Looking to connect with me on social media? Links to all my official accounts can be found here:

<<<<---  If it is not on that list, it is not me. 

Please note that since 2013, there have shown up several FAKE "EelKat" accounts, often using photos stolen from my website. Those accounts are run by a stalker who also goes by the names Kendra Silvermander & Tom Addams. They are wanted by the FBI, so if you run across one of these fake accounts pretending to be me, please report it to FBI Agent in charge of the case: Andy Drewer.

EelKat's Guide To Writing Monster Porn
The Kboards Article Reprint

NOTE: This article was written for KBoards in 2012. It was updated on a near weekly basis until I removed it from Kboards in 2014 after my Kboards account was hacked. It started out around 7,000 words and grew to over 60,000 words. It was the biggest and most popular of the 1,371 articles I wrote for Kboards between 2007 and 2012. It continued to grow as readers asked for more details and I expanded the article to answer their questions. Because the article was written over the course of multiple years, there are multiple dates mentioned throughout it. Updates that were added to it after if was moved here to EelKat.com are bolded.

Note that this is a very old article and references publishing methods via Amazon, that were discontinued by Amazon in June 2015. While most of the info in this article is still relevant now in 2017, some parts of it are outdated.




***ETA: October 27, 2014:

As many of you know, my account was hacked/hijacked and a lot of horrible, child porn shit posted in place of my original posts. I started editing my posts back to their original state, but the hacker re-edited them again the next day.

I am now deleting everything off of my account. I have surgery next week, and too much shit going on offline with the town, to try to deal with playing stupid petty games with a forum troll. My health is not good, and we've been hit hard by the Ku Klux Klan this time. The entire crops of our farm have been destroyed, days before harvest. We have no food for the winter, and with snow season just days away, we have way to grow more.

This happening online the same time Joel Baily - a known hacker - was released from prison, the same man who hacked my accounts in 2007 and 2010 and who was involved in the attacks on our farm those times as well, happening again same time as the offline attacks, yet again, it appears to be Joel Bailey and Jim Thomas and Kendra Silvermander and their little "Ku Klux Klan" crew at it yet again.

Between my health and the vandals, I simply can not focus enough time online to try to deal with the things the hacker is doing to my account and just deleting everything. Life offline it a mess right now. It's a mess. I have too much going on offline in the real world to deal with someone's idea of a sick forum joke.

While deleting the Kboards posts today, I received a request just now to not delete this one; for the moment I'm leaving it up long enough for the requester to make a copy of it. If you want to make a copy of it, to save the info before it's gone, do it now. Because after the end of the weekend, I'm taking it down.****




[quote author=NAME REMOVED FOR BOOK PUBLICATION EDITION](NOTE: DETAILS OF QUESTION ASKER'S BOOK IDEA AND LIFE REMOVED FOR BOOK PUBLICATION EDITION - on the forum the asker's entire, very long, question had been posted, most of it has been removed from this book edition; only the parts that were specifically answered, remain here.)

My promo efforts weren't a failure; they just weren't as fantastic as some of you. I've got a bunch of new readers, a few of which have sent me messages to say how much they enjoyed the work. I'd always imagined that hearing from people who enjoyed what you did would be amazing, but I underestimated it. It's practically narcotic. I at to try my hand at writing Monster P*** (Can we say Porn on KB?), but I don't know where to begin. How do I get started in writing about Monsters? I hear it can make huge amounts of money fast. How do you market it. I'm worried I'm doing something wrong with my marketing. You had a list of places to market books. Can you repost it? i can't find it anywhere. I don't think I'm using the search feature right. Can you tell me about how you write and market Monster S-E-X stories? Are you writing in serial format? Is it easy to get started? I'm writing some Alice in Wonderland Lesbian Monster s-e-x stories...

...I kind of want to be a Kindle millionair. Haha. I thought monster erotica would help me get there....

...Are your shorts just eBooks do you do print? How many words per book? How many releases a week do you need in order to grow or sustain your income? Is it possible to write two novels a week?Do you write serials, series, or stand alones? How do you price your shorts? Is it possible to sell 100 books a day? When do you bundle them into an anthology? Do you make any print books for shorts? I don't see Kindle Singles doing it but I might be wrong. Is your focus erotica, erotic romance or both? What is your monthly income from erotica? (if willing to share) And, how does the use of one or more erotic/erotica pen names play into your strategy? Just wondering how much erotica one should read before having a good understanding of how to write good erotica? Do you all read everyday on the most current stuff? How many stories a day do you read? What should be revealed in the blurb/description? What promotional sites accept erotica listings?...

...What POV works best? I don't mind doing both (male or female POV), and while my idea of a Lesbian Alice in Wonderland is a fun romp through a s-e-xual-satirized Wonderland (point for plot point), I want to give an ending. I published a few volumes of it already (planning it as a serial) It's just not selling at all. Nada. Zip. :'(I kept wondering why, and then I read bits and bobbles about literary erotica not doing well and lesbian erotica being a hard sell, and moster erotica being hard to break into. I did use what I call a period voice for the piece. I'm thinking about breaking it up into 5 parts, new covers for each, and the covers will tie it together as a series.Does author gender make a differance. I'm writing it under my real male (male) perhaps I should use a female penname?...

...The second part to this is about literary erotica, and pure smut. Literary erotica doesn't seem to do as well as smut for smut's sake, but does your smut have a point to it (beginning, middle, end)? Think . . . one hour tv episodes, all leading up to a season finally. Or is it just smut for smutt's sake. I know you have multiple pennames. I'm not sure which books are yours. How much smut is in your erotica?...

...How do you end each episode? Do you use cliffhangers? I personally don't like cliffhangers, but I do think a book series should be like a tv series in a lot of ways. Each episode complete in and of itself, with an overall story arc leading to the series finale. As for the smut portion, should it have heaping helpings of smut without literary leanings? Shoot from the hip, pure potboilers. I'm taking it that they do well on the market? So, do you use cliffhangers? Why? Why not? You mentioned Pre-written plots somewhere. Where would someone buy or sell something like this? how do you use them?I've never heard of it before...

...It is mostly girl on girl (though Caterpillar is a host with the most), so I can see lack of sales in that respect. Maybe. Don't know. Can you weigh in on that? Is girl on girl action just not that popular?...

...I've always kept my SFF clean, being uncertain about my ability to write interesting s-e-x scenes, although I always wanted to. After seeing all the comments about various odd porn, I realized that I could probably write the alien stories I had never dared before, under a pseudonym. In all my current books, the s-e-x is off the page.

I am getting close to 20,000 words on a novella with a story I love and which involves very graphic scenes that develop the main character. In this case, the story is in the details. It's been quite liberating to be able to tell such a story, but as I get to the end, I have questions. I'm worried about racial dynamics and things like gratuitous s-e-x. Could it be seen as racism even if one character is not human? I have trouble writing interacial couples. I don't want to say the wrong thing or make a race seem over s-e-xualized...

...What sites should I sell at (besides Amazon)? Are there any I should avoid due to censorship? Who do you recommend for custom artwork (not photoshopped images, as this involves non-human males)?What price points would you recommend for 20,000 words?...

I asked these same questions on the forum last week. Do you know what people said to me? Take some classes... Apparently that writing degree I just got was a waste of time. And then the train wreck of accusations! Like I'm some newb who never wrote a thing before! Anyway, thank you all for telling me I'm a bad writer. This will be the last time I ask for advice here. Just as an FYI, this is not my first title. I have about 17 titles and they all sell. I have NEVER received a one star review or gotten comments about my lack of skill as a writer. Most of my reviews are five stars. So thank you all for the insult to injury. Everyone loves a winner but will join the stone throwing as soon as they see an opening...

...I guess the bottom line from the is that anyone selling a lot of books is only writing those books because they've sold out. The thing is, they doesn't personally know every writer. I write mysteries and I do very well. I started reading mysteries at age 3 starting with Tizz a Pony, moving to Trixie Beldon, Nancy Drew, Agatha Christie, etc. I specifically wrote my current bestselling series because it's exactly what I always wanted to write and was told by NY wouldn't sell. How exactly does that make me or anyone else like me a sell-out? I AM writing exactly what I want to. I AM writing it exactly the way I want to. The fact that other people also have a similar sense of humor hardly makes me a sell-out. It makes me darn lucky to make a great living doing exactly what I want. I know a LOT of other writers doing exactly the same. Where do they get off calling me a sell-out...

...Am I a sell-out because I wrote some lesbian monster erotica? No. It makes me committed to doing what I need to do to survive. Screw this "lazy writing" concept. People have bills to pay, and mouths to feed. My next book will be out soon. Will it sell a lot? Probably not. Will I bitch about it and blame it on those "lazy billionaire writers"? Those "lazy YA writers"? "Lazy Zombie writers" ? "Lazy Romance writers" ? You know what needs to die as a trope? The idea that someone's lack of success is anyone's fault but their own. If you put a bad cover on a book, its your fault. If you put out an unedited book, its your fault. If you pick an unpopular genre to write in, its your fault. If your book doesn't sell like you want it to, its your fault. Because that's the end goal here -- selling books. If selling books is not the goal, then what is? Self-improvement? Vanity? In the words of Tyler Durden "Self improvement is masturbation."

Tell me what you like/hate about Monster Porn. Is anything too cliché? What is your favorite part of writing Monster Porn? What techniques do you use? Is there a certain reading level you aim for in your writing? What do you do? Do you plan ahead? Do you just jump in on day one with no plot in mind? How does your family and/or friends feel about your books or writing ventures in general? How do you attract new readers to buy your books in droves?

...I'm sorry this is such a long question. Sorry about the rant at the end. But did you see the things they said to me?

[/quote]


Honey, compared to the answer you're about to get, your question, ain't long at all. Nope. It isn't. LOL!

And yes, I did see the other thread. It was brutal. I'm often shocked by the things authors can think to say to other authors on a public Google searchable forum. It's a complete lack of professionalism on their part. Everything you say, reflects on your career, and believe it or not, if you diss another author on a forum, it IS going to stop your sales. Honey, just because readers ain't posting here, doesn't mean they ain't reading every word you say. Don't worry about them. Ignore them. Haters are gonna hate. Evil is as evil does. They are just shooting themselves in both feet, because their readers are going to find every word they say and, and see how shittily they treated you (and others) and their readers are just gonna be so disgusted with them, that they'll return all their books and never buy another book by them again. Stand tall and hold you head high, in the knowledge that you did not take part in their failed attempt to drag you into a childish forum war.

Well, you have asked a lot of questions. I'll give you that. Thank you for contacting me directly with this. I don't answer private messages privately, so, this is going in a thread on Monster Porn. Look for it there. 

I write Monster Porn in serial form and stand-alone form. It's one of those genres that's difficult to get started in, but once you get a few devoted readers, they will gobble up everything you write and word of mouth sort of does the rest. I have a list of promo places, but, am on my way out at the moment. I'm posting this comment now to bookmark this thread so I can find it again. I will come back with an actual answer post for you when I get home again tonight.

It's gonna take me a few hours to get a complete answer written. You've asked a lot of good questions here and I'd like to take the time to answer all of them in detail. So, I'll be back in a few hours with a detailed answer for you.

For a quickie, I'll say this:

If you REALLY have your heart set on being a millionaire, you are going to have to market the hell out of your book. 

First off, one of the self-publishing gururs, whoauthors like to point to is: Christopher Paolini author of Erragon. Not your genre, I know. Not close to Monster Porn either, but he is considered by many to be the first "Self Published Millionaire", so let's look at how he did it. Look at how many millions he made and the movies and the toy franchise, blah, blah, blah,... . okay, first off. He didn't make millions with a self pubbed book, and he was a 14 year old kid who had $12,000 in spare change sitting in his pocket. How many 14 year olds do you know of, who have $12,000 in spare change just laying around? He became an overnight "self-publishing millionaire" because he took, what he called in one interview "spare change" and paid $12,000 for a one day, full color, full page ad, in the New York Times newspaper. By the end of the week, he had a Big 5 book publisher offering him a hard cover deal, requesting he turn the book into a trilogy, and contacting directors about making the movies. The kid was the son of a millionaire, and was ALREADY a millionaire BEFORE he wrote the book, and was able to buy his way to the top, the same way John Locke did.

Only in John Locke's case he bought hundreds of fake 5 star reviews, only paid a measly little $25,000 for them. John Locke, is the other so-called "self-publishing millionaire" people talk about. He spent $25k in marketing his books, BEFORE he sold a single copy. Not many people have $25k in extra cash just laying around, so, becoming a Kindle millionaire is not as easy as to get-rich-quick books tell you, because for the most part, it takes money to make money.

Okay, do you see my point? If you want to be a millionaire with self-publishing, you do what the millionaires of self-publishing did: already have a million dollars before you start writing and use it to pay for mass scale marketing.

Or, you do what the first (and ONLY) actual "Kindle Millionaire" did. Amanda Hocking, published 8 books the same day, (books she had written years earlier but never published) and then continued to publish a new book every few weeks, raking up a huge back list in a very short amount of time. Her books were a series, so everybody who bought volume 1, came back a few days later to buy volume 2, and returned a few days later to buy volume 3, etc. Her new editions have nice pretty covers and are edited, but her first editions, the ones that made her that first million dollars, had plain, blank covers, shoddy font, and were not edited. The secret to her success was not cover art, editing, or anything else. The secret to her success, was quantity, quantity, quantity, and timing. She released her teenage vampire stories, days after the final volume of Twilight was published. People who were looking for a new vampire teen romance series to replace the recently ended Twilight series, flocked to her books like it was the end of the world. Word of mouth did the rest. she did not market her books. She intentionally wrote for the mass market, simply writing the thing she loved 9in her case teen vampires) targeted a super hot trend, just as it's fans were going into a frenzy, and she wrote a freaking damned lot of it to feed the mass hoards of Eddy fans looking for a new vampire to obsess over.

If you want to be a self-publishing millionaire, starting with nothing, then do what Amanda Hockings did. She had nothing when she started. Literally. No money. No money to pay the rent. No money to take a trip, she desperately wanted to go on. No clue how she was going to make ends meet... and three months later she was a millionaire. And in spite of what all the Kindle Millionaire how to succeed books on Amazon tell you: The Kindle Millionaire is an urban myth that doesn't exist. There is only 1 Kindle millionaire: Amanda Hocking. That's it. No one else. Don't be suckered into the lie those scammy books are trying to sell you.

How do you become a Kindle millionaire?

Do what Amanda Hockings did:

Write, publish, write, publish, write, publish, write, publish, write, publish, write, publish, write, publish, write, publish, write, publish, write, publish, write, publish, write, publish, write, publish, write, publish, write, publish, write, publish, write, publish, write, publish, write, publish, repeat... 

Don't worry about covers, don't worry about editing, just:

Write, publish, write, publish, write, publish, write, publish, write, publish, write, publish, write, publish, write, publish, write, publish, write, publish, write, publish, write, publish, write, publish, write, publish, write, publish, write, publish, write, publish, write, publish, write, publish, repeat... 

Don't worry about marketing or promos, just:

Write, publish, write, publish, write, publish, write, publish, write, publish, write, publish, write, publish, write, publish, write, publish, write, publish, write, publish, write, publish, write, publish, write, publish, write, publish, write, publish, write, publish, write, publish, write, publish, repeat... 

It's all about quantity, quantity, quantity.

That's is, only this and nothing more.

Five stories published isn't gonna cut it. You need a hundred. Two hundred. Three hundred. Or more. So...

Write, publish, write, publish, write, publish, write, publish, write, publish, write, publish, write, publish, write, publish, write, publish, write, publish, write, publish, write, publish, write, publish, write, publish, write, publish, write, publish, write, publish, write, publish, write, publish, repeat... 

I know, I'm repeating myself a lot here, but in this bussines, that what you do. You write. You publish. You repeat. Write. Publish. Repeat. Success in this business is all about repetition. It's all about keeping your readers coming back for more and more and more and more, and hoping they tell their friends, or also come back for more and then tell their friends. that's the only secret to success in this business.

You can market all you want, but, when push comes to shove, the only way to REALLY make money is to just write, publish, write, publish, write, publish, write, publish, write, publish, write, publish, write, publish, repeat... 

Now, I'm assuming that since your goal is to make a million dollars via self-publishing, that you therefore do not already have a million dollars to spend on marketing, and so will have to find other ways of making millions with your books, without money or with as little money as possible.

If you are going to market your books, but don't want to spend a lot of money, try these:

https://www.fiverr.com/bknights 

http://www.genrepulse.com/how-it-works/

http://sweetfreebooks.com/advertise/

I've used Sweet Free Books for serials and novellas (and Erotica shorts, including Monster Porn - not many sites will take Monster Porn, know that now - I have a list of 300+ places to market your books, but only about a dozen of them accept Monster Porn - a lot of people REALLY hate this genre, and they are going to tell you so; you will get steamrollers by hate mail once you start writing Monster porn, so brace yourself for that, and be prepared to have a lot of marketing doors slamming in your face the moment you say you want to market Monster Porn on their site - when I said this genre is hard to break into - I really mean it. You are going to have religion crazed lunatics, damning you to hell and praying for your soul, and going on a hellfire vendetta to everything in their power to get your books banned - be prepared for war, be prepared to fight for your right to publish this genre.

Know too that Monster porn is the hardest hit genre by Amazon's famous Adult Filter Dungeon - once you start writing Monster Porn every day is going to be a constant battle to keep the mass hordes of haters from tearing your career to shreds.

Sweet Free Books is one of the few that loves Monster Porn), for volumes as short as 7k. (I've never tried to market anything under 7k here, not sure how much shorter then 7k they accept). I try to use them every time I have a Select free days promo going on. It was $5 last time I used it but they had a note on their site saying the price might go up soon. They are one of the few "bigger" sites that accepts both shorts and Erotica. They do have review restrictions though. I think it was, you have to have at least five 3* reviews. Something like that, but you can submit it to a category they have for books seeking reviews.

Sweet Free Books has 230k subscribers, and I've talked to authors who've gotten downloads in the ten of thousands for books in the popular genres (Contemporary Romance Novels and Thriller Novels).

I'm usually dealing with super-small niche sub-genres that don't get a lot of downloads (as in 100 total for the 5 days is seen as a good day) and every time I've done one of these little niche books on Sweet Free Books, I've had it downloaded 200+ times per day of the promo. That's not a lot when you compare to the bigger more popular genres, but when you consider how hard it is to give away even a few copies of these tiny niches, you realize how big a boost Sweet Free Books really chucked their way. Short Stories are hard to move, then I complicate it by writing hard to move niche genres besides. And yet I always get at least a few hundred downloads a day on them via Sweet Free Books. These are books I've tried listing on tons of other sites and barely seen 10 downloads a day on. I don't know what the difference is with Sweet Free Books, but I've always had my best results with them, even on the tiny niches no one ever downloads!

I don't waste my time marketing my books on the super expensive sites, the ones that charge you hundreds of dollars for a single link in their newsletter (BookBub being the most popular, and most expensive one) because my niche is too small to warrant the amount of money they charge. Most readers looking for my niche are not going to be looking for it in the BookBub newsletter. However, if you are writing a popular genre like Romance, BookBub and places like them are definitely worth the money.

I've personally known a few dozen authors who took out a single day BookBub add and had their book go from a few dozen sales a week, to 10,000 sales the week after the ad. BookBub is HUGE, with millions of members, but those one day single link ads also cost around $800, and the waiting list, can be several months to more than a year out from when you apply. You could apply for an ad today, and not get placement for another 8 or 9 months. Competition to get an ad in BookBub is fierce, and your book has to go through a qualifying process.

Bookbub's guidelines change every few months, getting stricter and more difficult to get into with each change. If your book qualifies, you can afford it, and you can wait for an open slot, BookBub is going to be your best bet for getting your book in front of the most readers.

Now, like I said, I have an appointment, so I don't have time to write a long post right now (no, what you just read, was NOT a long post - what you just read was a VERY SHORT post for me. Yeah. I know. But I have Autism and secretarial training I type 91 words a minute, so yeah, anyways. I'll be back tonight. I'll bring my promo-list with me and, I'll write up a more details and specifically answer to your questions about Monster Porn. see you then. Until then, lots of love and kisses. Have a glorious day~ EelKat


ETA: okay, I'm back. Let's get down to answering your questions.


First Some thoughts:

There is a new trend rising in Monster Porn, right now, thanks to that article interviewing Virginia Wade of Cum For BigFoot fame (you know, that one that went out October 2013 and inaccurate said she was making $30k a month on that one book?), and considering you are not the only person to contact me asking about Monster Porn this week, I expect, most of the Monster Porn authors who have public contact information are being contacted this week, as a direct result of that article. I expect we'll be seeing a lot of new Monster Porn authors popping up all over the place very shortly.

There is a new trend, just popping up in Monster Porn. If you want to jump on the wave as it's just getting started: Female Monsters abducting male humans. Readers have been actively contacting Monster Porn authors requesting this for the past couple of months. There are fewer than a dozen F/m Monster Porn books on Amazon right now. If you can write F/M Monster Porn, readers want it and are actively requesting it.

Also, there have been requests from readers for "reverse" Monster Porn: a male human, abducting a female monster or a female human abducting a male monster. Or, as well be seen in a new series I've got planed, male humans, abducting male monsters.

Also there are more and more readers requesting "Sweet Romance" (sex-free) Monster Porn. There is not much sexless Monster Porn out there, and a lot of readers are requesting it. There are a LOT of readers who want to read Monster Porn but don't want to read Erotica, so if you can write "Sweet Romance" (clean, sexless) Monster Porn, there is demand for that niche.

I go to both extremes. When my stuff is clean, it is very, very good, but when my stuff is bad it's nasty. I do both clean and high heat Monster Porn. Most of my Monster Porn falls into "soft porn" rather then "hard porn". I like to explore the romance side of the relationship more then the sex. There are fewer readers for the "Sweet" and "Soft" stuff, so, the less sex you put in your Monster Porn, the fewer sales you can expect. Most of the big sellers in Monster Porn, are stories with high heat levels, lots of hard core sex for the sake of sex, but even so, are often still far tamer then standard non-Monster Erotica.

I write for 2 vastly different audiences.

On the one hand I write what could be called "children's Sci-Fi/Fantasy", not really children's stories per sae, but rather child safe stories 100% clean: no swearing, no sex, no violence, sweet talking cats with butterfly wings, giant mushroom forests, villains so sugary sweet they make good guys in my other books look like bad guys...very 1980s Rainbow Bright, Herself the Elf, Strawberry Shortcake, RosePetal Place style Monster Porn... in space with hovercrafts and star ships, sort of thing.)

Than on the other hand I also write M-rated XXX "Splatter Punk Gorn" (Gore Porn): axe wielding serial killers, rapist doctors in insane asylums, bloodbaths in haunted houses, creatures lurking in shadows waiting to lop your head off, illegal sex fetishes, wild mer men in lurid sex scenes ending with dismembered dead girls stashed in underwater caves, sex crazed drug addicted male faeries chasing down human girls to rape them before eating them, sadistic cult leaders, aliens hell bent on invading earth to abduct women for sexual purposes... 

I mean, you read one and think "Oh how sweet! I'll get this for my grandbaby", and than you read the other and go "OMG! What the freaking fuck? What did I just read?". A close friend was reading my stuff a while back and he made the comment: "I don't understand you, you go from cute fluffy bunnies to psycho killers...where's the connection? How can you write about cuddly animals one day and all this crazy gory stuff the next? I don't get you at all."

I don't know, I can't explain it, maybe it's me rebelling against writing such overly clean stuff one day by writing the extreme of everything else the next? But anyways, yeah, I do write totally 100% spotlessly clean stuff, but it's offset by my also writing stuff that is the farthest thing from clean as well. And in Monster Porn: you can do that. 

Mine has a tendency to lean toward more Horror themed then Romance themed, but are also more Romance then Erotica. In the first Monster Porn I ever wrote the monster strangled the girl to death at the end and that kind of set the tone for all the rest. The 10th anniversary special edition re-release of that one comes out on this pen name October 16, 2016, which is of course the tenth anniversary of it's original release date. After that one is released, my other titles are being moved off their original pen names over to this pen name after that, and that will be ongoing throughout 2016/2017.

Most of my Monster Porn has the same basic formula (which runs 4k to 12k) and goes like this:

  • Human (girl or guy) has big bad event happen 
  • Life gets worse and worse
  • Another big, bad event. Damn, life has just gone to shit, can it get any worse?
  • Enter stage right: The Monster.
  • Oh hell, life just got worse, now I'm abducted by a damned monster and no one will help me.
  • Must escape. How do I get out of here?
  • Eh, monster don't seem so scary now that I'vee gotten to know him.
  • Life with monster ain't that bad, actual, life with monster is pretty great.
  • Big bad event, moster gets hurt or life threatened, at the same time human finds chance to escape.
  • Yay! I'm free! I can go home!
  • Damn it, I can't leave the monster to his fate, I have to go back to help him.
  • Helps monster. Realizes is in love with monster and decides to stay.
  • BOOM! SEX!

Choose one of these endings:

  • --#1: Monster eats/murders/kills human, The end.
  • --#2: Monster sends human home, human has new perspective on life and turns life around for the better, The end.
  • --#3: Something happens to monster, is hurt, captured, etc, To be continued.
  • --#4: Something happens to human, is hurt, captured, etc, To be continued.
  • --#5: Human leaves monster, but discovers she is pregnent, To be continued.
  • --#6: Human stays with monster, and discovers she is pregnent, To be continued.
  • --#7: Human stays with monster, something happens to hint to a new adventure about to take place, To be continued.
  • --#8: Monster sends human home, human can't live without monster, decides to find him, To be continued.

The first one I wrote went like this:

  • Girl on cruise.
  • Storm arrives.
  • Girl wakes up on deserted island
  • Hopes to be rescued
  • Tide comes in, suddenly she realizes the island is more of a sandbar and is fast vanishing.
  • Rescued/Captured by Were-Eel Merman (the EelMan which became my signature monster)
  • Trapped in underwater cave with EelMan
  • Tries to escape
  • Finds cave in cave, EelMan won't let her near it
  • Falls in love
  • Sex
  • Plans on happy ever after, forgets loverboy is not human and is very much a true monster
  • Girl let's guard down
  • Monster kills girl
  • Cabe in cave, is revealed to be a room full of human bones; all the ship wrecked humans he's eaten over the years
  • Rescue party looking for survivors, finds girl's remains on beach, assumes she died in ship wreck
  • The end

That went out as a freebie to my readers on October 16, 2004. I called it just plain old Horror back then. They loved it. It went on to become my most requested story for quite some time, and in 2006 was made into a stage play. The story got reprinted in a few small indie literary magazines, then had a play script edition of it printed up in paperback. But there was never an e-edition of it released.

The original book (2004) was just 4k words long, and was REALLY tame, because it was my first "Erotica" and I was still suffering from being "too shy to write sex". However, this book is the one that my fans always go back to as one of their favorites.

The play (which came out in 2006) had all sex removed, and all dialogue removed, and the whole thing was done as a modern dance ballet. In the play edition, the waves and sea creatures became characters. It was quite a bit different from the book.

It went out of print in 2008.

On my 35th anniversary (September 23, 2013 - first book I published was that date 1978) I sent out a notice to my fans, telling them I was going to release special editions of some of my old out of print stories. The Pearl Necklace won hands down as the one every one wanted to see back in print. I was getting emails:

"Please re-release that EelMan story, I love the EelMan! But can you rewrite it and make it longer, maybe put more sex in it" 

and 

"Oh, I loved that one with the eel and the pearls, that was just the best monster you ever did! can you add more sex to the new edition?"

and 

"The one with the ship wreck and the WereEel, I haven't read that in years, that one was my favorite, can't find it anywhere, please bring that one back!" 

Every email, was saying the same thing.There was no question, that The Pearl Necklace was the one that had to come back first. Everyone wanted it, in spite of the VERY not a happy ending. It really has a horrible ending and that didn't matter at all, they still loved it. I never listed that one as Erotica, always listed it as Horror, because of the way it ends.

The expanded edition (to be released in 2016) is 10k and at reader requests has had more sex added to it.

**(April 2015 UPDATE: The Ku Klux Klan attacks are worse, kidnapping, murder, and the mass destruction of our farm, has resulted in a book publish hiatus until further notice)***

But that story, The Pearl Necklace, that was it. That was the turning point in my career. Before that story I had never had a "big hit". (Note that not only was The Pearl Necklace a big hit with my fans, but, it became a cult favorite among my fans and set me on the path to writing about sex with monsters).

I had one flop after another. Lots of them. It was discouraging really. I had written The Pearl Necklace in a single day off the top of my head. It took me, like 2 hours to write it. It was not the first time I had used this EelMan character, nor was it the last, but it was the first time I had used him as a quasi-Romance character and that version of him, just hit a tap root with my readers. All of a sudden I had readers emailing me asking for more. They loved him as a romantic villain.:-\

And more I gave them, and the whole thing just evolved from there.

I'm closing in on my 10th anniversary of my first Monster Porn story, and The Pearl Necklace is still today the standard I use to write all my Monster Porn by. I used that first one to create a mini-beat-sheet, that I use to write all my Monster Porn by:

(You can use these beat sheets if you want to, can keep them as is or change them up. -just don't copy them to publish - I've had a problem with people copying my Kboards posts and trying to resell them as pdfs on the Warrior's Forum. And if you want a more detailed beat sheet, I highly recommend this one: http://www.paper-dragon.com/1939/dent.html Not mine, I didn't create it, but I often use this, and apply mine to it, so combine them together.)

Here is a basic beat sheet I created for myself, that I use with many of my Monster Porn stories:

For Shorter Stories (5k to 15k):

  • Girl/Boy has happy life turned upside down by horrible event.
  • Girl/Boy finds them-self in distress
  • Hopes to be rescued
  • Drama/Tragedy/Things getting worse/No hope in sight
  • Rescued/Captured/Taken/Saved by Monster
  • Trapped/Captured/Prisoner/Pet/Slave of Monster
  • Escape attempt (fails) 
  • Falls in love with Monster
  • Sex with Monster

Pick an ending:


  • #1:
  • Plans on happy ever after, forgets loverboy is not human and is very much a true monster
  • Killed by Monster
  • Body found by friend/family/search party/police/etc
  • The end 

(no sequels happen)

For an example of how I took this beat sheet and applied it to a quasi-not-quite-Monster Porn story, see: The Ghost of Willowhurst Manor: Formerly: The Mystery of Willowhurst Manor: A Ghostly Tale of Gothic Horror 

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00MT5AY14 (2016 update - this book was unpublished, by a court order issued by the Untied States of America government - find out why here.)


