When it comes to selling smut, there are a lot of different attitudes about how to do it, and like most things, there’s more than one way to skin a cat. Some people go with volume, producing mid-high range pieces, others write even more, of middling quality. Some writers put out only a few pieces of the highest quality. Really, the only constant is that all of these people have a back list.
I’ve got a little bit of a backlist, four pieces to be exact. Aubrey Watt (a wonderful author who will certainly be put on my blog list when I get around to it) did an AMA on Reddit, where she said don’t bother checking sales until you have ten pieces up. With that in mind, I’m going to self-publish Vanessa’s Affair (after all, Ellora’s Cave isn’t going anywhere), rewrite the bits of Vampire’s Gallery that needs work and get it out the door, and finish up with reworking Cthulhu Loves Geordi. I might make him an anime fan instead of Star Trek, because I’m actually into anime. Had I been thinking, I would written it that way to start with.
My marketing strategy is to offer decent work for free, while giving people the option to support me with money. I’ve been exploring the marvelous fonts available out there, and found one company, Misprinted Type, that has amazing free fonts, and a suite of ones to purchase at reasonable prices ($15-$40). I love that model. I’ll use a bunch of free fonts, and then buy one as a thank you. Obsidian Dawn does something similar. I’ve purchased commercial licenses for a few of her brush packs (not the ones I ended up using, of course). Regardless, it was a way to thank her for her hard work (at least, I think it’s a her).
Probably the biggest flaw of my strategy is thinking people are like me. I mean, I don’t pirate music/books. I don’t get my panties in a knot about people who do—hell, I don’t even use DRM when I publish. Even without the threat of a million dollar lawsuit, I probably wouldn’t download music. When someone gives me something nice, for free, the psychological effect on me is I want to return the favor.
The second biggest flaw is that it requires me to produce a fair amount of smut for free. The Princess of Cleves was kind of a practice run. I’m happy she’s found people to read her. What I post here every other Thursday, and my smut-on-demand piece on Literotica are another thing entirely. While they’re a lifesaver when I’m editing, sometimes they can be distracting.
Then, there’s the blog itself. While I’ve come to enjoy blogging, the main point of this was to get my books out there, etc. I don’t know if it’s really working for me. I don’t think many people who come here click on a link for a book, let alone buy one. This isn’t an attempt to garner pity, just the statement of facts. It’s my hope by having the book covers on the side, people will look more often. We’ll see how that goes. If it was a matter of people checking out my books then not buying them, I’d just lower the price.
The other great adventure is my participation in SmutWriters (see badge). You should check it out! There’s information for all manner of writers there, with reviews of software, tips on making covers and getting reviews.