Archive for Ebooks

Without a “Fantasy” Category, Erotic Ebooks Go All Over the Place

Categorization is a tricky business. It’s one of the reasons library science degrees exist. Anyone want to take bets on how many library science graduates Amazon employs right now?

There are probably a few tucked away in the corporate structure somewhere, actually, but they sure as heck aren’t working on the ebook erotica neck of the woods.

It’s not something I see as a huge obstacle to my sales, although ease of browsing certainly helps customers and sellers alike. But it’s a phenomenon I watch with no small amount of amusement as, for lack of an a dedicated “Fantasy” category, erotica ebooks with any trace of fantasy or supernatural themes go everywhere.

Pick a category and you’ll see some werewolves or dragons or vampires in there somewhere. “Action & Adventure” category? Alpha-shifters on the front page. BDSM? Several fantasy creatures in the Top 10, on both sides of the controlling/controlled coin. “Historical,” check (shifters again). “Humorous,” check (Werewolves, dinosaurs, tentacles, you name it.).

Interracial, heh, of course — probably not what the closet fans of “Made it with Mandingo” and “Ghetto Booty IV” were looking for, but you can’t deny that dragon-on-elf action fits the bill. Even the separate “African American” erotica category has its share of swashbuckling black swordsmen in fantasy worlds, the made-up geographies of which really call both the “African” and “American” descriptors into question.

This is not so much a cri de cooter for a dedicated Fantasy category in Amazon’s ebook erotica section as it is an amused observation — and a reason to bookmark your favorite authors’ webpages, subscribe to their newsletters, and otherwise stay up on what they’re publishing, rather than hoping to stumble across it as you browse your favorite genres, because you never know where stuff is going to end up. Often we don’t even know.

So yeah, I went there. Get on some mailing lists! We gotta make it easy for you, because Amazon won’t, and we all know how much you like those easy boys and girls.

How to Get Goodreads Reviews

Hey everyone,

So I was going to write today about the cost of sleep deprivation and how it hinders your ability to think or do anything creative, and further complain about the fact that I haven’t had a decent night sleep in months due to some coke addicts living above us, but then I read Tamsin’s great blog post on how to write a book review, and figured I’d do it from the other side as well.

How to get goodreads / amazon reviews.

This works best for Goodreads, as Goodreads gives you more avenues to reach the type of reviewers you want.

I started up a spreadsheet with the following info along the top:

  • Book
  • Goodreads Link
  • Reviews #

I was looking for books that had a lot of reviews, similar to mine.

After that, I gathered 10 book names that I thought were similar to mine.

You want to have an idea of what type of people you want to contact. Generally you want people who give good, interesting and thoughtful reviews, especially if they loved the book similar to yours.

Remember, you’re asking for honest reviews from strangers, so you want to try to ensure the best match for your book and not simply contact everyone who has reviewed the books you’ve chosen.

I then copy / paste the user’s URL to my spreadsheet.

You can only send a limited amount of new PMs in a 24 hour period, so using urlopener.com, I opened up the first 20 (I’m only able to send to 15, I don’t know if you get more for more established accounts).

Here’s a script you can use.

Subject: Free ARC: *Brief Description / Genre*

Body:

Hi there!

I’m Name, the author of a book I think you might like. I’m hoping you’d live to review with a free advanced review copy.

Elevator pitch of book.

I’m offering the book to you for free in exchange for an honest review on Goodreads and Amazon.

You can read more about the book here:

Cover Link

If you’re interested, please let me know your email address and what format you need (Formats)

Thank you so much,

Author Name

I then tracked it on another spreadsheet with:

  • Goodreads URL [With the URL I copied earlier]
  • Email [They provide]
  • Format [They provide]
  • Sent [Yes/No]
  • Reviewed [Yes/No]
  • Rating [Star Rating]

I colour coded the lines. Red means I sent the initial goodreads PM, yellow means they responded and wanted a review copy, black means they declined, and green means their review is posted.

I’d then send out the book to everyone that requested it via email.

Subject: Review Copy: Book Name [format (i.e. mobi)]

Hi there,

Thank you for offering to review a copy of Book. I will give you a quick email upon its release so you can post your review on Amazon if you like.

You can leave your review on Goodreads whenever you are finished.

Link to book on Goodreads.