  • --#2: Monster sends human home, human has new perspective on life and turns life around for the better, The end.

 (The Pearl Necklace)

(2006 stage play cover)

(EelKat's Twisted Tales)

(2016 10th anniversary edition)

  • --#3: Something happens to monster, is hurt, captured, etc, To be continued.

(BoomFuzzy; The Vulgar Alchemist; The Ruby Hummingbird)

(The Quaraun series)

(The Quaraun series)

(Friends Are Forever: The Twighlight Manor series)

  • --#4: Something happens to human, is hurt, captured, etc, To be continued.

 (The City of the Screaming Statues; Captured By the Memegwasi)

(original 1st ed cover art)

(The Quaraun series)

  • --#5: Human leaves monster, but discovers she is pregnant, To be continued.
  • The Night of the Red Lightning (My Alien Lover Book 1), follows this model.

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00Y5CN9DY

(2016 update - the My Alien Lover series was unpublished, by a court order issued by the Untied States of America government - find out why here.)

(Trapped By The FarDarrig series also follows this)

For Quaraun fans... Vol 1 of Trapped by the FarDarrig series, was re-written into a Quaraun story in 2014... The Vampire Leprechaun of Fire Mountain

And of course in Monster Porn you have such things as pregnant men (Mpreg) resulting in stories like Picking The Perfect Pickle

  • --#6: Human stays with monster, and discovers she is pregnant, To be continued.

PHOTO (The Lonely Kelpie)

  • --#7: Human stays with monster, something happens to hint to a new adventure about to take place, To be continued.

PHOTO (Jungle Girl)

  • --#8: Monster sends human home, human can't live without monster, decides to find him, To be continued.

The Night of The Screaming Unicorn: A Bizarro Fantasy (The Adventures of Quaraun the Insane Book 1), follows this format. While it is Monster Porn, it is not however Erotica, they are two different things.

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00N97L1D6

Sometimes I use it as is, other times I change it around, but that's the outline I often start with as a jumping off point. Sometimes, for longer stories, I use that beat sheet, slightly expanded:

For longer stories (15k to 50k):


  • --Girl/Boy has happy life turned upside down by horrible event.
  • --Girl/Boy finds them-self in distress
  • --Hopes to be rescued
  • --Drama/Tragedy/Things getting worse/No hope in sight
  • --Rescued/Captured/Taken/Saved by Monster
  • --Trapped/Captured/Prisoner/Pet/Slave of Monster
  • --Escape from Monster
  • --Captured/Taken by Monster again
  • --Second escape attempt (fails) 
  • --Something happens, moster is Hurt/Trapped/Captured/Taken/Prisoner
  • --Girl/Boy escapes, free at last, heads for home
  • --Girl/Boy feels guilty, goes back to save monster
  • --Falls in love with Monster
  • --Sex with Monster
  • --Plans on happy ever after, forgets loverboy is not human and is very much a true monster
  • --More sex with Monster
  • --Monster loses interest goes back to being a Monster elsewhere
  • --Girl/Boy found by friend/family/search party/police/etc
  • --The end... ?

sometimes... .

  • --often has a sequel, where love sick Girl/Boy goes looking for Monster
  • --If it was a male monster/female human, then pregnancy is often the theme for #2, and is the reason the female human tries to find Monster daddy
  • --If it was a female monster/male human; then pregnancy is often the theme for #2, is the reason Monster mommy has gone off by herself
  • --If it was male human/male monster; human can't stop thinking about monster and seeks monster out
  • --if 2 is last part will end with HEA
  • --the sequel will have HFN ending if a part 3 is planned
  • --if more then 2 parts, usually there are 5 parts; 2/3/4 HFN, with 5 HEA
  • --which ever sequel is final one it ends with human staying on as monster's "bonded soul mate"

I do not list them as Erotica, because they are more story/character driven, and less sex driven, then typical Erotica; I list them under Fantasy, Science Fiction, Dark Fantasy, Horror, Gay Fiction, and/or Literary Fiction, depending on the theme of the story.

Sometimes I add a note in the blurb which reads something like:

"MATURE CONTENT WARNING: This story contains strong sexual content and is intended for adults only!" 

But usually, my stories are too "soft" to be considered mature content. Most of my stories are not seen as being erotic and the few times Amazon has moved them to Erotica, they got bombarded with complaints from readers, angry over the lack of sex in the "Erotica" section.

***ETA: May 30, 2015: (NOTE: Do keep in mind that the words "mature content warning" and/or "for adults only" can sometimes trigger Amazon's adult filter to be placed on the book, even if it is not in Erotica... yes, in recent months, non-Erotica books are being dungeoned. Amazon has caught on to the little scam a lot of Erotica authors have been playing, of putting Erotica in non-Erotica categories.) *** 

DO NOT put your Erotica in non-Erotica categories!

I know a lot of Erotica authors, especially several of the big names, have been writing blog posts advising authors to put Erotica in other categories, but Amazon is actively chopping those books down to the dungeon now, so that little "trick" doesn't work anymore.

And if you are asking me why I can say that and then say I don't put my Monster Porn in Erotica... well, there's a big but coming up... here it is... 

BUT!

But, I'm also not writing hard core Erotica in these stories. Most of my Monster stories lean more into "Soft Porn", meaning, you could have 50,000 words of story with a single 300 word sex scene near the end. Or as is often the case, a 90,000 word story with NO SEX AT ALL! This is why I say Monster Porn is quite different from Monster Erotica. Porn means obsession. Erotica means sex. You can have Porn without sex, but you can not have Erotica without sex. Many people misuse the word "porn" as being synonymous with sex, when in fact the word "porn" has nothing to do with sex at all.

In order to be Porn you have to have someone obsessed with something. Monster Porn, means quite simply that you have a character who is obsessed with monsters.

Whereas in order to be Erotica, you must have a character who is obsessed with having sex as often as possible, and Monster Erotica means a character who is obsessed with having sex with monsters.

  • Monster PORN often is sweet and containts NO sex.
  • Monster Erotica ALWAYS contains sex.

I think this confusion about the meaning of the word "porn" and the fact that the Quaraun series is classified as "Unicorn Porn" is why so many people mistakenly call the Quaraun series Erotica, even though there is almost no sex in the series at all, and out of 130+ volumes there are only about 10 sex scenes total.

THAT IS NOT Erotica, and if I were to put it in Erotica, the Erotica readers would have screaming hootenannies. 

My 5k Monster Porn stories are often a lot of inner dialogue from the main character, with less then 500 words of sexx, and it's often mild sex. Dang, it's sometimes fade-to-black sex. Heck, sometimes sex is only hinted to, and they couple don't even kiss on page. Sometimes the story is so danged 100% squeaky clean, that you could read it from a church pulpit on Sunday.

Never forget that Monster Porn means "obsessed with monsters" NOT "sex with monsters" and while MOST Monster Porn is about sex with monsters, not all Monster Porn contains sex or is about sex at all. And THIS is what I'm talking about when I say the Monster Porn I write, is not Erotica and should not be placed in Erotica.

REMEMBER: Erotica readers want sex, sex, sex, sex, sex, sex, sex, not story, story, story, story, story, sex, story.

If your Monster Porn is sex, sex, sex, sex, sex, sex, sex, then put it in Erotica, because that's where it belongs.

If your Monster Porn is story, story, story, story, story, sex, story, then DON'T put it in Erotica, because that is NOT where it belongs. Put it in Fantasy And science Fiction instead.

If your Monster Porn is story, sex, story, sex, story, sex, story, then it MAY belong in Erotica but probably belongs in Erotic Romance or Romance>Erotica.

Getting you Monster Porn into the CORRECT category is important. Don't go putting pure Erotica in the genre categories and don't go putting a genre story in Erotica.

MOST Monster Porn should be in Erotica, because MOST Monster Porn is high sex content. More likely than not, you'll be writing Monster Porn that belongs in the Erotica category, and if you do, then make sure you put it in the Erotica category.

I've actually never listed any of my Monster Porn under Erotica, because while the sex scenes are at times outright graphic porn, at most they'll be at most two sex scenes and all total the sex will be less then 1/3 of the word count. I don't think there is enough sex to qualify them in Erotica (and readers agree - I've asked them, and many have said they would expect more sex scenes for the word count, to make it Erotica and said they would not look for Monster Porn like mine in Erotica sections of a book store.)

Categories can make or break a book's sales as well. Unfortunately, while we can select two categories, the rest Amazon slaps on our books willy nilly. One of my books has been placed automatically in "Religious> Christian" - I'm just looking at that and going: What? Why? It's not either.

I have one book, which is Horror, a story about a haunted house. It contains one very minor sex scene in it, nothing really, and nothing smexy on the cover or in the description, nothing, but Amazon has put it in Erotica! It got three 1* reviews complaining that the book was not Erotica and shouldn't be in Erotica, which is how I found out Amazon moved it over into Erotica. Why did Amazon put it in Erotica? I've no clue. But, they did. I've edited the keywords and categories 4 or 5 times now, and for a few days it's back in Horror where it belongs, then a week or so later - boom, there it is back in Erotica again. I have to keep contacting Amazon over and over again. They keep moving it out of Erotica apologizing, then a few days later: BOOM, it's back in Erotica. No clue why.

I have a friend who writes Erotica, and one day she was telling me that one of her books got bombarded with 1* reviews in a single day - more then 70 of them, and she was baffled by the reviews. I went and looked at her book, and sure enough 70+ one star reviews in a single day. I started reading them, and they were all from angry moms and school teachers... the complaint? That the book was listed in Middle Grade Children's Books for ages 8 to 10. - it had a cartoon skeleton on the cover and was a comedy about a girl who turned "undead" every time she had sex. his book was in no way anything close to being for kids and she had listed it in Erotica, but somehow Amazon saw fit to move it to middle grade 8-10! Only thing we could think of was it had to be someone at Amazon looked at the cartoon cover and moved it to children's books manually without reading the description.

I really wish we had more control over the categories, because it's very frustrating when we get bad reviews complaining the book is in the wrong category and the readers think we the authors put it there, when Amazon moved it out of where we put it and put it in a place it doesn't belong. A lot of readers write mean hate filled reviews, calling authors nasty names like "retard" and saying the author is stupid for not putting the books in the right category, not realizing that we authors have no control over what section the bookstore decided to shelve our books on. 

When I asked readers to help me classify my books, a few told me that my Monster Porn "Literary Erotica" and "Erotic Horror"so I've started listing it that way in the blurbs of the new editions. They said it felt "Literary" because in spit of the high heat level of the sex itself, they had to read through a lot of character dialogue and emotions to get to the sex scenes; and that they felt it was "Horror" because of the lack of HEA endings. They said Erotica should end on a happy note, and most every one of mine ended with a heart pounded "What the hell? He ate her!?" They said that it was the grizzly, blood and guts endings that made then NOT be Erotica regardless of sex content. Most readers told me, that they did not feel it was Erotica at all, but rather Fantasy, Science Fiction, Horror, or Paranormal Romance (depending on the story in question.)

So, when you are asking me for advice on writing Monster Porn, I think the question to toss back at you would be: "Have you ever read any of MY Monster Porn?" Like I sad before, Monster Porn comes in lots of flavors. Not only do you have the Romance heat level to consider, but you also have the Horror levels to consider as well. Just as Monster Porn can run from Sweet & Sexless to XXX-Super Sex Erotica, so to can it run from Mildly Spooky to Stomach Wrenching Gut Churning Splatter Punk Slasher Gorn.

Remember, you asked about writing Monster Porn, not Paranormal Romance. So I am giving you an answer about Monster Porn and not Paranormal Romance. Much of what I'm saying here can be applied to Paranormal Romance. I mention this, because I have found it is not uncommon for someone to ask me about Monster Porn, when they intended to write Paranormal Romance, but were unaware that Paranormal Romance was a separate genre. You can take ANY monster and use him as a stand in for any Romance hero, but that will not make the story Monster Porn, that simply makes it Paranormal Romance. 

ALWAYS REMEMBER: Monster Porn is a subgenre of Horror, NOT a subgenre of either Romance or Erotica. 

  • Romance MUST have a happy ever after ending
  • Erotica MUST have a happy for now ending.
  • Horror RARELY has a happy ending... it can, but usually it does not.

And therefore...

  • Paranormal Romance MUST have a happy ever after ending
  • Monster Erotica MUST have a happy for now ending.
  • Monster Porn RARELY has a happy ending... it can, but usually it does not.

Keep the ending requirements in mind, because readers of each genre, expect a certain ending, and if you mess that up, they'll complain. A LOT~!

If all you girl does is get fucked by a monster and be all titilated over it then you are writing Paanormal Erotica, not Monster Porn.


In Paranormal Romance, the "monsters" act human. In Monster Porn, they are monsters. They eat people, they crush cars, stomp on houses, rip heads off babies, eat the main character's lover, etc. In Monster Porn, the monster is NOT Fabio with fangs and fur. Monster Porn monsters are feral and primal, and are likely to rip the girl's head off soon as they are done fucking her.

REMEMBER:  You are not writing Romance with monsters in it, you are writing Horror that takes a look at a monster's mating habits. 

You can't write Monster Porn is you don't know how to write Horror.

What is horror? 

When you think of horror stories what do you think of?  For most people one of three things seems to be the first answer they think of: Vincent Price, Stephen King, or Dracula (and the other Universal Studios Monsters). 

Okay. So these things/ people/ movies/ books embody all that we think of when we think of horror, but what exactly IS this thing called horror? What is it about Vincent Price, Stephen King, and Dracula that sends shivers down your spine, and thrills and enthralls you with mesmerizing fear? 

Is it blood? No. Can't be, rarely do we actually see blood in connection with the three classic kings of horror. 

Guts and gore? Nope, those aren't there either. 

You are now scratching your head and wondering... well, if it isn't blood, guts, and gore, that makes good horror stories good, than what?

Lets take a look at what the dictionary has to say about horror, shall we?

horror:

noun;

  • 1. Intense and profound fear
  • 2. Something that inspires horror; something horrible.
  • 3. Intense aversion.

fear:

noun;

  • 1. An emotion experienced in anticipation of some specific pain or danger (usually accompanied by a desire to flee or fight).
  • 2. An anxious feeling.

verb;

  • 1. Be afraid or feel anxious or apprehensive about a possible or probable situation or event.
  • 2. Be afraid or scared of; be frightened of. 


So, What is horror? 

Horror is what scares you. You want to write a good horror story? Don't fill it with blood, guts, and gore, that is not horror, that is just graphic violence. If your readers want graphic violence, all they need to do is turn on the 6:00 news. No, your readers want horror. They want to be scared out of their wits, they want to be afraid...very afraid.

But how do you go about scaring your readers, if you don't splatter your pages with blood and gore? Well, think about it this way, doesn't everyone always say [i]"Write what you know"? [/i]Well, what are [i]you[/i] afraid of? What scares [i]you[/i]? Pick your worst fear, the thing that sends you to bed with all the lights on. If it scares you, than it sure as hell, is going to scare your readers too.

Real people have real fears. You as a writer, have the ability to take those very real fears, and dress them up, use your reader as you main character. Psychological fears create psychological terrors, equals a story so horrific that your readers won't dare sleep at night. 

I have provided here a list of common real phobias that send shivers of terror down the spines of everyday humans on a daily basis in the real world. I have listed them in the order of what seem to be the most common or most prevalent fears first, and ending with the least common and more rarely seen fears last. It should inspire some fearful subjects for you to scare your readers with.

I hope.

  • Fear of the dark.
  • Fear of bridges.
  • Fear of things unknown.
  • Fear of the end of the world, natural disaster, or other impending doom.
  • Fear of being judged.
  • Fear of going to hell after death.
  • Fear of small rooms, elevators, and closed in spaces.
  • Fear of being followed.
  • Fear of death, or the threat of being killed.
  • Fear of being lost, either in the forest or a large city.
  • Fear of squishy things, especially stepping on, or reaching into a dark place and grabbing one.
  • Fear of snakes.
  • Fear of bugs, insects, ticks, and spiders.
  • Fear of rats and mice.
  • Fear of strangers.
  • Fear of closed doors.
  • Fear of bathrooms, toilets, and tub drains.
  • Fear of stairs, attics, basements, closets, under the bed, and that little room down the hall...
  • Fear of water, esp. lakes and rivers.
  • Fear of being alone.
  • Fear of dogs.
  • Fear of eating something that was not supposed to be in your food...i.e. poison, bug, a rat's tail, a human finger, etc.
  • Fear of sleeping or working on the 13th floor or in room number 13.
  • Fear of manholes, dug wells, and elevator shafts.
  • Fear of noises, creaks, bumps, and bangs, esp. at night.
  • Fear of subways, trains, and planes.
  • Fear of high places.
  • Fear of doctors.
  • Fear of the police.
  • Fear of black dogs.
  • Fear of old buildings.
  • Fear of cemeteries.
  • Fear of ghosts, spirits, and demon possession.
  • Fear of alien abduction.
  • Fear of thunder or lightening.
  • Fear of birds.
  • Fear of black cats.
  • Fear of ladders.

add your worst fears... 

What scares you? Pick a fear. Write a story based on that fear. If you scare yourself, then you'll scare your readers and isn't that what Horror is all about? If you write a sexual encounter with a monster and it isn't scaring you shitless, driving terror into your reader, making them have nightmares for weeks, then you have written Paranormal Romance, not Monster Porn. Monster Porn has the strong element of fear running through it. Yes it can also be fun, kooky, and sexy, but the thread of fear and danger is always there. In the back of her mind, she knows, this is a monster and he could kill her at any minute. 

And if you ask my readers what it is I write, first word out of their mouth is almost always "Horror". 

Not Romance.

Not Erotica.

Not Fantasy.

Horror.

People who look at my book covers call me every genre imaginable, but people who have actually read my books, also call them "Horror" or "Weird Horror" or "Bizarre Horror". Always Horror.

They see me as a Horror writer. 

I've also started listing in the new release blurbs a chart that looks like this:

  • TYPE: Short Story/Novella/Novel
  • WORD COUNT: xx,xxx words
  • PAGE COUNT: xx printed paperback pages
  • POV: 1st, 3rd
  • HAPPY EVER AFTER?: HEA/HFN/yes/no/sort of/
  • CONTINUING SERIAL? No/Yes this is volume x of x
  • ADULT CONTENT?: Yes; this book contains erotic (M/m or M/f or F/m)content and is intended for mature audiences only.
  • INTERRACIAL COUPLES? No/Yes WM/BM ect
  • GENRE: Literary Monster Porn/Erotica/Erotic Horror, etc
  • Type of Monster: Merman/Ghost/Vampire/Selkie/Phooka/Orc/etc

***ETA: May 30, 2015: (NOTE: In recent months, typing the words "porn", "Erotica", "mature", "adult", or "Erotic" in your description - EVEN IN NON-EROTICA CATEGORIES, will usually send your book to the adult filter dungeon.) ****

For the most part, if I wrote it, stand-alones are going to have bloody ending with the monster eating/killing/whatever the girl or boy captures, thus fallen into Horror. Whereas in serials, a long running Romance develops and eventually turns into a HEA, thus becoming either Fantasy or Paranormal Romance.

And as a reader... I've seen every ending possibly. This really is a genre where you can just write whatever you want for an ending and get away with it: happy, sad, good, bad, or ugly. There's no "typical standard" for the types of endings seen in Monster stories, every author has their own thing they do. So you can go HEA, HFN, dumped and sad, dumped and pregnant, dead and in the monster's belly... there is no right or wrong and the genre is so weird and so new that readers don't have "firm expectations" the way romance readers do for Romance novels. It's kind of a try-anything genre. You could try Zombie Porn even.

Zombie Erotica... hmmm... I've not tried that... *makes note to have my Necromancer build a few Zombies Dwarves and Ghoul Gnomes* (he just killed a Dwarf and a Gnome - now he has something to do with the bodies )

HOT: Bigfoot, Yeti, Dinosaurs, Shifters of all types (esp Dog Demons, Hellhounds, Lions, Jaguars, Cuttlefish, and Birdmen), Faeries, Merman (in every form from hot surfer looking guys to Creature From The Black Lagoon beasts), Selkies, Centaurs, Vampires (true evil monsters, not modern urban Fantasy type - that's Paranormal romance), Cthulhu and other Squidmen or Lovecraftian type Tentacle creatures, Aliens... pretty much any classic mythical creature... .if they are shape-shifters who can take on a human form or if they are humanoid, they attract more readers.

Harder to sell: Orcs, Trolls, Goblins, Minotaurs, Leprechauns, Gnomes, Unicorns, Griffins...the less "human" they are the less readers they attract. But don't let that stop you from writing it, because it does have readers, you'll just have to write other stuff besides if you want to make a living at it.

Extreme alpha male monsters vs extreme submissive female human rape Fantasy DubCon is the reigning pairing of Monster Porn, but be careful, if your titles or keywords or blurb or cover art are gets too risque` Amazon will BAN the book, not dungeon it, but BAN it.

Breeding Erotica is a big seller in Monster Porn, as is Lactation Erotica. A common series layout goes:

  • Volume 1: Abduction and Breeding,
  • Volume 2: More Breeding,
  • Volume 3: More Breeding and Big Pregnancy Boobs,
  • Volume 4: Lactation Fetish and more Breeding;
  • Volume 4: Even Bigger Preggy Boobs - WOW!;
  • Volume 5: Half-breed Babies, and More Breeding, oh My!,
  • Volume 6 onwards: cycle repeats itself volume after volume.

In Monster Porn the monsters want boobs and babies, that's the #1 reason they abduct humans.

In the Monster Porn universe, male monsters go boob fetish and their females lack the boobs they want, so they hunt down big breasted super model human girls, or even bigger breasted BBWs (big beautiful women).

M/m gay Monster Porn is HOT - it doesn't sell as well as M/f, but it still sells like hotcakes. M/m Monster Porn sells far better than plain M/m Erotica, so if you want to write m/m stories, write them as Monster Porn and they'll sell better.

Crude sex, sex, sex, sex as is typical of other Porn doesn't sell as well in Monster Porn, as does a detailed plot. There is a lot of crude sex, sex, sex in Monster Porn, yes, BUT, there is a lot of plot and story too - something not typically seen in other types of Porn. In Monster porn the story is what readers want as much as the crude sex, and plot is VERY IMPORTANT to Monster porn, even if the plot is absolute unbelievable B-movie insanity (B-movie insanity is a common plot style in Monster porn, actually). While other types of Erotica can sell with nothing but sex scenes alone, Monster Porn MUST have an engaging plot behind the sex if it is to sell well. So make sure there's plot with your sex, because this is NOT your standard Erotica.

Most regular Erotica is sex beginning to end with no story. Most regular Erotica is under 5k words. Most Monster porn is 13k words or more.

REMEMBER: In spite of it's name, Monster Porn is NOT TRUE porn! It is actually Romantic Horror Erotica or Erotic Horror Romance. The best sellers in Monster Porn are series and serials which have a big over arching story. Each volume than has a stand alone story with a smaller mini-plot. Most of the highly successful Monster porn series/serials have HEA not HFN endings and most feature lots of "sexual tension" scenes throughout the story, with only one single, solitary BIG BANG sex scene near the end. (There is actually far less sex in Monster Porn than many non-readers of it realize - regular human on human Erotica has far more and far more graphic sex in them then most Monster Porn does.)

Top selling Monster Porn series of all time is Virginia Wade's Cum For BigFoot (the serial ran for 16 volumes before Amazon forced her to end the series prematurely) (now banned on Amazon - look for it on Smashwords instead; or look for her drastically edited Amazon version: Moan For BigFoot) She almost single handedly created the genre, read her books to get a feel for how it's written.

Side note: Everybody knows Virgina Wade makes $30,000 PER MONTH on Cum For BigFoot. Right? Nope. That is a complete misquote of an interview with her. While the BigFoot series was her top seller OVERALL across 16 titles in the set, it was her Viking and Pirate Historical Romance NOT her Monster Porn that brought in $30k a month.

There are not enough readers of Monster Porn for it to earn you $30k a month, so don't be sucked in by that myth. A lot of scam artists are putting up very expensive pdfs on the Warrior's Forum, offering to teach you how to make $30k a month on Monster Porn. They are misquoting Virginia Wade's sales. Is was her human/human Historical Romance, NOT her Monster Porn bringing in the $30k a month. Monster Porn only has a few thousand readers. You have to write A LOT of titles to keep making a lot of money with Monster Porn. The big sellers report sales varying from $400 to $12,000 a month, with most months staying in the $2k range. It's not as big a cash cow as the media hyped it up to be. So keep that in mind if you are in it for the money. 

A lot of people jumped on the Monster Porn band wagon when they read that Virginia Wade was making $30k a month and than got upset when they were not seeing close to that. Fact was, while she was famous for BigFoot, the $30k quote was in reference to Viking Romance not Monster Porn. This confusion got started when reporters started saying stuff like "Author of Monster Porn make $30k in one month!" A true statement, yes, but not fully accurate - it implies that it was the Monster Porn bringing in the mega income, when in fact all it really said was that an author who wrote Monster Porn (in the past - she had stopped writing it long before the $30k quote) had suddenly earned $30k - it never said HOW she earned the $30k - the way it was worded it could have just as easily meant she won the $30k on a lottery ticket.

Longer Monster Porn (15k to 20k) tends to sell better than shorter (under 10k), but both sell fairly well.

This is another thing to keep in mind: short stories are hard to sell, even in Monster Porn, shorts fall way behind in rankings. Again look at Virginia Wade's books: they were all novellas of AT LEAST 20k words, they were not short stories. 

Do an Amazon search of Monster Porn - check the sales ranks - they are all very low. 200,000 to 2,500,000 - yeah, not the big sellers the media is hyping them up as. Usually the shorter the word count, the lower the sales rank because the shorter the word count, the less plot there is. (Remember what I said about the need for a lot of plot and story line?) Authors making money on Monster Porn are doing it by HIGH PRICES and huge QUANTITY and 20k novella titles. Most Monster Porn is double the price of regular Erotica and most Monster Porn authors have HUGE blacklists of 100, 200, even 300 titles PER PEN NAME - and many Monster Porn pen names belong to only a few authors - not uncommon for Monster Porn Authors to have 4 or 5 or more pen names, and also write A LOT of other genres in addition to Monster Porn. There are only a few Monster Porn authors, like Virginia Wade whose title rank high in sales rank.

The need for a lot of plot, a lot of story, a lot of character dialogue, and far fewer sex scenes than is typical of most Erotica, is a common newbie mistake in Monster Porn. Many jump into Monster Porn thinking they can write short plotless stories that are nothing but sex beginning to end, with no plot, and than wonder why they aren't reaching Wade's level of success. READ her BigFoot books before trying to write this genre - you may be surprised at the lower sex content and highly character driven story line and multiple plots going on in her series. 

Series, serials, and stand-alones all sell well in Monster Porn, but do keep in mind series and serials outsell stand-alones 10 to 1, so if you write stand alones they do better if they are part of a "matched set".

Monster Porn can command higher prices: for example - $2.99 for 3k words, $3.99 for 10k words, $4.99 for 20k words, $8.99 for novel length - double or triple that for the print editions.

TIP: Don't throw out ANY of your stories.

Save everything.

I had one I was writing a year ago. It was planned to be a 15k Monster Porn. I got about 4k into it and stopped. It was just not working. The idea was good and all, but the way I was writing it, something was wrong and I couldn't place what it was. So I just stuffed it aside and went on to something else. 

Last month, I'm working on a totally different series, and I start writing the next volume (planning to be 25k Fantasy) and I start thinking...hmmm, this sounds familiar. Like I wrote it before. Then I remembered the story from last year, and realize why the old story wasn't working. The characters were completely wrong for the plot line, as well as wrong genre. So I dig out the old story, drop it into my new story, change old characters to match the new characters, tweak out the Monster Porn Romance stuff, and it was BOOM! Suddenly the story works. 

Turns out there was nothing wrong with the plot idea, I was just trying to stuff it into the wrong genre with the wrong characters, in the wrong series. Now that I've got it in a new genre, with new characters, the story is moving along nicely and is at 27k words (which I will start editing soon as I'm done being sick. Icky sick in bed week.)

This is why I never delete/throw away a story. I may never write it, but I also may go back to and and discover it really wanted to be something completely different than I originally thought it was. I've had several stories born out of the ashes of old stories I started and never finished.

NEWSFLASH: Get it in print!

Monster Porn sells well in print.

Why?

Because a large portion of the fan base are senior citizens - yes you read that correctly: your grandmother reads Monster Porn.

I frequently get mobbed by little old ladies in their 70s and 80s whenever I do book signings for my Monster Porn (I've even got a few fans who are men in their 90s - I know because I meet them and the first thing they told me "I'm 97 years old... ."). Most seniors prefer print to ebooks. Use larger font than normal in your print editions: I use 14pt. It was a common request for Large Print editions of my Monster Porn, because seniors can't see the smaller fonts as easily.

WARNING: Monster Porn is HIGH on Amazon's "Erotica Sweep Radar", more than 70% of all Monster Porn titles get dungeoned or banned, within 3 weeks of their release date.

If you a gonna write Monster Porn you gotta learn the art of flying under Amazon's radar. Important tips on how to do that

Be Careful with your cover art. This is a biggie. Monster Porn got pulled left and right a few months back, but not everyone got hit (I write Monster Porn and my books remained unaffected). Looking at all the books that got banned or dungeoned, the common thread was the cover art being VERY against Amazon's ToS (lots of hand bras and nude girls with long hair to cover boobs, while holding a leaf down below, that sort of thing) or had titles that used explicit words (in the blurbs as well). Yet while hundreds of Monster Porn books vanished off Amazon and hundreds more were dungeoned, there remained as many that were unaffected and had tamer covers (girls in bikinis, girls wearing sundresses, girls in hot pants and Ts, etc) with no explicit words in the titles or blurbs. Girls in their undies get pulled off Amazon when they are on Monster Porn covers. In Monster porn a bikini clad babe is less likely to get banned then the bra and panty clad babe (stuff that doesn't normally get pulled in other Erotica, like a girl in her undies, gets pulled in Monster Porn - Amazon is more strict with Monster Porn than with other Erotica)

I don't think Amazon is targeting Erotica (Monster Porn or other wise) just for the sake of targeting Erotica (as some would have you believe), I think Amazon is simply targeting BOOK COVERS, TITLES, and BLURBS that are too porny to be classified as Erotica. Amazon allows Erotica, not Porn, and the books that Amazon targets are the ones with cover art that crosses the line out of Erotica and into Porn. But because of the word "porn" in the name of the genre, it looks like amazon does look closer at Monster Porn for offenses than it does other types of Erotica, so keep that in mind when designing covers, choosing titles, and writing blurbs.

