18 days gone

Two weeks down plus change. Still not feeling as though I have started the new year. I have certainly neglected the writing side of things. And the selling of the writing too. A brief look at the Amazon numbers tells me I won’t be retiring any time soon. Number one on my list of things to do is get the writing empire running again.

Too many projects want to be picked next. It’s like being in a classroom and asking kids to answer a question. Most, if not all, are there with their hands held as high as possible, some even standing up as if that’s going to get them noticed more than the rest. A few even make that strange ‘uhhn’ panting noise to show … to show they exist I suppose. No, today I am writing a long overdue story for my children. Erotica next, but today it’s for kids.

Writing aside, the failure of The Shore to make anywhere near the impact of the previous titles is clearly down to my decision to tame the cover down. Clearly a taming too far. While I had thought that people would search for erotica based on their own search terms and then the blurb provided with the book, I think the cover has a lot more impact that I had realised. I know in book-stores it’s all important, but that’s because you are browsing and ONLY see the covers (or spines). In an online store searching will bring you into first contact which normally gives you the book blurb too. In the world of erotica I’ve never known a sexy book cover to have anything to with the story inside, yet one can assume that it’s like an advertisement saying ‘this book IS sexy’.

Pricing seems to have had little to do with sales either. I know it does with other genres, but erotica… people seem to be willing to pay $0.99-2.99 for a short story (even if it is a little short). There will be one more erotica title to add to the current titles, and then who knows. I’ll decide then.

Pity that Amazon filters on such vague guidelines. But I think the cover needs to go back to sexy. So… yeah, sexy it will be. Current covers can stay as they are. And its certainly too cold to shoot anything for a new replacement cover for The Shore. I hate working with free pictures, but sometimes conditions just kick you to the kerb and you have to use what’s available.

Ok, time to get back to work. I think my New Year has finally started.

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Santa’s Naughty List

(A late Christmas present for you. xx)

Jenny woke to a loud bang from downstairs. Adrenaline forced her into full wakefullness and she slid out of bed and retrieved the iron poker she kept under her bed for just such occassions. Creeping downstairs, she listened carefully, as much for her own footsteps as for anything beyond. There was a shuffling noise that sounded like it was coming from the kitchen. This was where the women in films always got it wrong by confronting their attacker, only to find themselves overpowered or facing some nightmare from the grave. She stopped, tried to calm her breathing and  then decided to do the sensible thing.

‘I’ve called the cops. I’m also armed. If you leave now, I’ll tell them it was my imagination. Take whatever you’ve got and go now,’ Jenny yelled. Silence. Perhaps she should go and call the police. She stood absolutely still and listened to her heartbeat for a full minute. Nothing. She should be sure. The police hated timewasters. Jenny crept down the rest of the stairs.

The kitchen was empty. The contents of the fridge were undisturbed. There were no footprints and the furniture was all where it was supposed to be. Of course, her purse was in the lounge. Perhaps the thief had gone to look in there. Jenny backed out of the kitchen, still half convinced someone might still be in there waiting for her to turn her back.

The hallway seemed to extend to infinity as she edged her way closer to the lounge door with her back to the wall. If there was anybody there the sound of her sliding along the wallpaper was a dead giveaway. Then again, whoever was in the lounge probably knew she lived there and was just waiting for her to step inside. Well, she’d surprise them yet.

Jenny kicked the lounge door open and screamed. That might even alert the neighbours, she thought. The door hit the wall and shuddered. Jenny felt around on the inside wall for the light switch and discovered that the lounge too was empty. She went in and sat down, her heart finally slowing down. Maybe what woke her was sound from next door. She was glad she had not bothered the police now. Back to bed then. Jenny left the lounge and hallway lights on. The house felt safer with the lights on.

Her bedroom was the only room with the lights still off. Padding back in barefoot, she stepped in something cold. There was snow on the floor. Jenny shrieked and fled. She ran straight into a reindeer. Winded, she stood there in shock. Her mind simply went blank but for the simply message, there’s a giant animal in my hall. It blew a great gout of steaming breath out and just stared at her.

‘He likes to be scratched behind his ears,’ a deep voice called out. Jenny turned and peered back into the dark bedroom, still in shock. There was a man dressed as Santa Claus laying on her bed. In her state of mind, the only thing that really seemed to register were his dirty, snow covered boots dripping water onto the end of her bed. Then she screamed.

‘Your neighbours are away for the weekend. Lucky for you really, as last night would have really woken them up. Surprised that the poor guy was walking today. Good work with the whip though, you could be a pro domme with handywork like that.’ Santa sucked on the cigar and blew a huge smoke ring.

Jenny stopped screaming and glared at the man dressed as Santa. ‘How the hell do you know about that?’ The man winked at her and blew a smaller smoke ring through the first. ‘He put you up to this? Nice try, but I stopped believing in Santa a long time ago. And your beard is pathetic. Dead give-way, no? On top of that it’s not even Christmas any more. Now, do I call the police or do you fuck off now?’

Santa tugged his beard and it regained a more traditional, fuller and fluffier appearance. ‘I didn’t realise I had to come in formal wear. There. What do you think now?’

