Today’s post is an interview. I know from talking to a lot of you guys that you’ve been interested in self-publishing, so when I saw that my twitter friend Brock, aka @dirtysexynaught was publishing erotica online, I was curious to talk to him about his process. These are some interview questions that he was kind enough to answer last week.
1. First, what are your books and where can we buy them?
I have written two erotic ebooks featuring gay sex.
The first is entitled, From Work Colleague to Leather Slave, and is based on my journey into the leather scene.
The second is My Gay Adventures in Office Sex, and is based on my experiences in mixing business with pleasure.
Both of them are available as a digital download on Amazon. You can see my author page at http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B00HKLDHSY
2. What was your intention when you decided to self-publish on Amazon? Money, practice?
My intention is to share my experience with as wide of an audience as possible, and to build up a number of short erotic ebooks. As I gain more readers and have more titles, then money will hopefully come.
2. It’s been almost a month since you launched your title, what kind of sales are you getting?
From Work Colleague to Leather Slave launched on Dec. 27. I’ve spent nothing on advertising. I’ve only promoted it on my Twitter account. Thus far, I’ve sold just shy of 50 copies. By no means a huge success, but royalties on that will earn me over $100.
3. How did you prepare for the launch, what kind of marketing or community building did you do?
Prior to launching, I did nothing. I wanted to see how things worked out organically. I had a pretty popular blog about 2-3 years ago that featured my latest sexual ideas, conquests, etc. The blog was deemed too graphic for Blogger and was shut down. I lost all of my posts. I was discouraged.
In October 2013, I decided to revisit the Twitter account for that blog, start chatting with people again, and then thought that I’d share my sexual experiences with the world via erotic ebooks.
I want to get 3 books out prior to really marketing myself. This interview is the first that I’ve agreed to do. I have others lined up for late February and into the Spring. I want the marketing push to come when readers can like one book and then have the ability to purchase another (or two or three) right away.
4. What is the inspiration for your books?
I write from personal experience with names and situations slightly altered. I want my partners to be anonymous and obviously, I want to keep the stories slightly more heightened than the real experiences.
That said, I have a scene written for a future book that features the time a guy got so drunk that he threw up, thus ending that sexual experience.
I think reality can be sexy, but also like to mix some fantasy into the mix.
5. Do you predict better sales for your second book?
To be honest, I predict less sales for the second book. The first book is targeted at a specific market: those who enjoy leather/BDSM. I wrote to a number of them on Twitter to check out my book and I believe that pushed sales quite well.
My second book is targeted to the greater market of those who love reading about guys having sex with those at work.
The first ebook, based on its content, has less competition within Amazon’s erotica selection. The second one has more. There might be less sales for now, but as I gain in popularity, the second book will likely do better.
6. What are your goals long term with writing and self-publishing?
Right now my longest erotic ebook yet will be released in April. It was the first one that I wrote, and was done during National Novel Writing Month in November. I made a goal to write 8,000 words and completed it. Afterwards, I decided I would focus on writing shorter ebooks to build up my audience.
I will release my third ebook, Single, Gay, & Slutty, in early March. Plus, I have 3 other ebooks that are in draft form that will be released over next two months.
From there, I will create sampler copies of my works. This will include the hottest scenes from my released books. Readers can then download these to get an idea of each of my books. Hopefully, they’ll like at least one of them and download the entire book that features that scene.
A number of people have contacted me via Twitter to assist them with writing erotica and publishing. The next goal will be to start working with them and publishing their works starting mid year.
7. How easy is it to self-publish with Amazon?
It’s easy! I know people read this everywhere, but it’s honestly so incredibly true! I had wavered for over a year on publishing. I couldn’t believe that it would be easy, but it is.
You write your story in Microsoft Word.
Insert page breaks between title pages, chapters, about the author, etc.
Don’t do any paragraph indents.
Then save it as a .doc,
Then save it as a .htm file.
Go to Amazon’s KDP page
Upload the .htm file
Create a cover using their software
Set the prices for each territory (i.e. USA, Canada, United Kingdom)
Wait for it to be published!
I highly encourage people to just take a piece of their current writing and try it out. You can unpublish the book after you’ve completed it, if it’s just a test.
8. What advice would you give somebody who wanted to get into self-publishing?
Do it now! Don’t hesitate. Just do it! If you’re interested, you’ve likely done some writing. Maybe you have poetry from your teenage years.
Well, take all that and put it into a book. You can set the price as whatever you like, let Amazon take their cut, and then you get the rest. If anything, you’ll likely sell copies to some family and friends.
9. With two books under your belt, what would have done differently if you had it to do again?
I simply would’ve started doing this a few years ago. I was busy being a grad student, but this could’ve been a great way to earn some extra money.
10. What’s the one thing you wish people knew about writing, erotica, self-publishing, etc?
Your writing is of value. Our greatest critic is ourselves. Be proud of what you’ve done and get it out there for others to enjoy.
Thanks again to Brock for letting me be his first interview for this project. I look forward to seeing what else he has up his sleeve (and down his pants!)
If you’d like me to interview you, or if you have someone you feel I should interview, let me know.