I think Amazon uses certain keywords to seek out and find the offending cover art, thus why all the Monster Porn got hit in one batch, etc, but I still think Amazon is only using those keywords to scout out TOS violations of cover art and not worrying about the actual content of the text, otherwise they'd pull ALL Monster Porn - which they didn't, far from it in fact. In spite of the hype only a small amount of those books actually got banned/pulled off Amazon and only the ones with the really "extra naughty" ToS violation cover art.

My conclusion is that if you keep your cover art "tasteful" and refrain from using explicit words in your titles and blurbs, you shouldn't have to worry about the dungeon or books being pulled, because in spite of the masses of books hit by Amazon's "Erotica Purge" I've yet to see any with more Romantica looking covers hit by the purge. My thoughts at least, based on which books I've seen pulled and which books I've seen left untouched.

Personally I really don't put anything on the covers of my Monster Porn at all - it's basically just the title and that's it. If you read a lot of Monster Porn, than yeah, you know my pen names because my lack of cover art does stand out against the other Monster Porn books out there.But it is my lack of cover art on my Monster porn that has kept it out of the Dungeon, not Adult Filtered, and not banned.

Remember that Monster Porn by its nature borders into BDSM. It is usually extreme slave/Master abduction Erotica, girls tied up and raped are common, as is sexual torture. Many Monster Porn stories are nothing more than BDSM with a non-human alpha taking over as the Dom.

I point this out because there are currently rumors going around that Amazon is undergoing a BDSM crackdown and Monster Porn authors are on the alert because if BDSM takes a hit that means Monster Porn will be in for another blow.

I've seen a lot of messages/posts/comments the past month by authors claiming Amazon has pulled every BDSM title they had and I've contacted various authors asking for more info (title, cover art, blurb, and keywords) to see if I could determine what it was that was triggering the ban. After comparing the various books and info, I noticed a trend and it seemed that it was not BDSM specifically that was being targeted, but rather certain words in the titles and blurbs, and certain types of cover art.

I came to the conclusion that that Amazon was filtering out anything that could be seen as "rape" or "abuse". Three of the books in question had used the word "forced", specifically phrased like this: "Forced by the ___", a few of them used words such as "kidnapped by strangers" and "taken by force" in the blurbs. Five of the books showed a woman locked in a very small cage (3'x3' ish) laying on the floor of it, covered in bruises, unconscious, with blood on her lips. In every case, the cover showed a woman with her arms/hands/wrists/mouth tied with ropes.

Surprisingly, though every single author CLAIMED their book was BDSM, I found none of the books to be anything even close to BDSM (and this is coming from someone who has lived in a BDSM relationship for 27 years, so I know BDSM very well, and I can tell in an instant if the author is an active member of the BDSM community and/or a BDSM partnership, or is just making things up based on what they read in 50 Shades) 

Sadly these authors who were on various forums and blogs complaining that Amazon was banning BDSM because Amazon had banned their books, were not in fact writing BDSM. It was painfully obvious that they had no clue the difference between a DOM/sub or MASTER/slave relationship and abuse. For clarification purposes, I am the slave of a 27 year long MASTER/slave relationship, so I know for a fact, how deeply insanely wrong these particular authors had gotten their facts.

Remember: in BDSM BOTH characters are having fun and enjoying themselves. The moment one character fears the other, it's crossed the line from BDSM to abuse. This hold true for Monster Porn as well. Slaves to the monsters OFTEN have plenty of opportunities to escape the monster and do not take them because they WANT to be with the monster.

The books in question, those BDSM ones, were glorifying a gang of STRANGERS cornering, attacking, kidnapping, and TAKING AGAINST HER WILL by FORCE an 18 year old teenager girl, who was FORCED AGAINST HER WILL to be their slave and live in a cage. Of the 9 books these authors had sent me the information for, 7 of these books had that exact same basic plot. This is a common issue with Monster Porn as well. While your monster should be savage, he should also have feelings for the well being of the slave and NOT be abusing or neglecting her.

The stories were NOT in any way even close to being BDSM on any level, nor were they DubCon (dubious consent), they were in fact outright glorification of kidnapping, gang-raping, beating, and abusing a victim.

This is important for a Monster Porn writer!

There is a vast difference between actual rape and rape Fantasy. While Monster Porn is often seen as being about rape and abuse, in actual fact, you rarely see any real rape or abuse in Monster Porn! Remember what I said earlier about how most Monster Porn has a lot of sexual tension and only one BIG BANG sex scene at the end? This is why. Because it is an abduction story, and you have to give the abducted character time to fall in love with said monster, before they have sex, in order to keep it from being a story about rape. Keep it classy, keep it fun. Fun is what readers want.

You will rarely see the abducted character actually being hurt, abused, or raped in Monster Porn. The theme is more "Seduced by a Savage Beast" than "Raped and Abused". That's important, because your readers are going to know the difference. Even in stories where the girl is kidnapped and bred by every member of the monster's clan, the reader gets inside her head and knows she's enjoying it and can't wait for her half-breed baby.

Quick-side note: half-breed babies is a common theme in Monster Porn. The slave getting rewarded with having a baby is often the high point of these stories. Some of the best sellers in Monster Porn are the "Cinderella" stories, where instead of poor girl getting the prince, infertile girl, gets the baby she always wanted.

There is a large focus in many of the top selling Monster Porn stories on babies and breeding. Not uncommon theme for girl to start the story frustrated at seeing her friends with babies and she doesn't have one too, then end happy ever after with her monster mate and his baby. This is ESPECIALLY common in Dino Porn, human girls having reptilian babies with dinosaur daddies, and Alien Abduction Porn or Tentacle Porn.

It seems, if you were to believe the best sellers in Monster Porn, that all aliens are male and desperately seeking to give human women lots of babies.

Do remember that while Monster Porn is seen as a type of DubCon (dubious consent) Rape Fantasy, that actual rape is extremely rare in Monster Porn stories. The sex is often forced, but at the same time, and a bystander would assume it is rape, but the reader is seeing inside the victim's head and knows they want the sex. You do have to be careful here. The less Erotica the story is, the closer to actual rape the story can be, but if your story is Erotica and contains rape (or hints of rape) Amazon will ban it (no adult filter it), so tread lightly with including rape scenes of rape-like scenes in your Erotica.

The basic formula goes like this:

In the Beginning: Act One: Sad lonely girl, sees her friends with lovers, boyfriends, husbands, and babies, and becomes horribly depressed. Life has been one heartache after another for her. She's depressed and thinking life is Hell and not worth living anymore.

Middle of Act One: More stuff goes wrong. She's very frustrated with her life and wished for something better. In Goblin King stories she'll make the wish out loud calling on the Goblin King to come take her away; in Angel stories she'll pray for help and he'll be the angel who was to deliver her prayer to God; etc. She's crying out for help, and often, somehow the monster hears her.

At the end of the beginning: Major turning point: BOOM! Something happens. She fights with friend and runs out crying or something to that effect.Girl goes somewhere or does something, that results in her being in the right place at the right time to meet the monster. In BigFoot stories, she goes camping, hiking, or takes a walk in the woods; in Alien stories, she's alone at night; in Vampire stories she's walking in a ark alleyway; in Ghost stories she's taking a dare to spend the night in a haunted house; etc. Somehow she ends up in the place the monster hangs out and she's alone, and upset, so not paying attention to her surroundings.

Start of Second Act: Girls is abducted/captured by monster, in whatever manner is appropriate for the monster in question. For example, Bigfoot may grab her and run into the woods; a Harpy, Griffon, or Birdman, may grab her and fly up to his nest at the top of a mountain cliff with her; a Merman will pull her down under the lake/swamp/ocean/etc; Aliens have tractor beams to float her to his ship; Faeries, RedCaps, and Leprechauns pull her through another dimension into the Realm of Fae; Elven wizards hypnotize her and carry her off to his wizard's tower in an enchanted forest; etc. She's fighting, she's scared, and she's absolutely helpless to escape. Either he's bigger and stronger or he's done something magical to paralyze her, etc.

Middle of Second Act: she's in monster's lair, cave, house, ship, nest, tower, forest, den, castle, whatever. She tries to escape. she's terrified and wants to go home, but she's trapped. She feels like a prisoner. There is no way out, no matter what she does. In her attempts to escape, she explores her new surroundings and gets familiar with them. Slowly she starts to find, that, hey this place isn't so bad, I could actually enjoy living here.

End of Act Two: Now that she's calm and relaxed about her surrounding, she starts paying closer attention to the monster and realizes, he's not trying to hurt her. He's just as sad and lonely as she was. He too was looking for someone to love, just like she was. She starts to feel sympathy and pity for the monster and starts taking care of him.

Beginning of Act Three: Something happens and before she knows it, monster is fucking the hell out of her. It's close to being a rape scene, because the sex is pulled on her unexpectedly. Sex was the last thing she expected the monster to be wanting. Alternatively, if you are writing a tamer story, the monster starts fondling and seducing her. Either way, she's mentally struggling here: on one hand she doesn't want to be in a relationship with the monster, but on the other hand she finds him so damned hot and sexy, she just can't stop wanting him to fuck her.

Middle of Act Three: Sex has created tension. She's both excited and embarrassed and not sure if she loves him or is just horny. Lots of inner turmoil going on here as she tries to decide what to do next. Inner monologue time.

End of Act Three: BOOM! Something, big, bad, and scary happens, to force her into action. Monster gets hurt, captured, threatened, etc: Hunters shoot Bigfoot, scientists capture alien and plan to direct him, slayer is about the stake vampire, etc. Monster's life is now in danger, someone has come to her rescue, she is free to leave. She can go home at last. Her first instinct is to get out of there and run for home. She runs for her life while her rescuer battles the monster.

Beginning of Final Act, Act four: She may or may not have left. If she got home, she immediately regrets leaving and heads back. If she tries to run and doesn't get very far, it's because she looked back and saw Monster pleading for her help. For whatever reason, she suddenly realizes that she is in love with the monster and can't leave him to the fate of the big bad meanie. Girl goes back to rescue the monster (In longer novellas or novels, this could result in an additional Three Acts of story, where she has to go through a lot of roadblocks to get back to her monster and rescue him.) Big, bad is somehow defeated.

Middle of Act Four: Girl and monster are together again. Now it's time for non-reluctant sex. Put that scene in here.

End of Story: Story closes with girl looking back on life, and realizing all the heartache of before, was just the steps she had to take to find the true joy and happiness of having someone who loves her. Had the bad things not happened in her life, she never would have found her monster lover. If this is a stand alone, it'll end with her discovering she's pregnant and planning on living happily ever after with her new monster huby. If it is a serial, it'll hint to the fact there is more to come with some sort of cliffhanger.

Sales wise I'm writing in a little teeny small niche, inside of short story writing which is in itself a small niche. So, I'm probably not the best person to look to for sales info, because I don't fall neatly into something the general reader is going to buy and read.

If you want to make a million dollars by writing for kindle, a big thing you have to factor in is genre. Genre is the reason I am NOT making millions on Kindle. The top money making genres are: 

  • Contemporary Romance
  • Action/Thriller
  • Murder Mystery: Cozy

Genres that are hit or miss and may or may not become big sellers include:

  • Erotic Romance
  • Erotica
  • BDSM
  • Fantasy
  • Science Fiction
  • YA (Young adult)
  • Novella serial pulp fiction
  • Murder Mystery: Hard Boiled
  • Paranormal Romance
  • Historical Romance
  • Regency Romance
  • Monster Erotica

Genres to avoid if you dream of being a millionaire are:

  • Horror
  • Dark Fantasy
  • Bizarro
  • Short Stories
  • Poetry
  • Middle Grade Fiction
  • Gay Literature
  • Yaoi
  • Lesbian Literature
  • Yuri
  • FemDom 
  • Westerns
  • Monster Porn

Number one rule to making a million dollars with writing: write Romance, the steamier the better, get it as close to Erotica as possible. Why? Because 40% of all genre fiction sales are high heat level Romance novels. Note, I said novels, not novellas or short stories.

Why am I not a millionaire?

Simple. I don't write any of the top selling genres.

I write what is known as “Absurdist Fiction” also known as “Theatre of the Absurd”, and sometimes called “Strange Tales”, “Weird Fiction”, or simply “Bizzaro”.

And A LOT of readers have no clue what that is and when they read one of my stories for the first time they go: “What the hell? Seriously. What the hell did I just read? I'm confused, was there supposed to be a point to this?"

I'll be like.

Uhm... no.

It's Bizarro, it doesn't even have a plot, let alone a point! LOL!

Absurdist fiction rose up in the 1950s. It is based off taking Gothic Horror and combining it with Classic Science Fiction. Bela Lugosi's “vampires from outer space” movies made in his later years are typically thought of as the first Absurdist stories told. Bela Lugosi’s Plan 9 From Outer Space aka Grave Robbers from Outer Space is considered to be the standard by which all Absurdist Fiction is based. (thus why all the my stories include alien vampires from outer space! LOL! I'm insanely in love with Bela Lugosi's vampires from space movies.) If you are unfamiliar with this story, it is basically Humans of the future are destroying themselves with a nuclear war which threatens to wipe out the entire universe, so Vampires from outer space lead by Dracula/Bela Lugosi (who is an alien), invade Earth to save the universe and destroy the human race by turning them into Zombies. It has been awarded “The Worst Movie Of All Time” and “The Golden Turkey” awards for being the most ridiculous B-Movie ever filmed. Absurdist fiction is rated, based on how much it compares with the ridiculousness of this movie, which was the inspiration for the entire genre.

What is Absurdist Fiction? It is a blend of Horror, Science Fiction, Satire, Dark Humor, Nonsense, and Purposelessness combined as a way to observe character reactions to being placed in absurd, irrational, and fantastical situations not likely to occur in real life. Absurdist Fiction is characterized by it’s complete and total lack of plot structure 

A prime example of Absurdism is The Twighlight Zone, where things happen for no reason and Humans are forced to deal with it, but the story ends without issues being resolved or problems being solved and viewers are left to wonder what the hell just happened?

Yes, I know I'm writing in a very small niche. Yes, I know this style writing is a niche so small that I can count every author in the genre on one hand. Yes, I know there is no demand for what I write. I know my work does not get mainstream attention and that the general public will look at it and go "What the hell?"

Yes, I know all this... but you know what? I don't care. I'm not trying to be a best seller. I'm not trying to be a household name. I'm not trying to become rich. I absolutely love 1950s tongue in cheek, mad capped, non-scientifically plausible, junk food pulp science fiction. I love the overblown, pumped up, super illogical 1980s Saturday morning cartoons. I’m addicted to Vincent price, Bela Lugosi, Liberace, Godzilla, Star Trek (OTS), Dr. Who, and all those weird B-Movies with giant bugs from Mars, 50-foot cave girls, killer shrews, and most especially the vampires from outer space. These are my influences. The things which inspire me to write. 

I love pulp fiction and serials. It's just my thing that I enjoy. I think it's always funny when people say serials have to have cliffhangers and say they don't write serials because they can't write cliffhangers. Most people claim silent serials created cliffhangers, too, and that's not true either. Most people seem to not realize that the silent movie serials that supposedly invented the cliffhangers, didn't even use them! Cliffhangers didn't even show up until serial movies in the 40s and 50s.) Most folks do seem to think "silent" when they think serial. The term "cliffhanger" was first used in 1939. It comes from Zorro's Fighting Legion. Nearly every episode in the series ended with Zorro hanging off a cliff about to fall to his doom. It was the first serial to use this and it was also one of the last of the "classic serials" to be filmed. AND it wasn't silent either. This is what lead to the rise of "cliffhangers" in the 1940s.

I love serials, with or without cliffhangers. They can be good both ways. The thing I don't like, however is when an author claims they are writing a serial and it ends after 3 or 5 stories, and it was obviously just a novel they cut up. That annoys me. Serials traditionally have 10, 12, or more chapters/ episodes. And if you go the to Library of Congress website (who regulates the proper use of serials, which MUST be registered as a serial with them and they assign it a serial number) they claim it's not a serial if it doesn't have at least one monthly release for a minimum of 3 years. That means if it has fewer then 36 volumes, it's not a serial, and can not qualify to be sold as a serial, because you can't sell serials without a serial number (similar to an ISBN) being put on it.

But back to cliffhangers. I find that too many authors are thinking that cliffhangers have to be bold and dramatic, when if they were to look at the classic cliffhangers of old pulp fiction, they were not dramatic at all. Not usually. For example, the villain would be defeated, the orphans found good homes with sweet loving families, the stolen bank money returned to its rightful owner, rewards given for the villain's capture, and as the hero kicked back to relax, a farm hand would run in and say the cattle had escaped, one of the orphans would mention that he had a friend who had disappeared during an Indian raid, or a letter would arrive from a long lost uncle or a train would pull up at the station and some new villain would step out. These are "happy for now" endings that do not create urgency but hinted that another adventure might be coming next week.

This is how serials like Roy Rogers, Gene Autry, and Lone Ranger lasted and lasted and lasted... they just went on and on, but they never really continued, each one ended, so the serial could have been canceled at any point and not have to explain itself. It's also how comic books like Superman and BatMan stuck around so long. (They did not start continuing until the 1970s). And it was the reason shows like I Love Lucy, Bonanza, Little House on the Prairie, The Twilight Zone, and X-Files gained their fame and kept on going for a decade or more each. Each was a series, but you didn't have to watch each episode, like a Soap Opera, because each story could stand on it's own 2 feet without being connected to any other. This is why book series like Nancy Drew, Hardy Boy, Bailey School Kids, and Choose your Own Adventures became such big hits: you could read any story in the set, in any order.

Personally I prefer this type of serial, both to read and to write. I don't like having to chase down each issue/ chapter/ episode. If I am REQUIRED to read 1, 2, 3, 4, etc in order, I am less likely to start reading the series. Sure once I start reading, if I like it, I'll read them all, but you got to hook me enough to get my started if I can't just read each story on it's own in any order.

That's actually an issue for some readers who'll ask me "So what order do I read this in?" And I'll go "I don't know, I didn't write them in order, and they don't continue. They are just the continuing adventures of the characters."

But then I don't stick with any one genre either.

I'm the odd one out. I always am. I sail in the better safe than sorry boat along side of the keep'em guessing boat.

Often, my covers, my titles, my series titles, my sub-titles, even my blurbs, don't even sneak a hint to what genre they are.

Of course I get way fewer sales than most folks around most writing forums report on their more smexy covers and titles (which is why I have so many titles on Amazon: 170+ across all pen names).

I do often wonder about the incomes you see authors boasting of on places like KBoards Writer's Cafe. There is one author there who claim he earns $300k a month writing Erotica (funny, that's the same claim made in one of those scam books on Amazon) and yet, in reviewing Amazon's own tax release records, there is no Erotica author making $300k a year, let alone a month. In fact, they only have ONE Erotica author listed with an income EVEN CLOSE to that, and that's Virginia Wade, who Amazon reports earns just under $300k a year.

Several Kboards Erotica authors here, frequently, daily, brag of $14k a week or $140k a month, and yet, not one of them is on Amazon's tax record list.

So, there seems to be a lots of lying going on over at Kboards where these Erotica authors are doing a lot of "Look at me! Look at how much money I make!"

But, like I said, it's really easy to cross reference their pen names to Amazon's IRS tax public records release which lists on it authors and incomes. No one published on Kindle is making $140k a month, at least not according to Amazon, and you'd think they would know, seeing how they are the ones paying said authors.

I do not understand the point. Why are these authors running all over this forum yping up how much money they make, when it's easy to prove they are not making anything even close to what they are claiming? 

It baffles me.

I can only assume they are doing it as some marketing ploy, to get people to buy their books under the false impression that so many others have bought it they should too?

I don't know.

Seems like ever since D.D. started that "I make $14k a Week Selling Erotica Shorts" thread, that the environment here has slowly devolved into a competition of who can impress who most with the highest income. 

The numbers they are quoting are getting ludicrously higher and higher with each new post.

Their screenshots of their earnings are so obviously Photoshopped, it's sad they think we can't tell. You now, we who make book covers for a living and so can tell shoddy Photoshop work a mile away.

Do they really think they are fooling anyone?

It's so easy to look up Amazons public release of their ta records. All the authors' names are right there, their income right beside their names.

It's sad to see so many hundreds of them showing up of late. Don't know why Kboards is so suddenly flooded with them. And all of them claiming to write Erotica, yet, none of them have anything but PLR scamletes on weightloss and power of posative thing. 

Weird.

But, that's getting off topic. Where were we?

Oh, yes. Book covers.

Making book covers and not getting sent to the Adult Dungeon for it. 

Here, here's why the books I write don't get dungeoned for cover art...

For example the covers that are seen here: 

A painting of a unicorn; long, long, long title that in no way says Erotica, no sub-title at all, and the series title is the main character's name. It's gay Monster Porn (my Unicorn Porn series). 

Not sure why I do it (I don't plan it that way, it just happens) but the longer the word count of a story, the less likely it is to have smexy covers and longer/ tamer titles.

My short 5k to 12k Monster Porn has clearly Erotica titles (Captured By Yeti, Taken By Tentacles, Bred By the Sun God, Cuckolded By Bigfoot, etc, etc, etc) and the covers usually feature a girl in a bikini or bra & panties.

While my Monster Porn novellas (20k to 30k) have titles like: The Night of the Screaming Unicorn, The Evocation of the Thirteen Wraiths of Torture,The Obsidian Idol of The Elf Eater of Pepper Valley, The Vampire Leprechaun of Fire Mountain, etc, etc, etc, while showing pictures of unicorns, pirate ships, and wizard's towers, and are not listed in either Erotica or Romance categories, but in the Dark Fantasy and Epic Fantasy categories instead.

***(EDITED TO ADD - As of January 2016 - The Night of the Screaming Unicorn has been re-written, expanded, and is now a 300 page epic length novel instead of a 30 page short story... it also now contains a sex scene)***

I write very genre-based Monster Porn, so I tend to follow the trends of the genre rather than the sexiness. Thus why the D&D style wizard questing Fantasy Unicorn Porn, receives Fantasy titles and covers. Likewise my Sci-Fi Erotica and Erotic Romance Sci-Fi have Sci-Fi titles and covers, while my Erotic Horror has Horror titles and covers and my Steampunks have Steampunk titles and covers and my Westerns has Western/ Cowboy titles and covers.

I actually rarely put my titles in Erotica or Romance>Erotica. Almost all of my Monster Porn titles are in Fantasy, Science Fiction, or Horror. But I don't write standard contemporary human on human Erotica, my stories have big plots with their small sex, and character's emotions and reactions to sex play a bigger roll to the story then the sex itself. It's very clearly not Erotica. I do not write stories that just jump into bed on page one and end when the sex does. The point of the story is never to get the characters having sex. Sex just happens along the way. Other stuff happens before the sex starts and more stuff happens after the sex is over. 

I don't feel that any of my stories truly qualify to be placed in the Erotica category, due to their not being just non-stop sex beginning to end. That combined with the genre heavy plots and genre heavy settings, is why I describe my work as "Horror", "Fantasy", or "Sci-Fi", instead of calling it either "Erotica" or "Erotic Romance".

That said I do have to be careful, because my stuff is often seen by readers as "too erotic" to be listed in Horror, Fantasy, or Sci-Fi, so I have to put warnings in the blurb stating that "This story contains graphic sex scenes and is intended for mature readers 18 or older only."

On the other hand, were I to put these same stories in Erotica, they'd end up with complaints to having "too much plot" to be Erotica.

I discovered I get fewer complaints of "too much sex in my Horror/ Fantasy/ Sci-Fi" then I do "too much Horror/ Fantasy/ Sci-Fi in my sex", so my stuff does better review-wise when I don't put it in Erotica.

*shrug*

But yeah, so that's why you see me NOT using Erotica specific cover art and NOT using erotic sounding titles, but instead matching my titles and covers to the genres (Horror, Sci-Fi, Fantasy) because there just isn't enough sex to make the books Erotica.

So, outside of my Monster porn with it's Captured/ Taken/ Bred/ Cuckolded titles and bikini babe covers, you'd never know the rest of my Erotica and ERoms were erotic, if you didn't read the blurb and see the mature content warning, because nothing about the covers or titles really says "Erotica" to the readers (or to Amazon).

I wouldn't be able to do this if I was writing more standard contemporary, every day setting human on human sex. Elf on Unicorn sex in the castle ruined between a battle with Orcs can go in Fantasy. Ghost on Human sex in a haunted house, while a serial killer is on the lose can go in Horror. Squid-headed tentacle men from Neptune on abducted human can go in Sci-Fi. Genre readers don't mind sex in their genre, but I can't say the same thing for Erotica readers who don't like genres in their sex.

I think in the end it's all about target audience. Standard Erotica readers are not my target audience. Fantasy, Horror, and Sci-Fi readers who want sex on the side, are my target audience. Erotica readers want the smexy covers and smexy titles. Fantasy readers want swords and wizards on their covers and long Gary Gygax style magical titles. Know your target reader and give them what they want. Readers who want sex with wizards, look for them in Fantasy not Erotica. I go where my readers are and match my covers and titles to my reader's expectations. 

The short of it is I'm a Dungeon Master who rewrites my campaigns into quasi-Erotic tales. I cater to RPG gamer geeks not every day Romance and Erotica readers. So I tailor my books, titles, and covers to the audience my books are meant for.


[quote author=NAME REMOVED FOR BOOK PUBLICATION EDITION]Are your shorts just eBooks do you do print? Do you make any print books for shorts?[/quote]


Actually very few of my books are available as ebooks. Maybe fewer then 10% of my short stories are available as ebooks. I've been in print exclusively from 1978 til 2012.

Print on Amazon? Not for sale on Amazon, not yet. I'm new to the whole Amazon world of publishing, just getting started with Amazon.

I have been doing this with LuLu since 2005 however. Before that via Morris Press and before that via local mom&pop print/ copy shops. Magazines. Chapbooks. My shorts have always been in print. Not mass produced, but, always in print.

I've been publishing in print since 1978. I didn't start adding ebooks until July 2012, and most of them didn't go up until May 2014. So I'm doing it reverse of everyone else I guess. I went print first and now I'm converting to ebooks later.

I've written/ published 200+ short stories and 6,000+ non-fiction articles/ essays since 1978. Yet I didn't publish an ebook until 2010 and didn't publish a second ebook until 2014. So, not all of my money comes from ebooks. I do work with magazines and local vanity press as well.

I used to use Lulu pretty exclusively for quite a few years, loved it, still do, however, the base prices have gone up and up and up and up, seems like they just never stop raising them. Thus why I switched my ebooks to Kindle and Smashwords, and my paperbacks to CreateSpace. I still use LuLu for hardcovers and spiral bounds. When I need a bulk order (1,000+ copies at a time) I use Morris Press instead (paperback, hard cover, coil bound, spiral bound, or 3-ring binder options) 

As to formatting, I found the easiest way to format for LuLu is to use Google Docs/Drive. Save your Google doc the same size as your book (5x7, 6x8, 8x11, etc), save it as a .doc file, than upload to LuLu, done.Been doing that since about 2007, never had any trouble yet. (I do this for Kindle, and CreateSpace as well, no trouble there either.) I used to have loads of trouble trying to upload from Works or Word or Celtx though. Whatever word processor you are using, just copy the entire file into a Google Drive document instead. 

As I said, I've moved away from LuLu for the most part, because of the never ending rise in base price costs. It's great if you want all those weird book sizes and shapes that they offer, big books, tiny books, square books. Those would be more for "special editions" though and not standard mass market ones.

If you are doing comic books in print editions, and want them to be actual comic books and not paperbacks with comics in them, LuLu and Morris Press are your only options (at least as a sef-publisher). Same goes for hard covers and spiral bounds. And if you wand 3-binder bound or coil bound Morris Press is the only one that offers that. (They offer hard covers with coil spines as well). I believe Morris Press offers slip cover boxed sets as well. I have not yet ordered that from them, but I remember them having it listed on their site a while back.

But basically if you are doing standard ebooks or standard paperbacks, I'd say the extra fees and charges Lulu tacks on are not worth it, because LuLu and CreateSpace use the same printing press so you are getting completely identical books from both companies.

I started self Publishing before the guys who created Amazon were even born, I'm perfectly okay going back to local print shops and having chapbooks printed up to sell out of a booth at festivals and fairs...oh wait, I still do that don't I? :P nope. Not worried about Amazon one bit.

Oh wow, did you read that other thread going on right now here on KB? The one with the whole end of the world conspiracy theory and Amazon is out to destroy every business on the planet? Gawd! Some of the things they are saying. But damn, it's peppering my brain for some Prepper Cult End of the World Porn. LOL!

But hey, they're forgetting that Lulu is still in the picture and will be as long as they are the only company putting out hard cover books, as is RPGNow who will exist as long as gamer geeks continue to buy RPG game guides which gamers simply do not think to look for on Amazon, and let's not forget the printer who supplies books to all the indies small press publishers as well as a few of the Big 5 big house publisher: Morris Press who prints up way more print books than Amazon could ever imagine and is in their 75th+ year of doing so making them the REAL big threat to Amazon, but oh I don't think Amazon's gonna try to push them around not if they want to still be printing up color illustrated books - and oddly in spite of Morris Press being the biggest actual direct competition to Amazon a name I've not seen mentioned ONCE on any thread that's worrying about this Amazon snuffing out the competition theory - that's probably because so few self-pubbed authors came to ebooks from actually self-pubbing print books and therefore have no clue how to go about getting print books made, and it'd be foolish for Amazon to try to shut down Lighting Source seeing how LS is the company whom Amazon hires to print up the print books. And SmashWords (who is older than Kindle by several years) isn't likely to ever shut down, not when their storefront is still every bit as much of a threat to amazon as is was in 2009 when they where nothing but a dot on the map.