Thank you for taking the time to read and review the copy of this book.

Author Name

I then follow that up with another PM to make sure they have received it and basically tried to be friendly and open up a more information and friendly dialogue. Just something personalize like:

“Hi Name!

Just wanted to make sure you received the book okay :)

Author Name.”

Using this process, I got about a 50% response rate! I’ve started this 2 weeks ago, and already 20% of the people I’ve contacted (42% of the people who responded) have left their review!

I also did posts in a couple groups (in the appropriate section for authors promotions, or ARCS), but only received 2 responses total which isn’t great considering I posted in 4 groups.

How about you guys? Readers, would you be flattered to be chosen? Authors, have you had success in this way?

Also! A bunch of friends have a new boxed set out this week if you want to check it out! Candy Quinn is one of the illustrious fifty authors, in the boxed set coming out in March :)

Shades of Domination

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Communication

Hey everyone,

It’s been a while. I truly didn’t intend to take a break, but I’ve been so busy with so many things that blogging has, unfortunately, had to take a back seat to everything else.

I was anticipating when I went full time, that I would have more time to do the things I need to do, which is in part true, but in reality untrue as there comes a point where you can only think about and do the same thing for so long. I’ve done so little other than think about writing and it just got to the point where I couldn’t handle it anymore and something had to give.

December was our busiest and, hopefully, most productive month yet. We published so much, wrote so much, and just worked our asses off.

Luckily we saw the reward this time in regards to sale, but it certainly wasn’t easy, but it was needed. I feel good about my decision to quit my job now and truly have faith that we can do it or handle what comes up.

But unfortunately that also means I’m still rather drained when it comes to talking about it, talking about what we did, what we didn’t. Perhaps another time, I’ll be able to divulge, but for now, I’m writing another story, and getting others ready for review and publishing and all those other things that consume so much of my day.

So be well, OneHandedWriters, and in two weeks time, I promise I will give you something substantial. Anything you’re most curious about? Leave it in the comments!

Que Sera Sera…

…whatever will be, will be.

That song is stuck in my head. It’s kind of fitting though, because today is my last post on this awesome website.

I have some personal issues that will be taking up quite a bit of my time, plus the holidays are swiftly coming as well, and since writing is now my full time job, it is FaceBook, blogs and forums which I need to cut.

Plus, I just suck at this blogging stuff.

One of the reasons I joined, besides loving the site and wanting to be a part of it, was that I knew it gave me a deadline. Post twice a week, come hell or high water. I figured that would help me stay on top of it, but man, I just really suck at it. I haven’t missed a single post, but it has become a strain instead of a joy.

Anyway, I wanted to thank you all for having me, for reading me, for putting up with me, lol.

Normally this is where I’d leave you with a freebie or something, but I have nothing running free until Friday, so alas, I can’t even gift you with free smut upon my exit.

I wanted to say good bye with some awesome, kick ass, inspirational post, but… did I mention I suck at this?

My heart is heavy, for many reasons. Please, pray for me if you are a praying sort, and keep me in your thoughts if you are not.

Where “Romance” Ends and “Erotica” Begins

Romance. Erotica. E-rom. Points along a sliding scale? Discrete entities and ne’er the twain (thrain?) shall meet? Somewhere in between?

You decide, but for my part, I’ve never been much on drawing a clear line. I tend to find romance erotic, and eroticism romantic, which probably accounts for my highly enjoyable and socially dubious love life.

Still and all, Amazon has decided that there are two different genres, romance and erotica, and that ebooks have to belong to one or the other. As soon as you select “erotica,” that’s it — the title is permanently ghettoized, ineligible for any other categories. Romance, on the other hand, can be categorized as such and still also filed under other categories, even once you tag it as “erotic romance.”

Princess-SerenaIt’s a topsy turvy, Lewis Carroll sort of world, and one I mostly hadn’t dipped a conflicted toe into until recently. All my prior works have been firmly in the “erotica” camp (by which I mean “porn,” but Amazon doesn’t offer that as a literary category). It’s only with my most recent title, Princess Serena and the Captives of Castle Cagebird, that I’ve even started dabbling in character match-ups that are sweet and loving in addition to horny and interested in fucking.

I wouldn’t call it “romance,” myself, since the interest on everyone’s part is still whose naughty bits are or are not going to rub against other people’s. But it’s done with a sweet, loving heart, so I guess that makes it romantic.

