On Writing by Larry Archer

by | April 24, 2019 | Editing Corner, General, Writing Craft | 2 comments

With apologies to Stephen King, I would like to outline the basic process I use to create a story suitable for publishing on Amazon or SmashWords. I don’t want to teach you how to write as there are far more qualified authors to do that. I am a lowly engineer and fully appreciate my lack of talents with the English word. But I think what I can help you with is the mechanics of compiling your story and make it ready for publication in the most efficient and time-saving method.

First, my bona fides as it were. I have been writing smut, basically stroke stories for almost seven years now. I’ve published over twenty-five stories, most over 30,000 words and several close to 100,000 words.

I’ve focused the majority of my publishing efforts to Amazon and SmashWords along with several other websites but I write primarily for the two major publishes of Indie writers.

When you publish at SmashWords, and the story is accepted into their Premium Status, SmashWords will automatically send your story to Apple iBooks, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, and others. So publishing at SmashWords will get you into Apple without any additional work. So it’s like repeating the publishing process multiple times.

For me, a great deal of my sales comes from Apple iBooks, and I’ve done nothing besides send the story to SmashWords. Now certainly, when you write erotica, certain topics will get you excluded from Apple and others. This topic is a blog post all on its own, and I’ll tackle that later.

My thought is to create a special section on my blog, LarryArcher.blog, and place all of these posts in one place for easy reference.

First, let’s talk about what makes up a story that will be accepted into SmashWords Premium Status for wide distribution. If you follow the steps I’ve outlined below, your story will be accepted at both Amazon and SmashWords with a minimum of rework.

This is the system I’m currently using, and while I’m working on version 2.0, it does work pretty well for me. If you have your own method and it’s working okay then don’t change a thing.

The parts of my story are as follows:

  • Cover Image, 300 dpi, 1600×2400 pixels
  • Title Page
  • Copyright Page
  • Table of Contents (TOC)
  • Body (the actual story itself)
  • Back Matter (advertising, other stories, etc)
  • About the Author

Now a little bit about storing files.

  • Draft – Folder for stories I’m working on
  • Cover – Cover images
  • Front Matter – Amazon (Title and Copyright for Amazon)
  • Front Matter – SmashWords (Title and Copyright for SW)
  • Table of Contents
  • Body (actual story by itself)
  • Back Matter – Amazon (Ads, etc. for Amazon)
  • Back Matter – SmashWords (Ads, etc. for SmashWords)
  • Full – Amazon (Final full copy for Amazon)
  • Full – SmashWords (Final full copy for SmashWords)

Once I’ve written the story and moved it from Draft to Body, I assemble the finished product as follows.

  1. Let’s assume I’ve written a story called MyStory and storied it in Body after proofreading it. I recommend that you write in Word 2003 DOC format and not DOCX as some publishers do not accept DOCX.
  2. Open MyStory in the Body folder. Let’s assume this is for Amazon.
  3. Immediately do a Save As “MyStory – Full – Amazon.doc” in the Full – Amazon folder.
  4. Open the front matter file “MyStory – Front – Amazon.doc” from the Front Matter – Amazon folder. This will be the title page and copyright page customized for Amazon.
  5. Copy the front matter by selecting it, copying, and paste it to the top of the “MyStory – Full – Amazon.doc” file. If you’re happy save it, just in case. Now the full copy has the front matter plus the body in the Full folder.
  6. Close the front matter file and open the Table of Contents file. Select it all, copy and paste in between the front matter and the body of the story. Now save that.
  7. Open the back matter file, select it all, copy, and paste to the end of the full copy.
  8. At this point, we have a full copy of the MyStory for Amazon. The title page, copyright page, TOC, body, and back matter.
  9. Next check the points where you joined the various sections to be sure there are no extra page breaks or extra space.
  10. Go through the body and back matter and set bookmarks at each chapter and point in the back matter which you need to reference in the TOC. I recommend that you create a standardized set of bookmarks to make it easier to reuse the back matter on other stories.
  11. Once the bookmarks are in place, go to the Table of Contents and create links for each chapter and spot in the back matter.

At this point, we have assembled a complete book yet the individual parts are available for ongoing modifications. For example, in the back matter, you may list all of your other stories.

Then when you add a story, you normally have to go back and re-edit all of your finished stories to add the new material. By keeping the body and the back matter separate, all you have to do is copy and paste.

By the same token, to publish to a different publisher such as SmashWords, you simply create front matter and back matter for SmashWords. Then take the body that you used for Amazon and tack on the front and back for SmashWords.