Of course none of those fears take into consideration the fact that ebooks still only make up 30% of all book sales, and print is still king, and any company that is ebook only, is NOT what Amazon should be worrying about. Self-pubbers who know their salt, can survive just fine without Amazon, because they'll still be in public libraries and brick and mortar books stores, long after the online ebook only places are gone.

I am noticing the doomdayers in this whole Amazon take over theory are all ebook only sellers, with nothing in print. So yeah, they have reason to worry, because they DID put all their eggs in one basket, and a very small basket at that: ebooks. Ebooks are to print like CDs are to records. The new kid on the block shows up and everybody rushes to buy it, than 10 years go by and poof, something new comes along and ebook will go the way of 8-tracks and CDs and VHS...however, like vinyl records, print books will still be going hot and heavy, they may be seen as a collectors item, but the big names still put them out and they still outsell digital: both print books and vinyl records are going to be with us for a long time, and the indies who do them are the indies who will still be around when the next new toy comes around. Keep in mind - New York Times still counts your print sales not your ebooks sale to make their list the same way Billboard still count your vinyl sales, not your iPod downloads or your CDs sold to give you them gold and platinum awards.

Of course when the zombie apocalypse comes and wipes out technology, satellites fall from the sky, and we go back to the days of candles and no electricity ... I will still be able to make print books and vinyl records in my kitchen, because hey, 6 months of the year we ain't got electricity around here where I live anyways, so hey, I'm all set no matter what comes.

And besides, Google will eventually buy Apple, Disney will eventually buy Amazon, and WalMart will buy everyone else, and the entire world will be run by either Google, Disney, or WalMart, so why bother worrying about small potatoes like Amazon when the 3 big guys are fighting for full global domination...wait...doesn't Disney own Satellites now? Google already has pictures of my aunt in her garden posted on Google Maps...and you can see my rhinestone car sitting in my driveway from Google satellite...pictures they took from outer space. Didn't Google mention something about a moon bus? I don't think they'll stop with global domination, they are aiming to take over the planet, the solar system, and then try to envelope the entire galaxy. Mickey will be the first mouse in space and he'll be riding an a jet propelled Google Car. We got way bigger problems to worry about than Amazon pushing out the ebook competition. LOL! :P

I just find their theories about print books being dead and no reason to publish in print baffling. Location makes a difference, for example, in Maine cellphones only started being used in 2012 when the state first got cell phone ABILITY the same time we also discovered there was such a thing a wi-fi. Yeah. Dial-up was still going strong 2 years ago, as where land line phone (heck, we still had a single phone number/party line for the ENTIRE TOWN and a switch board operator in the mid-1990s when people first started putting land line phones in their houses - that does mean, you had to walk to the nearest switchboard station to make a phone call, same way folks did in the 1800s)

The reason? It's called mountains. We are east of the White Mountains. and our mountains are small. I have relatives in Utah, who STILL don't yet have electricity, let alone land phone, and forget cell phone signals of internet access - PERIOD - they are right smack in the middle of the Rocky Mountains. Same thing goes for my relatives down in the Ozarks, and my relatives overseas in various place in Europe. Basically anyone who lives in mountain country, ain't got much access to "modern conveniences" unless they live in a really big city, but hey, Stephen King live in a big city, you know Bangor and guess who isn't online and doesn't own a cell phone, because, pretty much no one in Bangor has access to internet connections or cell phone signals. Bangor is around the corner from me, I'm in internet range, because I'm the coast, below sea level and depending on where I set my computer up, most days I can get a connection. I own a cell phone, but don't use it because rarely does it catch a single long enough to to get a call through.

So, location makes a big difference, as to who got wi-fi and cell phones, when. I had dail-up since 1997, but you know I'm weird. I switched to cable when cable first came into the area on February 16, 2007 and it cost $75 a month back than, I'm told that most areas of the country, get the same Road Runner service first $14 a month, it costs more for us, you know, because of the geographical issues which kill the signal, resulting in they have to have a higher powered signal going out for us to even get a signal at all. Until 6 months ago, it was touch and go if I have internet access, but a new tower just went up 6 months ago, and now most people in York Country can get internet access at least a few hours a day, so Road Runner is now $40 a month, for the people who they can guarantee will have more or less 24 hour access, folks 50 miles away in Wells, get it for $14 a month on the understanding that they may or may not be able to connect to a signal at all, it's still hit or miss, but most people who have internet say if they go online between 10PM and 2AM they catch a signal without interruption - that's right now in 2013.

Cell phones are currently on the rise in Maine, about 1 in every 20 or so people have one and usually, if they know where to stand, which street of which city they have to drive to first, they can get calls through.

Do keep in mind that fewer than 1/3 of the United States of American has access to internet connection - right now in 2014. And still a little more than 1/2 of the country does not yet have reliable access to cell phones signals.

So depending on how rural your characters are, and they don't have to be very rural, Bagor's got close to 60k people, they may not yet have even known computers existed in 2007. I can walk around town right now, a town of 24k people and start asking people if they have computers, the most common answer I'll get will be "Why would I ever use one those newfangled things?" heck, try asking folks if they have a Kindle "a what?" or buy ebooks on Amazon (Why would I go to Brazil to buy books, there's a Bookland in Biddeford?". Yeah. Most people around here don't even know what Amazon is, let alone ever heard of an ebook. That's why I'm one of the top selling authors in New England, and didn't release my first ebook until 2012, you know when I first found out such things existed. 

The thought that dial-up = poor people, I had dial-up in January 2007, because they did not put up a tower in Maine until February 16, 2007. In 2007 I was one of the few with dial-up, because I was one of the few who could afford it, and I switched to cable when it became an option, but for a good 70% of the state it's still not an option right now in October 2013, and if you want internet, most folks don't have any alternative but dial-up. Still. Now. Today. And Maine's not unique - 2/3s of the country is still the same way. Only 1/3 of the United States of America has access to internet connection. Right now. Today. 2013. It's not an issue of money, it's an issue of where the mountains are, and how close you are to a big expanse of water - lake, ocean, wide river. And guess what: for those people - ebooks are NOT an option. If they don't have print books then they ain't reading no books at all.

Maine has trouble getting signals (that includes TV, radio, not just internet and cell phone - print books are BIG sellers in Maine because, a lot of people don't have TVs or radio either, they still read dead trees for entertainment around here, because there aren't many "modern electronic" options), but Maine has trouble getting signals because we have mountains to our back side, glaciers to our north side, and a giant great big ocean all around the rest of us, and so many rivers, that more than 70% of our state is waterways, not land. And that's the problem. What signals can get pass the mountains, gets lost somewhere over the water before it gets to anybody's house.

People still use HAM radios and CBs instead of cell phones to communicate around here, because it's more reliable.

So while I have heard of Blackberries and SmartPhones, due to the fact that I talk to people on online forums, I've never seen either, I'm not sure where I'd even go about looking to buy something like that around here. I assume WalMart would probably have something like that, but WalMart is not near by for most people who would rather walk to the corner gas station or drug store to buy whatever they need rather than take a 2 or 3 hour drive to WalMart. 

Welcome to life in the sticks. Tourists come up here ever summer and that's what they say to us: "I always here about you mountain folks, so what's it like being hicks in the sticks?"


[quote author=NAME REMOVED FOR BOOK PUBLICATION EDITION]Is it possible to sell 100 books a day?[/quote]


100 sales per day - yes, very easy to do: simply write 400 books; most "Top selling" books average 1 sale every 4 day. Buy having 400 books you are almost guaranteed to get 100 sales a day. You should probably make it 800 books to be on the safe side though.

100 sales per day, per title - very hard to do; it can be done, if you write sparkling vampires or moody grey dudes or wizards with lightning bolt scars. Yeah, then 100 sales a day per title is easy.

I think it's a very good goal to aim for actually, but at the same time, I think it's important to be level headed and realize that very few ever reach that goal. You want to aim big, but you want to be content with lower results in case you don't reach big.

I'd say a better goal is to strive for 100 sales per month, across all titles, as that's a much easier "first step" goal to reach. Then once you reach that goal, step up your goal to 100 sales per week, across all titles. Then once you reach that goal, step up your goal to 100 sales per day, across all titles. Moving up in smaller steps like this, makes each goal easier for you to reach, so when you reach the goal, you get a burst of excitement that drives you on to the next goal. I would think if you started out with the goal of 100 sales per title, you'd likely get disappointed soon down the road and risk losing motivation. If you lose motivation, you'll never reach your goal. But if you divide your big goal into lots of small goals which are steps up to the bigger goal, then you have these small achievements to keep you motivated along the way, until the day comes when you finally do reach your ultimate goal of 100 sales per day per title.

It's a good goal to have, and there's no reason why you can't achieve it, if you work hard and long aiming for that goal. I think every one of us should aim high. Aiming high is a good thing. It makes us strive to constantly better ourselves and there's nothing wrong with that.

Do remember about pricing though. If you want to sell 100 books a day, thinking you'll make $100 per day, think again.

  • .99c x 35% = .35c
  • .35c x 100 = $35

To make $100 a day you have to sell 286 books per day.

And that's an income of $36,500 a year.

Plus it's going to take you at minimum 3 years to write those 100+ titles.

If you are looking for $300k a year, you have to sell 2,349 books a day or 857,142 books a year.

If you want a million dollars you have to sell at minimum 7,828 books a day or 2,857,142 books a year. Harry Potter can't even do that.

Put some perspective on what it takes to really become a Kindle millionaire. How HUGE your sales really have to be to get there.

There is a reason I tell people you have to have a 100 or more titles before you are going to be making big money.

I mean, yes, I do at times sell 200+ copies a day, which makes $400+ a day. But it's not one title. It's 200 copies sold TITLE across 170+ titles. Which is fewer then 2 copies sold per title per day. But the thing is, most tiles DON'T sell a copy each day. It's more like, a copy each week.

If I only had 6 titles, and they each sold a copy a day, I'd only be seeing about 13 sales or about $5 a day. ($1,860 a year)

I mean, I see authors all the time saying stuff like: "My book is only selling 20 copies a day, what am I doing wrong?" And I'm thinking: Honey, whatever you are doing wrong, I wish I was doing it too. A single title selling 20 copies a day? Yeah, that's kind of unusual. There IS a reason why most Erotica authors have HUGE back-lists of 100, 200, 300, or more titles - because 1 to 2 sales a day, per title, IS TYPICAL sales you can expect in Erotica. (While 1 or 2 sales a week is typical on most self published fiction books.)

I rarely expect a single title to sell more then 4 copies a day. More then half my titles sell only 1 copy a week. I've got several titles only selling 1 to 3 copies a month. I've got titles that only sell 1 copy every 3 or 4 months. Every title is NOT selling copies every day.

I say it now and forever: QUANTITY! QUANTITY! QUANTITY! 

Quantity is the key to a big income. Yes there are a few authors out there who will sell hundreds of copies per title, but they are few and far between. Erotica can be a cash cow if you write enough of it, but if you are just going to put up 3 or 4 titles and never write Erotica again, it's not gonna work for most people. You have to keep putting out new titles all the time. If you stop putting out new titles sales crash fast.

Like I keep saying: You really gotta love writing Erotica to make a livable income and long term career of it, because you really do have to write a lot of it to stay afloat. It's NOT the get-rich-quick career, those get-rich-quick books are making it out to be.

But never forget quality! Quantity without quality is dead. I could hash up stories fast, but I don't because I actually care about the stories I write. It's also why I don't write trends. I write about monsters and history and pirates because I like monsters, history, and pirates. I don't try to write what I think will sell. I write what I as a reader want to read, but can't find.

I'm not in this for the money. I never was. I do not write Erotica, because I do not love Erotica. I write Bizarro because I love Bizarro. And when you get right down to it, I think THAT is the reason I can do this career. I'm not trying to put up stuff fast to make a quick buck; I'm doing what I love and trying to be the best as I can be at it. I enjoy my job regardless of the income. 

Quantity is going to bring in the fast buck (maybe), but quality trumps quantity every time.

People who jump on the Erotica bandwagon thinking they can just put up a lot of Erotica fast and be an overnight millionaire are in for a big surprise soon as they realize how fast the money stops coming in the second you stop putting out new releases. And they get hit hard, if they can't put out a high quality product, because readers don't want the lame crap marketers and scammers put out, and so no amount of fast building back list is going to help them anyways. Readers aren't stupid. Once they sniff out a scammy marketer trying to put out cheap smutt for high prices, they'll alert other readers in the reviews and sales will dry up no matter how many new releases they put out.

But then there's just the fact that some books just don't sell. ARGH! I have several of those. I can't find a reason for it. The covers are standard to the covers of others I have which sell very well. Blurbs have been checked and rechecked and seem fine, so I'm told. I changed covers a few times, no change in sales. I switch categories and keywords around, that helped some for a few days than back to the way it was. Those particular stories, just are not attracting readers. Oh well. that brings me to my other thing to do:

Write more! 

If a book isn't drawing readers, I spend a week or 2 changing stuff around, and then shrug and start writing another book. I have a few books that do really well and gained a following, but many of my titles just flow along lazily selling 2 copies here, 10 copies there, maybe skip a month or two between sales, once in a while a spike day of 30 or 40 copies and I wonder what happened. 

I'm not making a livable income on any one book, I am however making a very good livable income across all books combined, because I have a grand total of 684 titles across all my pen names/venues.:-X

In the end, I write a book, publish it, and plan on it selling 1 copy a week. (Yeah, I set my goals REALLY low! LOL! :P) But I figure my budget that way. I say: How many books do I have to have to live off the income if each one only sells 1 copy a week. (The answer was 250 titles, figuring at $2.99 each, which equals an income of $27k or 250x52x2.09=$27,170) So, even if each title only sells 1 copy a week, I'm doing good with $27k income a year! LOL! 

That's why I'm such a big promoter of the idea of writing, lots and lots and lots of short novellas (15k range) and that way should they sell as little as only one a day I'm suddenly doing much better (250x365x2.09=$190,712) and then some titles start selling 10 or 12 or 30 copies a day - and people wonder why most of my books rank SO LOW (800k to 1million or lower for more then half my titles) and yet they paid for the rhinestone Volvo and the motorhome in my beachfront driveway - sheer volume! If you write enough, there comes a time when your back list is so big that it can't do anything but sell a lot every day, no matter how low the sales ranks are on each individual title. If you have enough low selling titles, you don't need any bestsellers at all.

My battle cry is now and forever: QUANTITY! QUANTITY! QUANTITY! :) ;) :D ;D :o 8) :P ::) :-* 

The best way to more sales really is, quite simply: Write more. And when you are done writing more, well write more again, and then write some more, and after that? Oh yeah, write more again. I mean, you can promote the heck out of 1 or 2 books but that's never going to bring in the sales or income that simply writing more books is going to bring.

But DO NOT sacrifice quality. Never, never, never do that. Quantity yes, but quality first.

Also...do NOT be afraid to write anything. If a reader requests you to write a g-string teddy bear end of the world apocalypse story staring a drag queen main character (which happened to me two weeks ago) WRITE THE FREAKING THING! 

Keep your readers happy and give them what they want no matter how insane it is! (Yes, i wrote it - being edited as we speak - goes tomorrow night.) If there is one thing I learned in 16 years of retail it's that the customer is always right, and never forget to give them their pickle (Yeah, Google "Give Them The Pickle" it's a 4 hour customer service seminar I took years ago - Macy's paid me to take it - it used to be required training for all Macy's workers. Heck, I Googled it for you, here it is: http://www.giveemthepickle.com Take this seminar, apply it to your writing career, you'll never regret it.) 

I do have a reputation for putting my customers first (heck, I was a door to door salesmen for 16 years - you don't keep a job like that if you aren't good at it!) today my customers are my readers - I give my readers what they ask for. My readers want insanity on the page. Okay. I'll give them insanity on the page. I do not have so much pride that I will not lower myself to writing drivel at reader requests.

Well, what all this boils down to is: there are lots of factors effecting downloads and results vary all over the charts, depending on word count, genre, cover art, time of year, what's in your back list, etc. and The best thing I've found to do is do a promo, don't worry about the results and then focus on writing more books.

I've been self-pubbing since 1978, on KDP since 2012, and didn't start living off my income until I started adding Erotica titles... Monster Porn rocks and both halves of the couple don't have to still be alive by the end - you can have one partner eat the other on the night of a full moon after sacrificing them on an obsidian altar and it still sells!! And if one character happens to be a Necromancer, the dead lover can be brought back to life for undead sex. WOO! :D ([i]*shhhhhh* -I accidentally killed his lover off during the [url=http://www.kboards.com/index.php/topic,193770.0.html]8 hour fiction challenge this month[/url] - book's in my sig but has not yet gone live so readers don't know this yet... I got it covered though, he's a Necromancer - dead lover is coming back![/i])

If your books are not selling, it could be just a kink with lower sales. Most of mine take a few days to start selling and then stay at only 1 to 3 sales a day, but that's because I write the less popular kinks. Some kinks get lots of sales fast, others don't. Could be pairing? M/f sells like hotcakes and M/M/f and M/f/M and M/m can sell big too, but M/m2f, F/m, M/f/f, and F/f are all REALLY slow sellers.

Keyword stuffing is a big no-no, (I'd really question the book that advised it) I know a lot of authors do it, but Amazon does crack down on that sort of thing and you could have all your books deleted because of it.

You can put keywords in the tagline, but make it something logical like "A Cheating Wife Erotic Tale" not something spammy like "A Sexy Cheating Wife and Cuckolding BDSM Tale of FemDom Sissification Menage Wife Swapping Swingers Erotica". You want an actual tagline (like the first one), not a long string of keywords (like the second one). Even if it's on the cover, a "tagline" like the second one will eventually fall under Amazon's axe.

If they are Erotica, put them in Erotica. Do not put them where they don't belong. 

^^^THIS^^^ can't be stated enough.

Never put Erotica where it doesn't belong. There's no faster way to get bombarded with 1*s and clicks on the report button. Erotica belongs in Erotica.


[quote author=NAME REMOVED FOR BOOK PUBLICATION EDITION]How many words per book?[/quote]


Word count varies. As a general rule most print shops/ printers/ publishers will not print up copies of a book with fewer than 16 pages. There are between 200 to 400 words per page, depending on type, font size, and sheet size. For most books, you would figure on 275 to 315 words per page.

Every year for the past 10 years I have tried writing novels for NaNoWriMo. One ended at 27,000, another ended at 34,000, one made it to 68,000 and one made it to 78,000, the rest died at about 15,000 each. The closest I get to novels are the Quaraun books, most of which run from 30k to 60k per volume.

I.CAN'T.WRITE.NOVELS. 

Well, I did get a few novellas and several more short stories out of the attempt at least. And taught myself a lesson: I'm good at writing short stories, I suck at writing novels, so why the heck am I trying to do something I'm not good at, when I could be doing something I am good at?

Of course, there is a trend today in people saying anything over 50k words is a novel. Uhm. Since when? Stephen King's longest short story is 49,171 words long, and his publisher published it as a short story not a novella, because they said a novella was 75k words. They said it isn't a novel until it reaches 150k words. A novel, by actual definition is a story told in 120,000 words or more.

Well, if 50k is a novel, then, I have no trouble writing novels, because most of the Quaraun series is over 50k per volume.

But I don't stick with any one word count. I'm absolutely all over the place. I started writing Erotica in 2006 (actually I wrote my first one in 2004 and gave it to my readers as a freebie in a newsletter, but I didn't start writing Erotica on a regular basis until October 2006) I was writing much shorter, because I was writing for magazines. So my older stuff is 750 words to 4k, most of it in the 2k to 3k range. 

I tried writing a couple of novels. Did one at 68k, one at 73k, and one at 138k. The 68k story is my all time personal favorite story of any I ever wrote. It's based off Indiana Jones & Tomb Raider - a team of archeologists, head to Peru, girl gets lost from the group, stumbles onto lost city rules by a 500 year old shape shifting shifter (a Nagual - a were-turkey/were-jaguar), it basically turns into freaking shifter sex from that point on. The 2008 original version of the story she was a 14 year old high school student who won a trip to join the team. In the 2012 re-release edition she was a 19 year old college student. It's also my poorest seller, barely moving a copy every other month. :P (Readers tell me it's too wordy and could easily be cut down from a 68k story to a 20k story. They call it "Literary Erotica". The major complaint readers have it's it's "true" monster porn, were the monster is actually a monster and not a man in beast form, in other words the Nagaul eats the girl at the end.)

Both the 73k and 138k ones got banned (characters under the age of 18 - medieval setting, older man aristocrat, with a teenaged wife, as is historically accurate for the culture and time period in question) and I never bother republishing, I probably could rewrite them with the characters older, but it would seriously change the plot, as the plot focuses on the battle between the under aged girl's parents and the older man who got her pregnant - it's a very Romeo and Juliet type of plot, with the girl wanting to marry the older man, but the parents locking her up and not letting her leave her room - changing the girl's age to over 18, kind of throws out her father's ability to prevent the wedding to the rich old aristocracy that thinks he can get his way with everything. I don't know how to re-write it with the girl over 18 and still keep the dad's over reaction be logical. *shrug*

I've never tried writing novels in any genre, other them those three. Shorts and novellas are more my "comfort zone" when writing.

When I first started writing for KDP (July 2010) I started writing longer stories, because I was no longer restricted by magazine guidelines. The first few I put up were in the 2k to 4k range, but I found it easier to write 5k to 7k stories. However, I only wrote a few of those, before I realized I was more comfortable writing in the 7k to 12k range. Over time since then, my stories have gotten progressively longer. I'm currently focusing most of my energy on a novella serial (each volume 28k to 32k).

My current releases (since May 2014) have nearly all been over 12k. My current comfort zone, the word count I'm just most naturally happy writing at, is in the 12k to 36k range. I like writing in this range best, but that means I'm now putting out fewer titles.

In 2012 I started the Quaraun series (a spin-off/prequel to my original series from 1978 - The Twighlight Manor), which wasn't released on Amazon til September 2014, but had a smaller, local print release that went out to Southern Maine Community College students, to see what the initial reaction to it would be. The first beta run in 2012, had Quaraun bi-sexual and with multiple partners. The stories were straight up Erotica, and all in the 7k to 12k range. Based on feedback I received from my several dozen college student beta readers, when the series was mass market released on Kindle, Quaraun was gay, had only 1 partner, and the books had had most of the more explicit sex details removed, with much deeper plot development added, resulting in stories that were now 30k to 60k long. Making the Quaraun series classified as "light novels" or "long novellas" depending on how you look at it.

My single, top selling book ever, is volume 1 of a Sci-Fi soft porn Erotic Romance serial. It is M/f alien abduction Monster Porn, and has only very mild sex scenes in the series (one per volume) and each volume is only 4k words long, selling for .99c. This book, sells anywhere from 4 to 53 copies per day. It sold it's first copy less then an hour of publication and has never had a day with fewer then 4 sales. Most days it sells around 20 copies (which means the average income from this book is $7 a day

  • [.99c x 35% x 20 = .35c x 20 = $7]

- if sales hold steady for an entire year, this book will bring in around $2k over the course of 365 days). It had two "higher" days, one with 44 sales and one with 53 sales. It is written under one of my alternate pen names that I never publically released as being me. However, ALL of my pen names, list "EelKat Wendy C Allen" as the copyright owner on the copyright page, and so, if you went looking, you could eventually track down my other pen names. This book, is currently seeing bi-weekly serial releases and runs for 6 volumes currently, 7 out soon, and I have no idea how many more. I'm thinking around 14 volumes total, at this point.

When I was doing shorts, I could put out at least 2 a week with no trouble. When doing novellas, I'm putting out about one every other week now instead, but I'm also writing stories I'm more satisfied with. I often got frustrated with the shorts, because I didn't have time to build up characters and plot. I like novellas better because I can do more with character back story and plot.

I think the thing that always gets me about word counts, is when Stephen King tried to publish "Rita Hayworth and The Shawshank Redemption",which is 101 pages and 49,171 words long, he was told by his publisher, that they didn't sell 'short stories' and he's have to write a second story at least to bring it up to 'novella' size (which they said was 75,000 words) and it would be better if he added 3 more stories to it to make it novel length (which they said was 150,000 words)

... and then I see places like NaNoWriMo calling 50,000 words a novel or Wikipedia calling 40,000 words a novel? Since when? I mean seriously, try sending anything under 90,000 words to a publisher - they'll laugh in your face (I know, I've been submitting 35k to 78k "novels" to publishers for 30+ years)

Because I started out in traditional publishing, I call anything I write, which is shorter then 75,000 words a novella, and anything under 50,000 words a short story - because that's the standard definition that has been used by the big house publishers since I started publishing in 1978.

A lot depends on how big the book is. Note I did not say novel. A novel is a type of book. A book can be anything with 4 or more pages. If you are confused, please consult your dictionary. I once did a week of publishing a book a day. I wrote, edited, created the cover art, and published a total of 5 books that week, one each day, not including weekend. Each book was about 7,500 words long (about 24 pages each) and the entire book, start to finish, including editing, cover creation, and publishing, took under 8 hours to complete, which means, I could have done 2 books a day for a total of 10 that week. Now, these are short stories and are not best seller material by any means, but, it keeps my name on the new release section every week, and that in the long run is the goal, because doing that brings in more sales down the road to your longer books (your novels). Now this method won't work for everyone, I don't expect it to, I'm simply pointing out that, it's one method out there, which will lead to your becoming a millionaire if you keep at it. It's not an easy road and it'll be about 10 years before you make that million dollars, but, you will eventually reach a million dollars if you stick with it. But, do remember that that means writing 52 stories a year for 10 years, that's 520 stories. Do you have that many stories in you? Most authors who try this method burn out after about 12 weeks. It's not an easy road to a million dollars. One book a month is going to be more reasonable for most authors.

Okay, but, you still have to write those words down wither it's 1 book a month or 1 book a week, right? How many words do you write a day? That's going to impact your output. Everyone is different. I know most people aim for 1,000 or 2,000 words a day. But what does that equate for you? Do you aim for x number of pages?

For me, a lot depends on my mood and my health, both fluctuate frequently. 

On really good days, when there are no health issues in the way and my mood is good and nothing and no one is disturbing me, I write between 10k and 34k, which is a result of me sitting down and typing for about 8 hours none stop. I don't recommend it, because every time I do this I end up with my hands being "exhausted" for 3 or 4 days afterwards. I only do this maybe 5 or 6 days a year, so not my average daily word count, that's for sure! 

On really bad days, when my health is down, my mood is low, and life is interrupting me, I'm lucky if I get 500 words out on days like these. Fortunately there are maybe fewer than 30 of these days a year, most years. However, even on these days, I make a devoted effort to write, even if I have to do it after everyone else is asleep and end up going to bed late. I do not let a day pass with out writing, and it's been several years since a day has passed when I didn't reach 750 words a day. It was in 2010 that I told myself I'd never write less than 750 words a day, and I've kept that goal.

Those are the extremes on both ends, however. Most days I can expect some where between 2,000 to 7,000 words, most days ending with no fewer than 5,000 words.

I started this goal, also in 2010 - to write 1 entire story a day and try to make it no fewer than 5,000 words long. Sadly this goal has been much harder to stick with, and I realized right fast that it was a better goal for me to aim at writing AND editing as many words a day as it took to have a ready to publish 5,000 word short story by the end of each week.

Again, this goal has been hard to keep, but that was because I started college in 2011, shortly after I started this goal. I failed to consider the amount of time college would take away from my writing time. Whoops!

Fortunately, I've stuck with the 750 words a day goal, and in spite of college, almost stuck with the goal of writing a story a week. I say almost because, with all my homework in the way, I never went back to edit any of the stories, nor did I actually finish any of them. I seriously miscalculated the amount of hours homework would take up in an writing intensive English degree program. Fortunately, while I was unable to keep my goal of FICTION writing, I was however able to stay in the 5,000 word a day goal with non-fiction and essay writing! Yay! Which resulted in me taking on extra credit writing assignments and then publishing EVERY SINGLE ESSAY I wrote for class assignments (most published 2 to 3 months after turning them in as homework.)

So, since September 2011 I have succeeded in writing a total of 5,000 words a day every day, without missing a day, but most of it was non-fiction essay writing, not fiction writing.

However, once college ended, and I no longer had essays and homework eating up my time, and I could devote that time to writing 5,000 fiction words a day. I'm a seat of my pants writer, no plot, no problem... I just hit the floor running and see where the characters take me. I never know what I'm going to write until I write it, so it's really hit and miss as to what I end up having written. What that means is I need to give myself a new goal: to not only write 5k a day, but to write and edit and publish 1 story each week of 5k to 10k length. That's more of a challenge than writing 5k a day, because I can't just write mindless babble, I have to actually write something worth publishing.

But then, I also have two jobs. I'm a Retail Merchandiser at HallMark (greeting cards) and an Inventory Taker for RGIS. Both jobs keep me on the road. The RGIS job has me travelling all over Maine, New Hampshire, and Massachusetts. It's a lot of hours and a lot of work and a heck of a lot of driving and it cuts into my writing time. On days I'm doing local jobs, I can write for a long time, but on days I have to drive 2 or 3 hours to a job location, I've got very little time to write. I write when I can.

Before college I was a Sales Representative for Avon for 16 years, door-to-door sales, likewise kept me out and about, and also was a sales associate at Macy's for 6 years. I've always found time to do my writing around all these things.

But that's what you have to look at in your own life: job, school, family, health, hobbies: yours are gonna be different from mine, so you can't look at my writing output and compare it to yours. All you can do is chart where you spend your hours each day and fit in writing time around it.

And here's the thing: you'll never become a millionaire by writing, if you don't first sit your ass down in that chair and just start writing something. I mean you can talk about writing and plan on writing and dream about writing, but until you actually start writing, you really ain't doing nothing, because when push comes to shove the only thing in the writing business that really matters, is sitting down to write.

Hey and here's a thought. Did you know, it's really not that hard to write a 1,000,000 publishable words a year. It'll take 2,740 words a day, 19,180 words a week, 1,000,100 words a year!I'm already doing 5k a day, which means I'm writing 1,825,000 words a year?OMG! I had no idea.

