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'09 Authors Insider Tips

Everything About Epublishing
by Angela James
Digital Publishing & Print
Common Myths of Epublishing
Ebook Formats and Devices


FictionCraft
by Louisa Burton
Compelling Characters
Point of View, Part I
Point of View, Part II
Learning to Love Conflict
Story Structure
Keep ‘em Guessing
Keep it Simple
Keep Your Writing Real
The Importance of Pacing


Literary Streetwalker
by M. Christian
New World of Publishing
To Blog Or Not To Blog
Meeting & Making Friends
Thinking Beyond Sex
Selling Books
Walking the Line
e-book, e-publisher, e-fun
Still More E-book Fun


Shameless Self-Promotion
by Donna George Storey
Our Journey Begins
Pitches and Bios
Websites, Blogs & Readers
Publicists, Press Kits and...
Viva the Internet
Adventures in Cyberspace
Promoting In the Flesh
Make Your Own Movie
Bigger is Better
Looking Back, Planning Ahead


Two Girls Kissing
by Amie M. Evans
Questions to Ask Yourself...
Tough All Over


The Write Stuff
by Ashley Lister
Ideas
Practice Makes Prefect
5 Books for Fiction Authors
Poetry In Motions
Six Serving Men
Ashley Lister is Anal
Stealing Ideas
Celebrating Poetry


2009 Smutters Lounge

Ashley Lister Submits
by Ashley Lister
Myths
Graduation


Cooking Up A Storey
by Donna George Storey
A Year of Living Shamelessly
Adultery, Exhibitionism ...
John Updike Made Me Do It ...
Story Soup: Forbidden ...
Lessons from Amazon
Naked Lunches ...
Erotic Alchemy
Secrets of Seduction
Are You a “Real” Writer?
Don’t Fondle My Sentence


Cracking Foxy
with Robert Buckley
The Passionate Taphophile
Havens on Earth
A Knight Without Armor
Jail-Baiting
Magic Carpet Rides
Getting Hammered
Keep It Quiet
Hang Around for a Spell


Get All Worked Up
with J.T. Benjamin
Worked Up About Why
Worked Up About Why, Part II
All Worked Up About Porn
The Catholic Church
Purity Movement
The National Crisis
The Future
About Homosexuality
Public Indiscretions


Pondering Porn
with Ann Regentin
Premature Ejaculation
Auctioning Off What?


Sex Is All Metaphors
by Jean Roberta
Who's Who Around the Table
Retro-Shame
Ritual Sex
Mixed Legacy
The Spectrum of Consent
Drawing the Line
Marriage without the Hype
The Distracting Smirk
Innocent Guns
Gardens of Earthly Delights


Provocative Interviews

Between the Lines
with Ashley Lister
Anneke Jacob
D L King
Kristina Lloyd
Lisabet Sarai
Mitzi Szereto
Portia Da Costa
Shanna Germain
Sommer Marsden
Susan DiPlacido


Guest Appearances

Marketing a Self-Published Novel
by Jeanne Ainslie

Confessions of a Literary Streetwalker

by M. Christian

Selling Books

 

M ChristianEvery author wants their books to sell … no duh, right?  Listen long enough and you’ll get a bookstore (remember those?) full of theories about what can push a title up the lists from few to many to bestseller and maybe even beyond: reviews, podcasts, blog tours, t-shirts, coffee mugs, MySpace, Facebook, Twitter, contests, eBay, interviews, tattoos, action figures … you name it. 

I’ll go into some of those ideas—the good, the bad, and the just plain nuts—soon enough but in the meantime I want to talk about what I consider the most important thing every writer needs to do when it comes time to put their book out into the world.

Well, actually, what they should do before it’s time to put their book out into the world – in fact after they've just finished writing it. 

The problem, you see, is that far too often authors—and even some publishers—think in terms of a single book, and having one book be the end-all, be-all bestseller of all time, the book that launches a fantastic career.  The hard truth, though, is that while that does happen, it's so rare that it might as well as not happen.  Let me rephrase that: the odds are decidedly against your, or any other writer's, first book leaping off the shelves.  Nor is it likely to put lots of cash in your pocket.

So what’s the reality?  When you look at the careers of successful (for now I’m going to ignore the fact that ‘success’ is a very, very subjective term) writers, you’ll find that they worked their way up those book lists one book at a time.  But don’t think in terms of ‘this book made a little money,’ ‘the next one made a little bit more’ and then, finally, ‘KA-CHING!’  Nope.  Mostly what happens is that one book might do well, the next not so much, the one after that a bit better, the following one badly, then, if they’re lucky, a bestseller … very much up and down, up and down. 

And what ensues when that one bestseller does happen?  Not only does that one book will sell well but all those people who enjoyed it will also, very often, hunt down that author’s other books as well.  Suddenly books that didn’t sell two copies at publication now leap off the shelves as readers hungrily consume their newly discovered favorite. 

But this only happens with authors who have books in their inventory.  See where this is going?  If you only have one book, you’re spending a lot of time pushing your way up the lists.  If it does manage to sell, and sell well, then your readers have only that book to read.  If you have a stock of several books, however, your readers will be able to get into your entire stock of works … going from casual readers to loyal fans.  If that’s not enough of a motivation then keep in mind that sometimes ‘success’ (whatever the hell that means) can come from totally unexpected directions.  Remember I mentioned that sometimes a book just doesn't sell, or doesn't sell well?  Sometimes books don’t sell well at first: very often a book will magically spring to life and go from a forgotten favorite to a phenomena.

And so it’s very important, if not essential, to think about writing as a long-term thing.  A very long-term thing.  Not just one (early) bestseller but instead a life of book after book after book that will give you multiple chances at creating a career.

