Thursday, April 26, 2012

I just posted this idea on E.L. James page and the "official" 50 Shades of Grey page as well ... but I want credit when it happens.  ;-)

With all of the talk about 50 Shades of Grey and the movie version - the internet is awash with discussion of who should star as Christian and Ana.

"Later's Baby: Casting 50 Shades of Grey" ... a new reality show for fall sweeps!

Let known stars AND unknowns "compete" for the right to be cast as Christian and Ana!!

Think of the ratings!! 

This would blow "The Bachelor" right out of the water!!

How do I copyright an idea? Hmm ... ;-)

In fact - as much as ABC likes to "cross-promote" with The Bachelor and Dancing With The Stars ... etc. ... this is a NATURAL FIT for them. "You might not have been cast as Christian Grey - but we'd like for you to be the next Bachelor." Or the "couple" that had the most chemistry while auditioning for the roles could be selected for Dancing With The Stars!!

Anyway - I have also put together a Facebook page to help "expose" erotica to a wider audience.  Please come check it out.

Readers - come find books recommended by your fellow readers.

Authors - come feel free to post and exposure yourself (pun intended) to a wider audience.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Defending The Sinking Ship?

Ugh. I used to like Jodi Picoult. I just lost a ton of respect for her. 

From her interview:

What advice would you give to an aspiring author?

Take a workshop course. You need to learn to give and get criticism and to write on demand. And DO NOT SELF PUBLISH.

/Rant on:

Yet another traditionally published author who has drunk the koolaid of the publishing industry and their need to hold onto the crumbling paradigms that used to work for them.

Self-publishing was the best decision I have ever made. It has allowed me to reach readers, gain feedback, and do what I love on my schedule. Instead of waiting for some drone in a over worked publishing house to "bless" my book or not - I am already published and gaining critical experience.

100 Amazon reviews with a 4.7 out of 5 Star average for my True Romance / Erotica series. Why exactly should I have not self-published again?

/Rant off

Number FIVE!!

Moving on up!!  Volume one is now NUMBER FIVE in the Amazon store - for highest rated (by average customer review) erotica books!!

Monday, March 26, 2012

Shades Of Tiger?

What do the current erotic books taking the media by storm (Shades of Grey) - and Tiger Woods - have in common?


I'm glad you asked.  We'll come back to that.   Cheesy

I just finished the Shades of Grey erotic trilogy that seems to be the flavor of the moment and is garnering a lot of attention in the mainstream media these days.

As an author of erotica myself - I probably have a slightly different perspective than the average reader.

With this series I am left feeling like it was good, but could have been great. There is a LOT of sex, so much so that it honestly becomes a little unbelievable in the frequency, their respective desire levels, his ability to have multiple orgasms in a short period of time, her constant arousal at his mere presence, etc., etc.

I found myself skipping over some of the repetitive sex to get at the story beyond - which was well done enough to keep my interest.

I have read a lot about people that feel strongly both ways about these books, that the main male character is much too controlling, no self-respecting woman would put up with that behavior - versus the reports that a lot of women are calling it "mommy porn" and saying it is spicing up their bedroom and rekindling their marriages.

Speaking from my own point of view - and in terms of Volume One of my own series being called Losing Control ... I understand the desire to "just let go" to some degree, but I think there is a fine line between dominant and simply domineering.

I think to some extent the readers that enjoyed this series will enjoy mine as well - and I actually think they stand a much better chance of connecting with my series - since it is autobiographical in nature - and my particular beau is not a billionaire.  Not too many of those to go around these days.   Smiley

For those who did not enjoy the Shades of Grey series - I think there is a good chance they would enjoy my series as well - as it is a totally different "feeling" in terms of how the idea of domination (or submission) is presented.

Anyway ... as an author of a similar (in nature - if not tone) series - I found it an interesting comparison.