Now granted that's not publishing 1million a year, nor is it writing 1,000,000 publishable words a year.

So, I'll be doing this with a slight tweak; seeing how I'm already writing more than a million words a year, I'll try writing 1,000,000 PUBLISHABLE words this year. I just did the math and of my words written this past year, only about 300,000 was publishable - less than a third of a million and way far less than a quarter of what I wrote. Those aren't good odds. I got to get doing better at writing publishable words over high word counts. I guess I should strive for less but better?

I'm sitting here with a calculator now; you got me thinking numbers,I got to figure this out.

I already have a goal to publish a new story each week (I write short stories generally ranging from 5k to 10k long). If I tried to write those on pace for 1million words published I'd have to publish 150 to 200 short stories in 2014! That's 3 or 4 a week! Nope. Not trying that.

So if I publish 52 stories at 5k each, that means I need to write (and edit) 260,000 words in 2014... 1,000 words a day, 5 days a week... that's actually less than I thought it would be. Wow, maybe I don't need to write a million words after all? 

But as I write 5k a day normally, in theory I could write a story in 1 day, editing the next day, publish it the 3rd day, write another on day 4, edit day 5, publish day 6, take off day 7, and end up with 2 stories published each week. Or if I edited the same day I wrote, it's possible to publish up to 4 a week? That's 4 stories @5k words = 20,000 words a week x 52 weeks = 1,040,000 words by the end of the year - take a 2 week vacation gives me a total of exactly 1million words published across 200 stories. Wow! 

I think I'll stick with the publish one 5k story a week goal, but keep this in the bad of my head as a thing to try, should I find I AM able to put out four 5k stories a week. Will I do it in 2014? I don't know. Which I think at this point is probably not in my 2015 future but maybe in my 2016 or 2017 future? I would like to try it. Right now just one 5k story a week seems daunting, so we'll see what I do, not sure at this point. But hey, every bit counts, right? But we still have 2013 to get through.

But then comes the question, if you are writing a lot of words, is the writing any good? 

I think it depends a lot on good in comparison to what? When comparing myself to some writers, I'm great, but than again, when comparing myself to other writers, I suck heaping pulls of doodoo and need miles of improvement. It all depends on what books you choose to stack my books next too.

I know I'm prone to typing super fast and the faster I type the more typos and errors slip through. It's a huge problem. My spelling is poor to begin with and it gets worse as I get into "the zone" and start typing faster. My stuff requires huge amounts of editing before it can be published.

I think, when it comes to storytelling, that's my talent, coming up with a story to tell is something that just comes natural to me, but when it comes to writing/ typing it up, that's where I need a lot of improvement and start tripping over my own fingers. I can't spell worth shit. My stories go through 10 or more edits before they are even close to legible. Does that stop people from buying them? No.

Why?

Because I write a lot.

Quantity is my battle cry. 

Quantity is king. 

Quality is queen - don't leave her behind.

Be releasing a new story every week and you won't need to have good spelling skills.

How do you become a Kindle millionaire?

Write, publish, write, publish, write, publish, write, publish, write, publish, write, publish, write, publish, write, publish, write, publish, write, publish, write, publish, write, publish, write, publish, write, publish, write, publish, write, publish, write, publish, write, publish, write, publish, repeat... 

That's it. That's all there is too it.

If you don't write, you can't publish. If you don't publish you can't get sales. If you don't have sales you won't make money. If you don't make money, you won't be able to save money in the bank and let it collect interest. if you don't save money in the bank, you'll never reach a million dollars.

I switched to writing short stories full time and stopped trying to write novels and I found my life far less stressful. (It seems worrying about reaching novel word counts was stressing me out big time!)

Most 5,000 word stories print up at about 7 to 16 pages depending on font size, so I try to aim at stories being 5,000 to 10,000 words. My longer ones range in at 20,000 to 30,000. My longest short stories were one at 68,000 and one at 78,000 (which means these 2 were novellas). I have never written a novel (stories 90,000 words or longer). My longest book (non-fiction) was 238,000 words.

I have 3 end zones: 2k, 13k, and 36k. I don't plan them or try to write to those word counts, it just happens that every story I write ends at almost exactly 2k words, 13k words, or 36k words.

I used to struggle with this, especially as a teenager just getting started, because I had it in my head that I HAD to write a novel in order to be a writer, I have no idea how I got that idea in my head, but it was there and it was hard to shake for a good many years.

For years and years I drove myself batty trying to write what publishers called a novel (90k words or more). Once I got a story to reach 73k and another time I got a story to reach 183k. I thought I had finally done it. I'd finally reached the point where I could write a "good story" (I also had it in my head short stories were not "good" or "real" stories, for some reason).

But here's the thing... see over that period of several years, I was publishing all these short stories and gaining a following and had readers who really loved my work and sent me nice letters telling me as much. All the while I've got it in my head that I suck as a writer because I can't write "real" stories. Than I write 2 novels one after the other and think I'm all set, now I'm a "real" writer because I've written a novel. My readers disagreed.

As it turns out, the 73k story was really, a bunch of 13k stories about a single character. Wait. Really? No. I didn't do that. Did I? I went back and read it. OMG! That is what I did! Well for crying out loud, how in the heck did I do that? Those are supposed to be chapters of a novel, not a collection of short stories about one character. 

And the 183k story? Same thing. Lots of little stories connected together by lots of useless word padding fluff. Damn! And here I thought I had written 2 novels.

After the release (and banning) of my novel (the 183k one, medieval Horror which was about an elderly man who developed an unhealthy obsession with his pre-teen granddaughter, -which oddly, in spite of containing not one sex scene or even any mention of sex at all, a lot of readers called it Erotica and I still don't know why- and turned out to be lots of short stories each one focusing on a different year of her life; every other one being told from pages in her diary, and the book I'm told by readers, left readers wondering how did it end? - Wait, what do you mean how did it end? #1 question readers asked about The Twighlight Manor's "Love, Lust, Madness" was:

"The diary sections read like the grandfather is looking back at her life after she dies, and then he commits suicide at the end, but what about the girl, is she dead too? Is that why he was reading the diary?"

I completely did not expect that reaction from readers, and going back and re-reading it, yeah, I can see how the ending suffers from a serious lack of actually ending and not saying what happened to the girl is a HUGE loose end left untied) I was left to do some serious rethinking about my writing career.

As my readers were pointing out (very loudly in some cases), I have one heck of a damned good talent for writing 2k and 13k short stories, but I royally sucked lemons big time at writing novels! I was getting letters and emails from readers begging me to stick with short stories and stop with the novels. 

See, one thing that happened was I write a lot of short stories, dozens a year, but the year I did the 2 novels, I put all my energy into those novels and did not write a single short story. Well, before that happened, I knew I had regular steady readers, but I didn't know I had some truly die-hard fans who going bonkers without me releasing new short stories every few weeks. I found out after the release of the 2 novels which they were over joyed to get, but were deeply dismayed at my change from short stories to novels.

I spent almost 20 years writing short stories and building a following for those short stories, but I was too blinded by the idea of being a novelist to see that. I was writing short stories as a way to practice and work my way up to writing novels. I had the goal of being a novelists front and center in my line of sight and I was pretty much ignoring the fan my short stories were gaining along the way.

It took a whole slew of my readers to basically reach riot levels of me killing off the grandfather in Love Lust Madness, to open my eyes. See, he was the primary main character used in about 70 short stories I had previously written. All of those short stories were me building up to that novel. It was me building a back history. It was me writing up lots of stories about his really horrible life, events in his childhood and youth that would eventually lead up to the events that occurred in the novel, which ultimately lead to his suicide. You know you have succeeded as an author, when your readers are ready to riot over a character death, and mine were. Oh BIG TIME - they showed up in my driveway with signs. 

OMG! Alternate versions of The Twighlight Manor's Love Lust Madness started showing up on blogs and fanfic.net - my readers were rewriting the ending. Some were rewriting the whole story. I really threw them for a loop with this. They did not see this novel coming and they reacted badly to it. I ended The Twighlight Manor Series a good 15 years ago and readers were not happy with that at all. They wanted it back. They wanted me to take back "Love Lust Madness" and continue to write the short stories. I hit a nerve with this book and that's when I realized OMG! I wasn't serious about any of those short stories I'd written over that 20 year period, but my readers were.

I was tossing up random short stories in my attempts to write this novel and in the 20 years it took me to do that I wrote a lot of weird short stories that really were nothing but my novel notes, and I had no clue my short stories were gaining the following they had. It took thousands of emails clogging up my inbox to open my eyes to the fact that I really needed to toss the idea of writing novels out the window.

At reader requests (or rather screaming demands) "Love, Lust, Madness" was pulled out of print, I went back to writing short stories about these characters, the series is now in it's 36th year and fast closing in on 250 stories. I've started several new series in addition to this one. Again 2k and 13k stories in each of those. My fans loved those too. I have never again made an attempt to write novel.

I don't try to write novels anymore because I started putting my readers first. My readers wanted short stories. I stopped listening to what publishers told me readers wanted. I stopped listening to what other authors said THEIR readers wanted. I realized that there are a lot of readers out there and each group of readers has something different that they want to read. And MY readers wanted short stories, not only that, but MY readers wanted not just any short stories, they wanted THIS series to keep going. 

I may not be a best selling novelist with millions of sale per title and millions of fans, but I do have 7,000 cult-like die hard CosPlaying screaming fangirls who are head over heals in love with my characters and if I stop writing short stories, I'd be telling them that their fandom wasn't important enough to keep it going. I'd be saying to them that only the big groups of fans matter. And I'm not ready to do that. I'm a screaming fan girl of some strange small niche fandoms myself and I know the joys of following my fandoms and the heartbreak of seeing an author end the series. I think my readers deserve better than that. 

The point is, you gotta do what you are good at and not try to do what others think you should do. I was good at writing 2k and 13k stories, but big publishers were saying novels were the way to go, other authors were saying "don't write short stories, no real writer writes short stories, it's novels that matter", and I listened to them for a long time.

No. All writing matters. Long. Short. Very long. Very short. In between. It's all important. There are readers out there for all of it. Some segments have more readers than others. Some segments only have very small groups of readers. But there are readers for all of it. You just have to figure out, what type of writing you are good at, and than seek out the readers who want it.

I'm writing on the shorter side of things. Most of my stuff is 5k to 13k, while the total range is 2k to 36k, with one story each at 68k, 78k, and 93k, all the rest are under 36k, most of them under 18k.

I don't write novels. I've tried, but the structure is too different for me. I'm not good at weaving in lots of plots and sub-plots and mini-plots, and then jumping hoops between them back and forth in a single story. I also have trouble writing a lot of characters in a single story.

A few months ago I tried writing a five character story, (1 main character, 1 secondary character, and 3 good friends/buddies that stuck with them; sort of a Justice League or Clueless sort of situation, where the gang all hangs out together). I crashed and burned as soon as I got to the first dialogue scene that required 3 characters talking at once.:'(:-X:-\

The problem I had is, a lot of short stories and novellas don't use dialogue tags. Most don't need to because there are only 2 characters IF there is even more than 1 character at all. So I'm used to writing:

  • "How you doing?"
  • "I'm great. You?"
  • "Eh, could be better, but you know how it is. So how's Debby?"
  • "Oh, she's fine."

And than when I try to write 3 characters talking it becomes a mess like this:

  • "How you two doing?"
  • "I'm great. You?"
  • "I'm doing just swell."
  • "Eh, could be better, but you know how it is. So how's Debby?"
  • "Oh, she's fine."
  • "She is, I though she was freaking out over that thing that was going on..."
  • "What thing?"
  • "Didn't you hear?"
  • "He don't want to hear about that?"
  • "Yes I do."
  • "See he does."

You have no clue which character is saying what, because I didn't add any 'said Dave' or 'asked Bob' into the mix. 

Also, I came to prose writing from stage play script writing, so I'm not used to the whole wall of narration and description that you see in novels, either.

Novellas and Short Stories are a very different beast from novels, they are usually 70% to 90% dialogue or often 100% monologue (ALL dialogue). They are written in ACTS and SCENES same as plays and thus do not contain chapters the way novels do.

While a novel typically uses a roller coaster format of lots of mini peaks/climaxes and dips throughout the story, novellas more often start slow and build up a steady momentum with one BIG BANG peak/climax at the end. 

Novels seem to go:

  • Introduce the main character.
  • Things are good!
  • Introduce the villain.
  • Things are bad.
  • Introduce the hot guy MC will fall in love with.
  • Time for info dump and scenery angst.
  • Things are good again!
  • Introduce lots of minor characters who could easily be removed and not change the story.
  • Angst, angst, angst.
  • Look at all that scenery.
  • Things are not so good today.
  • Things are better.
  • Nope, things are worse.
  • Wait... much worse.
  • Yippie! Things are great again.
  • Wait, did the villain just run by? I don't know. Let's describe the scenery for a few more pages first.
  • Things a very bad.
  • MC and hot guy meet.
  • Things are better than ever.
  • Bad guy throws a monkey wrench in the mix.
  • Things are bad.
  • Thing are badder.
  • Things are very bad.
  • Things a very, very, bad.
  • Let's angst over the scenery some more.
  • Things are good, but I'm worried bad things are coming.
  • OMG! How did I not see that coming? Things are terrible!
  • Things are worst!
  • Angst.
  • Scenery.
  • Angst.
  • Scenery.
  • Oh wait... forget we were supposed to be telling a story about a character... who were they again?
  • Oh look more scenery.
  • It can't possible get worse!
  • OMG! It did!
  • BOOM! Something big happened.
  • Everything is all better now.
  • Let's tie up loose ends.
  • Happy ever after.
  • Drift off into sunset.
  • The End

I find it difficult to read novels because most could easily delete two or three hundred pages of scenery descriptions and suffer no ill effects.

Novellas kind of go: 

  • Things are bad.
  • Things a very bad.
  • Things a very, very, bad.
  • Things are terrible!
  • Things are worst!
  • It can't possible get worse!
  • OMG! It did!
  • BOOM! 
  • Something big happened.
  • The End

Novellas may or may not introduce the character, the character may or may not have a side kick, there may or may not be a bad guy, the character likely is already in deep doo-doo at the start of the story, so no good times rolling along.

In a novel the reader starts out with the character BEFORE the crisis occurred, sees the crisis occur, watching the character go through the whole denial, I don't want to be a hero, oh well I guess I better act, OMG now I have to act....whereas the novella starts off running with the character already passed the build up and running full force into the meat of the plot.

In the novel the reader sees all sides of the event, the build up leading to it, the event itself, and then the down time after it.

In the novella the event itself is the focus, so there is not lead up to it and no down time after. No riding off into the sunset, etc.

Novels commonly have happy endings. Novellas may or may not have happy endings and often leave the reader with a Twilight Zone ending of "What the hell? Was that the end? But..." Lack of a "true ending" is a common complaint you see reviewers writing on many novellas, but that's because those reviewers are used to reading novels and don't realize that novellas don't have the same structure as novels."

Oh...Twilight Zone episodes, btw, were all based off of novellas that were written in pulp fiction magazines during the 1930s to 1950s, many of them came from Weird Tales (a popular magazine at the time). Likewise Alfred Hitchcock Presents, Thriller, Tales From the Dark Side, and Tales From the Crypt, were all based off various novellas written between the 1930s - 1960s. Watching those TV shows is a good way to get a feel for how classic novellas and pulps were written, because most of those TV show episodes are word for word the same as the original novellas (I know because I hunted them all down to read them and compare them to each episode).

Also the novel focuses more on little details, and lots of senses, lots of emotions, lots of action, lots of characters, lots of narration, lots of details filling up a great big picture, whereas the novella focuses more on just one quick slice of the picture and puts a very narrow focus on the deep inner emotions of just the one character in the heat of the story.

Think of a novel as you standing in the museum looking at all the paintings in the room, whereas the novellas is you with a magnifying glass looking just at one tiny detail of just one painting.

A novel is to a novella as the Hubble telescope is to a macro-zoom lens.

This is why novels often do better as stand-alones or short run series, whereas novellas often do better as a long running series or a serial. The novel focuses on everything all at once, while the novella just looks at one part of a single character's life.

Or at least that's what I've seen as an avid reader of novellas.

I've always been naturally attracted to short stories, both as a reader and a writer. Never had much interest in reading novels, I enjoy them when I do read them, but I enjoy shorts, much, much more.

I remember, early on in my writing career, I was writing shorts and novellas and trying to get them published, and I'd have one editor after another telling me the same thing: "Real writers, write novels, no one will take you seriously if you write short stories, you have to write novels, blah, blah, blah"

Well, as a teenager just starting out, the last thing you want to hear is that you should give up on your dreams because your dreams aren't good enough, but that's what I was getting up one side and down the other. I ended up wasting a large amount of years trying to write to the 120k word count requirements of the big house publishers and self-pubbing shorts on the side.

I was about 30, 31 when I finally got a novel published and the feedback I got from my fans was an eye opener: they HATED it. (It was an eye opener to discover I had fans too) I got bombarded with emails (not 1 or 2, not dozens, but hundreds of them) from fans wanting to know why I stopped writing short stories, why I switched to novels?

I'd been selling shorts to magazines and self-pubbing little chapbooks and writing for fanzines and fanfic sites and posting on blogs, and over the space of 20+ years I ended up with quite a large and devoted following to my short stories and I never realized it. The whole time I was ignoring my fans and taking advice from big-house editors and trying to focus on novels, when I should have been following my heart from the start and focusing on short stories. But I thought the big house editors knew what they were talking about, so for years I hung on to their advice.

It took finally publishing a novel, for me to realize that their advice wasn't a good fit for me. It took me years to write one novel, while I was putting out dozens of short stories a year. Novel writing was a drudgery that made me dislike writing, while shorts were a joy that made me obsessively write daily.

But than it was my fans who really just laid it out for me, when they pointed out point blank that I really suck at writing novels, and the reason was because my novel lacked the same bursts of exuberance seen in my shorts. There was a drudgery to reading the novel, caused by the drudgery I felt at being forced to write a long novel because some editor said I had too, while my shorts bubbled with a vibrant, flowing joy that was a result of the joy I felt while writing. My emotions really showed through in my written words and readers could tell what it was I liked to write, based on the tone and voice used in the stories.

Today, I go where my heart tells me to go, writing what makes me feel happy to write, and my work has greatly improved as a result of it. I spent way too much time in the early part of my career listening to advice that really wasn't suited to my personal career path.

I always tell myself:

Just because something works for a fellow writer in the same genre (or different genre) doesn't mean it will work for me. 

I live by these words. ^^^

I've seen it happen again and again, where things that work wonders for other don't do a thing for me, and things that other folks said to avoid because they don't work, have been huge successes for me. That's why I read about everyone's results, but then still test it out for myself to see which way the ball rolls for me.

Don't look at what someone else writes and think it's what you HAVE to write. Just write what YOU want to write. That's all that really matters.

Be true to yourself. If you are good at one thing, don't try to force yourself to write something else. I did that for way to many years.

If you are good at 5k stories, than write 5k stories. Get better at. Get great at it. Get it out there and find readers who want 5k stories. Find out what readers of 5k stories want. Write it. Gain a following, cater to that following, because the only opinion that really matters, is not the publishers or other authors, but that of the readers. 

Write what you enjoy. Enjoy what you write. Never feel ashamed of it no matter how long or short it may be.


[quote author=NAME REMOVED FOR BOOK PUBLICATION EDITION]Is it possible to write two novels a week?[/quote]


NEW ANSWER - UPDATED FROM ORIGINAL...

NaNoWriMo 2013 I did 537k in 30 days. Granted that was multiple first drafts of several shorts 13k to 30k each and the writing was REALLY sloppy because I was focusing on speed, trying to beat my previous record and I've still not edited all of them yet.

On a normal week it takes me 5 days to write, edit, format, and publish a 25k to 36k novella. 

Seven times in 2014 I have written, edited, formatted, and published FOUR 5k to 7k short stories in a single week. I'm still trying to reach publishing 5 stories in a single week to break my record.

Four times in 2014 I have done the 8 hour challenge in 4 hours, writing, editing, and publishing a grand total of three 5k to 7k stories in a single day. (three 4 hour stories per day, 12 hours total)

Between September 1, 2014 and today September 29, 2014 I have written 7 novellas, a grand total of 156,456 words in 29 days. They are currently being edited and will be published 1 a day over the next week.

I also get up at 5AM and type til 10AM, averaging 4k words an hour, from 2PM to 6PM I go outside and write long hand on my DigiMemo, averaging 2k words an hour. From 8PM to 10PM I edit, while the DigiMemo types up my longhand work. 

Next day: Repeat. I do this every day 5 days a week. Weekends off. I publish 30 to 40 short stories (5k to 10k) and 12 to 24 (15k to 36k) novellas a year.

I average 5k to 14k words written and edited a day and 25k to 50k published a week. Were I writing novels, that'd be 50k to 100k in 2 weeks. So, yeah, a novel in 2 weeks. No problem. You just have to have the time and motivation.


[quote author=NAME REMOVED FOR BOOK PUBLICATION EDITION]How many releases a week do you need in order to grow or sustain your income?[/quote]



I aim for at least 2 a month. Hope for 4 a week. Most I've released in a single year was 42, but usually the total is much less. Most I've released in a single week was 5 (they were all really short 2k to 5k each). Usually end up releasing 1 every 10 or 12 days. 

Currently (since May 2014) I'm averaging 1 novella (28k to 32k) and 1 or 2 shorts (7k to 12k) per month.


[quote author=NAME REMOVED FOR BOOK PUBLICATION EDITION]Is your focus Erotica, erotic romance or both?[/quote]



The evolution of my stories from shorts to novellas, also means my stories have stopped being pure porny smut and are now more Erotic Romancy instead. My shorter stuff is more porn movie style, my mid-range stuff is more Erotica and my novella range stuff is more Erotic Romance.

My two best selling series are:

A Monster Porn series (shortest volume is 7k to longest 22k; priced at $2.99, $3.49, $3.99 depending on word count - 5 free days every 90 days)(connected by a theme, each story is totally stand alone, different characters every story; each story is the same: monsters abducts girl, sex happens, girl falls in love with monster, more sex, HEA). The bestselling volume in this series sold 268 copies on it's best day (it usually sells much less - it got featured on a blog the week that happened - I was baffled by the jump in sales for several weeks until I ran across the blog review one day - I never submitted it to that blog, it was just a reader who liked it and said so on their blog - wasn't a book blog, just a random personal blog - because it was just somebody's tiny personal blog the sales only stayed high for 2 weeks then went back down to normal). Most volumes in the series see 1 to 10 sales a day.

A M/m Erotic (Paranormal Shifter w/knotting focus) Romance serial (28k to 32k per volume $5.99 each when released, reduced to $4.99 after 30 days, then $3.99 after 90 days - 5 free days every 90 days) (one couple continuing from one volume to the next, each story a stand-alone, but the whole set a continuation of a larger story - to read larger story the volumes must be read in order; this one is very soap opera-like, with lots of family drama and how it effects the couple). Each story has about 20k of lots of emotional drama romance stuff, issues the couple has to deal with, (and they've broken up 3 times so far in 7 volumes - this couple fights and bickers and walks out on each other, which results in make-up sex often happening) and 1, 2, or 3, total porn-fest sex scenes that make up the other 5 to 10k of the story. So it's not "true" Erotica, it's more Soap Opera style Romance with Erotica sex scenes tossed in. This series started out on fanfic .net and some of my readers wanted paperback versions of it, so it was altered to have all copyrighted characters and stuff changed to non-copyrighted ones, so I could publish it on Amazon via CreateSpace so my readers could have it in print and I put it on KDP at the same time. 

I've stopped writing the fanfic edition of it and focus on my original character edition of it now instead. This is the one, I send out "anything goes" reader requests for on FB, asking "What should I have happen next?" and fans toss up their ideas in the comments and I write the next volume of the series based off reader requests (which results in some pretty strange stories sometimes! LOL!) . Because my followers on fanfic .net knew it was being moved to Amazon, they were waiting for it. The day of volume 1's release, it sold 196 copies. It continued to sell 30 to 40 copies a day for about 2 weeks (I'm assuming these early sales were all fanfic .net followers) and then after that dropped down and now sells only 1 to 12 copies a week. Each volume when I release it does the same thing. Big blast the first few days (I assume all from my fanfic readers) and then trickles off after the first few weeks. Because this series is the one with the most devoted and rabid following of readers who I know are going to gobble up every volume, this is the one I focus nearly all of my energy on now. I release one new volume a month, with no plans to end it and thanks to reader suggestions it has 130 volumes outlined so I'll still be releasing this one monthly for at least the next 9 years.

My conclusion, based on this one series is niche-sex sells and serials and series do way better then stand-alones, and if you get a series that gains a following drop everything else and focus just on that because readers will keep buying each new volume that comes out. Even though each volume of the set does sell much after it's first 30 days, the big boost in sales (at $5.99 for 30k) the first few days of each volume's release is enough to make up for that. As long as I keep releasing a new volume each month, and these rabid readers keep rabidly gobbling up each volume hours after it's published, this series stands to ultimately become my long term top income maker. I've basically put a near halt to ALL of my other series, serials, and stand-alone projects to focus on this one, due the the fact that it's the one my readers, really, really, really want. This serial is how I went from barely surviving on my writer's income just two years ago, to now suddenly having more income then I ever imagined I would see.

Like I said, if you have a series/serial that suddenly takes off - grab it and run with it as long as you can. drop everything else and give readers what they want. I was writing a little bit here and there in just about every Erotica and erotic Romance sub-genre - did that for years (since 2006) and none of them went over big, they sold here and there and I just kept trying new things. Why did this one in particular take off? I really don't know. It's not well written, not even edited, has crappy covers (well it did - I just hired a cover artist to paint covers for it, so it's about to have good covers for the first time), it just hit a nerve with this small group of readers... and it is a small group of readers. 

Each volume of this series is maxing out in sales before it sells 1,000 copies. Long term each volume drops to the bottom really fast. They start out 10k range rank for the first month and by month two they hit 300k rank and steadily keep dropping after that til they hit 800k rank range for some volumes. It's not NYT best seller destined material by any means. If I stop putting out new volumes each month, the income will dry up fast. So basically, I'm catering to a small group of about maybe 900ish readers who have flipped head over heals for the series, but is not appealing to the mass market.

That means writing this series is very labor intensive, because the income literally hangs on my putting out a new volume each and every month. I miss a release just one month and my income bottoms out that month, and relies fully on the lower sales rate of my back list. Because each volume is 30k, it takes me 2 weeks to write and another week to edit, so I'm not currently able to release more then one a month, and I've only time to release 1 short from one of my other series. But I like this series a lot, I don't mind the work load of sticking with the one new volume each month, I wasn't so attach to my other series, so it was easy to drop focus on them to throw all my attention on this one when it took off.

It's probably a lot harder to focus on a series like this, one that gets a bunch of sales out the gate and then nearly nothing just 2 weeks later, thus forcing the need to release a lot of titles on schedule, and so probably not a good fit for a lot of authors. I don't know. It works for me, so for now I'm sticking with it. Funny, this is completely different from how I was running my writing career just 6 months ago (before I first started this series). I've changed so much of my methods and pricing and just everything, since last May. Last May if someone had told me I would have a series that I'd be focusing on 100% at the expense of all my other series, I would have told them they were nuts. Last May I was all about writing lots and lots of really short 7k to 12k series and releasing as many titles a week as possible... .now just 7 months later I've nearly totally abandoned that model for this one. It's just weird looking back, because I never would have planned on or expected this to happen.

Side note: I have no permafrees and I don't do the first volume lower priced to funnel sales. If one volume in the series is $5.99, they all are, even volume 1. If volume 1 is .99c, they all are, etc.

I tried doing the loss leader funnel thing for a short time, and when I did, the books got hit hard by 1* reviews, due to the fact so many freebie/bargain hunters downloaded without reading the blurbs, resulting in a lot of people downloading books that were not a good match to them. 

By keeping all my books higher priced, people have to really stop and think, and read the blurbs, and be certain they really want to put down the cash for it, before buying it. This results in a higher rate of 3*, 4*, and 5* reviews and very few 1* and 2* reviews, due to fewer non-target audience readers buying the books. I think this also explains why many of my titles only get 1 to 3 sales a dale, while many other Erotica authors boast of 10, 20, 40, or more sales a day per title. 


It's a trade off - lower sales due to higher prices, but also fewer 1* reviews due to lower rate of non-target audience downloading the titles willy-nilly. It does result in the need to published more titles more often, to make up for fewer sales per title, but then again, at 70% royalties, a $5.99 book = $4.19 per sale, so I can take as many as 50% fewer sales before taking a hit in the income. (As someone who has a serious freebie downloading addiction, I know how easy it is to download every free book I see without reading the blurb first and then start reading it and going "What in the heck did I download?" LOL!)


A bonus to having higher priced books, is the KU (Kindle Unlimited) borrow rate is nearly double on those titles. My .99c titles rarely get borrows. My $2.99 titles get a good number of borrows. My $3.99 and higher titles get a crap load of borrows. Granted $1.50 is quite a bit less than $4.19 but, I don't raise the price to $5.99 to make more money, I raise it to avoid 1* reviews caused by readers downloading without reading the blurb and knowing what they are getting (a lot of my stories feature such topics as knotting {animal/wolf/shifter kind, not BDSM rope kind}, barbed c-s/d-s and thorned/toothed v-s/p-s - really out there depths of fanfic territory stuff that just sends the average Erotica reader's head spinning and asking "WTH did I just read?!?" - it's not mainstream Erotica topics and not what most mainstream Erotica readers are looking for, so it gets REALLY mega blasted with 1*s by readers who have never encounter knotting before and just lash out in shocked rage - the danger is not the 1* reviews, but the fact that folks who leave 1*s on these types of books are also quick to rape the report button and gather up their friends and family to help. Plus people who actually do want books dealing with knotting don't bat an eye at $5.99 price tags. It's a niche sub-genre that's very small to begin with, so it's just easier all around if I don't try to attract the mass market by having permafrees and loss leaders.)

