In a few days time I’ll be entering the next phase of my writing adventure. On Friday my first book, “A Succubus for Christmas and other tales of Devilish Delights”, will come out from eXcessica. In one respect it’s the finishing line of a long-cherished dream, in another it’s only the beginning. Now I have to sell it...
This is the hard part. There are a lot of books out there and tons more being published all the time. Somehow I’ve got to get my book noticed amongst all those and then persuade YOU to part with your hard-earned cash to buy a copy. Some writers only get as far as selling to friends and family before drowning in the forgotten 1’s and 0’s of search result page #101. I don’t even have that to fall back on as my friends and family don’t know I write this kind of thing and I’m not about to tell them either!
It’s not all black. There are a couple of things which will work in my favour. I hope!
I’m not a completely unknown first-timer. Okay, I’m an almost completely unknown first-timer, but it’s still a start. For the last three years I’ve been writing and posting stories up on the internet at sites like Literotica. Some of these stories have picked up a lot of views. One of them placed in one of the regular contests. I’ve topped Lit’s All-Time list in the Erotic Horror category for the past year and a half.
Okay. I know, I know. In real life terms this is all small beans, amateur coupons, or whatever you want to call it. No matter, it’s getting my stories read. That’s the important thing—finding readers. I think of it as kind of like a new rock band touring their local pubs and clubs to build up a name. If people like what they read (and I know some have) then maybe they’ll buy the book (and I know some have said they will)
It’s a start.
The other thing going for me is I’m targeting a fairly unexploited niche and I know it fairly well. If you want to write about vampires, zombies or werewolves then you’d better roll up your sleeves and get ready to swing your elbows and bellow your lungs out to get noticed amongst the thousands of other people writing about vamps, brain-munchers and woofs.
I specialise in succubi. They’re familiar enough to be a recognisable horror trope, but they rarely show up in books or films, despite being popular in both computer games and Japanese anime/manga. I have more elbow room. It’s easier to get spotted by the web sites and forums that are interested in this kind of thing. These are the same places that potential new readers will stumble upon during random internet searches. So, getting this kind of write-up from possibly the most comprehensive information repository on succubi in media on the internet is fantastic word-of-mouth (thanks Tera!).
Will it translate to lots of sales?
I don’t know. I’m still a newbie at all this. There might be a very good reason why the niche is unexploited—there isn’t enough interest. I don’t know.
At the moment I’m trying to keep myself grounded. The book might only sell a few copies. Short story collections are traditionally hard sells.
I don’t care. It’s mine. It’s out there. I’m looking forward to the next stage of the adventure.