Six Months Later…and then some

So, it’s been a while since I last posted, and even longer since The Spellsinger first went on sale.  Dreams of getting mega rich or instant success were never part of  the plan, but I think I am a little surprised that I did not sell a little better than I did, and more disappointed in the lack of reviews from the copies I did sell.

The Halfling’s Lust, which has been offered for free, has garnered reviews, but I am mostly stymied by those. On Barnes & Noble, the average review is 3 stars. The chief complaint? That it’s too short. It’s a free book, people, it’s supposed to be a sampler of my writing, so of course it’s short.  Hundreds of erotic stories get published every week on Amazon and Smashwords that are shorter than The Halfling’s Lust and cost $2.99. Where’s your outrage about that?

I could understand a low score if you did not like the story, or thought the writing was subpar, or the grammar and spelling atrocious. But too short? That would seem to indicate the reader was enjoying themselves, perhaps digging my characters and story and wanted more. In that case, it would seem a 4 or 5 star review would encourage the writer to continue, not a 2 or 3 star review.

Ok, ok, rant over. I’m better now.

So, where does this leave me now?

Well, I still have more stories in the works, more tales to tell, and I plan to release them all, as they get completed, as ebooks. Hopefully sooner rather than later, but we’ll see. In the mean time, though, I think there is a larger issue to address, one actually more important than silly review standards, and that is the lack of any kind of community for erotic swords and sorcery stories.  There does not seem to be any effective way to locate and contact fans and writers of the genre to build interest in the books, spread the word, and provide feedback and reviews.

Once upon a time, I helped moderate a website called the Naked Blades which hosted a curated collection of erotic swords and sorcery stories. Founded in 1996, it lasted maybe 10 years. At it’s height, it had thousands of visitors and received plenty of submissions from writers of all kinds, many of them quite good and small number of them exceptional. But just as the old Webmaster passed on the reigns to me when he grew too busy to maintain the site, so I passed it on to others, and they grew too busy and eventually, it withered away in neglect.

Back in October, when released my book, I scoured my email files looking for old friends I could send review copies to, but all the old emails are dead and the people have moved on. Ten years ago I could have had a dozen reviews up in the first week, but today? Nada.

So, it’s time to build the framework of community again. I’ve come across some novels on Smashwords that fit this little niche genre quite well, and I’ve tried to leave a review on all of them. In the coming weeks, I want to start spotlighting these stories and authors on the blog, like I did last year with Anthony Pryor. If I can help them sell a few more books, than excellent. But I have a deeper goal in mind, and this what I mean by community. The more people are exposed to quality erotic swords and sorcery stories, the more they are going to want to read it. Reading the Wulf Tales certainly made me aware that books like this existed, and if there was one, there must be more.

And, selfishly, as more people buy and read and talk about erotic swords and sorcery, the better chance my books will have of selling because the market is growing larger.

And from a business point of view, that’s what it’s all about, market. If I had written a 10k story about school girls, incest, and breeding, and put a picture of a hot girl in pig tails on the cover, I’m sure I could easily have sold 3x as many bokos in a shorter period of time. Because if you look at what gets sold, that’s market.

But that’s not what I write, or why. I mean, yes, I am publishing my books because I want to get paid for my hobby, and I have nothing against making craploads of cash, but I just don’t think I can write a story purely for money in a genre or setting I don’t care for. (Actually, I do have story ideas for schoolgirls in erotic horror peril, but that’s for another post).

So, thank you for the one or two of you who will read this morosely meandering post. Keep a weather eye out for more new content, hopefully soon. And if you like the kinds of books I write, please leave a comment and let me know.



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