Kindle Unlimited is another thing I don't see being mentioned in the "get-rich-quick) how to write/publish scam books. They completely avoid such HIGHLY PERTINENT TOPICS as Kindle Select, Kindle Unlimited, Kindle Free Days, and Kindle count Down Deals. One would almost think they had never heard of these things, what with the way they are never mentioned... and yet, you can not become a top seller on Amazon without these things, because Amazon has rigged their search algorithms to promote books in those programs. In other words, if you are not in those programs, you ain't getting no traffic from Amazon search results, ths no sales, thus you are not a millionaire. You'd think, if they were the top selling authors they claimed to be they would know about Kindle Select, Kindle Unlimited, Kindle Free Days, and Kindle count Down Deals. Once again, another thing that points out the authors of those books as frauds.


[quote author=NAME REMOVED FOR BOOK PUBLICATION EDITION]Do you write serials, series, or stand alones?[/quote]


All three. All of the above. In recent months I had a continuing serial take off and I've dropped most of my series and stand-alone projects to focus full swing on this serial instead.

There are two sides to the serial coin: 1) People love serials. 2) People hate serials.

People love serials.

Some people are seriously addicted to serials and can't get enough of them. (I fall into this group myself) People who love serials will will try out every "volume 1" that interests them, and then follow to the end all the ones they like (and become extremely disappointed if you give up on it and leave it un-ended.)

People hate serials.

Some people hate serials with a vengeance and are loud and vocal about it in their one star reviews. They will brag boldly in reviews that they would never get caught dead reading a serial and that they didn't buy the serial they are reviewing. They also brag to the fact of 1star negging as many serials as possible, and brag to getting their online and offline friends to 1star neg them with them.


It is for this reason, serials COMMONLY will get hit with a plethora of 1 star reviews - 20 or 30 or more in the short space or an hour or two.


You simply do not see this sort of 1 star neg review bullying outside of serials. You were not a member when Viola Riviard was actively posting on here. Did you lurk during the time she was here? Last February she had started a super huge, mega thread, on which she had posted well over 150 super long, detailed step by step instruction posts, telling what to do, what she did, and how you could do it too. The first 4 posts were a great big "this is what I did and here's how you can do it too". It was one of the single most helpful threads here on KB. Throughout the thread, dozens of members asked for my detailed advice to specific situations regarding serials, and for each question, Viola wrote long detailed posts to answer their specific question. It was called "The Serial Romance Thread" and several new authors launched there writing careers as a result of it.

In June, we knew something was wrong when her posts changed, become bitter, angry, and snarky, and far less frequent. In August, she mass deleted all her posts off the thread, reducing it from a 52 page thread to a 34 page thread in less then an hour. Some of us knew enough behind the scenes info to know what was going on, but most members had no clue what happened. 

You can read the remains of it. There is still a lot of good info on it, but, it's deeply disjointed not that many posts are deleted. This used to be the #1 best place for info on writing serials: http://www.kboards.com/index.php/topic,184087.0.html unfortunately she got hit hard by neg reviews as a result of posting links to her serial when serial-haters could easily find them and it just about destroyed her career, so she removed her incredibly helpful posts off this thread. However, if you read the entire thread, you will find LOTS of helpful posts written by others who responded to her original (now deleted post). Sadly this thread was once 50+ pages long and after she, and others, took down their how-to posts it's now only 34 pages long.

She was not the only member here who has been hit hard by the anti-serial neg review haters - nearly a dozen members have also reported they fell under heavy 1-star review fire - in some cases each volume of their serials had received upwards of 300 one star reviews in the space of a few hours. The attacks were just mind-boggling, to see the amount of out right hate that was being poured out (and in many cases from reviewers who openly admitted in their reviews that they had not bought not read the books, and boldly bragged they were only trying to get serials banned off Amazon.)

What happened was there is another forum out there, where exists a little group of self proclaimed "Bully Review Trolls" (the actual name they call themselves), every member of the group uses ID names such as "Troll King of the Review Bullies" and "Evil Minion Troll Reviewer", there is one who makes a habit of specifically targeting me and my books and thus calls him/herself "Vampire Leprechaun Troll Reviewer". The group has about 500 members, every one of them, with user names like that. They specifically target short stories and serials with a vengeance unlike anything most authors can even imagine.

On that group they actively post links to serials, with a message like "found another one, let's neg it to death at noon".

They also have a list of forums: KB, KDP, AW, WF, NaNoWriMo, and several ProBoards writer's forums, where they recommend members search for books to attack. When they find a mega thread, like Viola's, they post a link to it and then run down that thread 1 star negging every person who posts on it and links to their books.

I have seen this group attack authors who had $3k a week incomes and utterly wipe out their career, because the author's books received HUNDREDS of reports in the space of minutes, resulting in amazon deleting their account. 

One of the most notorious authors to join this group was Anne Rice, who went spit fire crazy posting hell fire and damnation at them, calling them every fowl name she could think of on their forum. Anne Rice started a petition to get this group shut down. It went to court. She got some 900 authors to join her. The result was a horrendous mass uproar where the group members sent the biggest out lash authors had ever seen, when they published their list of "primary target authors" and put out a call to Amazon's Top Reviewers to join them in getting these authors banned from Amazon - all the authors who's signed the petition had their names added to a black list (which included all the big name authors who stopped posting here on KB). They next contacted every reviewer who left 4 and 5 star reviews, directed them to Anna Rice's hate filled posts on their forum and said "boycott these authors by removing your 4 and 5 star reviews and replacing them with 1 stars. As a result, about half of them - the authors, not the reviewers - lost their Amazon accounts, due to receiving as many as 500 reports per book, per day.

When you hear authors telling you to watch your back if you write serials - this event is specifically what they are referring to. It was serials and short stories that were being targeted.

Well, I worked in retail for 16 years - two jobs at the same time. One as a door to door salesman for 1 company, and one as an on call person in Macy's - where I was trained to work any department, any level, from shipping/receiving, stocks/inventory, signage/layout, key carrier, fitting room attendant, cashier, customer service, etc. - my job was to be able to come in on a moments notice as a substitute if ANYONE got sick and take over their job til they returned. I was trained in every single department, from cloths to shoes to bedding to bridal registry.

I watched Anne Rice and several KB members having (very unprofessional and self-damaging) public meltdowns on that forum as they went head to head screaming it out via posts, and I just kept shaking my head and thinking - this is not the way to handling this. It's only tossing fuel to the fire and making things worse. I decided to stop lurking and join the forum.

In my 16 years of retail, I learned one thing that rules the success or failure of any business: The customer is ALWAYS right. Never argue with the customer. If the customer has a complaint, sit down with them, talk it out, find out what the problem is, come to a resolution that keeps the customer happy and makes a sale and keeps them coming back, even if the company has to take a loss. One mad/angry/disappointed customer can do more word of mouth damage to a company then a bomb dropped on the building. KEEP THE CUSTOMER HAPPY AT ALL COSTS!

With that in mind, I went and joined their group (one of only a handful of authors ever to do so) and started posting over there, to ask questions like: 

"What can we authors do to make things better?"

"How can we improve the reader experience?"

"What specifically is it about short stories and serials that you don't like?"

"What are we authors doing wrong and how can we fix it and make it right?"

Now some authors joined that group and lashed out in rage and fury, that went over REALLY WELL::) Don't do that. Those authors quickly found themselves 1 stared out of the water. Many lost their Amazon accounts and their entire income over it. Seriously: NEVER argue with the customer! The reader is YOUR customer! Do not attack your customer guns firing. Calmly and quietly, ask them what is wrong, agree with them, tell them you know your product doesn't meet their standards, you know you are at fault and you want to do better, ask them how to improve your product to make them happy. Never accuse or yell or lose your cool. The customer is always right. Even if you think they are wrong, never tell them that, just nod and smile and agree with every word they say. They are right. Let them know you know they are right. You get farther with honey then with vinegar.

When I worked at Macy's, I was ALWAYS the girl that got called over when a customer was going hell fire screaming and yelling, complaining, demanding to talk to a manager. I was not a manager. I was not even a full time employee. I was a specialized trained temp. But I had the ability to take the customer aside to the husband sitting room by the fitting rooms with it's big couches and big screen sports tvs, sit down with them and calmly and quietly ask: What's wrong and how can we fix it? I never had to send for a manager, I was always able to find the root of the problem and fix it. My ability to smile, nod, agree with every word they said, listen to every word they said, and never once lose my temper no matter what they said (and oh, believe me, I've heard it all! :o ) is what made me a very good salesman.

I used that skill when I went to this group of reviewers, to see if I could find out what the root problem was. I took their answers and I listened to them and I've been able to stay off their radar by following advice from them.

Here is what I found out. They specifically pointed out these problems:

#1 biggest complaint: Their primary #1 complaint was that serials were being marketed as "books" (novels) and not serials. They were sick and tired and 100% fed up with authors NOT warning readers that this was a serial. They wanted to read novels, not serials and they were just pissed and hell bent on attacking every serial they could find, that they felt was deceptive, they came right out and told me this. They said they felt the authors who wrote serials were trying to deceive them. 

They said that if the serial did not contain "Serial warnings" that their assumed the author was nothing but a money scam marketer trying to cheat them out of their money. They wanted warning labels on books. They were demanding warning labels on books. They did not want to be duped into buying a serial thinking it was a novel.

#2 biggest complaint: short serials - they point to the Library of Congress and the fact that serials require a ISSN to be sold in print, and to get an ISSN a serial MUST have a minimum of 3 years of MONTHLY releases WITH NO END IN SIGHT -, one of the LOC's requirements states that you must submit to them a LIST OF AUTHORS who have agreed to take over the serial should you retire or die, so that the serial can continue - they state that the longest running serial was started in the 1870s and is fast closing in on it's 200th anniversary.

For an example of what passes the LOCs screen process, a few registered serials include: BatMan, SuperMan, Weird Tales, Conan the Barbarian, True Love Confessions (the 1950s comic book, Nancy Drew, Hardy Boys, The Choose Your Own Adventure Series, Harlequin Nocturne Collection, New York Times, Cat Fancy Magazine, Bailey School Kids, Calvin and Hobbes, Garfield... it's quite a surprising list to see what the LOC will and will not assign an ISSN to. It is important to note, that what most authors classify as a "serial" is NOT classified as a serial by the government and not eligible to receive an ISSN. (The serial I'm writing on this pen name, DOES in fact qualify, because it has 130 outlined volumes, planned for 9 years of monthly releases, and a co-author to take over if I don't live that long. It is one of only 2 serials that I write, which actually qualifies for an ISSN.) 

This really annoyed them the fact that LoC said a serial was one thing and self-pubbed authors were trying to say a serial was something completely different.

The important thing to consider here, is that this was the #2 biggest complaint, which the "serial haters" were citing as their reason for hating serials. They pointed out that often an author writes 3 to 5 connecting short stories and calls it a serial, when all it really is is a serialized novel released in parts. 

They further pointed out that the REASON a serial was released in parts over a long period of time (several years) was because it was too big to be a single book, and they expected a serial to have at least 10 or 12 or 15 or more volumes of at least 25k to 40k per volume.Which is at MINIMUM 375,000 words for the entire story, and could run as high as 2 million words or more before it reaches the end. 

They emphasized this again and again - a serial is not a novel released one chapter at a time - a serial is a LONG story, too big to be told in a single novel. This was an issue that was really making them very angry. Which brings us to... 

#3 biggest complaint: novels released in parts, a chapter at a time, each chapter selling for $2.99. They said: if you can publish the entire story in under 300 pages of a single book - DO NOT PUBLISH IT IN PARTS! This really irked them, and they said it just screamed of abusing Kindle to get money out of unsuspecting readers. They said they were sick of authors trying to cheat them out of money 9 ways to Sunday.

#4 biggest complaint: the high-low game. They HATE this: 

  •  - Volume 1 is free
  •  - Volume 2 is .99c
  •  - Volume 3 is $1.99
  •  - Volume 4 is $2.99
  •  - Volume 5 is $3.99
  •  - Volume 6 is $4.99
  •  - Volume 7 is $4.99

They REALLY hate this. If the first book is free - fine. If the second book is .99c - okay. But stop there. Don't keep increasing the price. If Volume 3 is .99c too, then the whole rest of the series better be .99c right to the end. If Volume 3 is $1.99, then 4 to END better be $1.99 each as well. If Volume 3 is $2.99, they better all be after that. Don't keep raising the price with each volume. This is one of the fastest ways to ensure you get more 1 star negs from non-buyers then you can count, because it comes off as an author who is NOT in this for the love of the story, but for the love of money. As one answer said "if the author doesn't care about the story, why should we?" said another "I'm not going to waste my hard earned money of crap someone posted just to make a quick buck" said another "when authors price serials like this, I feel like I'm being scammed, I get hooked on a series and want to keep reading, but there comes a time when I just can't afford to finish the series."

#5: Don't be a jerk and price your volumes at $2.99 or higher if there's no sex in them. There's a lot to be said in those few simple words right there. It tells us that readers feel books with sex are worth more money and that books w/o sex are worth less then $3. It tells us at what price point we can set each volume, based on content

#6: serials should be novellas not short stories; this was open to much debate, as each reader had different views on what a short story was and what a novella was. Overall the consensus was that if each part was under 10k long it wasn't worth buying, 10k to 25k was iffy grounds, and the optimal word count was 25k to 40k per volume, depending on who you asked. The more sex it had the shorter it could be. 5k to 15k was okay for Erotica but nothing else. Erotic Romance needed at least 25k. Sweet Romance or non-Romance needed 30k+ per volume

#7: A serial is one big, huge, mega long saga. A great big story, too big to be told in the space of a single novel, or even a trilogy of novels... BUT... it is not published 1 chapter at a time. Each volume is in itself a full and complete "mini-story" with a beginning, middle, and end.

I'll use X-Files as an example: The big story is Fox Mulder witnessed his sister being abducted by aliens and would stop at nothing to get her back. It takes him 9 seasons, of 20 episodes each season, to finally find out what happened to her. You have to watch the entire series beginning to end, in order, to find out what happens.

HOWEVER: Each episode it a fully complete mini-story on it's own. Each episode, he (an FBI agent) is assigned a case, he hunts a killer/kidnapper/etc, solves the crime, and hey, just happens to find a small clue about his sister in the process. The episode ends when the case is solved and he hands his report to his superior. There are no cliffhangers or 'to-be-continued" endings. Each episode stands on it's own two feet and can be watched in any order, without seeing any episode before or after it. The only time you need to watch the episodes in order is if, you want to follow the big over arching story about his search to find out what happened to his sister.

The advice here is to watch your favorite TV show and write your serial in the same manner. 

That will help you to avoid a lot of negative reviews. sure, you'll still get them, but avoiding the biggest complaint areas, helps you to wayside a big bulk of them.

You really need a thick skin to survive long in serials, because the neg review screaming anti-serial rants will slaughter your self-esteem and drag you into fits of depression if you are not strong willed and cannot emotionally stand up under the pressure.

I repeat what I first said:

You really need a thick skin to survive long in serials, because the neg review screaming anti-serial rants will slaughter your self-esteem and drag you into fits of depression if you are not strong willed and cannot emotionally stand up under the pressure.

Yes, serials sell well and a lot of people love them.

BUT... 

The people who do hate serials are among the cruelest, most cold hearted, most spiteful, holier than thou over the top out spoken, don't care who they hurt, hate mongering pieces of shit any author has ever encountered, and they WILL fly down on you with everything they got AND enlist in their friends and family to help them. They WILL try to hut you down and get your books removed off Amazon. This is an unfortunate problem all serial writers find themselves facing sooner or later and for serial authors who didn't know ahead of time this sort of serial hate culture exists, it can be very damaging to the author on a deeply emotional level.

I say again: ONLY write serials if you got a thick skin and can stand up to the heavy fire of the most brutal literary critics out there.

I'm sorry to have to say this, but I have seen several young writers jump into serial writing, thinking it was the way to go, not realizing this hate culture existed, then get hit by heavy serial-hating attacks and I know at least one author who committed suicide over it when they got hit by such an attack. These bullies who attack serial writers DO NOT CARE how much damage they do.

And when that woman killed herself: there were several serial haters who made very public statements of how glad they were that the world was rid of one more serial author and how thrilled and pleased they were to have had a hand in inspiring her death.

Oh yes, THAT is the type of mentality you are going up against if you want to write serials.

I've seen some of them, when they hear the author died, they just write on their blog "Good riddance that's one less serial writer in the world."

They don't care that somebody died.

I've been writing pulp fiction serials for magazines, ezines, blogs, and now for ebooks, since 1978. I have been hit by serial hating attacks several times over the years. I've learned to live with it. It comes with the territory. I've disabled comments on my blog and my author website, which helps. I do not read any reviews I get now, good or bad. I just completely ignore them. Don't read your reviews, if you write serials: seriously: DON'T. It'll just destroy your self esteem, because good reviews are rare, few, and far between in this genre.

Now, me? I love serials. I don't write novels. I never have, probably never will. I love my characters. I love the stories I write about them. I love the interaction I get with my fans, who also love my characters. I love meeting fans at conventions and seeing them CosPlay my characters. I love meeting my fans at book signings. I love running into my fans at WalMart.

The good in writing serials, far outweighs the bad. The problem is, for some authors, the bad can be so shocking and so full of hate, that it just over powers them and they lose sight of the good. Your fans are going to love your characters, never lose sight of that. Ignore the haters, keep on writing, and you'll do okay.

There is so much good out there about writing serials that I chose not to even look at the bad. I have what is called a Pollyanna Personalty and I can see the good in anything. I see opportunities everywhere. My glass is always half-full. It's just the way my mind works. But a lot of authors are not like that and when the bad thing hit them, it can crush them. That's why try to warn newbie serial writers what to expect, so that they go into it eyes open and know to brace themselves and be ready when the haters attack - because they WILL attack. It comes with the territory.

When they do attack - don't respond to them, don't answer their comments, don't comment on their reviews, don't even read their reviews. If they send hate on your FaceBook or Twitter, report them and block them, let FB and Twitter deal with it. Remain professional at all times. Never lower yourself to their childish tactics. They are only trying to hurt you, trying to egg you on, trying to get a reaction from you - DO NOT give them the satisfaction of knowing they have had any effect on you at all. Ignore them and they WILL go away. I guarantee it. I've become very good at ignoring them. It takes two to tango, they'll leave and go looking for another author to attack if they can't get a reaction from you.

A lot of authors panic when the 1 star reviews start rolling in. Don't. Ignore them. In most cases, readers/buyers can tell the senseless rants of hate from the actual authentic reviews and the 1 stars will have no real impact on your overall sales. People who read your book and didn't like it, will leave legitimate 1 star reviews, and readers can tell the difference.

It helps if you are really passionately in love with your work.

Thing is, I just love what I write so danged much that, there really is nothing anyone can do or say that makes my not keep right on writing it.

I write pornified fanfiction of all my favorite fandoms, than I change all the names of characters and places and publish it as Erotica and Monster Porn.:-*

I am deliriously happy with what I write, because I'm so p*ss pants screaming fangirl over the characters I'm fanficing. But than once it's published, no one knows it started out as fanfic, unless I tell them "in the first draft ___ was really ___"

Someone asked me once "where did you get the idea for __?" I said, oh, in my first draft, he was Scrooge McDuck and she was Goldie OGlint. 

They were all: [i]"Ducktales! Seriously? DuckTales? You Porn-ficed DuckTales? that's a children's cartoon! You should be ashamed of yourself!" [/i]

Oh yeah, you should see what I do with Lord Sesshomaru and DarkWing Duck and Prof Snape and Smurfs and CareBears and Rainbow Brite - sometimes all at once!

;D

I write what I love and love what I write, so sales or no,good reviews or bad, I'm happy with it, because now I get to load my Kindle full of all my own books and have myself a major ego trip over it. I love being able to show people my Kindle and say "Look at all these books in my Kindle - I wrote every one of them! YAY!"

8)

I am my own biggest fangirl. LOL! :P

I did mention I've been diagnosed as having a Pollyanna Personality right?

My advice?

Write what you love.

Write a lot of it.

Go where the readers are.

Gain a following.

Write a lot more.

Keep on writing.

I write Bizarro most of all.

Bizarro sales suck.

But I love Bizarro!

I wouldn't survive with just 1 or 2 titles, there are not ENOUGH fans of Bizarro and Gay Black Comedy to make a full time income with just one or two titles, but the fans who want what I write have a hard time finding it because so few authors write it, so as long as I'm putting out new titles every couple of weeks, they just keep coming back and that equals a full time income - repeat buyers over a lot of titles earns more then a big wave of buyers for 1 title. So for me, Bizarro works better in serial format, because it keeps readers coming back for more.

And when all else fails, follow your heart, write what you love, write what you enjoy, write what makes you happy. Life's too short to do anything else. Don't waste your time writing something you don't enjoy writing. There's a market for everything no matter what it is.

Some things to consider when writing serial Monster Porn:

[b]Higher Money Potential: [/b]You'll USUALLY get a higher income long term with serials then with novels, though this is not always the case.

[b]Exposure: [/b]Long term you MAY get higher author rankings (if you care about that sort of thing - I don't), due to more exposure (a result of having dozens of titles instead of just 1 or 2)

[b]Screaming FanGirls:[/b] While SOME stand alone books get die-hard mega fans, USUALLY the CosPlaying con glomping p*ss pant screaming mega fangirls, have formed an attachment to a character they can return to again and again and again and again and again and again and again and again and again and again...weekly/monthly for the next 5, 6, 10, 20 years of your weekly/monthly release. [i]Are you that committed to writing a serial that you CAN keep it going once the screaming fangirls start rioting at any threat to your ending it?[/i](I ended the Twighlight Manor Series in 1993, by killing off Etiole Swanzen in the final volume "Love, Lust, Madness"- the outpouring of psycho crazed protesting screaming fangirls, and the mass floods of blogs screaming [b]bringing it back[/b], along side the flood gates of rewrites to hit fanfic .net inspired me to unpublish "Love, Lust, Madness" treat it as a non-canon fanfic and keep The Twighlight Manor series going - on September 23, 2014 it will celebrate it's 38th anniversary, since the publication of volume 1 - it celebrates that date with the release of it's long awaited spin off series, Quaraun the Insane, which starts up this month. 

[b]VERY IMPORTANT QUESTION:[/b] If your serial goes through the roof, can you keep it going for however long the fangirls keep screaming? 38 years is a long time. I've written more then 4 million words for this serial now. You the author have a responsibility to your fans.

Think about it this way: what was your favorite show, book, cartoon, comic, etc? How did you feel when it got canceled or end and you weren't ready for it to end.

Can anyone say Firefly? Do you want to go done in history as the author of another Firefly? If your serial takes off, you are going to need to be ready to KEEP IT GOING, even if you want to end it. Think long and hard on that.

[b]Motivation: [/b]

[list]

[li]If you are like me, it's easier to maintain enthusiasm and motivation for a serial because you'll be spending a lot more time getting to know your characters. I am head over heels in love with my main characters in every one of my serials, I can just gush screaming fangirl love-fests for everyone of them. It's how my longest running serial entered it's 38th year of bi-monthly releases and is now closing in on 300 episodes. I can and will write this thing forever.[/li]

[li]If you are writing just for the love of the format and the fun of feeling like you are watching the soap opera of your characters' lives - writing a serial can be the most fantastic rewarding thing you've ever done and you'll find yourself bubbling with joy and jump out of bed each morning ready to get back to writing.. [/li]

[li]If you are not highly emotionally attached to your characters - you'll run out of things for them to do before you reach the 15th volume. [/li]

[li]If you are writing just for the money - writing a serial can get monotonous fast, once you realize it's WAY more work, more stress, more time, and for MOST authors less financial reward then they expected. [/li]

[li]MOST authors seriously underestimate the time commitment required to complete a serial. Many people have tried writing serials for Kindle, if you scan Amazon search results, you'll find probably 90% of the serials started, get abandoned 3 to 5 volumes in when the author hits burnout and just quits. Part of the reason serials get so many haters is because it's so hard to find a serial that hasn't been abandoned by the author.[/li]

[/list]

[b]Issues of selling print to book stores: [/b]The Library of Congress says you are not writing a serial if you do not write at least 3 years of minimum monthly releases. They also suggest you do not plan on ending it and have a second author in place to take over the serial once you die or retire. You do not qualify for the International Standard Serial Number (ISSN) if you don't meet those requirements. In other words if you have fewer then 36 volumes, they won't assign you the ISSN. (The ISSN is required if you plan to sell print editions of a serial to physical brick and mortar mom&pop book stores; with out the ISSN it's just a series NOT a serial.)

[b]Reviews: [/b]As already mentioned you can expect poor reviews. If you are the type of author who obsesses over reviews and thrives on 5 star reviews, then stick with novels and avoid series - it'll save you thousands of psychiatric bills down the road. ;)

[b]Returns.[/b] Expect a lot of them. Serials get a high rate of returns because MOST readers download a book without reading the blurb or looking at the page count and think they are downloading a novel. Soon as they realize it's not a novel, they return it and give you a bad review.

[b]Expense: [/b]More money up front for the same word count as a novel:

[list]

[li]It's going to be $200+ to edit your 100k novel one time or $200+ to edit each volume of your serial. Meaning if you do ten 10k volumes you'll spend $2,000+ on editing for the exact same word count as the 100k novel. Ouch.[/li]

[li]A novel only needs 1 cover. A serial needs 1 cover PER VOLUME. That's more money if you buy them or more time if you make them.[/li]

[/list]

[b]Time invested:[/b] every 30k you write for the serial is another 30k you DIDN'T write for your novel, putting you that much FARTHER BEHIND on releasing your novel. AND if the serial is not selling, you still have to see it through to the end for the readers who DID buy it, otherwise you'll get 1 star negged to high heaven and gain a reputation for not finishing what you started, and then NO ONE will buy ANYTHING you write UNTIL you've finished it first. Be careful here and make sure you REALLY enjoy the series enough to write it to the end.

[b]Lack of promo sites:[/b]

[list]

[li]You can cross BookBub and almost everyone else off your list of places to advertise your serial. Very few promo sites will accept a book unless it is 40k or more or 100 pages or more.[/li]

[li]Even sites that do accept serials often ONLY accept them if they have 10 or more reviews with a 4 star average. Remember - it's hard to get good reviews on a serial![/li]

[li]IF you meet the review requirements, many sites that do accept serials often ONLY accept Volume #1 and ONLY once every 6 months.[/li]

[/list] 

Serials are not like writing a novel. You can't write chapters of a single story and just toss them out there. Novels released a chapter at a time will get worse reviews then serials do.

Serials are closer to writing a multi-act stage play in short story format. Which is a whole different dog then writing novels.

Think of a serial as a TV show. That's the only way to go and avoid the worst of the neg reviews. Watch: Star Trek, X-Files, Everybody Loves Raymond, The Big Bang Theory, The Walking Dead, Breaking Bad, The Brady Bunch, Days of Our Lives, ER, Adam 12, Columbo, Murder She Wrote, DarkWing Duck, The Smurfs, Scooby Doo, King of Queens, Young and The Restless, or any other weekly TV show...

...write as if you were writing weekly episodes for you favorite TV show. Each book should tell a whole and complete story with a beginning, a middle, and an end. But the entire set as a whole tells the big continuing story of whatever.

[b]Consistency is important! [/b] In order words develop a beat sheat, set up a formula, and follow it in every episode. There are a lot of beat sheets and writing formulars out there. Google is your friend here. There was however one written SPECIFICALLY for serial pulp fiction: The Lester Dent Formula. It was designed in the 1920s/1930s and has been used by serial writers for decades.

Many of the most successful serial writers (myself included) use the Lester Dent Formula: http://www.paper-dragon.com/1939/dent.html

The original is formatted for a 6k short story, however, I have created charts for other word counts. 

What I do is, I took that formula and I striped it of it's "instructions" than took just the bare skeleton of it to use as the "outline" skeleton on which I build my story.

Once I had the outline I than created a set of new formulas, one for each word count I normal use: a 2k, 3k, 5k, 7.5k, 10k, 13k, 15k, 20k, 30k, and 36k stories.

Here is my altered version of it that I made for my 13k to 15k short novellas/novelettes:

[b]The Lester Dent Pulp Paper Master Fiction Plot - 13,000 to 15,000 word story[/b]

Divide the 13,000 to 15,000 word yarn into four 3,250 to 3,750 word parts. 

In each 3,250 to 3,750 word part, put the following:

[b]FIRST 3,250 to 3,750 WORDS [/b]

  • 1--First line, or as near thereto as possible, introduce the hero and swat him with a fistful of trouble. Hint at a mystery, a menace or a problem to be solved--something the hero has to cope with. 
  • Do this in 650 to 750 words 
  • (3 handwritten pages)


  • 2--The hero pitches in to cope with his fistful of trouble. (He tries to fathom the mystery, defeat the menace, or solve the problem.) 
  • Do this in 650 to 750 words 
  • (3 handwritten pages)


  • 3--Introduce ALL the other characters as soon as possible. Bring them on in action. 
  • Do this in 650 to 750 words 
  • (3 handwritten pages)


  • 4--Hero's endeavours land him in an actual physical conflict near the end of the first 3,250 to 3,750 words. 
  • Do this in 650 to 750 words 
  • (3 handwritten pages)


  • 5--Near the end of first 3,250 to 3,750 words, there is a complete surprise twist in the plot development. 
  • Do this in 650 to 750 words 
  • (3 handwritten pages)

[b]SECOND 3,250 to 3,750 WORDS [/b]


  • 1--Shovel more grief onto the hero. 
  • Do this in 650 to 750 words 
  • (3 handwritten pages)


  • 2--Hero, being heroic, struggles, and his struggles lead up to: 
  • Do this in 650 to 750 words 
  • (3 handwritten pages)


  • 3--Another physical conflict. 
  • Do this in 650 to 750 words 
  • (3 handwritten pages)


  • 4--A surprising plot twist to end the 3,250 to 3,750 words. 
  • Do this in 650 to 750 words 
  • (3 handwritten pages)


[b]THIRD 3,250 to 3,750 WORDS [/b]


  • 1--Shovel the grief onto the hero. 
  • Do this in 650 to 750 words 
  • (3 handwritten pages)


  • 2--Hero makes some headway, and corners the villain or somebody in: 
  • Do this in 650 to 750 words 
  • (3 handwritten pages)


  • 3--A physical conflict. 
  • Do this in 650 to 750 words 
  • (3 handwritten pages)


  • 4--A surprising plot twist, in which the hero preferably gets it in the neck bad, to end the 3,250 to 3,750 words. 
  • Do this in 650 to 750 words 
  • (3 handwritten pages)


[b]FOURTH 3,250 to 3,750 WORDS[/b] 


  • 1--Shovel the difficulties more thickly upon the hero. 
  • Do this in 650 to 750 words 
  • (3 handwritten pages)


  • 2--Get the hero almost buried in his troubles. (Figuratively, the villain has him prisoner and has him framed for a murder rap; the girl is presumably dead, everything is lost, and the DIFFERENT murder method is about to dispose of the suffering protagonist.) 
  • Do this in 650 to 750 words 
  • (3 handwritten pages)


  • 3--The hero extricates himself using HIS OWN SKILL, training or brawn. 
  • Do this in 650 to 750 words 
  • (3 handwritten pages)


  • 4--The mysteries remaining--one big one held over to this point will help grip interest--are cleared up in course of final conflict as hero takes the situation in hand. 
  • Do this in 650 to 750 words 
  • (3 handwritten pages)


  • 5--Final twist, a big surprise, (This can be the villain turning out to be the unexpected person, having the "Treasure" be a dud, etc.) 
  • Do this in 650 to 750 words 
  • (3 handwritten pages)


  • 6--The snapper, the punch line to end it. 
  • Do this in under 200 words


[b]Grand Total 13,000 to 15,000 words.[/b]


---------


If you want to do a 20k novella change the numbers like so:


  • 3,250 to 3,750 WORDS = 5,000 WORDS
  • Do this in 650 to 750 words = Do this in 1,000 words 
  • (3 handwritten pages) = (4 handwritten pages) 


---------


If you want to do a 30k novella change the numbers like so:


  • 3,250 to 3,750 WORDS = 7,500 WORDS
  • Do this in 650 to 750 words = Do this in 1,500 words 
  • (3 handwritten pages) = (6 handwritten pages) 


---------

You can alter this to match any word count you want no matter how long or short.

