|The late Butler Blue II looking contemplative...|
When it comes to a lot of stuff writers are "supposed" to do, I just don't care anymore. Like query letters. I sometimes read people's attempts on Writers.net and think, "Ugh, this is so fucking stupid." The whole dance you're supposed to go through, the performance you're supposed to do for some agent's intern is just ridiculous. My tolerance is even less since I got laid off from my job, because looking for a job is almost exactly the same thing. Trying to wow some complete stranger as concisely as possible is a real chore.
Then there's all that other crap: interviews, cover reveals, blog tours, yadda yadda yadda. Holy shit, where's the Tylenol? Back when I released Where You Belong and when A Hero's Journey was published I naively did all that shit thinking it would help. Maybe it did a little bit, but for the effort it probably wasn't worth it. I didn't hardly do any of that shit with Chance of a Lifetime and it's my most-downloaded book. I don't do any of it for my erotica books and they sell a lot better. So who needs all that noise?
And then there's sites promising to promote your book if you join and possibly pay them money. It would take too long to list them and I'm sure I'd only scratch the surface but you probably know the kind of places I'm talking about. I think I tried a few of those back in the day and again, what good did it do?
And "book reviewer" blogs. These petty little assholes who get one sniff of power and let it go straight to their head by making you jump through a bunch of hoops like they're fucking Random Penguin House. Oh and if they deem you worthy enough to read your book, you can expect your review to be posted around 2020. I submitted A Hero's Journey to a bunch of those and I have no fucking idea if any of them ever got around to reading it yet. I'm pretty sure they didn't, so it was another big waste of time.
I could go on and on with this shit. I never had much enthusiasm for the marketing part of the business and now I have even less. Most of it seems like a big waste of time.
But then I can't even hardly stomach to read some poor schmuck's attempted writing on Writers.net. A lot of it is pretty lame to start with and at this point I'm just way to cynical and grumpy to care.
As far as writing advice goes I only have one thing to say: find a niche and exploit it as much as possible. That's what I've been doing for about 9 months now. Putting it another way: find a formula that works and stick with it. Generally the erotica books I write that don't sell are ones that are too far outside the box. Like lately I decided to do a reverse one and have a woman turn into a guy, thinking maybe I could open a second front, but it hasn't sold for shit. Basically the people want a guy who turns into a hot, slutty chick (usually blond) who fucks/gets fucked by one or many dudes. There's the formula; don't stray too far from it. Be a writer, not an artist. Unless you have a fancy writing degree and then there's a slight chance someone in New York will actually give a shit about your Great American Novel. Just don't get your hopes up.
Speaking of marketing, one thing I occasionally do is offer books for free. Usually books that haven't sold a lot so at least some copies might be downloaded. Today through Sunday you can get Transformed Into a Dominatrix and Transformed Into a Bride for Free! As I've said before, even if you don't want to read it, download it anyway to help pad my numbers.
In Transformed Into a Dominatrix a CIA agent swaps brains with the dominatrix of a Russian gangster in order to bring him in. Or at least that's the plan, but soon enough things go horribly wrong. In the second story, a man buys a teddy from a lingerie shop that soon takes over his life!
In Transformed Into a Bride, a con artist gets his comeuppance when he's turned into a gold-digger who has to get her decrepit husband to the altar before he croaks. In the second story, a homeless man volunteers for a medical experiment that turns him into a young woman who's groomed to become a mail order bride!
Go download them now!