Erotica Readers & Writers Association
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2006 Authors Insider Tips

Beyond the Basics
With Tulsa Brown
The 30-Second Solution
Backstory vs. Flashback
Intimacy Begins With "I"
Hit the Ground Running
Make the Reader Leap
Meaningful Dialogue
Pulling the String
Central Image
Elegant Smut
Better Plots
Bitch Power

The Write Stuff
From Ashley Lister
Predefined Your Goals
Spell Ink Miss Takes
Plotting & Planning
Character Building
Speech Therapy
Talking Sense

Two Girls Kissing
With Amie M. Evans
Intro to Lesbian Erotica
3-Dimensional Characters
Submitting for Publication
Five Year Writing Plan
Setting Up Your Plan...
The Power of Naming
Language of Lesbian...
Sexual Description
What Can I say?

Hard Business
From Greg Herren
What Are Your Priorities?
How to Edit an Anthology
Follow the Guidelines...
A Cock is Just a Cock
But is it Still a Story?
Who Am I Fucking?
Potential Material
Rejection ...

The Business End
By Kate Dominic
Effective Cover Letters
How to Lose Contracts
Contracts: Agent Issues
Contracts: Read It!
Double Duty Bios
What's Sex?

Literary Streetwalker
By M. Christian
Ground Rules for Writers
No Muse is Good News
Effective Cover Letters
Location, Location
Say Something!
Dirty Words

The Erotic Book Docter
By Susie Bright
Marketing Your Book
Submission Concerns
Promotion Strategies

2006 Smutters Lounge

Pondering Porn
With Ann Regentin
Babes & Hunks of Erotica
Fantasy, Reality & Rape
Selling Ourselves Short
Selling Smut in Motown
The Frankenstein Bride
Frankenstein Revisited
Porn and Perfect Shoes
Porn's Passionate Pull
Instruments of Joy

Get All Worked Up
With J.T. Benjamin
Orwell's Eerie Parallels
Redefining Marriage
The Porn Menace
High-Quality Porn
About Profanity
Dirty Laundry
Big Brother


Wrong Reasons to do SM
by Midori

The Business End
by Kate Dominic

Effective Cover Letters

Have you ever read the entire four-page letter explaining why your dollars are desperately needed for a charitable cause? What about the single-spaced, printed-on-both-sides, drowning-in-facts welcome to you, the new user of the latest and greatest piece of indispensable electronic equipment? How about just the E-mail that comes with your online auction purchase? 

Let's be honest here. Cover-to-cover and no skimming—have you ever truly read all of any of the above?

Barring contract-related correspondence, I haven't either.

Today, more than ever, people feel harried and stressed. They don't want their time wasted. Not you, not me, not the editor we so fervently want to buy what we believe is the best short story that person's going to see this year!  A cover letter that's clear, concise, and professional lets the editor know the action on a particular piece has been passed to him or her.

Start with the business information. For hard copy submissions, use your letterhead or a standard letter format. (Any reasonable style guide will work, so long as it conveys your name and address/contact information and that of the person to whom you're sending the letter.)  Follow this with the date.

Then go to the meat of your letter:

Dear Ms. Stiletto, 

In response to your call for stories for Best of the Best Best Erotica on the Erotica Readers & Writers Association, attached is "Candles are a Girl's Best Friend," a professional freelance submission which I am offering for your consideration.  I hope you enjoy the story. 


Jane Dough, writing as Ima Writer

It's short, sweet, and to the point—and it primes the editor to turn the page and read your story because you're delivering exactly what s/he requested.  (Which you are, of course, because you've done your homework, right?!)

If a word count is needed, you can slip it in after the story title. If s/he wants only unpublished works, state that yours is unpublished (and be sure it is!)  If s/he wants reprints, state—briefly—where the piece was originally published: title, author/editor, publisher, year. (It goes without saying that if you're offering a reprint, you've double-checked that you retain the right to make the new submission.)   

If a short bio is requested, add that in a separate paragraph. (More on bios next month.) Check the grammar and spelling (this includes double checking the spell checker). If you've particularly enjoyed a specific previous work by the editor, say so. Again, be quick and to the point.  For example:  

I especially enjoyed your previous anthology, Best of the Best Favorite Erotica.  I'm looking forward to seeing Best of the Best Best Erotica in print. 

When you're all done, eyeball the letter to ensure it looks pleasing on the page. For hard copy submissions, if necessary, play with the white space so the letter looks balanced and easy to read. For E-mail submissions, make sure the subject is to the point: Submission: Candles are a Girl's Best Friend.  Then aim for having as much as possible of the true meat of the letter (the I'm sending you what you want information) where it's visible without scrolling when the E-mail opens. 

Sign it with your real name, followed by "writing as" and your penname if that's how you'll want the story published.

Voila!  A cover letter that conveys the information you want to convey, in a timely and professional manner. Whether or not the editor takes the piece, you've started down the path of a good professional relationship with your new business colleague.

September 2005

"The Business End" © 2005 Kate Dominic. All rights reserved.

About the Author:  Kate Dominic has been self-employed as a freelance erotica writer since 1996. Her critically acclaimed collection, Any 2 People, Kissing (Down There Press, 2003), was a finalist for Foreword Magazine's 2003 Book of the Year Award in the category of Fiction Short Stories. Her erotic short stories have appeared in many dozens of publications, including The Many Joys of Sex Toys; Naughty Spanking Stories from A-Z; The Big Book of Hot Women's Erotica; Lip Service; Tough Girls; Early Embraces; Master/slave; Leather, Lace and Lust; Hot & Bothered 4; and several volumes of Best Lesbian Erotica and Best Women's Erotica.

Kate and her husband make their home in Los Angeles with a laid-back dog and several highly opinionated cats. She has been a member of ERWA since 1998. She considers it a home away from home on the Web.
Email: Kate Dominic

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> 2006 Book Reviews

4 Erotic Ass-ets
Reviews by Ashley Lister

Review by Lisabet Sarai

Bad Girls & More...
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The Best of Both Worlds
Review by Lisabet Sarai

The Black Masque
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Blood Surrender
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Review by Lisabet Sarai

Bound to Love
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Double Dare
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Filthy: Outrageous Gay...
Review by Lisabet Sarai

Review by Gary Russell

Forbidden Reading
Review by M. Ellis

Leather, Lace and Lust
Review by Lisabet Sarai

Mr. Stone & Lessons
Reviews by Ashley Lister

Nina Hartley's Sex Guide
Review by Adrienne

Oedipus & Rode Hard
Reviews by Ashley Lister

Orgasms & More
Reviews by Ashley Lister

Passion of Isis
Review by Ashley Lister

Sex in Uniform
Review by Ashley Lister

Six Top Picks
Reviews by Ashley Lister

Stirring up a Storm
Review by M. Ellis

Sunshine and Shadow
Reviews by Lisabet Sarai

Surrender & Dying for It
Reviews by Ashley Lister

Review by Lisabet Sarai

Wicked: Sexy Tales...
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Writing Naked
Review by Lisabet Sarai


America’s War on Sex
Review by Rob Hardy

Review by Rob Hardy

Covent Garden Ladies
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The Commitment
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Eroticism and Art
Review by Rob Hardy

Expletive Deleted...
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Female Orgasms
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Government Vs. Erotica
Review by Rob Hardy

Heloise & Abelard ...
Review by Rob Hardy

International Exposure
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A Profane Wit
Review by Rob Hardy

Secret Life of Oscar Wilde
Review by Rob Hardy

Sex Collectors
Review by Rob Hardy

Sex Machines
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