Or maybe it doesn’t! This is sort of my point here: authors must, at some point make a call between “erotica” and “romance” if they’re selling on Amazon. And that’s silly, because a lot of completely filthy erotica is also romantic, and a lot of romances are heavily, steamily erotic. The twain meet all the time, hip to hip, with lots of bumping and grinding.

Princess Serena just went on sale today, categorized as an “erotic romance,” and I’m genuinely interested to see how that will work out as compared to a “Victorian erotica” like A Noblewoman’s FallThe two are functionally the same genre (“cocks and corsets,” I like to call it, although in the case of Princess Serena it would be more accurate to say “corsets and cunnilingus”), but they ended up filed under different headers on Amazon because of slight differences in how sugary the love scenes got.

At the risk of sounding shameless, you’re going to have to tell me, because I honestly can’t tell for myself: where does the “erotic” part start and the “romance” part end, and which one is Princess Serena and the Captives of Castle Cagebird?

Either way, I hope you like it, because it’s full of lesbians and airships and steampunk silliness, and who doesn’t like those things, really?

Happy Veteran’s Day

Today is a holiday here in the states. Veteran’s Day.

I’ve heard the occasional person ask what the difference is between Veteran’s Day, today, and Memorial Day, in May.

Both holidays celebrate those brave men and women who serve in the military, but the easiest way I know how to explain the difference is- Memorial Day is a day for remembering fallen military. Whether they died in combat, serving their country, or died peacefully in their beds of old age, many, many moons after serving their country, Memorial Day is for them.

Veteran’s Day is to honor those who are still serving, or who have served, who are still with us.

I’ve always been a bit of a sap when it comes to those willing to lay their life on the line for what they believe. I tried to enlist, even. My scores were great, but it seems no one wanted someone who fainted as easily as I do. What? It’s the south. We’re known for our ‘vapors,’ lol.

As an erotica writer, who deals with what is and isn’t acceptable to publish on various sites, who hears phrases like, ‘freedom of speech’ bandied about daily, this day effects us personally.

We are lucky to have the freedom of speech, the freedom to assemble, the freedom… well, the freedom to do damn near anything.

Look around at the rest of the world.

These are freedoms not everyone has.

These are freedoms men and women, young and old, have fought for. Fought life and limb for. So that among many other things, we can write and read what we want.

Granted, it isn’t perfect. Nothing is. But damn it, we have it a hell of a lot better than some. And it is because of those who have gone before us. Period.

I’m not offering you any free reads today. I’m not going to try to sell you anything today.

I am going to ask though, that you take just a few seconds, left or right, conservative or liberal, for or against military, hell, for or against the USA, and give this holiday a little bit of thought.

Enjoy your day off if you’ve got it. But take a second to think about the why behind the holiday.

That’s all I’ve got. Have a great day. Enjoy your freedoms, they didn’t come cheap.

The Naughty List

Please forgive me, I’ve been putting off writing this post because I’ve had a migraine headache. I keep thinking it will go away in time to write this, but my deadline has arrived and I still have a headache. Being on the computer makes it worse, so I am going to make this a quick plug post.

Have you guys signed up for The Naughty List yet?

You can sign up for erotica emails, romance emails, or like me- pick both. New releases and freebies delivered straight into your inbox. It’s an awesome service, one I not only subscribe to, but also advertise my books on.

Click to go to website.

Click to go to website.

While I’m shamelessly plugging things, Kitchen Capers is free through today, 10/28.

Free on Amazon

Free on Amazon

I also have a new bundle up, its a big ole thank you bundle to my readers.

Free in Unlimited, or $0.99.

Free in Unlimited, or $0.99.

And, my first longer shifter romance is up as well.

Free in Unlimited, or $0.99.

Free in Unlimited, or $0.99.

Check them out, but of all of them, check out The Naughty List! Ok, I’m crawling back into my migraine hole now. See you guys in two weeks!

Introducing Myself

sexygirl Hi everyone!  ((waves))

My name is Sienna Stapleton and as you all probably know I’m new here.  I just wanted to take a moment to thank M. Keep and the rest of the bloggers here for allowing me to join this wonderful little group.

