by Kathleen Bradean
Being a creative type, as you probably know, means having a particularly active brain. Which is all find and dandy when you find yourself stuck in traffic or in a doctor's waiting room and you have to self-amuse (in a publicly acceptable manner) for a while. That's the time to unleash the imagination and set it free. When it isn't such a great thing is when its two in the morning and you still can't fall asleep because your brain decides to run endless iterations of a bad scene you're dreading rather than shut off.
By three a.m, you realize why Morpheus was a god.
Family drama may be keeping me awake, but in those wee hours of the morning I do my usual 'thinking too much about things.' And what I mused too much about recently-- other than family drama-- is a question.
What's the point of erotica?
Saying "Well, to arouse readers, of course," seems too simplistic and possibly wrong. Possibly. Horror seems like a genre intended to scare people, but it often, especially in movies, is used to reflect upon and comment on our culture. What's the purpose of the mystery genre? Probably to reassure readers that there is order in life and there's such a thing as closure. That's a huge lie, of course, but-- to quote The Sun Also Rises-- "Isn't it pretty to think so?" Maybe the point of a mystery is to entertain the type of reader who likes a puzzle.
So maybe the point of erotica is to arouse, but I think it's more complex than that in the hands of some writers and some readers. Could it be that the genre uses sex and sexuality to explore the human condition, and that titillation is just a byproduct? Is it erotica if it only shows sex but it isn't arousing? (or is that simply literary fiction?) And does the author's intent matter? what if it was supposed to turn you on but didn't? Or what if it wasn't ever supposed to arouse but one reader got a tingle and some fevered dreams out of a scene?
You can see why such thoughts turn into little hamsters on unbalanced exercise wheels in need of lubrication. The squeaking alone is enough to stop a brain from turning off. Eventually it does, but not before a subtler thief sneaks at the edges of my thoughts. And here's the point where it turns slightly awkward, because the quote that came to me was from a children's movie. In Willie Wonka (the Johnny Depp version, not the Gene Wilder one), Charlie Bucket sagely comments that "Candy doesn't have to have a point." Maybe erotica doesn't need to have one either. But let me know what you think.
Friday, October 24, 2014
by Kathleen Bradean
Posted by Kathleen Bradean at 1:00 AM
Thursday, October 23, 2014
Basically, it is a free promotional tool (though there are paid options you can explore) to help you get the word out about something. For the purposes of this post, I’ll use books as an example, as it’s what I deal with.
You sign up for a free account at Thunderclap.it, and follow the simple instructions to set up your campaign. Use graphics from your book if you can, as that way you’re increasing visibility of your book to those that click through to support your campaign. Spend some time crafting your message, adding some relevant hashtags if you’ve got room – bear in mind that this message will go out once and hopefully to an awful lot of people, so you want it to have punch, something to really make people want to click on the link you’ve provided. I’d also recommend only opting for 100 supporters the first time around – it sounds like a small number, especially if you have lots of social media savvy friends, but it’s tougher than you think to get people to click that link.
Once you’re happy with what you’ve done, submit your campaign and wait for Thunderclap to approve it (you can speed this process up by paying, but I’ve never done this). Then, when approval arrives, the really hard work begins. You have to get supporters.
Supporters are the whole point of Thunderclap – they’re the ones that are signing up to send out your message on the date and time you’ve selected. I think, since Thunderclap is fairly new, that people may be shying away from supporting Thunderclaps as they don’t fully understand what it means. So, in a nutshell, here goes: supporters are pledging to help you, by donating a Tweet, a Facebook status or a Tumblr post (or indeed, any combination of those three). That’s all. They’ll see the message they’re pledging to send out, hit those support buttons, and, providing you get enough supporters to “tip” the campaign, their social media account/s will automatically send out the message on the date and time you’ve selected.
The point of all this? Well, since we’re talking books – it’s to drive sales. If you have an upcoming book, you can set something up in advance to go out on your release date – then you’ve got a while to promote the Thunderclap, get your supporters and then you’ll get a big boost on social media on the day, which will hopefully get people clicking those buy buttons and pushing you up the respective retailer charts. Cool, huh?
There is more to it than just getting the supporters, though. Sorry to complicate matters :) Ideally you need supporters that Tweet/share/Tumble about books in your genre – so in turn their followers/friends/etc are more likely to be interested in your book. Also, it goes without saying that the more followers/friends/readers your supporters have, the more people are likely to see your message once it goes out. So if you can attract people with a large reach on social media, all the better.
But to keep things simple, maybe start out small, and once you’ve dipped your toe in the Thunderclap water and seen how it all works – you can be more adventurous next time.
Bottom line: make sure you’ve crafted a powerful message to go out, that will catch people’s eyes and make them want to click. Then sit back and (hopefully) watch your sales increase.
Want to see how it works from a supporter’s angle? Here are three Thunderclaps you can sign up for (and I’d be grateful of your help):
Timeless Desire – M/F erotic romance story
Little Boxes – contemporary romance novel
To Rome with Lust – erotic romance novel
I hope this has helped you. Feel free to share far and wide on the web, to help people gain an understanding of how it works. If I get lots of questions and queries, I may do another article at a later date with more specifics.
Tuesday, October 21, 2014
By Lisabet Sarai
Monday, October 20, 2014
SeX Files, the new erotica imprint of Comet Press, is seeking manuscripts in all genres and cross genres from 7,500-80,000 words. We are looking for stories that push the boundaries of erotica and we don't have any content restrictions (except for kiddie porn, of course).
Titles over 50,000 words will be published in trade paperback and ebook. 7,500 to 50,000 length works will primarily be published in ebook format. However, we will consider future print editions for longer works (around 30,000-50,000 words) with outstanding sales.
Our contracts are for four years and we offer 40% net royalties. Read all our guidelines at:
Sunday, October 19, 2014
Editor: Brian Whitney
Publisher: BearManor Bare
Deadline: December 1, 2014
Payment & rights: 5% royalties. We ask for digital rights for 5 years.
Stacked is the first of 10 ebooks in a series. We are looking for short stories of roughly 2.500 words. For Stacked we ask for stories that have breasts as a main element. It can be fetish, softcore, or hardcore. All authors will be credited.
We do not accept stories that involve children or beastiality.
Please submit with the subject line "Stacked submission - title of your story" and attach it to your email as a word document.
Please send to: Brianwhitneywriting@gmail.com
It's that time of the month once again... Time for you to share your Sexy Snippets!
The ERWA blog is not primarily intended for author promotion. However, we've decided we should give our author/members an occasional opportunity to expose themselves (so to speak) to the reading public. Hence, we have declared the 19th of every month at the Erotica Readers and Writers Association blog Sexy Snippet Day.
On Sexy Snippet day, any author can post a tiny excerpt (200 words or less) in a comment on the day's post. Include the title from with the snippet was extracted, your name or pseudonym, and one buy link, if you'd like.
Feel free to share this with erotic author friends. It's an open invitation!
Still, if your excerpt is more than 200 words or includes more than one link, I'll remove your comment and prohibit you from participating in further Sexy Snippet days. So play nice!