The Shore

The ShoreDespite the best efforts of November, The Shore is now published on KDP. Click the picture to go through to the book page. It’ll cost you the pricely sum of 99 cents. Not even a dollar!

It’s based partly on real life events (I know both people the tale is based on and what really happened that day) . I’ll leave it up to the imagination of the reader to decide where real life stopped and my imagination took over. The water really was that cold though, and at least up until they get out of the water, all the spectators were there too.

The cover concept has been revised due to previous covers being filtered by Amazon. They’ve been filtering anything that shows any flesh. Maybe I went too far in toning things down. One observation has been that the cover looks like it might be literary rather than erotica. I was going to take the cover picture myself (this is a royalty free image with free permission to use) in which case I would have had a pile of clothes in the foreground. Otherwise I’m not sure I would have changed it much at all anyway.

I have to come think that a cover doesn’t need to ooze sex. What do you think?

The next one

I haven’t been entirely bed bound this November. Kids have given me what feels like another cold, and as long as it’s not in the same ballpark as what we all had at the beginning of November it shouldn’t be a bother. Still on meds from the oral surgery, and sneezing and yawning hurt like mad. Eating is easier but I hate anything with seeds right now. Really hoping for a nicer December.

My latest short story, The Shore, has just been uploaded to KDP. Not live yet. A little on the short side at 5,5K words, but given my current state, I forgive myself. Slight change in the cover design. Not sure I like it yet but it will do. Mostly want to make the title more visible at small icon sizes. As for the cover image, that’s just intended to try to avoid getting filtered. So far two out of three have been filtered, apparently because of the amount of flesh in the cover image.

Pricing has changed too. Everything is 99 cents now. Halving the royalty amount hurts, but at the same time I was not comfortable asking $2.99 for a short short-story. That price was part of the now failed sales challenge, and since it no longer applies, have a price cut! Anyway, a dollar seems fair.

NaNoWriMo aside, I was supposed to have 5 titles out by now. The next one is going to be a Christmas story. A nice stocking filler 🙂

Oral

Oral surgery is great. The drugs keep the pain away, but it’s wiped out November. Looking at the monitor for more than a few minutes undoes all the great work the painkillers do, so I’ll keep this short. November has been cancelled. Urgh.

Fast forwarding to December. See you there.

NaNoNoNo

14 days of whateverthefuckthatwas and I’m mostly better. Still coughing a bit, still got way too much slime coming out of me, but the worst is over. Whatever the hell that was, please go your way and never darken my door again.

Two weeks of mind dulling coughing and cold/flu has made me put up my NaNo fingers and admit an early defeat. I am more in mind of a tactical retreat as I am back to writing and if I feel like it can even add it to my NaNo total. However, There are changes.

NaNo was supposed to be a kick in the ribs for my erotica challenge. However, that’s largely come to a premature end. My challenge partner had most of his titles removed by Amazon. This got us talking about the reasons why. Seems his erotica was rather more niche than I was lead to believe. not only that but he showed me some of the empirical evidence of what people were buying from his older, now unavailable, titles. Ordinary erotica actually fared very badly. What did sell? Well, the search terms that brought most people to his website and out again to Amazon were ‘barely legal’, ‘forced’, inter-racial’, ‘breeder’ and some terms I don’t even want on this page. Given the hits that ordinary erotica was getting and how much is out there, I was surprised my vanilla stories had any sales at all.

Sales all but fizzled in October anyway. With the rest of life’s demands, I was behind in my output. Was supposed to be five titles by October, and twelve by January. I still have just three. (working on four after posting this) Still, I thought people might still stumble across them. Another problem with Amazon, you don’t get to see who lands on your page or looks at your titles. Pity. The bottom line though, not one sale so far in November.

Knowing I was ill and not going to be putting anything out I also put in another small experiment. I dropped the prices of all of them to 99 cents. Two weeks at that price and still nothing. I hadn’t made any announcement about it. I wanted to see if just having cheap erotica for sale would be enough to sell. It was not. They will stay at that price. The challenge is over and they were only 2.99 as part of that. 2.99 is too expensive for a 7000 word short story. But dropping into Amazon’s 35% royalty payment level sucks.

As much as I enjoy writing, I have other things that require my attention. I’m here to stay of course, but the erotica will be no more than one a month. If that. Other projects beckon. And as a paying job, writing erotica isn’t something I would recommend. My day job, that’s a different matter 🙂

NaNoWriMo Notes Day 6

This is one hell of a cold but I’m over the worst. Still more slime coming up than seems natural and I really shouldn’t have watched Stephen King’s ‘The Stand’ the other night. November 6 and I feel OK for the first time in a week.

Couple of things have happened in the last few days. First of all I am seriously behind in my NaNoWriMo word count. I have been writing, but not for that. Which brings me to the question; why am I doing NaNo if I am so busy? The usual purpose of NaNo is to get people writing. I am already writing – I’ve just finished another piece under my real name. I wanted NaNo to help me with my Erotica challenge. Part of that was getting more written. Not necessarily 50,000 words but I was hoping to get a story a day out. I still am. But real life comes first, and since I am writing, I don’t feel as bad if I do let it slide. We’ll see. I have a couple of chores left this morning then I will throw myself into things and see where the day ends up.

Secondly the challenge has hit something of a snag. Well, my sales dried up. My partner blames my pricing became I am writing vanilla erotica and he claims its only ‘niche’ that can happily claim a $2.99 price tag without people venting their spleen about being overcharged. My ‘challenger’ agreed with my partner. He made it clear that his erotica was very hard and even admitted that Amazon had actually pulled a load of his titles.

It is too early yet to draw any conclusions from the couple of months my titles have been on sale. And there are still only three of them. The playing has field changed dramatically over the last  twelve months. All book publishers have come down hard on erotica. Not just what they sell but how easy it is to find it. No publisher wants to be the subject of a ‘my children found Daddy porn’ news story, no matter how manufactured the story really is.

So. NaNoWriMo? My other works will count towards your word count. If I pass 50k, that will give me a victory of sorts. A story a day for November will make me feel good about myself. Do both and I’ll feel like a winner.

So part II. The challenge. It was initially on his historic sales and if I could match them with the aid of social media. I still have three months left. Interesting to note that my ‘challenger’ has put all his stories in one book and is now selling that at the $2.99 price point. We agreed that gives me room to drop my prices 🙂

Right, back to work. Wish me luck.