Now a little about me.  Like I said, my name is Sienna Stapleton and I write BBW romance.  Yes, you heard me correctly, I write romance, not erotica.  So, why did I decide to join an erotica blog if I don’t write erotica?  Mostly because while I read romance I also sometimes read erotica.  So in my head it only made sense for me to join.

Besides, while I love to write about every day women finding their true love, I also enjoy throwing in a bit of spice.  There’s no better way to boost a woman’s self-esteem than to sandwich her between two sexy alpha males or have one ultra sexy dominant take control in the bedroom.

As a closet submissive I love adding a bit of kink to my stories.  Not all of them have BDSM in them, but many have some level of dominance and submission to them.  After all, big girls have fantasies too.

While I enjoy writing about BBW and their sexual fantasies, it’s also important to me to try and keep my stories steeped in a certain amount of reality. So you won’t find me writing about vampires or shifters.  There are plenty of great authors out there writing about shifters.  Celia Kyle comes to mind. InsteFBFWad, I want readers to identify with my stories, to be able to see themselves in the heroines and be able to live vicariously through her.

I’m thrilled to be here and you all will come to find out, I have plenty to say.  In the meantime, if you haven’t read any of my titles, please consider checking out Reckless Curves (book 1 in the Reckless Curves series). Rekindled.

It’s free.

If NASCAR isn’t your speed consider checking out my latest release If you do, let me know what you think and if you really like my work, please consider friending me on FB or following me on Twitter. I’ll see you in two weeks!

Secrets

Secrets, we all have them.

Things we don’t want anyone else to know.

Things we keep to ourselves, to protect us, to protect others. Big, small, silly, heartbreaking, secrets run the gamut. Some we’d be better off sharing, exposing to the light. Some, not so much.

So what do you do when you need to tell your secret? To someone, anyone? Sometimes just saying it out loud helps. Hearing your own words, aimed at your reflection in the mirror, aimed at a higher power, aimed at the dog.

Sometimes we tell a stranger, which is often so much easier than telling someone we love. Sometimes we tell the whole damn world, by way of the internet, things that the one sitting beside you on the couch still doesn’t know even as you type it beside them.

Secrets about why we read what we read, why we write what we write. Things that almost slip off the tongue, but that are caught instead, and swallowed back down.

When I was young, I wanted the ability to read minds as a super power. As I’ve gotten older, I realized that it wouldn’t be a super power, it would be a curse. Now, I’d pick flying. Sometimes, with the top down on a nice day, the music blaring, driving a bit faster than I should, I come close.

And yet when you come home, windblown, exhilarated, your secret is still a secret, because wherever you go, there you are.

Postsecret.com Where secrets are told for one week, and then disappear forever. (If I could get the damned link button to highlight itself, I’d link it. Guess you’ll have to work for it instead. :) )

Postsecretarchive.com where some, but not all collect.

I mailed one, once. And I watched the website. It never showed up, maybe the mailman took it home, or I missed the week it sat there, exposed.

Totally unrelated, honestly- Alpha Bitten, my first shifter short, is free through today, Tuesday 10/14, on Amazon.

FREE 10/10-10/14

FREE 10/10-10/14

 

 

Authors and Alcohol

They have been paired together forever, authors and alcohol. But why?

Are authors really a drunk lot? I’m assuming many more write sober than write drunk, but the image persists: a man (usually), his pen, (or typewriter, or computer) and his favorite drink:

image

My always present writerly companion seems to be my cat. She will not let me write alone. See this picture? It is me, writing this post, with my cat:

image

She hears me settle in, and must be a part of things. First, she tries to play with me, I guess because she knows that as my mind wanders, I have a tendency to either jack with and play with her, or pet her, in procrastination mode.

But, I must admit, that a shot glass is often also beside me as I write. I have a decent size shot glass, slide an ice cube in it, and fill it to the brim with my favorite- Jameson Irish Whiskey.

But why?

I think for me it is part routine, and part ‘I’d probably be sipping Jameson anyway, may as well get some work done.’

I discovered alcohol, and Jameson in particular, long before I started writing, so I don’t think the writing begat the liquor. I just like liquor. I like wine, some of my husband’s beers, and sipping on shots.

