Even then, some companies have height requirements with 5'10 (177 cm) usually being the bare minimum. Most companies prefer 6'0 or taller.

Height ranks at number one among the physical traits women complain about when it comes to male strippers. Even a good looking and muscular guy who is 5'5 will get complaints.

You have to take in account that some brides and birthday girls will be exceptionally tall. I've run into some girls who tower well over 6 feet. Many women will want to pose with the male stripper for pictures. Imagine a 5'5 guy standing next to a bride who is 6'2 and wearing high heels. The short guy would resemble a midget in comparison and possibly make the bride feel like an ogre.

That said, don't let your height get in the way of applying. I have seen short male strippers before. In fact, I met another guy at a male revue who was 5'5, but he was the most muscular one among us. He was far from the most popular, but at least he didn't embarrass himself when he ventured out into the crowd. However, Chippendales would never hire him.

If you're short, you're going to start off with a handicap. Hey, height is apparently important in basketball as well. Yes, it sucks. Yes, it's not fair. But we cannot all be male strippers, just as we cannot all be rocket scientists. That's life. Don't let height prevent you from trying, though. Continuously train and better yourself, then apply and see what an agent says. Rejection won't hurt anything except maybe your ego.

And to those who e-mail me seeking help, a little courtesy or gratitude goes a long way when I take time to write you guys an answer. Yes, I'm talking to you Marcc (e-mail #1). You asked me for help without any trace of common courtesy in your e-mail, and then said nothing when I gave you a response. No "thank you" or even a slight bit of acknowledgement. If that's how your attitude is with everyone, then you're definitely not cut out to work as a male stripper which requires a certain degree of charm and customer service.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Why I have Decided to Self-Publish Instead of Legacy Publish

Recently, someone sent me an e-mail asking if I intended to send my manuscript to actual publishers (a.k.a. legacy publishers such as Hachette, Penguin Group, or HarperCollins) instead of self-publishing through Amazon. He suggested that a legacy published book would appear "more professional" than a self-published book, and I would benefit more in the long run. While I was flattered that this person had a high opinion of my writing, I disagree with his stance on legacy publishing for many reasons.

A few years ago, I dated a lady who had two romance novels published through HarperCollins. She had many friends and acquaintances who were also published authors, and I met many of them through her, including her mother who made The New York Times Best Sellers list several times over. I'm not going to list any of their names because I don't think they'd want me to divulge the following information about them. Let's just say that meeting these people shook up my perceptions of the publishing industry.

I used to equate published authors as the epitome of success in the creative writing field. They were a shining example of someone who made it in the industry. I assumed that they earned a lot of money and made a living doing something they loved, which is writing.

Then I met these authors and faced a bitter shock. Most of them were poor. Half of them had to continue their day time jobs (one worked at Best Buy while another worked at Barnes & Nobles) while the other half lived off government handouts. All of them entered into dubious contracts with the publishers where they hardly earned any money while the publishers kept most of the profits. On top of that, the publisher owns all the rights to their books, including the story, the series, the characters, or whatever else the author devises.

The only exception was my ex-girlfriend's mother, and that was because she sold millions of books. Even then, her publishers constantly screwed her over. She once had to threaten legal action against one publisher and managed to get her way when she made a public statement to her fans about the publisher's actions. Most of the time, she simply resigned to whatever fate the publisher had in store for her. My ex's mother made a decent living off of her book sales, but it seemed like the publishing companies kept the majority of the profits, along with the rights to her stories and characters.

The rest of the authors entered into shabby contracts where they signed all their rights away for a meager advance (an advance is the amount of money paid to the author to make a living while he or she writes the novel) and a small percentage of the royalties from each book sale. Only the bestsellers got offers good enough to sustain a normal living. The rest of the authors had to live off of regular jobs. Some resorted to government handouts because they feel that that anything beyond writing is beneath them, so they dipped into the taxpayers' pockets for sustenance.

The atrocities would not end there.

Most authors usually get a one or two print run, where their books would be on the store shelves for a limited time. Usually, they would be lucky to have two books on the shelf at Barnes & Nobles with the spine facing out so the customers would have to pull the book out just to view the cover. After a short time, their books would disappear off the shelves, and unless they sold exceptionally well, they would never appear again. My ex-girlfriend would occasionally have one book on the shelf at a random Barnes & Nobles, Books-A-Million, or Borders store, and even then, it was difficult to find in the stacks of romance novels surrounding it.