Jenny was struck dumb. The man had become the face of Christmas. Recollection of an empty Christmas suddenly broke her silence. ‘You didn’t do much for Christmas this year did you? Bit late to come crawling around here to apologise.’

The cigar smoke rings formed frowning faces. Santa jabbed the glowing end of the cigar into his beard and it smoulder away, reverting back to his rougher white stubble. ‘Well, you see there’s toys and gifts for the kids that play nice. Then we have what I like to call the naughty list. Guess where you are.’

Blood flushed Jenny’s cheeks. ‘Naughty list? It’s not like I’ve done anything wrong.’

‘Wrong? No. Immoral? I’m not one to judge. Naughty? Let’s say that I only visit the ones who fit my personal definition of the term ‘naughty’. And just so you know, Santa did bring you a gift.’ He nodded towards the end of the bed and there was a long, flat oblong box. Jenny eyed it with suspicion.

‘If this is a joke, you are taking it way too far. If it’s not, then i’m still asleep.’ She reached for the package and bagan to rip the festive wrapping away. Opening the box inside revealed a long cane, spreader bar for her legs, and leather cuffs with ties that she already suspected would fit exactly to each of teh four corners of her bedframe. She turned back to Santa. While he was still laying where he was, his red bottoms were gone and he was naked from the waist down.

‘Your sack is showing.’ Jenny chuckled at herself. ‘Have to admit, it’s bloody huge.’

‘Haven’t you heard? Christmas only comes once a year.’ They both chuckled.

She took the cane from the box and used the tip of it to push his cock around so she could see it more clearly. It was a nice large, thick looking cock. It would probably be massive when he was erect. She gave it a little whack with the cane. Santa yelped. One by one, Jenny fastened the cuffs to the bedpost, and then put the man’s hands and feet into the leather loops and tightened them. Santa was chomping on his cigar and sporting a wide smile and, as she’d hoped, a huge erection.

‘Well, if Santa only comes once a year, we better make it a good one.’ Jenny eased her wet pussy over Santa’s rigid cock and eased its tip between her waiting lips. She sat still a moment, letting a shiver of pleasure run through her, then began to fuck him slowly. The cane and the spreader bar she’d use on him later. Some candles and pegs and the strap on
too.

‘You’re mine now, bad boy.’ Jenny pinched her nipples and began to sing. ‘Have yourself a merry little Christmas….’

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 🙂

30 stories need 30 titles

As well as writing 30 stories in 30 days, I also have to come up with 30 titles too. Bugger. Let’s see…

  •  The October Girl
  • The Leaf Grinder
  • Autumn’s Duvet
  • The December Resolution
  • Don’t Eat the Golden Snow
  • Santa’s Naughty List
  • The Mistletoe Dress
  • The Snowman’s Last Wish
  • Jingled by Belle
  • Christmas Down Under
  • Master Santa, Mistress Claws.

Um…
Um…
Um….

This is going to be harder than it looks.

National Erotic Writing Month

Wake up, get kids ready, get self ready, take kids to school, go to work, finish work, collect kids, amuse kids, feed kids, read to kids, put kids to bed, feed self, collapse. I should probably shower in there somewhere. If partner wants sex he’ll have to make an appointment.

Somewhere in there I have to try to write as well. It’s harder some days than others. So why am I thinking about NaNoWriMo. I must be mad. But it’s that time of year, and mad things have a habit of happening. So why not.

I haven’t officially signed up yet, but this year I am setting my target slightly differently. An erotic short for each day. Minimum of 1500 words per story. Yes, I’m aware this means I need to pick up a few extra words here and there to make my 50,000.

30 stories in 30 days. I’ll add them here as I write them. Wish me luck?

The Challenge

While I can happily admit that I am enjoying writing erotica, I must also confess (a small confessions since I am sure I’ve mentioned it before) that I started writing the current batch and style of erotica in answer to a challenge. A friend started writing and publishing short erotica stories before me and boasted about how well he was doing with his Amazon sales (less so Barnes and Noble). So the challenge was made, see if I could match his sales. I had six months to do so with up to twelve titles, not including collections.

He does have one huge advantage; output. He can write a 5000 word story in a few hours and the work he puts into proof reading, editing, and covers is as near as zero as one divided by infinity.

I am quite the opposite. With all the duties of family, home and work, I get a bit of time left each day if I am lucky. When I write, whatever I write, I like to get a story planned and told, and then proofread, edit, get a friend/partner to read it, edit again, then format it for publishing on Amazon Kindle. Making the cover can take anywhere from minutes to hours if I have to work from my own photographs (choosing, editing, correcting, layout design, and so on). And even then my efforts look like they were cobbled together in 5 minutes or less.

So my output is currently running at one story per week. I’m not just writing erotica. There my output is a staggering one story per month. That will speed up as lfie relaxes a little, and life has been hectic.

The main difference between us, and the crux of the challenge is in our approach. He relies on word of mouth for the titles and the type of erotica he writes. I choose to try to promote myself first and the writings second.

October is my third month, and my chances of winning the challenge are looking shaky. It’s not total sales fortunately, just what I can manage in the sixth month. Three and a half months to go.