Come join ME on my journey and find out why Volume One of my Summer's Journey series is the Number Nine ranked erotica ebook on Amazon. 

(Authors edit:  Volume One is now ranked Number FIVE in Amazon erotica books, sorted by Average Customer Review.)

And yes - that is ranked in front of Shades of Grey.  For now. ;-)

Come see what *93* Amazon reviews to date for the series are calling "intelligent, witty, and HOT!!"

Needless to say - FOR ADULTS ONLY!!  

Back to what I call The Tiger Woods Effect.

When Tiger Woods was at the height of his popularity - he drove millions of new fans to embrace the sport of golf.  Other professional golfers (especially Phil Mickelson) are very vocal in their belief that Tiger has had a lasting positive impact on the PGA Tour in terms of increased tournament purses, television deals that bring millions, new fans, bigger crowds, more endorsement deals, etc., etc.

I believe that a literary comparison can be made in terms of the positive effect that the Shades of Grey phenomenon can have for the genre of erotica.  Erotica is the proverbial black sheep of literature.  There are plenty of people who read and enjoy it, but not many are willing to talk about it, pass on recommendations, etc.  It seems to be one of those "behind closed doors" type of activities.  The advent of ereader technology (such as my beloved Kindle) has made it much easier for people to indulge in reading the more spicier works such as mine without advertising those potentially lurid covers to everyone around them.   Cheesy

Anyway - regardless of your feeling as an author about the Shades of Grey trilogy, how well they are written or not, etc., etc. ... as an author in the same genre that could stand to benefit from the mainstream media's current fascination - I tip my hat to Ms. James and say - Thank You.

She has captured that elusive lightning in a bottle and I wish her all the success in the world.


Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Monday, March 5, 2012

5 Beacon Review!!

An absolutely lovely 5 out of 5 Beacon Review for Volume Three: Bondage Ballet by Dark Haven Book Reviews!!


Sunday, March 4, 2012

Six Sentence Sunday - 03/04/12

My contribution from my Work In Progress ... 
Summer's Journey: Volume Four

I retrieved the blindfold from the nightstand and slipped it over his head.  Pulling off the covers as I stood, it was evident he enjoyed the direction the morning was taking.  I thought I had awoken fairly early and I was certainly not that well versed in Egyptian astronomy, but Mark’s built in sundial seemed to be indicating it was approaching high noon.

Reaching down I stroked one long nail carefully along his swollen member, causing a subtle shift in Mark’s hips.

“I want you to lay there and picture what I am going to do to you for a little while, or at least until I go get a digital camera to capture this Kodak moment,” I said as I grabbed my dress from the nearby chair.

Slipping the dress over my head, I decided to leave my heels behind instead of risking another possible broken ankle.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Talking about SEX!!

Let's Talk About Sex!!

There exists a strange dichotomy between the portrayal of sex in our 24/7/365 media and what is "accepted" by society as being something to be talked about openly.

What is the hangup with sex in our culture?

Sex is something we all think about from the time our bodies start to mature, a biological imperative, good for relieving stress, connecting on a deeper intimate level with one's partner, etc., etc. - but yet it is still strictly viewed as verboten in most circles to admit that you personally have desire or needs. In fact women with the same sex drive as men are too often labeled as "easy" or "sluts" in our society.

I do not really care what turns you on - that is your own private business of course - but the moralizing judgment in public of those who embrace their own kinks in private has to stop. That is simply my opinion of course - and I will qualify that as I always do with one of my favorite phrases. "Your mileage may vary."

As most of you are probably aware of by now - I write erotica. Erotica is an interesting genre in that it is one of those things that people enjoy, but are not likely to talk about in "polite society". Erotica also seems to get a bad rap sometimes as people tend to confuse it with porn. Think of it this way - with porn you are getting nothing but descriptions of the sex acts. With erotica you are seeing behind the scenes - so to speak - and enjoying the thoughts and feeling of your characters. There is a discernible story line and shockingly enough the story could probably stand on its own merits without the explicit descriptions.