When you publish a new story, update the back matter file and then rebuild old stories by assembling the new pieces and upload the new copy.

Hopefully, this makes some sense to you and will help to standardize your stories to look consistent and more professional.

I’m going to expand upon this in more detail on my blog and answer any questions that arise. I’ll get into what I use for setting and layout in a later issue.

Thank’s for reading and check out my blog: LarryArcher.blog

See you next month!

Larry Archer

Larry Archer is an author of explicit erotica stories, primarily stroke material but with a plot (I'd like to think). I write about swingers, girl-on-girl, cuckold/Hotwife couples, strip clubs, some BDSM, and everything bareback in a light-hearted humorous style. I've been writing smut for a little over five years and think I have a decent aptitude for it. Wifey and I are in "The Lifestyle" and use our adventures as a basis for a lot of the stories I have written. My motto is "Erotica from the dirty mind of Larry Archer," which pretty much says it all. I enjoy writing dirty smut stories, which are full of people doing things to each other that are probably against the law somewhere. My audience also includes a lot of women, which has always surprised me as I consider my porn more for guys. But it seems that a lot of women like stories about consensual no strings attached (NSA) sex, which are always HEA. My erotica is basically written in a realistic escapism style, which allows you to fantasize about scenes, which most people will never experience. While somewhat extreme at times, the storyline is never so far-fetched that you can't imagine it actually happening, especially with people we know. A lot of my stories revolve around a swinger couple, who owns a strip club in Vegas and sound suspiciously like us! While the choice to write ourselves into our stories, was probably a poor decision at the time, I initially started out writing about our life experiences and our alter egos, Foxy and Larry, took on a life of their own. I typically write Novellas or stories in the 20 to 60,000-word category. My writing style is like that of Stephen King, where I turn the characters lose between my ears and just write down what they do, as the story plays out in my mind. I'm just a scribe who stands in the background and copies everything down that the perverts say and do while trying not to get anything splashed on my keyboard. Probably different from a lot of writers, I do not have an English or Literature background. My training is in engineering and computer programming, which if you know engineers you realize that we struggle with proper English. But I'd like to think that my stories are reasonably well put together and readable. I've published 20 stories to date, which have all been typically 4-5 star rated. I self-publish and do all my own covers, so I'm a one-stop shop, with nobody to blame but myself. I publish on Amazon, SmashWords, Excessica, Apple, B&N, Kobo, Excitica, as well as a number of others. Visit me at LarryArcher.blog to contact me or learn more about my stories here LarryArcher.blog/stories.


  1. Lisabet Sarai

    Definitely a post from an engineer!

    You’re very organized.

    My method is somewhat different, but has the same goals. When I start a new story, I do so by copying a previously published one and stripping out most of the content. That way I’m fairly sure the styles and so on will be consistent.

    I’ll keep the bio from the previous story, rework the TOC, and often add new back matter. I write in a variety of genres, and usually include an excerpt in the same genre.

    I do have separate directories for Smashwords and Amazon. Normally I’ll upload the Smashwords version first, then copy it to the Amazon directory for minor modifications (most importantly adding my Amazon author page link).

    • Larry Archer

      Initially, I used the copy and edit method but found that I tended to miss things and would end up with a reference or link to something outside the story. I’m trying to learn Scrivener for the third time with the new version 3 but while the theory seems exactly what I’m looking for, I just have problems figuring out the minutiae.

      I see so many authors fretting about how to self-publish when it’s such an easy process. I thought I’d go through what I do for those who have no clue where to start.

      “Normally I’ll upload the Smashwords version first, then copy it to the Amazon directory for minor modifications ” You just have to be careful and do a document search for either Amazon or SmashWords to find links that are not always apparent. Both SmashWords and Amazon will reject your story if it contains a link to anything similar to a competitor.

Hot Chilli Erotica

Hot Chilli Erotica


Babysitting the Baumgartners - The Movie
From Adam & Eve - Based on the Book by New York Times Bestselling Authors Selena Kitt

Affiliate Disclosure

Disclosure: We use affiliate links on our site. What are affiliate links? Affiliate (or partnership) programs are created by businesses (like Amazon) that pay sites (like ERWA) for referring visitors to the business. Affiliate programs pay the referring site a percentage of products purchased via the affiliate link. You can help keep ERWA alive and kicking by doing your online shopping for books, movies, sex toys, etc., via ERWA affiliate links. Help support ERWA.



Pin It on Pinterest