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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

Thinking Beyond Sex

 

M ChristianA couple of weeks ago I had a delightful lunch with the always-great writer/always-great person Donna George Storey (who also has a column here on ERA, "Shameless Self-Promotion") and my partner-in-all-things Sage Vivant.  We talked about a lot of things, not the least of which was the many tricky questions about how to publicize an erotica book.

While I want to leave the lion's share of the results of that conversation to Donna, whose idea the lunch was in the first place, a topic did come up I’d like to take a bit of time to expound on.

Let’s start at the beginning. Say you’ve written an erotica book.  What's more, it's a quality erotica book, which is to say that it isn't just about positions, sensations, steamy looks, and lingerie. It has an engaging setting, multidimensional characters, and a plot. It's well written and seeks to do more than turn the reader on. Hurray, congratulations.  I’ve said it before but it certainly bears repeating: this is an incredible feat.  There are very few people in this world who could have done what you’ve done.  Take a moment to languish in your success.

Done languishing?  Good. Now you’ve sent your book out and congratulations (part two) you’ve managed to find a publisher for your novel—no mean feat, believe me, especially these days.  So now you’ve written a book, you’ve sold a book, and soon it’s going to be for sale.

Now is the time you must do something very important, and it may surprise you, given the genre in which your book is written.

Don’t. Think. About. Sex.

I know, I know—a bit weird, right?  After all, you’ve written an EROTICA book.  So it seems more than natural that you’d want to reach out to sexy, kinky, smutty, erotica venues—and well you should.  But after you do that you should really try and reach out to places a bit more … tangential.

Let me explain: erotica is a fine and dandy genre (I’m not disparaging it) but it’s also a bit limiting.  In erotica your book is one of dozens, every last one of them clamoring to be the center of attention.  Sure yours is different—for whatever reason—but in the erotica world, your book is common first, and special second.

Let’s say, for example, that your book is about a soldier during World War II.  So why aren’t you thinking about your book being a World War II book?  Sure you know you wrote it as erotica, and that’s certainly essential to the book’s allure, but it’s more than that, see?  Try reaching out to soldier sites, World War II sites (and authors, forums, and such).  Sure, there’s a damn good chance your emails and announcements will be ignored but if someone does respond then your book will really stand out: a World War II book—but an EROTICA one.  Wow!  Unique!  Different! 

In fact, I'll bet if you really looked at your book you could find several places to branch off.  Is it a love story?  Then it could be romance.  Is there a mystery involved?  Then it could be—well, you get the idea.

Here’s an important detail.  Absolutely you should tweak your announcements and such in a way to reach these different audiences.  Instead of “erotic” and “explicit” try “sensual” and “stirring”—play up your book’s connection to their world:  a sensual tale of a love and intimacy set in the latter days of World War II … that kind of thing.

Yeah, I know that sounds like another bit of Madison Avenue trickery, but keep in mind that for many people the whole idea of a book with any kind of sexual content is a brain-turn-off.  You have to get them to see your book more broadly—as a bona fide story rather than merely a sexual tale. The only way to do that sometimes is to squeak it in under their radar.  No, I’m not saying you should lie, but what I am saying is why get the door shut in your face before you’ve even had a chance to say one word about your cherished novel?

Thinking of yourself as a erotica writer and your work as nothing but erotica will limit you as well as your publicity opportunities.  Look beyond that simple label and so will readers.  You know your book is more than Dick In Jane; you know there’s something special about it—so why not use that uniqueness to open a whole new world for both you and your works?  Not only will this outlook give you a possible new audience, but you’d be shocked by the number of connections that also could emerge from stepping into other genres and interests.  Someone who never would have dreamed of reading so-called smut suddenly has their eyes opened—by you, with your wonderful book.

So try and use the imagination you’ve developed in your writing to expand more than just your storytelling: try expanding on other possible places for exposure—and other possible places for you to grow and develop as a writer.

M. Christian
March 2009


As always, if you have any questions or comments please feel free to write me at zobop@aol.com—I promise to write back—or drop by mchristian.com, meinekleinefabrik.blogspot.com, or frequentlyfelt.blogspot.com.


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