Saturday, November 28, 2015
Elizabeth Black writes in a wide variety of genres including erotica, erotic romance, horror, and dark fiction. She lives on the Massachusetts coast with her husband, son, and her tuxedo cat, Lucky. Lucky needs playmates, so two kittens are in her near future. Visit her web site, her Facebook page, and her Amazon Author Page.
This picture above is of me, doing the Happy Dance.
After two years of submitting, one of my erotic romance novels has finally been accepted by an excellent small press. This press has already published four of my short stories in four anthologies, so we weren't strangers to each other. I don't feel comfortable naming the publisher or the title of the book yet since the deal isn't finalized. I need to get my contract, sign it, and return it. I will say that I'm over the moon about this acceptance. I sent this book to over 70 agents and all the good erotic romance publishers. Everyone rejected it. If this particular publisher hadn't accepted the book, I was going to shelve it. I had nowhere else to send it, and I loathe self-publishing. So to say I'm very thrilled is an understatement.
Now for the real work – preparing the book for publication and preparing myself for publicizing it. I know the title has to change. Any book with the word "Threesome" in the title will be slapped with the "Adult" label by Amazon and other distributors and relegated to the "Erotica" category where it will die a quick and lonely death. If any of that sort of censorship happens, my book won't sell because the publishers would have hidden it from searches. My current and potential readers won't be able to find it. So I need a new title.
I want my cover to be sexy but not tacky. I'm not sure I want any oiled male torsos on the cover. I like the cover of "Fifty Shades of Grey". It's subtle and hot. I'll talk to the publisher, but I'll trust the pub's suggestions as to what kind of cover will sell the book.
I've already decided who I'd like to write the forward for my book, but I need to ask her first. I hope she accepts. She's an excellent, award-winning erotic fiction writer who's a great seller. She'd be perfect. I also have a list of writers I'd like to contact to write blurbs for my book. I'll send an ARC of the book if they need it, or I could send a PDF of several short stories in the likely event they want to read my works first but want something shorter.
I'll write a press release to send out to the local newspapers. I've done this before for a charity anthology, so I know how to write it. Now to get newspapers to write about me and/or the book.
I need to set up a list of reviewers to review the book. I'll send it to Night Owl Romance, Manic Readers, Dawn's Reading Nook, and The Romance Reviews, to start. I'm not sure where else to send it at this point, but I do have a list of review sites buried on my computer somewhere. I'm also going to get the book set up with NetGalley. I'm a member of Broad Universe, a networking group for women writers. Broad Universe has a very good deal set up where I can submit my book to NetGalley for a reduced price. I'm definitely taking advantage of that. I'll submit the book to Publisher's Daily anyway. You never know. I may get a review.
I also need to set up a newsletter. I plan on sending newsletters out monthly and at times when something unique is going on, like the release or special sales. I need to create or pay someone to create a newsletter header. If I can't do it myself, I'll ask the woman who made my excellent covers for my two erotic fairy tales, Trouble In Thigh High Boots (erotic Puss In Boots) and Climbing Her Tower (erotic Rapunzel). I've subscribed to MailChimp awhile ago, but I'm not comfortable using it yet. Then I need to get subscribers. How do I create a "sign up for my newsletter" link on my web site and on my Facebook timeline? I need to figure that out. If there are easier and better newsletter programs out there, please let me know!
I need to plan live readings. I can go to Broad Universe for this, since that group does group readings. I need to find the local erotic fiction audiences and give readings to them. I could go to conventions like I do every year, but the ones I go to are for science fiction, fantasy, and horror. Smut wouldn't fit in, although some local SF/F cons do include erotic works. I need to find the romance and erotica conventions. Hopefully some of them will be nearby.
I'd like to pay for some advertising, but I'd like the advertising to give me results. I don't want to throw away my money. I may buy a spot on Night Owl Reviews' web site and magazine. The Romance Reviews has reasonable rates for advertising. I've had good results there when I advertised my two erotic fairy tales. Is GoodReads advertising a good idea? What about Facebook sponsored ads? Any other suggestions for good places for book advertisements?
I need to set up one or two blog tours. I've done these in the past on my own and while they're a lot of work, I liked the results. I have my old list of contacts and I'll contact those people again for my blog tours.
Any other suggestions of promotions I left out? I don't want to miss anything!
I'm very excited about this acceptance. It comes on the heels of one of my publishers closing its doors. That pub was supposed to publish my first family saga/thriller novel in 2016, and now I have to start from scratch again to find it a new home. More agent queries and small press submissions. Sigh. That closing really discouraged me as have the usual rejections I've received during this period. I haven't written a novel in over two years. I've had a handful of short stories published in anthologies though, in both erotic fiction and horror categories. So my work is out there. Just not my long work. I have several unfinished erotic novels sitting on my computer that I haven't felt like touching in all this time. I was very discouraged with my writing career, so I haven't had the desire to write much. Now, my mojo is back. I have a m/m erotic werewolf novel to finish. That one is loads of fun. A food porn erotic novel needs me. That one has a touch of magic in it. Then there is the m/m erotic romance set in an exotic location. It also has a touch of food porn. The novel I sold has food porn in it. I like food porn. :)
So my writing career is looking up for 2016. Here's hoping the publisher treats the book well (I don't doubt it will), and my promotions give me lots of sales. That's what I want and need – readers to buy and read the book. I don't want to lose my mojo. Not now, when everything looks so good. What a great present for the holiday season. I'm psyched!