Erotica Readers & Writers Association Blog

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Alternative Media – Using Radio and Podcasts To Gain Fans

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 three cats. Visit her web site, her Facebook page, and her Amazon Author Page. 

Her new m/m erotic medical thriller Roughing It is out! This book is a sexy cross between The X Files and The Andromeda Strain. Buy it at Amazon!


Ten months ago, I began my new job as one of four hosts of a radio show called The Women ShowIt doesn't seem that long ago. This is an internet radio show – a podcast. My first guest was Gina Kinkade, the owner of Naughty Nights Press. I was scared to death! I had written down far too many questions for the half hour show, but I like to be prepared. I had a glass of champagne before the show and one during so I could stay calm. Gina was more scared than I was since I don't think she'd been on the radio before. Now, she's a regular on Marsha Casper Cook's A Good Story Is A Good Story, with others in the Naughty Nights Press crew. My most recent show on The Women Show was with some writers from Broad Universe, a networking group for women who write speculative fiction. I'm a member.


I got my start with Marsha as co-host, and I enjoyed myself. Her shows last an hour or more, and she has multiple guests talking under a common theme. Those themes include romance, erotica, horror, writing in general, screenplay writing, young adult, and numerous other writing-related topics. Marsha was and still is a great influence and teacher. I learned how to chat up guests to keep them talking. I ask questions that require detailed answers rather than a simple "yes" or "no". I've never had a guest clam up on me, even the ones who were nervous. Most of my guests have been on the radio before, including well-known and talented horror writer Jack Ketchum and fantastic mojo storyteller Joe R. Lansdale. I've also had Trent Zelazny as a guest several times. For the fantasy lovers reading, he is the son of award-winning fantasy writer Roger Zelazny, of the Chronicles of Amber fame.

I also talk about my own writings on theses shows. Sometimes we do readings, which is great since I get to introduce my listeners to my own work. I've read both horror and erotic fiction live on the air. These readings are great practice for longer readings in public places like bookstores and conventions. Radio is an unusual way to get writing exposure. As I gain listeners, more people hear about my books and buy them. I do need to talk about my own works more often so that my listeners know I'm more than a radio host. I need them to know I also write and they may buy my books. My problem is I focus so much on my guests I forget to hawk myself.

How did I become interested in radio? Well, it fell in my lap when I met Marsha, and she asked me to co-host. I was delighted. A bit scared, but delighted. I had also read an erotic memoir years ago called Wetlands, by Charlotte Roche. The book received the usual type of criticism an erotic memoir gets. From Wikipedia: "For supporters it is an erotic literary novel; for critics it is cleverly marketed shock fiction bordering on pornography with a previously exhibited habit of the author of offense for the sake of offense." Roche was a presenter on Viva (a German equivalent of MTV) in the mid-'90s, and she had developed quite a following. So when her book came out, it sold well. It was picked up by a U. S. publisher and it did well in the States. Now, I understand a movie based on the book is coming out soon. I will definitely see it. So, using other forms of media aside of the Internet can help you develop a following in order to sell books. Being a guest gives you exposure. Being a host does the same thing.

I appear on The Women Show once per month. I appear pretty much at will on Blog Talk Radio when I have a show idea to pitch to Marsha. I am indebted to her and to Bennet Pomerantz, the producer of The Women Show.


Want to listen to some shows? Pick any one of mine from Blog Talk Radio. Here is an archive of my past shows – Elizabeth Black on Blog Talk Radio.

Below is a list of some of my favorite shows.

Madeleine Shade – Erotic Fairy Tales

Madeleine Shade, Dellani Oakes, Melissa Kier – Erotic Romance (with host Marsha Casper Cook and me a co-host)

Valentine's Day – Elizabeth Black (me), Melissa Keir, Lindsay Downs, Bernard Foong, Walter J. Bissett, and William Maltese. (with host Marsha Casper Cook and me as co-host)

Broad Universe – Terri Bruce, Morven Westfield, and Trisha Wooldridge. BU is a networking group for women who write speculative fiction. I'm a member.

Trent Zelazny – noir, crime, horror, and dark fiction writer

Joe R. Lansdale – mojo storyteller and author of the Hap and Leonard books. These books were recently turned into a TV series on Sundance.

Jack Ketchum – horror writer, author of The Girl Next Door.




3 comments:

  1. Do you have any idea about the size of your audience, Elizabeth? Is there any way to find out?

    And do you think your sales have picked up since you've been doing this? Just curious.

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  2. It's impossible to find out how many listeners I have on Blog Talk Radio, Lisabet. Believe me, I've asked. My producer regularly gets email and messages about my shows so I know I have an audience. I just don't know how large. I get more listeners when I have very good guests on like Jack Ketchum and Joe Lansdale. I've seen some uptick in sales since I've started, but not for my erotic books that Amazon has hidden. They're hard to find. Plus they're old. "Roughing It" is new so that one hasn't had a chance to catch on yet. I'll know more in a couple of months. My novel "No Restraint" comes out at the end of the summer so I plan to do a reading on the air to help sell the book.

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  3. This is so cool, Elizabeth! Years ago, someone offered to let me host a weekly blog radio program, but I didn't understand the technology and I was afraid I couldn't keep up, so I declined. I've always wondered what that would be like.

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