Monday, September 19, 2011
The Business of Erotica
Looking back after my attendance at the Erotic Authors Association inaugural convention, several things became apparent to me. First off, the long time authors (hereby referred to as the Old Guard) started out with the desire and drive to write just like the new guard does but after time, changes must occur in how they proceed.
The new guard is driven by desire to write and make money, real money. And as Jean Marie Stine posted on WriteSEX, Erotica (and erotic romance) are the top selling genres in the e-book format. For those of us writing in either or both of these genres, this is great news. The problem comes when new publishers are constantly opening their doors, older publishers are dying off OR taking crap for submissions and hoping to polish them. Then your competition becomes stiff. And what we're left with is the trouble some readers (primarily your undeveloped audience) don't know about quality. Meaning, some authors just suck and can't be fixed or edited to a point of publication but some publishers still put out their work anyway, so you're stuck having to compete against them, lose potential sales and wonder what next to do.
The answer comes from the Old Guard lessons, combined with new guard marketing techniques. First things first. This is erotica so we have a built in audience. Stats at Amazon back that up. Second, this is writing, so it must be treated like a business. You are your own boss. This isn't that hard for most career authors becuase they already set schedules to write, edit, promote, email, and if there is time, sleep and eat. The extension comes from the business part.
Do you have a plan for your career? Are you looking at your career as being solely an author? Or, like me, are you an author that caters to a certain audience (erotic romance in all sub genres) AND caters to being the Author Expert via WriteSEX, panels geared towards WRITERS at conventions as well as being the focus of panels geared towards READERS at the same conventions?
Before I came onboard officially to Sizzler Editions, Jean Marie and M. Christian had a chance to meet and talk and lo and behold, she convinced him to work for Sizzler. Chris is a well known master of the literary erotic word with a good past behind him, but his career had petered out slightly, needing a kick somehow to resurrect it. I can only speculate but I imagine personal problems were the culprit. They often are for numerous writers.
Having worked with him for WriteSEX I learned a few things. While I'm old guard to most of you, he's even older guard than I am, if only by slightly a few years. He's worked with some big names in the business and had done his time to get where he was before his career was interrupted, but the VERY MOST IMPORTANT THING I've learned about him is that he's a team player. Even in his business focus, for both Sizzler Editions, WriteSEX and his career, he's got a plan. He treats his writing like a business that will make him a profit.
Let's scale back a bit and take another author (I frequently pick on) of mine. Margie Church. She's only been writing what, two years maybe? I believe she's over at Noble Romance but she also released her BDSM romance The 18th Floor through my Sizzler Intoxication line. She's done her best to learn the SEO stuff, give her career the boost it needs and treat her writing like a business from the start. While no one can predict the future, especially in this business, I believe she'll go far.
So, while we're going to sex up this blog a bit, once I take over and officially launch the erotica corner (or whatever Tina has in mind for a name) it's business. The difference is that we all get to come to the blog wearing our hottest lingerie, lower the lights a bit and talk about writing smut like grown adults who aren't afraid of making money writing sex.
It's a lot of work but then again what's the adage? Something doing is worth doing well.
Buy Light and Shadow - a Total E-bound Release - Will Stefan get Katalin's submission and heartor will his business mindset cause more problems?
Sensualities - An Erotic Collection for all