The authors had no say over their book covers either. Even my ex's mother had to accept whatever cover the publisher had in mind. Most of the time, these covers had nothing to do at all with the book. Unfortunately, most people judge a book by its cover. A great cover can sell a shitty book. So when a publisher decides the cover of the book, the chances of getting a good cover are about as consistent as winning a game of roulette.

Then, there's the money. Authors earn "royalties" from book sales, which is a small percentage. Hardcover books earn more royalties than paperbacks. The percentages differ according to contracts, but the average royalty rate for a paperback tends to fall in the 6% range. That means an author having a paperback book on the shelves at a retail of $7.00 would make $.42 royalty on each copy sold. So if that author sold 10,000 copies of that book, he or she would only made $4,200. Considering that it usually takes 2 years for their books to reach the shelves once the final manuscript is submitted, that's not very much money.

Many authors have their contracts cancelled because the initial orders of their books do not reach the desired amount. Overall, authors constantly bend over to get fucked in the ass by their publishers.

With all of this given bullshit associated with legacy publishing, I chose to go with self-publishing. Here are my following reasons:

- I receive a 70% royalty rate for each ebook sold through Amazon. Even if I sell my book for 3.99 (which is cheaper than the $7.00 paperback price tag I listed earlier, I would earn $2.79 for each book sold. If I sold 10,000 books, then I would earn $27,900. That's a lot better than the $4,200 from the legacy published paperback sales of 6% royalties.

- I set the price of my book. Cheaper price means more sale. Most legacy publishers place their ebooks at a higher price than their paperback counterparts. There is no reason why an ebook should be $15 when there are no printing and distributing costs involved. Legacy publishers don't understand this concept.

- I own the rights to my book. Not the publishers.

- I can make changes to my book at anytime.

- My book stays on Amazon indefinitely (or until Amazon or whatever publisher goes under, which is unlikely). I don't have to worry about the publisher yanking the plug to my book, even if my book doesn't sell well.

- I choose the cover of my book.

- I can sell through other self-publishing outlets such as Smashwords instead of Amazon.

- I can sell paperback copies of my book via print-on-demand, and control the price. In fact, I plan to order several hundred physical copies of my books and sell them at bachelorette parties.

- Once I complete my manuscript (receive the final edit), I can upload it and have it on the market immediately. I don't have to wait a year or two without pay for the publisher, printer, and distributor to drag their feet with my product.

- I don't have to send hundreds of query letters to literary agents (who will take 15% cut of my profits) in hopes that one will accept me and negotiate a contract with a publisher that will involve signing all of my rights and most of my profits away.

The above reasons are just what I can remember off the top of my head. Now there are some people who think that legacy publishing is superior. They say that self-publishers don't have the "quality writing" of legacy published authors and "cannot hack it" in the industry. That kind of statement may have been true a decade ago, but more and more legacy published authors are turning to self-publishing as a means to distribute their product because of the prominence of ebook readers and distributors now. Besides, there are many low-quality legacy published authors that no one would ever bother to read.

Legacy published does not determine quality of a book. The customers do. They are smart enough to determine if they like something or not. If someone self-published a load of rubbish, then no one is going to buy it. A perfect analogy of this is Minecraft, the video game. This is one of the best-selling games out right now and it comes from an indie developer, not a big corporation. The customers determined its success.

There is the misconception that legacy publishers will market their authors, thus earning them more sales, and that self-publishers have no one to market. That may be true for big time authors like Stephen King or J.K. Rowlings. This misconception does not take in account the average published author. In fact, most of the authors I have met constantly bitched and moaned about their publishers telling them that it was their responsibility to do the marketing. They assumed that their publishers would market for them. Many of them considered marketing and sales beneath them.

That said, I had a literary agent interested in the manuscript of my memoir. Given what I've seen of the legacy publishing industry, I'm going to stick to self-publishing. I don't mind marketing on my own, and my blog gets enough web traffic that it's a good place to start. I can also sell physical copies of my books at my shows. From there, the networking possibilities are endless.

I believe that ebooks are the future of publishing. They will gradually replace paperback books just as digital music has replaced CDs and cassette tapes, and steaming movies has replaced movie rentals such as Blockbuster. Sure there will be the person who prefers the physical copy of books, but the big six publishing companies can no longer act as the gatekeepers to determine what books are good enough for people to read. The customers will do that.

That's why I'm self-publishing. I have more to gain from it than legacy publishing. And I maintain all the control.