He designed this to be used for Action, Suspense, Horror, Westerns, and Murder Mysteries, but you can alter it for any genre. To turn it into Romance/Erotica, just change the trouble points to sexual tension points, plot twist points can be changed to sex scenes, etc.

I use it for Horror, Science Fiction, Romance, Adventure, SteamPunk, Space Opera, Fantasy, Erotica, and others, nearly 30 genres and sub-genres in all. I've never found a genre I couldn't use this for.

Novellas work best if you limit them to 3 characters: The hero, the heroine/side kick/victim/love interest, and the villain. 4 characters can work, 5 at the most. I find they are best with only 2 or 3 characters.

How I use it is like this:

I take the skeleton/outline, copy it, and paste it into my new file/document/word processor page. Next I follow the instructions for each scene and write as instructed. In other words, where it says:

FIRST 3,250 to 3,750 WORDS 

  • 1--First line, or as near thereto as possible, introduce the hero and swat him with a fistful of trouble. Hint at a mystery, a menace or a problem to be solved--something the hero has to cope with. 
  • Do this in 650 to 750 words 
  • (3 handwritten pages)

I change it to:

[b]ACT ONE: 3,250 to 3,750 WORDS [/b]

Scene 1

And here I type the first 650 words of the story, detailing as instructed: "First line, or as near thereto as possible, introduce the hero and swat him with a fistful of trouble. Hint at a mystery, a menace or a problem to be solved--something the hero has to cope with." When I reach about 650 words (could be short as 500 or as much as 800) I end the scene and move of to:

  • 2--The hero pitches in to cope with his fistful of trouble. (He tries to fathom the mystery, defeat the menace, or solve the problem.) 
  • Do this in 650 to 750 words 
  • (3 handwritten pages)

I change it to:

Scene 2

And here I type the next 650 words of the story, detailing as instructed: "The hero pitches in to cope with his fistful of trouble. (He tries to fathom the mystery, defeat the menace, or solve the problem.)"When I reach about 650 words (could be short as 500 or as much as 800) I end the scene and move of to the third section, and so on and so forth until I reach the end of the skeleton/outline, at which point I have reached the end of the story and stuck with 13k to 15k words.


-------


This is the primary secret to my being able to consistently put out a new story of about 13k words each and every week. Using a beat sheet like this allows me to streamline my production time.

The best thing is, with only minor tweaks, this formula works for EVERY genre, and ANY word count from flash fiction to epic novels.

My stories are also VERY character driven, low on plot, high on dialogue (as in 70% dialogue). Usually there is just one thing going on; like the one I just published last week: 

The main character was caught in a thunder storm and sought shelter in an inn, but he kept getting the feeling something was wrong, so he tried to leave and suddenly the whole town vanished and he realized he'd walked into a glamor/illusion trap set by an evil flesh eating-Faerie. The entire story takes place in the space of about 12 hours and is largely a verbal battle of wits as he tries to talk the Fae out of eating him long enough to escape the Faerie's trap. The whole point of the plot is for the MC to try to outwit the Fae. There is absolutely no other plot point to the story. [i](It's a volume from a 130 episode Gay Sword & Sorcery Black Comedy Bizarro serial, is a 32k novella and sold 114 copies first day of it's release, in case you was wonder what the sales are like for this serial in particular).[/i]

This is part of a long running series, about the MC who is traveling across the world, and each story is a random encounter he has with various Fantasy creatures. Each story takes place in the space only a few hours, rarely more than a day passes in each story, and rarely are there ever more than 5 character, usually there are 3 characters. There's never much action (I'm not an action kind of writer) and most of the stories focus on emotional and feelings and thus characters do a LOT of talking/dialogue.

There is almost no descriptions, very little narration, and not much action (though there are big sex scenes, that are almost Erotica). Most readers say my style is "slower" and more "literary" than other writers, but this slow literary style with lots of dialogue and character driven emotional works very well for the short 5k to 30k stories/novelettes/novellas I write.

My primary genres are Bizarro (in Sci-Fi, Horror, and Fantasy), Weird Horror, Erotic Horror, and Monster Porn, with about 2/3s of it featuring predominantly gay and often tranny characters. Along the sides I have a few Westerns, Romance, and other assorted 1-shots of various sub-genres I did "just to try". 

Two things to note in this is that regardless of genre, the writing style always falls under "Literary" (Literary Bizarro, Literary Erotica, Literary Horror, etc) and nothing to date has been longer then 36k words with the bulk of it being in the 5k to 15k range. So mostly short stories and mostly in small-niche genres that never sell much to begin with. I am currently focusing on longer works then I did in the past because longer works sell better then shorter works. So my older works tend to be mostly 5k to 15k, while my newer works are mostly 15k to 30k. I have more shorter titles simple because I've been writing for 38 years and only just switched to longer works in 2013.

Oh and by "Literary" I mean, it's really wordy (just like my forum posts - EXACTLY like my forum posts in fact). And there is ALMOST NO PLOT in any story I write. Every story is purely character driven, with the stories being 75% to 100% dialogue. (Yes 100% dialogue does mean, total 100% first person monologue with no descriptions or tags AT ALL). You are rarely going to see descriptions in anything I write, and in most cases, name/said/dialogue tags are only added in as an after thought in a 2nd edition if reader reviews complained it was too confusing without them. I write in the exact same style as Ernest Hemingway "Hills Like white Elephants" a story about 2 characters sitting in a bar talking, the entire story taking place in the space of 15 minutes doing nothing but following their conversation. Only difference is in my books the characters are Elves and Faeries yapping in taverns instead of humans yapping in bars, otherwise no difference. It ends up reading very much like a "slice of life vignette" where you are looking into just a few minutes of a single day of a characters life, and reading their inner thoughts and emotions, rather then following any actual plot.THAT is what I mean, when I say my stories are "Literary". 

[i](I explain because there are many views on what is and is not Literary and 99% of my readers/reviews describe my books as "Literary" and point specifically to "Hills Like White Elephants". I actually had never read the story until I had had several reviews telling me my work was like it, so I went to read it to find out what it was and, yep, they are right. My stories ARE just like "Hills Like White Elephants". It was uncanny!)[/i]

Also there is notable difference in my prices from other authors' prices, in that I tend to price QUITE A BIT higher then others, and I can do that because of the m/m and m/m2f primary main characters/couples. If you were to take the same genres I write and put m/f or f/f couples in them, you'd see vastly lower prices. 

So, basically I'm writing in an uncommon style, in a very short word count, in a tiny niche bizarre genre, with non-mainstream (gay, usually transvestite, often drag queen) characters. [b]So keep that in mind when considering any advice I say, because the stuff that works for me was designed/tailored very specifically to the genres/style I write and may or may not work in other genres. And always remember my advice is not so much actual advice but rather - me simply telling you what I've tried that worked for me personally and it may not work for you![/b]

I guess my writing style being more slow and laid back, works good for the shorter tales I write. I imagine my slow style wouldn't work too well in novels, I'd probably put the readers to sleep! LOL! :P

Also...I am NOT afraid to write anything. If a reader requests you to write a g-string teddy bear end of the world apocalypse story staring a drag queen main character (which happened to me two weeks ago) I WRITE THE FREAKING THING! 

I've been on fanfic .net for years. I don't remember when I joined, it was like maybe 1997? I gained a lot of my fans that way. And I got in the habit of taking requests. Someone would say: [i]"Hey, I like that Sesshomaru story you wrote. I loved that DarkWing Duck story too. And that Prof Snape one, loved it! You don't think you could write a cross over story with all 3 of them at once could you?" [/i] I was like...hmmm SessyxDrakexSnape fanfiction, I wonder what that's be like? And then I'd write it. Reply back "Hey, you remember that SessyxDrakexSnape fanfic you requested - here it is! Enjoy!"

A lot of my fans started going to Seventh Sanctum Http://www.seventhsanctum.com and Chaotic Shiny http://www.chaotic shiny.com, finding the craziest random generator results they could find, and then send them to me with "Can you write this character, with this plot, and this challenge, and throw in InuYasha and Koga?" I'd look at what they sent me and went...uhm...okay...that's weird. A few days later, I was... "Well, here it is, I don't want it is, but I wrote it for you anyways! Enjoy!"

That's how I eded up creating The Bizarro Story Plot Generator: nhttps://www.eelkat.com/RandomGeneratorsWritingPromptsBizarro.html (yes, I am a geek who knows how to write java code!) which gives me stuff like this:

  • [quote]Write for at least 750 words about a sickly monster, a bejeweled vampire, a violin, a good looking tapestry of a witch, a tiger, a faerie trap in which there is no escape, and a lilac bush.
  • Write for at least 350 words about a glorious kelpie, a zebra striped thief, a wooden box, a winter banker, a jasper mask, a brain sucking elf who holds a dark secret, and a shape shifting trickster.
  • Write for at least 350 words about a sweet hobgoblin, a sour wizard, a happy thought, a spring cleaning preacher, a flapper, a knife, and a wounded enemy.
  • Write for at least 250 words about a foul bigfoot, a glow in the dark kelpie, a strawberry, a blood sucking dancing dodos, a birthday party, a knife, and a leg that is broken.
  • Write for at least 350 words about a foul fluffy dog faerie, a exotic flesh warper, a map with a mind of its own, a song writing kobold, a vulture, a tattoo in the wrong place, and a feather bed.
  • Write for at least 250 words about a sweet mermaid, a kaleidoscopic bridge troll, a dead tree, a river dwelling slave, a serial killing innocent, a cursed necklace, and a sinking boat.
  • Write for at least 400 words about a walking ogre, a haunted orc, a enchanted forest, a lustful Horror, a haunted castle, a sorcerer who holds a dark secret, and a wizard gone rouge.
  • Write for at least 250 words about a destructive sequined frost giant, a creamy sun king, a haunted forest, a bewitching phooka, a bejeweled dagger, a obsidian sword that must be found, and a lake.
  • Write for at least 250 words about a flesh eating crazed chef, a glittering lonely trickster, a bunny, a day dreaming tavern keeper, a wild mushroom, a cake with blue frosting, and a cerulean tigerseye.
  • Write for at least 4 minutes about a eye catching beggar from outer space, a polka dotted colossus, a wounded friend, a spring cleaning tapestry of an wizard, a fantastic box, a pair of parakeets, and[b] a brain sucking leprechaun[/b].
  • Write for at least 350 words about a bleeding flying pig from outer space, a sweet eccentric gigolo, a topaz statue, a nefarious sequined fardarrig, a haunted house, a killer who holds a dark secret, and a secret lover.
  • Write for at least 10 minutes about a frightened wizard, a hunted moon alchemist, a bunny, a ruined fabulous fun, a bewitching toad, a frightened wizard who holds a dark secret, and a black pearl necklace.
  • Write for at least 450 words about a destructive necromancer from outer space, a crystal gigolo, a psychotic alien, a prismatic tapestry of a dove, a elf, a necromancer who holds a dark secret, and a mirror and the people in the room who are not reflecting in it.
  • Write for at least 20 minutes about a glow in the dark lich tourmaline from outer space, a blood thirsty ice faerie, a wooden box, a crystal roane, a hunted wizard, a evil space broccoli, and a bowl of egg. 
  • [/quote]

[i]...I had to highlight that [b]a brain sucking leprechaun[/b] - OMG! It has never given me that before...I MUST WRITE a story abouta brain sucking leprechaun tonight. YES! I love it. ... and what is it with all the "holds a dark secret" that time around?:o ...[/i]

And NOW when readers request stories...they send me results from THAT generator and say "Please, please, please, please, please...I want to read a story about this one..."

That's why this week, so far I have written 3 stories: one about teddy bears in g-string taking over the world, one about a vampire leprechaun, and one one about a necromancer who faints at the sight of blood and sacrifices his lover on an obsidian altar - but blood and all so it kind of doesn't go well you know...

Basically I've stopped writing serious marketable stuff, and am writing weird, bizarre (and oh so fun to write!) absolute insanity at the request of readers from fanfic .net.

This is something VERY common with successful serial writers. They have a close connection to their fans, and the readers become "interactive" in the creation of the story. Readers LOVE this! Readers love it when they write to an author and the author writes back, (not in reviews, though - never comment on reviews, that's a no-no). Readers esp. love it when they contact an author with "Hey, I like character so&so, but he seems wrong somehow, maybe you could give him a pet cat to give him something to care about other then himself." A few weeks later, when the author releases the next volume and so&so now has a cat, the reader is ecstatic and screaming your praises from every social network and street corner. All of a sudden you see a spike in sales. And before long, more requests.

I've gotten requests to write were-goldfish, tooth fairy sex, gay trolls living under purple porches instead of bridges, Monster Porn where the monster is a Green Jelly Cube (see [amazonsearch]Dungeons and Dragons Monster Manual[/amazonsearch] for that one), vampire leprechauns from outer space, a traveling demon possessed shovel that murders people (yes it is TSoD for people who know the reference - been writing that into my stories since 2005!), singing mushrooms, dancing teddy bears, pink penguins, Liberace as a sparkling vampire in a pink sequined tuxedo, and talking bowl of chocolate pudding that refuses to let you eat it...along with the dare to use the phrase "blue box" and "bigger on the inside" in every single story, as well as having character wear long striped scarves that get longer in every scene... 

...and I've decided to take every one of them, are turn it into a single serial with lots of mad capped weirdness that is largely being written at reader requests. And at reader requests already has a mega ton load whopping 130 stories outlines, planned to be released monthly for the next 9 years. This series has been 3 years in the planning, already has fans sewing CosPlay costumes before it's volume even goes live, and as you could imagine I am VERY committed to this thing. Nine years is a LONG time to stay with a single series.

BUT this is a completely custom designed series based totally off reader requests.

Keep your readers happy and give them what they want no matter how insane it is!

If there is one thing I learned in 16 years of retail it's that the customer is always right, and never forget to give them their pickle ( http://www.giveemthepickle.com I took this $895 seminar, applied it to my writing career, I've never regret it. Basically it teaches you - give the customer what they want.) 

I do have a reputation for putting my customers first (heck, I was a door to door salesmen for 16 years - you don't keep a job like that if you aren't good at it!) today my customers are my readers - I give my readers what they ask for. [b]My readers[/b] want insanity on the page. Okay. I'll give them insanity on the page. I do not have so much pride that I will not lower myself to writing absolute MikeyD junk food drivel at reader requests. 

This sort of interactive fan based serial doesn't happen over night. Like I said, this is a spin off my TMSeries, which I started in 1978 and am still writing. Some of these fans have been following my work A LONG time.

Fact is though, I'm just good at writing Bizarre Fiction, Gallows Humor, Black Comedy, and Weird Tales - I've done it as a hobby most of my life and have been told by EVERYONE not to make any sort of attempt to publish that sort of thing, because it's not marketable. But it is what I like writing, and it's what my "underground/fanfic" followers like reading. And after last November I have decided that life's too short to waste it writing anything OTHER then the stuff I enjoy writing most of all. And that just happens to be Bizarre Fiction, Gallows Humor, Black Comedy, and Weird Tales, so from here on in, that's what I'm writing.

I've got family, friends, relatives, editors, everybody telling me: "But you can't make money with Bizarre Fiction, Gallows Humor, Black Comedy, and Weird Tales!" Thing is, I've been without money most of my life, and for a brief period I had a lot of money. I've seen both sides of the coin and while money improves lifestyle, it doesn't make you happier and it can't do anything to improve your health or prolong your life. Money doesn't buy either health or happiness, and so writing to make money is no longer important to me. I am now writing the thing I've wanted to write for years and didn't, and I am writing this Quaraun series at a much faster pace then when I was writing for money (130k words written in the past 3 weeks alone), because I do want to get it written down, while I still can.

My health changed a lot November 2013. And I have stopped writing EVERYTHING that I'm not 100% passion about as a result of that and that really is what you are seeing happening right, me crossing things off a list of things to do. 

I'm cutting back on writing anything I don't enjoy 100% and writing less for the market and more just what I want to write. Standard Erotica is still where the money and big sales are, I'm just bored with writing it and have enough money coming in now to stop writing trends and write what I actually prefer to write instead.

Basically I've stopped writing for money and started writing for fun.

The other thing is, I have had a serial I've been wanted to write for 3 years now and it's been sitting on the back burner not being written because it is EXTREME Bizarro, absolute complete total madcap insanity that makes Alice's trip through Wonderland look like an every day shopping trip to WalMart. 

I've been getting slack for this story from EVERYONE for the past 3 years and put off writing it to write "more marketable" stuff instead. Last November my health got REALLY bad...really, really, really, REALLY bad, far worse then what most people online or offline have actually bed told. 

My health is not good and it's getting worse. [b]I basically got hit with a realization, that if I don't write this thing now, I may never do it and I really want to write this thing, so I've pulled up stakes on EVERYTHING and am now throwing everything into writing this one series, letting everything else fall to the wayside.[/b]

As of last November, it no longer matters to me, if I kill my career writing this series, it's what I wanted to write, so I'm going to write it.

 Basically I am doing nothing but writing Quaraun now and, once in a while adding to my other serials to finish them up.

Quaraun is, as I said, the series I'm focusing 100% on now. This series is all over the place. Shortest story so far is 7k words, longest so far is 32k. It is a continuing serial, written in a soap opera type style that just keeps going and going and going, each story continuing and no actual end planned for the series at all, so I am able to literally write this thing for the rest of my life - there are 130 volumes/episodes outlined so far. Genre for this thing? OMG I have no idea. I asked my betas, what they thought it was: over all Sword & Sorcery is what it's flying under, but they've also said it is Literary, Horror, Romance, Erotica (sometimes not always), and most definitely Bizarro. So, I've actually called it: Bizarre Erotic Literary Dark Sword & Sorcery with WM/BM Dec/May gay Romantic undertones, with a side note that the main character is a transvestite/drag queen serial killing necromancer. (I can't call it that on Amazon of course) There simply is no classifying this thing, it's hitting every genre at once. Like I said, this is something I have wanted to write for a long time and didn't write because it's weird and insane and doesn't fit into any marketable category at all.

How to price it? I can't compare other books in the genre, because there aren't any. Fiction world is sort of short on non-Erotica transvestite serial killing necromancer main characters. Only other book out there even remotely like this series is [amazonsearch]Lythande[/amazonsearch] and that's still a far stretch.

It doesn't fly well with typical Sword and Sorcery, because of the highly Literary aspect (as mentioned above)... Sword and Sorcery typically has a lot of action and fighting and battles going on, and this has absolutely ZERO of that. Like I said, this entire series reads like "Hills Like White Elephants". There are 200k words to this written so far and it's 90% dialogue - straight up conversation. It reads more like a play script then prose. So what do I compare it to? Shakespeare?

So, I've spent most of the summer trying to figure this out. I've had tons of people reading this thing pre-publication to get feedback on what to do, and instead of giving me helpful advice on categories and prices, they are just all saying stuff like [i]"This is insane, please don't publish this. No one is going buy something like this. No one wants to read something like this. You are going to kill your career with this."[/i] 

Okay, so I've had like 50 people tell me this story is just too insane to published, but not one bit of helpful advice on how to categorize it or how to price it! ARGH!

I ask some of my drag queen friends. SIDE NOTE: I'm a drag queen by the way, and a transvestite, and am a non white pagan (Vodu priestess/ Hoodoo Rootwork aka a real live magic user) person in a 28 year relationship with a white man who is 30 years older then me, which is the inspiration for the white man/black man (WM/BM) Dec/May (extreme age difference) relationship in this series with the primary character being a drag queen wizard. I'm a write what I know type of person. I know drag queens and magic and interracial Dec/May relationships well because that's just my every day life. I'm also a [amazonsearch]SpellJammer[/amazonsearch] (aka Elves in Space) Dungeon Master. Quaraun himself is a D&D character I have played for years in our game group. The stories in the series, are the game sessions we ran for several years until my character was blown up by a fellow Elf wizard 3 years ago, thus inspiring me to start writing the series after I could no longer play the character in the game sessions.

So, I ask my drag queen friends, what they think. They love it. Sure it's insane, but it's a drag queen as a main character, written by an actual drag queen, something not seen very often at all. It is from them that I finally got some helpful advice on how to both categorize and price it.

First off they said, even though it's not Romance or Erotica, put it in Gay Fiction, gay readers and anyone looking for a drag queen main character is going to look in Gay Fiction.

Secondly they recommend I list every other volume: one in Fantasy, the next in Humor, because while it's Fantasy, it's more Satire then anything else. (Satire? Really? Now I have to rethink this.)

Next they say to look at the prices used in gay fiction overall, regardless of genre otherwise.

Why? They said because even though this thing is screaming several genres left and right, it's very, very, very, very, very over the top screaming gay satire (to the point of being seen as offensive to anyone who sees over the top pink sequins and fur Liberace style gay as offensive; Quaraun wears pink sequin ball gowns while doing his necromancer things that necromancers do; one of the repeat minor characters walks around the village in nothing but a purple sequined g-string followed by an army of animated teddy bears in matching g-strings...when I say over the top offensively gay, yeah, I do mean WAAAY over the top).The whole thing is just blatantly, unabashingly gay to the ultimate extreme....uhm...okay...I didn't see it that way when I wrote it, but, whatever. (I have been FREQUENTLY accused by other gay people of being a perfect example of the type of tranny who gives the gay community a bad name, due largely to the fact that I dress like Liberace, I glitter head to toe, every day, all day, and my daily driver is a rhinestoned car.)

Well, in the end, what I did was follow their advice and ignore the naysayers. 

I buy m/m and read m/m and write m/m, so why did I not think of this right from the start? I have no idea. I usually look at m/m and automatically think:

  • $2.99 = short story
  • $4.99 = novella
  • $6.99 = novel

I think that way because, that's pretty standard across all m/m on Amazon, trade and indie published. m/m books are pretty consistently priced like that, to the point that I usually judge an m/m book's word count based off it's price and I'm usually right.

And because I also write m/m (both erotic and non-erotic), I tend to price with the competition. So usually my own m/m prices are like this:


  • .99c = -7k
  • $2.99 = 7k to 20k
  • $3.99 = 20k to 40k
  • $4.99 = 40k to 70k
  • $6.99 = 70k+


Well...duh! Why in the heck am I running back and forth trying to figure out genre and prices when I had the answer staring me in the face all along? I think I just got too close to this thing, to the point that I couldn't step back and see it as a reader. 

Oh well.

In the end, I'm trying to keep each story in the 20k to 30k range (I find 20k to 30k sells better then any word count below 20k; the shorter the word count the harder it is to sell in my experience.)

I'm pricing it like this:

$3.99 for new releases, price drops to $2.99 when the next volume comes out. While not Erotica, the series is erotic on some levels and technically falls under "mild" Monster Porn and is also m/m (or rather M/m2f) and so can go for a slightly higher price then a much tamer serial. 

So it'll look like this:


  • vol 1: $3.99


  • vol 1: $2.99
  • vol 2: $3.99


  • vol 1: $2.99
  • vol 2: $2.99
  • vol 3: $3.99


  • vol 1: $2.99
  • vol 2: $2.99
  • vol 3: $2.99
  • vol 4: $3.99


ect.


Because of the erotic content, and the 15k to 30k word count, I don't think any volume of this series will ever go below $2.99, except for Select Free Days and Count Down Deals. Maybe a year or two into it I might put the older volumes down to $1.49, but it's unlikely.

(SIDE NOTE: I do prefer Select for my serials, some authors don't. I like being able to offer Free Days and 99c sale Count Downs to my readers, I've used Select since 2012. Love it. I like it even more now that KU has come out because readers can borrow my books and while it is a cut in my income, it's a discount for my readers, so I'm okay with that. Some authors have found Select/KU has hurt their sales, others it's boosted their sales. You really have to research all the info out there and weigh the pros and cons and then decide for yourself if you want to go with Select or not.)

Were the content not so heavily erotic, I would start each one out at $3.99 and drop it to $2.99/$1.49/.99. With each new release all titles would rotate in price. Hard to explain. I'll show how this looks on a chart:


  • vol 1: $3.99


  • vol 1: $2.99
  • vol 2: $3.99


  • vol 1: $1.49
  • vol 2: $2.99
  • vol 3: $3.99

  • vol 1: .99c
  • vol 2: $1.49
  • vol 3: $2.99
  • vol 4: $3.99


  • vol 1: .99c
  • vol 2: $1.49
  • vol 3: $1.49
  • vol 4: $2.99
  • vol 5: $3.99


  • vol 1: .99c
  • vol 2: $1.49
  • vol 3: $1.49
  • vol 4: $1.49
  • vol 5: $2.99
  • vol 6: $3.99


etc. So that the new release is always $3.99, next new release drops to $2.99, until the next volume comes out, then it drops to $1.49. The first one always stays .99c, the new release is always $3.99, the previous release always $2.99 and the rest are always $1.49.

 I'd adjust price to match the serial's genre and word count. Erotica could go higher for example, as could a 40k per episode serial.

For example, say you wanted to do a 3 part series of 100k novels, instead of a serial. A 100k per volume trilogy, if it was mine, I'd probably do this:


  • vol 1: $6.99
  • vol 2: $6.99
  • vol 3: $6.99


Because it's only 3 volumes. I wouldn't bother changing the price as new volumes came out. 

If however, it was more volumes, say the series had 10 volumes of 100k each. I'd probably do this:

I'd start it at $6.99 until I had the first 3 volumes out, then drop it to .99c/$2.99/$4.99, like this:


  • vol 1: $6.99


  • vol 1: $6.99
  • vol 2: $6.99


  • vol 1: .99c
  • vol 2: $2.99
  • vol 3: $6.99


  • vol 1: .99c
  • vol 2: $2.99
  • vol 3: $4.99
  • vol 4: $6.99

  • vol 1: .99c
  • vol 2: $2.99
  • vol 3: $4.99
  • vol 4: $4.99
  • vol 5: $6.99


  • vol 1: .99c
  • vol 2: $2.99
  • vol 3: $4.99
  • vol 4: $4.99
  • vol 5: $4.99
  • vol 6: $4.99
  • vol 7: $4.99
  • vol 8: $4.99
  • vol 9: $4.99
  • vol 10: $6.99


etc. Same as the above for a shorter word count series. With each So that the new release is always $6.99, until the next volume comes out, then it drops to $4.99. The first one always stays .99c, vol 2 always stays at $2.99, the new release is always $6.99 and the rest are always $4.99.

However, I don't write in this word count range, so I have no actual experience in how that would work out. It's just my gut reaction, to how I would handle pricing something like that if it was mine, based on what I see others doing with theirs. 

I don't have any fiction books over 36k, so as an author no actual experience with pricing 100k fiction. That's just an example I'm throwing in there to show you how I would alter the price around, depending on genre and word counts. Longer word counts I'd use high prices. More in demand genres also higher prices. Etc.

Here's the thing...before you ask, you won't see me telling you the names of my serials or my pennames. The ones I've mentioned here, I don't mind mentioning because of various factors:

  • The TM Series is NOT available in ebook format; it is print only and it is NOT on Amazon
  • The Quaraun series, will never be a best seller. The market for this series is so small that it is not a series that'll be seen as a threat to other authors
  • Yes, I did say other authors. That is something to thing about.

Why? Remember what I said about nasty-gram reviews? You remember the thread I linked to, the one that had near 20 pages of posts mass deleted by several members who left KB in tears? That thread is only the latest of nearly a dozen threads to have seen the same attack. Amanda Hocking was one of the first to leave KB in tears after being attacked with plethora of 1star nasty reviews from people openly admitted to not buying her books. Joe Konrath, Ella Cassey, Russel Blake, and a long, long list of others. 

In every case, these authors started a "how-to thread" linked to their best selling pen names, and told people step by step how to repeat their success.

In every case, with in 6 months of starting their thread, they removed most of their posts, removed links, and vanished.

Now, before you go thinking "oh, they shouldn't post on KB!'...no, this phenomena is NOT EXCLUSIVE to KB. It happens on EVERY writers forum I've ever been on, and that's a lot of forums. I've seen this again and again and again.

Now, I can't speak for other authors, so these answers are just based on what I've personally seen with my own titles. 