I haven’t actually shot a shot in years, since my bar days, (which were hella-fun, BTW, damn I miss wearing corsets with jeans sometimes) but now I just sip them. I like to sample different whiskeys, as well, when we travel. That’s how I found Jameson, actually. Touring the old distillery in Ireland. Before that trip, tequilla was my go-to. Now, I sample and sip whiskey.

I like cinnamon whiskey. There is a caramel whiskey we found in Gatlinburg, TN that my husband loved, we ended up buying three bottles, the caramel, the cinnamon, and a normal whiskey. I fear I’ve corrupted him.

Davy Crockett’s Salty Caramel, that was it. And their Cinnamon. They even had Chocolate Whiskey! If you are ever walking that street (if you’ve been there, you know the one) in Gatlinburg, stop in at Davy Crockett’s and sample all their shit!

Oh also, Jim Beam has a Red Stag line, and their Black Cherry is delightful. Goes down way too easy, my friends. Way too easy. Sometimes I mix it with Jameson (Shh!!!) just to lower the sweetness.

Anyway, I’ve gotten a bit off topic. I’m blaming the Jameson beside me, as I write this.

One of my favorite quotes has been attributed to both Shakespeare and Hemingway, “Write drunk, edit sober.” I think it is because I can relate.

There is something about settling in to write, the Ipad on the kitchen table, or the laptop on my lap in the spare bedroom for quiet, a cat on the keyboard, a full shot beside me, that just opens the floodgates to my words.

image

It seems to slide the rational, thinking part of my brain aside, and allow all the things us women are told we aren’t supposed to like, to just flow out onto the page.

Normally, I’m a classy mom, someone you’d be shocked to realize writes what I write. Or even thinks about what I think about. But a bit of whiskey, and the judgement turns to Jr. High giggles, and a story just magically appears out of nowhere.

I think I do some of my best work slightly sauced. I don’t get hammered. I don’t drive after drinking, I don’t wake up hungover, I don’t lose chunks of time, I just enjoy sipping on a couple of shots as my creative side comes out to play.

I re-read my work later, and edit it, completely sober. But I have found two things to be true, for me at least. One, I usually don’t need to change very much that I wrote while drinking. The spelling is mostly caught by spell check, but very few things need rework.

My latest piece, which you will find at the end of this post, was a prime example. I originally wrote everything from her perspective in first person, because that is how most of my shorts are. But then during his point of view, I reverted to third person. The two didn’t play well with each other. So I re-wrote her point of view into third as well. And that was just about all the editing it needed.

The second thing I’ve realized is that my slightly sauced mind can really turn a phrase. When I reread things later, sober, I am always prepared for it to be sheer crap, but it never is.

Once my judgemental, day-to-day, mom, wife, classy member of society-ness moves out of the way, I’m really quite good. Phrases pop that would never have flown had I been stone-ass sober. Of course, that is only my own opinion, but still. I’m usually quite surprised with myself when I re-read myself.

So maybe that’s why so many authors drink? It releases the creative mind? Gets the rational out of the way a bit?

Any authors out there who want to chime in on their soberness while writing? Any readers who think they can tell between an author’s sober musings and their liquor-loosened work?

There is a paranormal bundle coming out soon, that I very desperately wanted to be a part of, only I had no erotic paranormal stories to contribute. Even though shifter romance/erotica is something I quite enjoy reading, I hadn’t written any yet.

I do have a longer, four-part erotic romance shifter in the works, but for this bundle I needed a shorter story.

So, I poured myself some Jameson, sat down with my cat, and wrote one. It’s the most I’ve ever written in one sitting. I started about 4:30 one afternoon, and nine hours later, at about 1:30 am, I had Alpha Bitten written. Completely sauced by then of course.

It cracks me up. It is a shifter story, but it kind of, almost, makes fun of shifter stories, at the same time. Full moon, fairy circle, naked chanting, the whole works. I love them, so the making-fun-of is not done meanly, but is done with love.

Anyway, if anyone wants to read a story that kind of makes fun of my own love of shifters, that was written completely in one sitting, with very little rewritting, while drunk- here it is, my newest release, Alpha Bitten. It’s free for those in Kindle Unlimited, but if the cheapskates amoung you (like me) want to wait a bit, it will be free for everyone the next time I post here- from 10/10 – 10/14. I’ll remind ya then if you’d rather wait.

Click to see on Amazon

Click to see on Amazon