Check it out: a brand new essay I did on smut-writing just went up on the great Erotica Readers and Writers site:
On the surface it sounds like a ... well, no duh. But it's
really quite remarkable how many writers – especially erotica writers –
put huge amounts of work into their craft, yet neglect an essential part
of the process of actually getting people to read their work.
slave over characters, plot, setting, language; they set up sites, join
Facebook and Twitter and Good Reads; they network and network and
network; and, in the end, they may be very well known ... but only by
other erotica writers.
Believe me, my own glass house has plenty
of smashed windows: I'm far from immune to intimidation that can come
from reaching outside your authorly comfort zone.
level of anxiety is expected, after all: as I've said more than a few
times, writing is a very tough life ... and far too often the only
people we can get to understand and appreciate what we do are other
writers. Yes, they understand and, if they are good people, they will be
supportive but the cold hard fact is that writers just don't buy other
writers' books ... or at least not often.
Sitting on the other
side of the fence – as an editor and Publisher for Renaissance E
Books/Sizzler Editions – I see the side effects of authors not willing
or able to understand their audience: poor sales. As said, they pour
massive amounts of time and effort into their books but when they put
their work out there it's like they haven't spend a single minute trying
to think about who the book was written for ... who the audience is.
it's uncomfortable – as I've also said, writing is a very solitary
thing so it goes very much against the grain for us all to have to deal
with publicity – but it really is vital to spend some quality time
thinking about who your readers actually are.
And it's not
exactly rocket science – though there are a few tricks, as you might
expect. The main one, of course, is when you reach out to sell your work
keep in mind that's what you are doing: selling ... and no one likes to
be sold to. There is a fine line between letting people know about your
kick-ass erotica book and becoming a spammer. That is why simply
throwing ads about your stuff out into your audience pool is never a
Instead, try to meet your readers halfway. Example:
you've written the greatest gay Western romance ever. Congratulations!
So where should you focus your social media and such? Not to be rude but
... come on! The answer is right there: Gay. Western. Romance.
or reach out to queer sites -- especially gay western or romance ones.
Reach out to romance sites – especially western or gay ones. Reach out
to western sites – especially gay and romance ones. Not just book sites
(and I can't emphasize that enough) but sites for folks who like what
you have written. Send them announcements but also share other things as