Besides, if you tailor your publicity and such for one book then you’ll have to restart the whole thing from scratch with the next one. If you instead think of exposure and publicity with regard to your entire body of work then you can just add book after book to the line, building momentum with each one.  Publicity is damned hard—so why make it harder by having to do it over and over again?

Okay, I’m almost out of space and, anyway, I think you might already understand my point.  The answer, just to spell it out further, is that the first thing every writer should do when they finish one book, even before that book comes out, is to begin writing another one.  Sure it’s tough, trying to simultaneously write a book and create publicity for your entire life as a writer, but considering how much time it can sometimes take to establish your 'name,' can you really afford to wait for sales that may not come?  Why not take steps now and write a whole bunch of books?  Then just one has to be The One.  Besides, writing is something that gets better with practice, right?  Not only will your next book be a good seller but, more importantly, it might be your best one—and if not that one then the next, the next, the next ….

If this scenario scares you, and there’s every reason it should, then remember that professional writing isn’t done easily or quickly.  But it is special, magical, and—most of all—takes a rare kind of bravery. 

Never forget that.

M. Christian
April 2009


If you have any follow up comments, questions or stories to share about "Selling Books," please drop by M. Christian's blog or send an email to: M. Christian

Read more of M. Christian's Confessions of a Literary Streetwalker in ERWA 2009 Archive.

______
"Confessions of a Literary Streetwalker" © 2009 M. Christian. All rights reserved.

About the Author: M. Christian is an acknowledged master of erotica with more than 300 stories in such anthologies as Best American Erotica, Best Gay Erotica, Best Lesbian Erotica, Best Bisexual Erotica, Best Fetish Erotica, and many, many other anthologies, magazines, and Web sites. He is the editor of 20 anthologies including the Best S/M Erotica series, The Burning Pen, Guilty Pleasures, and others. He is the author of the collections Dirty Words, Speaking Parts, The Bachelor Machine, and Filthy; and the novels Running Dry, The Very Bloody Marys, Me2, Brushes, and Painted Doll.
Email: M. Christian
Websites: mchristian.com
meinekleinefabrik.blogspot.com
frequentlyfelt.blogspot.com



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'09 Movie Reviews

Blame It On Savanna
Review by Byrdman

Cry Wolf
Review by Spooky

Faithless
Review by Spooky

Heaven or Hell
Review by Oranje

House of Wicked
Review by Diesel

The Office: An XXX Parody
Review by Spooky

This Ain't The Partridge Family
Review by Spooky


'09 Book Reviews

Anthologies

A Slip of the Lip (ebook)
Review by Jean Roberta

Best Women's Erotica '09
Review by Lisabet Sarai

Bottoms Up
Review by Ashley Lister

Enchanted Again
Review by Victoria Blisse

Frenzy
Review by Kathleen Bradean

Girls on Top
Review by Ashley Lister

In Sleeping Beauty’s Bed
Review by Ashley Lister

Libidacoria (Poetry)
Review by Ashley Lister

Licks & Promises
Review by Ashley Lister

Like a Thorn (ebook)
Review by Lisabet Sarai

The Mile High Club
Review by Ashley Lister

Nexus Confessions: Vol 5
Review by Victoria Blisse

Nexus Confessions 6
Review by Victoria Blisse

Oysters & Chocolate
Review by Kristina Wright

Playing with Fire
Review by Ashley Lister

Sexy Little Numbers Vol 1
Review by Ashley Lister

Up for Grabs
Review by Lisabet Sarai

Novels

A 21st Century Courtesan
Review by Donna G. Storey

The Ages of Lulu
Review by Lisabet Sarai

Amanda’s Young Men
Review by Kristina Wright

As She's Told
Review by Ashley Lister

Bedding Down
Review by Victoria Blisse

Broken
Review by Ashley Lister

Brushes & Painted Dolls
Review by Lisabet Sarai

Cassandras Chateau
Review by Ashley Lister

The Edge of Impropriety
Review by Kristina Wright

Exposure
Review by Kathleen Bradean

Free Pass
Review by Ashley Lister

The Gift of Shame
Review by Victoria Blisse

Kiss It Better
Review by Ashley Lister

The Melinoe Project
Review by Lisabet Sarai

Mortal Engines & The ...
Review by Ashley Lister

The New Rakes
Review by Ashley Lister

Ninety Days of Genevieve
Review by Victoria Blisse

Obsession: An Erotic Tale
Review by Kristina Wright

Sarah's Education
Review by Ashley Lister

Seduce Me
Review by Lisabet Sarai

Lesbian Erotica

Lesbian Cowboys
Review by Kathleen Bradean

Night's Kiss
Review by Jean Roberta

Where the Girls Are
Review by Jean Roberta

Gay Erotica

Animal Attraction 2
Review by Kathleen Bradean

Boys in Heat
Review by Vincent Diamond

Faewolf
Review by Lisabet Sarai

The Low Road
Review by Jean Roberta

Personal Demons
Review by Jean Roberta

Ready to Serve
Review by Vincent Diamond

The Secret Tunnel
Review by Kathleen Bradean

Shuck
Review by Kathleen Bradean

Transgressions
Review by Vincent Diamond

Non-Fiction

Best Sex Writing '09
Review by Kristina Wright

The Big Penis Book
Review by Rob Hardy

Erotic Encounters
Review by Rob Hardy

The Forbidden Apple
Review by Rob Hardy

Hollywood’s Censor
Review by Rob Hardy

Lady in Red
Review by Rob Hardy

Licentious Gotham: Erotic...
Review by Rob Hardy

Live Nude Elf
Review by Rob Hardy

Live Nude Girl
Review by Rob Hardy

The Other Side of Desire
Review by Rob Hardy

Scripts 4 Play
Review by Ashley Lister