One thing everyone assumes about self-publishing is that all you have to do is throw some cheap romantic cliches on a sheet of paper and make a cool $10k. But here in the real world we all have to decide whether we’ll try and get rich quick, which isn’t possible unless you scam, or whether you’ll take the time, dedication, and appreciation for you craft to create a product that not only will people want, but will keep them coming back for more. The most common difference between a successful author and a failed author is one gives up too soon. People write romance, not out of love but out of thinking the market is easy, and the result isn’t a labor of love or a desire to give readers what they want because their tastes are respected, but a book that will make a few sales then fade with the author’s name.
I respect myself and my readers, especially you loyal followers, too much to do that. This blog isn’t dead, but it is quiet as I focus on building a back catalog and pulling double shifts in order to afford editors and others to make my works more than good, but great because my readers deserve the best I can do. As I shift from pure erotica to romance I find myself falling in love with writing again.
some of the first stories I loved in my formative years were Lifetime Network’s romances and the intense made-for-TV dramas that were peppering the airwaves. Intense stories became cliches, but those cliches have roots in genuine human emotions. They’ve been belittled, but The Burning Bed touched on genuine fears in a society where regardless of race, class, or age women have a specific place in their relationships and how that can spiral into a nightmare Where the Heart Is touches on the harsh realities of being a young mother in rural America and the fear that you having been on “the wrong” path means you can’t love someone on the “right” without hurting them. Outlander is massively popular because it is genuine in its fantasy and romantic elements. A heroine is torn between one constraint in one time and another in another time; one love in the past and one in the present. What all of these stories have in common is sincerity.
They aren’t money grabs though their creators wanted to make money. They aren’t snubbing their noses up at their cliches. They’re using what we recognize and building very human stories in ways that leave you unable to look away. Sincerity makes the author successful. Sincerity gets you an audience that will always be in your corner even if it is only to debate you. Before I publish my next work I want to take time to make sure it is everything I know it needs to be so that you all can enjoy it, and see that it isn’t a money grab. Self-publishing isn’t just a scheme to me, but a dream and a love. Authenticity is how you write from tone to creating characters that are more people than props, more than simple projections for readers but vibrant heroes we root for and cry for. Authenticity is in short, everything.
I believe I captured that in a fun way in my first erotica Dirty Honey and Suffer Too Good. They’re stories about the erotic worlds of submission and domination, but they’re stories about relationships…about quirks that make our sexual lives special. The unique perspective an author brings to their work can and should enrich a genre. If you don’t bring that then you won’t succeed. If you don’t bring that then you’re insulting your audience. By god I get messages from people who dislike my stories, but one thing I’ve never been told is that my work feels fake. My editing? Self-editing. Sloppy? No, but some have rightfully said they need work. I’m now able to give money and time to my works
I’ll give you the number one tip to success in self-publishing that will mean something…be sincere. Don’t talk down to your audience, don’t just spout cliches, and don’t think you can just put out one book and make money.