Anyway - I digress - as I tend to do on occasion.

So - what does the societal hangup with sex have to do with erotica? Good question - I'm glad you asked. ;-)

As an author of erotica I have found it to be quite the uphill battle to spread the word about my writing to a larger audience. Even with 75+ four and five star reviews - there is something missing.

Anyone want to venture a guess? Go ahead - think about it - I'll wait right here ... raise a hand when you are ready.


Yes? I said raise your *hand* back there in the third row - although that *is* quite impressive.

Where was I?

Ah yes - what is missing? Word of mouth. Societal shunning. The virtual equivalent of that Scarlet Letter we all remember from so many years ago.

For example - I recently posted about Volume Two of my Summer's Journey series being FREE for two days on Amazon. (Okay - so I posted A LOT about that - what's your point?)

There exists a forum that I participate in wherein a bunch of authors talk about their experiences with KDP Select and their results from having one of their books free.

An author who had one of their books free during the same time period I did experienced 12,000 downloads in the period of two days - driving their ebook into the Top 100 in the Amazon store - gaining them some valuable exposure.

In the same time period - despite my best efforts at having freebie sites list my book as free to their wider audiences, not one of them did - and my free downloads were about 1,200 - or 1/10th of the other indie author.

Why you may ask? Was this author's book that much better than mine?

I submit it was simply because my ebook was erotica and this other book was in a more "acceptable" genre. Now - some of you will say - (and you will be right) that I chose to write in this particular genre (well - actually it chose me - but that is a whole other story) - and that genre choice is what is limiting me.

True enough I suppose, but let's go back for a moment to what I said was missing.

Word of mouth. Even in this day and age of vast new resources online for self-promotion and marketing - the number one best friend of any author is still word of mouth "advertising". A reader enjoys your work and passes on word about it to a friend or family member. That person tells someone else, and so on and so forth.

This does not occur to the same degree with erotica - due to the societal stigma associated with talking about sex. This is an interesting phenomena that even extends to fellow authors. On that same forum I was talking about earlier - I posted a few questions about my own experiences with the free book giveaway. Even my fellow authors seemed to go out of their way to distance themselves from the erotica author.

Readers will contact me and say they LOVED the first volume of the series - can't wait to read more, but they hope I will understand if they don't tell anyone they loved it - their family, friends, pastor and German Shepard would be shocked to know they were reading that kind of material.

So ... what's my point ...?

I'm not sure I have one - after all of that - so if you were waiting on one - oops. ;-)

Maybe I just think we should initiate (somehow) a healthier societal attitude towards sex. A more realistic one that acknowledges human sexuality instead of berating it - or idealizing a particular body image through the media.

Of course - that *could* simply be the self promotional erotica author in me saying that. ;-)

Embrace your sexuality and love one another. Life is too short and we are all in this together.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Bad, bad, blogger!!

Sigh.  I have been bad.  Very bad.

I have not blogged in what seems like forever.

A lot has happened in the meantime.

I finally finished and published Summer's Journey: Volume Three - Bondage Ballet - after struggling with it over the holidays, being sick, etc.

I decided to put out an omnibus edition of Volumes One through Three ... simply called Collection One - which saves new readers 25% over purchasing the volumes individually.

I have been very active on Google Plus, Facebook - and occasionally Twitter - self-promoting the series and interacting with readers and fellow authors.

I have run free promotions of Volumes One and Two of the series which have led to a few sales here and there, but still have not had that "breakthrough" moment that I am looking for.

I have some thoughts as to why that might be - which I will address in my next blog post.

In the meantime - I am back ... and if you have not read Volumes One through Three of my Summer's Journey series - what on earth are you waiting for?

73 total Amazon reviews now - with a 4.7 out of 5 Star Average.  Come find out why!!

Summer Daniels' Amazon Author page