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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

To Blog Or Not To Blog

 

M ChristianShould you blog?  Yes.

What, you want reasons?  (sigh)  Okay, here are a few good reasons why you should immediately—or close to—start your own blog and what you should put in it.

First of all, as I said last month, everything’s changed, especially in the writing world.  Understand that these days, in this new world, anyone can be a writer, which is the good news as well as the bad news.

While publicity and exposure have never been things a writer could ignore, or did so at their peril,  they’ve now become absolutely essential. You have to find some way—any way—of standing out from a growing throng of people who are also yelling at the top of their literary lungs for the attention of editors, publishers, and readers.

Blogging is a great way to do just that: it’s free, easy, fun, and a good way to show off your work and build an audience.  Frankly, there isn’t a reason not to blog, aside from the seduction of spending too much time on it, thereby keeping you from what’s really important, which is your fiction writing.

Two things to think about before you start: one, decide on a program or platform.  Some people like Wordpress but many (like me) don’t like the HTML headaches.  Others (like me) prefer Blogger since it’s amazingly easy to set up and use, and also features a lot of cool features that Wordpress does not.

Two, you have to decide what your blog’s about.  It’s tempting to make it a personal thing, a site to show off your writing.  Although that approach is fine and good, those types of blogs can (at best) sometimes be a bit dull or (at worst) make a writer feel obligated to constantly post new content.  I recommend either a blog mixed with a hobby as well as your writing, or two separate sites, one for your writing that you don’t update a lot and one you post a lot of fun stuff to.  Say, for instance, that you like food.  Then do a sex and food blog that mixes your work with food-related stuff.  (Donna George Storey does this well with her Sex, Food, and Writing blog.)  Or you could do sex and movies, sex and travel, sex and … well it’s really up to you. 
Just do what you feel comfortable doing because that's the only way you'll continue to blog.

Personal experience time!  I’m not an expert but I’ve had a lot of fun with my own blogs—and they seem to be going fairly well.  I've created three separate blogs:

  • www.mchristian.com is a site where I post my writing stuff (reviews, stories, essays like the one you’re reading right now, book announcements, and such)
  • Meine Kleine Fabrik is the site my brother and I started to share the fun and weird stuff we’ve collected over the years or just stumbled across
  • Frequently Felt is where I post funny and strange sex stuff as well as work by writers who I’ve either contacted or who have sent me great things to post (and you can do the same— just write me).

I recommend posting at least once a day, and consistently; people forget very quickly about dead or slow sites.  You have to keep things flowing to keep people interested and reading.  Once a day works for me, as I can post to all three blogs in about half an hour, which leaves me a lot of time to work on my fiction writing.  I also cheat a bit in that I rarely write fresh content for my blogs, preferring to repost older material instead of spending precious time writing new stuff. I'm fortunate to have archives bursting with material, but I realize not everybody will be in a similar position.  Basically, do what you can to prevent the blog from sucking time away from your "real" writing!

There are lots of sites out there with hints and techniques for running a successful blog so I won’t go into much detail about that topic here (besides, as I said, it’s all new and changing anyway). Here’s a quick rundown of things to remember, though, when you’re blogging.

One of the biggest, and most confusing, things about running a blog is posting content that isn’t your own.  Technically, and legally, you should always get permission from the original source but that’s too often a huge headache and/or impossible.  This is where what you should do (legally) and what most people go (realistically) part ways.  Since I always try to be a law-abiding citizen … stop laughing … I must advise you to follow established procedure.  There’s lots of sites out there that can help you with your copyright questions.  Check out the U.S. Copyright Office's list of resource links for more information.  I feel Creative Commons offers some of the best (and simplest) solutions and resources to make this topic less confusing.

Beyond the fun of figuring out what’s legal, a common mistake bloggers make is not putting an email address on their site(s).  Yes you’ll get spammed (we all do) but what’s worse: spam or not hearing from some editor, publisher, or reader?  I’ve tried to reach out to many writers only to find no way of reaching them on their site—and so they’ve lost an opportunity.  These days writers can’t afford to lose any possible gig or connection.

It’s also important to play with gadgets and gizmos.  Blogger has all kinds of cool modules you can add to your site: video clips, sound clips, RSS readers, you name it.  People expect multimedia these days—pages and pages of text is a kiss of death for blogs.

Checking out other blogs and sites is essential.  There’s nothing wrong with learning from other’s successes and doing to your own site what they’ve done to theirs.  As long as your content is different, no harm done.  And the afore-mentioned gadgets and modules make it very easy to add or subtract features.  Just experiment and see what works, or doesn’t, for you. 

I could go on (and I will in future columns) but this should at least give you a start.  Think about what you want to do with your blog, settle on a focus you can play with for a long time, and then set it up.  Once it’s done and you feel good about sticking with it, then you can begin to reach out. Again, more on that very soon.

But in the meantime always remember that blogs are like writing and life itself: if it’s not fun, if you’re not enjoying yourself, then you’re doing something wrong.  So have yourself a blast with this great exposure and publicity tool—and blog away!

M. Christian
December '08 - January '09


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

______
"Confessions of a Literary Streetwalker" © 2008 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