One of the more difficult things about writing and being your own publisher is that you are completely inside a book while writing it. After it is edited, you have to put on a different hat and start finding a market for the book. You get inside it again, but in a different way. After formatting and the mechanics of creating an ebook and deciding if it should be in paperback as well, and then giving thought to distribution, you push it out the door.
For a lot of people, the launch of a book comes with a lot of hoopla–announcements on social media, giveaways on Goodreads or from other sites. Frankly, I haven’t had time for that. Writing a short story to give away for free (A Night with the Skinny Girl at Barnes & Noble and iTunes) was something I didn’t do lightly, but I wanted readers to have a chance to see what and how I write. For my strategy is to try and build readership. The story has is getting a lot of downloads and some readers posted nice reviews and ratings (along with some reviewers letting me that I hadn’t connected with themas well I’d like to) and perhaps this has helped sales. But who knows? My sales are still in the minor leagues.
I tried using the Amazon Kindle Select program as well. You can’t really put up a free story, but I wrote Enjoy the Ride and priced it at 99 cents. It has been made free for the allowable five days a few times, and one reader has reviewed it. It isn’t a stellar review, but it is a four-star review and I am glad the reviewer pointed out what didn’t work.
My latest attempt to intrigue readers was to use a series, called Fantasy Charters, which I’ve written about before. The idea is to create a bit of an ongoing story. The main characters are Roger, a young sailor and Lateenya, the owner and skipper of the catamaran Fantasy. The first story (Sailing on a Lusty Breeze) brings Roger to the Caribbean island and puts him in a situation of needing work. Lateenya needs crew and wants someone who will help fulfill the lusty fantasies of her charter guests. I priced the story at 99 cents (hoping you will get into the characters and the place), even though it is 20,000 words and although here I have linked it to Amazon, I have published that one everywhere ebooks are sold, I hope.
I put the second book into the Kindle Select program too, although I don’t know if it will stay there. This one is Swinging at Anchor and involves our daring duo in sexy fun with two women who charter the boat, and then a couple who want to charter the boat for swinger cruises. Both books are available as paperbacks as well as ebooks, so you can pick what pleases you, which is sort of the point of erotica!
The third book is well underway, as sailors like to say, and has to do with an interlude when Roger is ashore and the boat in dry dock for maintenance. The boy is forced to fend for himself, but he has a knack for amorous adventure that will help him while away the time.
This story will be delayed a bit, however. During a walk to clear my head, I got sideswiped by an idea for a serious erotic novel. By serious, I mean that the story could be told without explicit sex, and yet, I think that the sex is integral to getting to the core of the characters. It might not work, but I won’t know until I write a goodly (or evil) chunk of it.