Thursday, September 1, 2011
Splitting your Audience in Erotica
An author recently asked me about marketing her book or her name to her readers. She has a few heterosexual erotic romances, one gay romance and for me, a BDSM romance. Flat out, I told her to brand herself, not her books first.
The thing I came up with several years ago as an author who wrote both erotica and erotic romance was to come up with two different pen names and split my site into two different sections. I had for those of you who followed erotica, a section that listed most of what I'd had published through Sizzler Editions at the time when Sensualities came out and then the Erotic Romance section that had my few eXtasy books titles when I was over at that house.
But then it went deeper when I came up with my other pen name and forgot that I was trying to write a different style of erotic romance, trying to push away the BDSM. Alexandria still wanted to dabble and even play the coy flirt in kinky-land. The problem was that at the rate I was writing, and the industry being as new as it was, Sascha was still cranking out books much faster and doing a LOT better
It didn't work.
Not only did I have a definite split audience, I had a bit of a marketing problem No one knew that Sascha and Alexandria were the same person, which I sort of orchestrated that way. It gave me a way to work being a cross dresser into my image and get a little attention that way. I didn't think being a male romance writer would get me the sales and attention it has. I was young. And dumb...
I'm still pretty dumb honestly. That works for me.
The point is, in your marketing, unless you're really trying to differentiate styles, your voice is going to come through and the only thing that truly matters in this business is the sales. So we build our marketing up by branding ourselves. The thing is, if you drop a book in your respective genre and have done your homework of building the audience that reads and BUYS your material (family doesn't count, they almost never buy and friends are cheap too...) then they'll buy.
If you're writing speculate erotic fiction on one hand and Christian doctrine that goes against what you've written in the other field, yes a second nom de plum is probably a good idea. But if not, it makes sense to stick with the one pen name. In erotica and erotic romance, the reader base is not that different thanks to the E-book revolution. Women are openly more communicative about their sexual needs and desires from books, and there are plenty of publishers to fit the bill for just about anything a reader could want sexually.
And if you've done your homework, building the brand should be easy.
Sensualities - a Collection of short story erotica
Dark Traders - What if Vampires controlled the Stock Market?