I've done multiple serials over the years, everything from Flash Fiction (1k per episode) serials (which work in Literary Journals and print magazines, but not as ebooks)

I have a short story serial on Amazon, each volume (currently 25) is 2k to 5k long and priced at .99c each. Sales are dismal at 1 or 2 or 3 copies per volume, about every other week. This one suffers from multiple issues: 

  • Shorts are hard to sell
  • Horror is hard to sell
  • Literary Fiction is hard to sell
  • Bizarro is hard to sell

This serial is Short Literary Bizarre Horror

But in spite of low sales, this serial has an alarmingly high rate of 4 and 5 star reviews. Readers who've bought it, love it, there just are not many readers looking for this sort of thing. I continue to write it in spite of very poor sales because it's just plain fun to write, and it only takes me about 4 hours to write, edit, and publish each volume so I can put these up really fast, making them a good thing to work on in my spare time when I get stuck on one of my other projects.

My best selling serial is an Erotica series, each volume averaging at 7k to 12k and priced at $2.99 each. The M/f pairings sell best, but I prefer to write the M/m and M/m2f pairings. Basically this series does good on the simple fact that: sex sells. Erotica under 5k and over 15k does not sell nearly as well. Near as I can tell, 7k to 12k and priced at $2.99 is optimal for Erotica.

Side Note: I no longer write standard basic human on human contemporary Erotica. This has nothing to do with sales or marketability. It still sells really well. I just got bored with writing it. I do however continue to write Monster Porn. I love Monster Porn. My Monster Porn is done as a series not a serial and is 7k to 12k and priced at $2.99. 

While this word count and price point is optimal for Erotica, I tried another non-Erotica (Sci-Fi) serial in the 7k - 12k @ $2.99 and it didn't sell well at all. I lowered prices to $1.49, then .99c and ended the series early because I lost interest in it. 

The TMSeries is all over the place from 750 word minute fiction all the way up to 68k short novels. There are NO ebook editions of this banned MA rated print only serial that is only sold at super jacked up prices [i](as much as $250 for some of the more taboo lolicon, incest, cannibal sex, and necrophilia episodes)[/i] in underground grind-house brick&mortar book stores. The genre is Gorn (Horror Pornography, it's graphic, grizzly, bloody, with extreme sex, and few book stores will carry it and I've yet to find an ebook provider who will allow me to upload it - Amazon included). 

The series that is my 2nd best seller and gets the most borrows is 20k to 30k each and priced at $2.99 each and is M/m Erotic Romance.

My WORST selling serial? I have a creative non-fiction autobiographical memoir serial, which is basically my actual personal diary. They kind of read like blog post rants. Just me bitching about whatever. They are sort of snarky, in your face Fuckedoff kind of attitude 1st person PoV. It's quite different then my other work, because usually I'm writing in a happy, peppy, 3rd person PoV. So this series is very uncharacteristic of me.

When I started it, each volume was 1k to 3k. So REALLY short stories. I originally listed it as Fiction>Literary Fiction. Did NOT sell well. As in each volume sold about 3 copies a month. I later went back and republished the series, by combining volumes 3to1 (creating 5k to 7k per volume) and moved it to Non-Fiction>Memoirs. The next day the 1st volume sold 96 copies.BIG difference.

The volumes currently sell at a rate of 2 or 3 copies per volume, per week, all of them getting a spike to about 10 or 12 copies per week, every time I release a new volume (only during the week of the release), which happens about every other month. I rarely put new releases out for this one. I put the new releases out at $2.99, then after about 4 months lower them down to .99c. I try to keep each volume in the range of 5k to 7k now, instead of 1k to 3k. I think if they were even longer they'd sell better, but I don't put much effort into this series at all, so I don't bother to worry about it. It's mostly just something I do when I get bored with one of my regular serials.

I have no clue how typical those results are compared to other similar serials. Like I said, I don't put much real effort into this one. I don't market it or promote it, I barely even edit it after writing it. I don't look at other books selling in it's category to see how it compares with others for word count, covers, price, etc.The covers? I just slapped a random photo of my yard I took with my camera, on them - don't even edit or photoshop them. So really crappy covers on these things too.I just do absolutely nothing with this series at all. It really is, me tossing diary entries out into the world in a "this is what I have to say about ___ and I don't care what you think of it" sort of way. No surprise here that it sells only 1 or 2 or 3 copies a week. Yeah, no surprise at all.

Like I said, that one (the memoir/ diary/ thing one) is my poorest selling serial, and even the covers are crude and cruddy, so yeah. I don't know, maybe if I polished it up, put better covers on it, had it edited, and promoted it, maybe it'd do better? *shrug* It's just not where my primary focus is so I let it fall by the wayside while I focus on other things.

It's probably not a good example to look at for comparison, unless maybe to tell you how NOT to write/ publish a serial? LOl! :P It's a really good example of how, you get out of a serial what you put into it. I mean, my top selling serials are the ones I put a lot of work into writing, editing, covers, and marketing. While the ones that don't move are the ones I hashed out fast, barely edited, and slapped any random photo on and called it a cover.

There've been others, varying word counts, prices, genres, most of them I lost interest in and ended. Most I didn't keep going long enough to have much data on long term results.

If I was going to recommend a word count per episode, I'd say 7k to 12k and priced at $2.99 is optimal for Erotica and 20k to 30k and priced at $2.99 is optimal for non-Erotica

Now, none of my serials are "big sellers" but they are "steady sellers" and with enough of them provide a good income. Do keep in mind I write bizarre weird stuff, so I'm dealing with a very small niche genre. I'm not writing more typical Paranormal Romance or standard Erotica or standard Romance and that does effect sales.

I know there are several authors here on KB who write Erotic Paranormal Romance and reported making $1,000 a week as little as one month in, with only 3 volumes of a single serial out. Erotic Paranormal Romance is a really BIG seller in serials, but that's what I'm writing, so that's why you see the difference in sales, between them and me, and why, they only need a few titles to make the same income I make off 100+ titles.

So there's genre to consider. I don't know where Dark Romance stands in there, because that's not what I write. Weird Bizarro is my thing, the weirder the better. But there's not a lot of readers for it, so I have to constantly be putting out more and more titles all the time. Every week. Every time I take a few weeks off from publishing, I see a dramatic drop in income. I have to always stay on top of putting out new titles, because I'm dealing with such a tiny small niche genre.

This used to be the #1 best place for info on serials and how to write them: http://www.kboards.com/index.php/topic,184087.0.html unfortunately she got hit hard by neg reviews as a result of posting links to her serial when serial-haters could easily find them and it just about destroyed her career, so she removed her incredibly helpful posts off this thread. However, if you read the entire thread, you will find LOTS of helpful posts written by others who responded to her original (now deleted post). Sadly this thread was once 50+ pages long and after she, and others, took down their how-to posts it's now only 34 pages long.

She was not the only member who was hit hard by the anti-serial neg review haters - nearly a dozen members who had posted on this thread fell under heavy 1-star review fire - in some cases each volume of their serials had received upwards of 300 one star reviews in the space of a few hours. 

If you are looking at a bigger more popular genre, you don't have to publish as often. The more popular the genre is, the few titles you need to be publishing. Usually. In some cases a genre is so huge and over saturated, that it becomes harder to make sales then if you wrote a small niche genre.

I've got titles I can rely on to get pretty constant sales. when I say consistent, I do mean consistent too. What's really weird is one book gets 1 sale a week. Every week. One sale, never more. Another gets 1 a day. Every day. 1 sale. Never more. Another gets 3 sales every week. Every single week. Exactly three. Another gets 2 sales and 1 borrow every single day. I do not get this at all. How? Why? It's almost like Amazon has some weird guard at the door saying: "Okay, this book got it's sale for the day, the rest of you have to come back tomorrow if you want to buy it, be here at sunrise and I'll let the first person at the door have tomorrow's copy." It's just mind-boggling.

But there is a trend in the idea that serials are the way to go. Serials are the one way ticket to being a Kindle millionaire. Uhm...I don't know where this theory comes from, because as far as I know Viola Riviera and Holly Ward are the ONLY two authors making "big money" in serial writing and neither of them is close to being millionaires. I've talked to a lot of serial authors and most of the "big names" in serial writing only report making around $50k (or MUCH less) a year, while most everyone else is quoting incomes of under $10k per serial per years.

Serial writing is going to bring in a good income, if your serial gains a following, but their is more serial hate then serial love, so gaining a following is not easy.

No. Serials are not the secret to success. The REASON serials make authors more money is because serial authors are PUBLISHING WEEKLY, which keeps them on Amazon's new release page 52 times a year. I goes back to quantity.

It doesn't matter if that quantity is 52 standalones or 52 volumes of a continuing serial. What matters is that you WROTE and PUBLISHED 52 stories that year. 

Quantity is king. 

Be releasing a new story every week and you won't need to do one damned thing else.

How do you become a Kindle millionaire?

Write, publish, write, publish, write, publish, write, publish, write, publish, write, publish, write, publish, write, publish, write, publish, write, publish, write, publish, write, publish, write, publish, write, publish, write, publish, write, publish, write, publish, write, publish, write, publish, repeat... 

That's it. That's all there is too it.

There are no secret formulas, no tips to make you sell faster. 

The ONLY way to become a Kindle millionaire is to stop procrastinating. Stop talking about writing. Stop planning on writing. Stop dreaming about writing. Stop reading about writing. Just sit you damn ass down and START writing. That's it. That's ALL there is to it.

Write, publish, write, publish, write, publish, write, publish, write, publish, write, publish, write, publish, write, publish, write, publish, write, publish, write, publish, write, publish, write, publish, write, publish, write, publish, write, publish, write, publish, write, publish, write, publish, repeat... 

If you don't write, you can't publish. If you don't publish you can't get sales. If you don't have sales you won't make money. If you don't make money, you won't be able to save money in the bank and let it collect interest. if you don't save money in the bank, you'll never reach a million dollars.

You can market all you want, but, when push comes to shove, the only way to REALLY make money is to just write, publish, write, publish, write, publish, write, publish, write, publish, write, publish, write, publish, repeat... 


[quote author=NAME REMOVED FOR BOOK PUBLICATION EDITION]You mentioned Pre-written plots somewhere. Where would someone buy or sell something like this? how do you use them?I've never heard of it before. [/quote]



Warriors Forum. As far as I know it's the only place you can buy them. We are not allowed to link to Warrior's forum here on KB, so just Google "warrior's forum pre-written plots", and it'll take you right too them. there are about 250 of them currently available. They typically sell at about 10 for $30 or 5 for $17 depending on who's selling them.

I'm a member of the Warrior's Forum, so, yeah, you know I use 'em! LOL! I got 56 of the pre-written plots from over there.

A pre-written plot is a 1,000 word mini-story, written in short story format, but has no "meat" to it, it's just a bare skeleton. Usually they are made up of ten 100 word paragraphs.

What you do it take the plot, drop it into your file. Use find/replace to change character names. Next you take each of the 10 paragraphs and re-write it into a chapter, of at least 1k words long. When you are done you have a 10k word short story. If you want to write a 100k word novel, you do the same thing, just re-write each paragraph to be 10k words long.

The beauty of it, is you can take 1 plot and use it over and over again, so you can write dozens of stories for each of the plots. 

Buying those packs of pre-written plots is one of the best things I ever did for my writing career.

I use them in conjunction with this beat sheet: http://jamigold.com/2012/11/write-romance-get-your-beat-sheet-here

I start out with a beat sheet, edit it to my intended wordcount (usually 15,000 words) slap it into my new document. Now I know how many words to write for each scene, what to put in each scene, on what pages to introduce characters, love interests, villains, triggering events, story arcs, climax, etc. The is the basic bare bones skeleton on which I write the story. (The is called "Formula writing" and is used by most of Harlequin's romance novel authors, thus how you can guarantee what pages sex scene fall on, what pages crisis happen, etc in a Harlequin book. It is also used by TV Show script writers from pretty much every TV show out there.)

 Now than my story has a skeleton, I give it some muscles to help hold it together. I do that with the help of pre-written plots and random generators.

 Than I grab a pre-written plot and drop it in. 

 I use find/replace to change character names. I use name generators from 7thSanctum http://www.seventhsanctum.com and Chaotic Shiny http://www.chaoticshiny.comto create new character names.

Here are a few of the name generators:

 [b]Dark Elf Name Generator[/b] http://www.seventhsanctum.com/generate.php?Genname=darkelfnamer

[b]Vampire Name Generator[/b] http://www.seventhsanctum.com/generate.php?Genname=vampnamer

[b]Modern Name Generator[/b]http://www.chaoticshiny.com/modernnamegen.php

There are about 3 dozen name generators between the two sites.

 Next I use the adventure place generator http://www.seventhsanctum.com/generate.php?Genname=advname which just now gave me [i]Magic Domain of Shadowed Souls[/i] or the B-Movie title generator http://www.seventhsanctum.com/generate.php?Genname=bmovie which just gave me [i]Brain of the Beast [/i]to create the title of the book.

 Next I grab a writing exercise (you guys who've been following the daily writing prompts are going to recognize this one!) http://www.chaoticshiny.com/wegen.phpto get me started, I write whatever it tells me to write. Just now it gave me: [i]Write for at least 150 words about a financial difficulty, a song, a violet, and a lawyer.[/i] (Now you know where a lot of my daily writing prompts came from.)

 Next I decide who it is my characters will meet that is going to have a pivotal effect on the outcome of the story by asking the crowd generator: http://www.chaoticshiny.com/crowdgen.php which just now tells me it's going to be [i]The cute, exuberant woman who is fending off a beggar. 

[/i]

Let's give her an attitude towards my characters: http://www.chaoticshiny.com/attitudegen.php [i]Is friendly towards the character, and is open about these feelings about it.[/i]

But what is her true motive? http://www.chaoticshiny.com/motivegen.php [i]This character is motivated by loyalty, twisted wanderlust and misplaced desire to prove them-self. They doubt their own motives.[/i]

As my stories are often D&D styled I next find a tavern for my characters to stop at: http://www.chaoticshiny.com/taverngen.php (this creates a HUGE full page highly detailed description of the tavern, it's workers, it's menu, and all of the patrons your character sees when they walk in)

Next I give my tavern a name: http://www.seventhsanctum.com/generate.php?Genname=tavernnameI just received: [i]The Charming Hobgoblin[/i]

Than I find out the location of my tavern: http://www.seventhsanctum.com/generate.php?Genname=advname I just now got: [i]Woodlands of Annihilation[/i]

Then I grab a quest item for my characters to be looking for, thus why they are in the tavern in the first place: http://www.seventhsanctum.com/generate.php?Genname=questitemIt just gave me: Enchanted Lute of Invocationfor them to find.

And don't forget to use the Meal Generator to have your characters order a meal so they don't gather suspicion from the locals: http://www.chaoticshiny.com/mealgen.php

Looks like tonight one of my characters are going to be ordering: [i]Steamed large thick wheat noodles with wild leek, mocker-nut, albatross, magpie and serpent on a bed of steamed winter melon and huckleberries. Served with bagels with jam and blue cheese.[/i]

While another is having:[i]Baked thick rice noodles with beetroot, artichoke, albatross, sweet pepper and snow-berry on a bed of cooked chrysanthemum leaves, tatsoi and tangerines. Served with mooli pie, bat soup and panettone.[/i]

My characters decide to spend the night here because the Weather Forecast Generator http://www.chaoticshiny.com/forecastgen.php says: [i]Tomorrow there will be lightning storms with a large chance of showers and moderate winds from the northeast. It will likely be drastically hotter than it has been. Local guides' predictions are usually somewhat accurate.[/i]

 My characters spend the night here, and than the Writing Challenge Generator (another you will recognize) http://www.seventhsanctum.com/generate.php?Genname=writechallenge tells me that: [i]A character borrows money, but the action is misinterpreted. The story must have a goblin at the beginning. The story ends in a living room.During the story, a well-established leader steps down. The story must involve a talisman at the end.[/i]

Once I have that, now I write the story, with no plot, no outline, no problem, just take the things the random generators gave me and see what I end up writing as a result. Keeping in mind that everything I write for some reason ends up being Monster Porn or Vampire Erotica, so it kind of doesn't matter what the generators give me, it's always gonna end up with the tavern turning out being a house of ill repute, run by a Faerie, a Merman, an Elf, a Vampire, or a Brain Sucking Squid and the main character is gonna be in bed with them regardless of anything else.:P

If I feel that is enough I'll stop there with those and start writing. If I feel something is missing, I'll use other generators, depending on what direction I'm planning to take the story. Some other generators I commonly use and may throw into the mix include:

My characters have to watch out because some taverns have secret portals in them: http://www.chaoticshiny.com/portalgen.php [i]This portal appears as an eerie, dripping amber stairway when open, and a shivering, murky gateway when closed. It is hovering between two bridge supports. A high-pitched wailing noise comes from the portal. It smells strongly questionable.[/i]

When I want to add a vampire I look to the vampire generator:http://www.seventhsanctum.com/generate.php?Genname=vampire Use the drop down menu to select type of vampire desired:

[b]Regular Male:[/b] which just gave me: [i]This bouncy vampire has large gray eyes that are like two windows looking out on an overcast sky. His fine, wavy, brown hair is worn in a style that reminds you of a seashell. He is inhumanly tall and has a plump build. His skin is tan. He has stubby-fingered hands. He can read the minds of people. If attacked with weapons made of gold, he will disintegrate. His diet requires blood of males. His outfits are sexy.[/i]

[b]Regular Female:[/b] which just gave me: [i]This cunning vampiress has hooded eyes the color of varnished wood. Her fine, wavy, brown hair is short and is worn in a severe, utilitarian style. She is short and has a muscular build. Her skin is cream-colored. She can turn into a snake. She will die if bitten by another vampire. Her diet consists of blood, but she can also eat normal food. Her outfits are those of a ranger.[/i]

[b]Anime Male:[/b] which just gave me: [i]This aloof vampire has large jet black eyes. His luxurious, straight, green hair is waist-length and is worn in a dignified style. He is inhumanly tall and has a lean build. His white skin is more like an insect's carapace. He has claw-like hands and feet. His body seems to have more joints than the regular human body. He can turn into a piranha. His diet requires blood of any kind. He feeds not through his mouth, but via a long tongue with a mouth-like end.

[/i]

[b]Anime Female:[/b] which just gave me: [i]This sensitive vampiress has narrow yellow eyes. Her fine, straight, turquoise hair is medium-length and is worn in a simple, precise style. She has a thin build. Her skin is china-white. She has a small mouth. She can turn into a mist. She can enter the dreams of others and control them. She has mild telekinesis. If attacked with weapons made of iron, she will go into a coma. She dresses like a bodyguard.[/i]

[b]Monster Male:[/b] which just gave me: [i]This mistrustful vampire has narrow violet eyes that never blink. His brown hair actually acts as a kind of sensory organ, like a cat's whiskers. He is inhumanly tall and has a masculine build. His skin has an odd red cast to it. He has claw-like hands. His joints seem to bend in ways that human joints don't. He can turn into a dog. He can be killed by destroying his brain. His diet requires blood of females.[/i]

[b]Monster Female:[/b] which just gave me: [i]This mystical female vampire has narrow yellow eyes that can extend on stalks. Her orange hair is really a set of quills that she can use as a weapon. She is inhumanly tall and has a curvy build. Her skin has an odd red cast to it. Her body is rubbery, and able to extend unnaturally. She has wings that are bony and ragged. She can turn into a cloud of dust. If attacked with weapons made of gold, she will be incapacitated. Her diet consists of blood, but she can also eat normal food.

[/i]

When I want to add a non-vampire villain I look to the villain generator:http://www.seventhsanctum.com/generate.php?Genname=villain Use the drop down menu to select type of villain desired:

[b]Evil Magic User: [/b]which just gave me: [i]This ignorant mage is driven by egotism. He employs elemental magic in his schemes, often magically causing natural disasters to achieve his goals. He can't resist helping people.[/i]

[b]Mad Scientist:[/b] which just gave me: [i]This cheerful, misguided man of science is spurred onward by sadism. He uses cybernetics in his plans, usually selling dangerous medical technology to achieve his goals. He is an outsider.[/i]

[b]Super Villain:[/b] which just gave me: [i]This industrious super-villain has flight powers, and is driven by a need to compensate for personal inadequacies. She is always stealing rare valuables to achieve her goals. She is prone to odd statements.[/i]

And don't forget to give your villain a theme: http://www.seventhsanctum.com/generate.php?Genname=supervillaintheme [i]The ocean-dwelling inquisitor of magic-users.[/i]

And every villain needs a name like [i]Iceberg Man[/i] or [i]Dark Assassin[/i] or [i]Malachite Eagle[/i] even [i]Violet Spider[/i] you find them here: http://www.seventhsanctum.com/generate.php?Genname=superheronameorg

And what's a villain without minions? http://www.seventhsanctum.com/generate.php?Genname=darkminion[i]Bloodstained Spiders Of The Ripping Goddess[/i]

 When I want to add a monster I look to the monster generator:http://www.chaoticshiny.com/monstergen.php which just gave me: [i]This enormous reptilian monster can be found in abandoned ruins. It leaps upon its prey, which includes magical beasts, humans, mundane beasts, and medium-sized creatures. It attacks with rapid blows and draining magic. They travel in bands of 2-19. Rumor holds that their lairs are filled with traps.[/i]

Needs a dragon? http://www.seventhsanctum.com/generate.php?Genname=dragondesc [i]This dragon has a serpentine body. Its scales are the color of polished bronze. This dragon has elongated, slender limbs with five closely-mounted digits on each foot that end in long, blunt claws. It has wings running from its shoulders to its lower back. This dragon has a mouth that takes up most of its face. It has round nostrils. This dragon has beady eyes that are red. It has small, pointed ears. A series of tentacle-like tendrils sprouts from its chin. A hornlike projection juts straight out between its nostrils.[/i]

When I want to add a zombie I look to the zombie generator: http://www.chaoticshiny.com/zombiegen.phpwhich just gave me: [i]This zombie is not contagious. She is somewhat decayed, and is missing patches of skin and random chunks of flesh. She is very slow, not at all smart, and not very strong. She is wearing tattered clothing. She attacks mostly by clawing victims.[/i]

When I want to add an entire zombie horde at the end of the world I look to the apocalypsegenerator:http://www.chaoticshiny.com/apocgen.php which just gave me: [i]Initial Cause: worldwide economic collapse; Secondary Causes: pollution and natural plague; Threats: carnivorous plants, dangerous storms, slow zombies, and contagious zombies; Survivors: 21.4% of the population[/i]

I love wizards, alchemists, and necromancers (thus why nearly every story I write contains at least 1, often as a primary or main character). Well magic using characters need magic spells: which just gave me:

potions: http://www.seventhsanctum.com/generate.php?Genname=potiondesc which just gave me: [i]The thick glowing liquid that is sapphire with vermillion flakes. It smells like sugar, but tastes like pineapple. and The moving, oily liquid that is pink in color. It smells and tastes like red pepper.[/i]

more potions: http://www.chaoticshiny.com/potgen.php which just gave me: [i]Fuchsia and a slimy texture, contained in a crystal vial. The potion smells like pine sap and tastes hellish. Side-affects may include a hangover.[/i]

Medications: http://www.seventhsanctum.com/generate.php?Genname=medicationwhich just gave me: [i]Apextod - small, pentagonal, violet pills.[/i]

poisons: http://www.chaoticshiny.com/poisongen.php which just gave me: [i]This poison causes partial paralysis. It is easy to mix with other substances. Unmixed, it is dark green and smells nice.[/i]

Bizarre Alchemy: http://www.chaoticshiny.com/weird_alchgen.php which just gave me:[i] Garnets + Iron + Magic = Cardboard[/i]

fancy drinks: http://www.chaoticshiny.com/drinkgen.php which just gave me:[i] Deep purple with lots of bubbles and cinnamon on the rim of the glass. The drink smells safe and tastes excellent. It causes mild paranoia.[/i]

Mixed Drink Names:http://www.seventhsanctum.com/generate.php?Genname=mixeddrink which just gave me: [i]Apricot Peach Shandy[/i] and [i]Blueberry Plum Peanut[/i] and [i]Coconut Castle[/i] and [i]Demonic Knight's Hack[/i] and [i]Godlike Fatal Twister [/i]

spell-books:http://www.seventhsanctum.com/generate.php?Genname=bookspinner which just gave me:

 [i]A Mage's Catalogue of Necromancy

This book is muddled beyond belief mostly due to it having no kind of organization at all. If, by chance or skill, someone can unriddle the book, that person will find it has a lot useful information. Despite its good traits, the contents are not very original.

Examining the book, one will find: Some notes concentrated in select sections of the book, that have nothing whatsoever to do with the book's contents.[/i]

charms: http://www.chaoticshiny.com/charmgen.php which just gave me: [i]A very large red-violet charm with a spider on the front and the same on the back.[/i]

rituals: http://www.chaoticshiny.com/ritualgen.php which just gave me: [i]To open the way to another plane must consecrate a symbolic object with magic at the feet of an idol at sunrise when the days grow short.[/i]

Dark Rituals: http://www.seventhsanctum.com/generate.php?Genname=darkritual which just gave me: [i]Bloodstained Ceremony of the Ever-living Angel of Chains[/i]

Spells : http://www.seventhsanctum.com/generate.php?Genname=spell which just gave me stuff like[i]Dancing Clouds of Lava[/i] and [i]Ritual of Kill Crazed Titan[/i]

The Grimoire of Questionable Spells : http://www.seventhsanctum.com/generate.php?Genname=jokegrimoire which just gave me: stuff like[i]Invoke Irritation in Lounge Singers[/i] and [i]Protection from Elvis Impersonators[/i]

types of magic: http://www.chaoticshiny.com/magicgen.php which just gave me:[i] This form of magic is taught by many village hedge-witches. Water, defensive spells and creation are its most notable aspects. It uses spirits to channel power. Practitioners suffer from frequent illnesses.[/i]

superstitions: http://www.chaoticshiny.com/superstitiongen.php which just gave me: [i]Spotting a mahogany tree in a grove of willow trees is a sign that soon you will encounter an illness.[/i]

magical candy:http://www.seventhsanctum.com/generate.php?Genname=candy which just gave me: [i]Dark Wackocremes[/i] and [i]Fudge Fizzy Zappers[/i] and [i]Yummy Fruttiplums[/i]

Magical Components:http://www.chaoticshiny.com/componentgen.php which just gave me: [i]Jackal heart, an intensely smoking constantly shifting colors material, magpie skin, mockingbird feathers, birch shavings, a frothing mint green material and a bubbling deep crimson material which tastes like oranges.[/i]

Animal Companion: http://www.chaoticshiny.com/animalgen.php which just gave me: [i]This irritable, somewhat old mockingbird has pale grey feathers and violet eyes. She is somewhat large and intelligent. She likes music, hiding and smelling things, and hates humidity and hard work.

[/i]

and magic items: http://www.seventhsanctum.com/generate.php?Genname=magicitemwhich just gave me: [i]Pendant of Snake Control[/i]

 Or use the drop down menu to select 31 types of magic items desired (I won't list all 31 types, just the few I use most often):

abstract shapes:which just gave me: [i]Holy Sea Serpent's Cube of Foul Charisma[/i]

jewelry:which just gave me: [i]Celestial Dragons' Bracelet[/i]

musical instruments:which just gave me: [i]Undertaker's Sitar of Cat Summoning[/i]

potions:which just gave me: [i]Elixir of the Ancestral Invocation of Frost[/i]

I have lots of fun with these, which rank among my favorite generators. I can spend hours popping out arsenals of magic items for my magic users. :)

When I want to add a romantic twist to the story I look to the romance generator: http://www.seventhsanctum.com/generate.php?Genname=romance which just gave me: [i]In this story, a philosophical midwife attends a religious event and meets an outgoing biologist. What starts as a one-night stand quickly becomes true love. Yet, how can a miserly garbageman tear them apart?[/i]

Or how about some Paranormal Romance: http://www.chaoticshiny.com/promance.php which just gave me: [i]The tenacious, depressed heroine has been involved with the supernatural since she became friends with a werewolf. After she learns of a secret, she finds herself caught up in an electrifying adventure. Can she escape the dangerous, sensual fey who has promised her his heart?[/i]

Or perhaps my characters need an extra goal to move the story along: http://www.chaoticshiny.com/adventuregen.php [i]The heroes must learn the history of the graveyard without anyone finding out or the lovers will never be reunited.[/i]

Remember that tavern we created back there? Well I love turning my taverns into bordellos filled with tapestries and art objects, collected by the Elven prostitutes and Mermaid whores - I write Erotica remember? When I want to add art objects I look to the art object generator: than select from the drop down menu:

painting:which just gave me: [i]A very large painting of a demi-goddess. The predominant color is deep brown. It is in good condition.[/i]

drawing:which just gave me: [i]A very small drawing of storm clouds. It was done in a simplistic style.[/i]

tapestry:which just gave me: [i]A very small tapestry depicting a birth involving a short illegitimate son. It was done in a simplistic style. It is in average condition.[/i]

sculpture:which just gave me: [i]A medium-sized glass sculpture depicting a victory involving a pudgy seer and a torch. It was done in an idealized style.[/i]

sketch:which just gave me: [i]A somewhat large sketch of a needle and a shrew. It was done in a particular artist's style.[/i]

etching:which just gave me: [i]A somewhat large etching depicting an announcement involving a young woman. It is in great condition.[/i]

carving:which just gave me: [i]A very small carving of a wildcat. It was done in an archaic style. It is in excellent condition.[/i]

engraving: which just gave me: [i]A rather small engraving of a skull near a farm.[/i]

mosaic:which just gave me: [i]A somewhat large mosaic of a tall jester with dimples and brown-black hair during a storm. It was done in a very plain style.[/i]

fresco:which just gave me: [i]A medium-sized fresco of a golem. The predominant colors are dark blue-violet and silver. It is in very good condition.[/i]

or wall paintings:which just gave me: [i]A small wall painting of a mockingbird and a lion. It was done in a simplistic style. It is in very poor condition.[/i]

These generators are also where I come up with the many books, decorations and art objects collected by Sir Roderic and put on display in his Twighlight Manor, as well as the magic items and potions created by his necromantic alchemist butler.

 When I want to add a random car to my modern stories I look to the car generator: http://www.chaoticshiny.com/cargen.php which just gave me: [i]This gray hatchback is in decent shape. It has a completely redone interior, a trailer hitch and many cup-holders. The styling features bland design. It can go from 0-60 in 14.77 seconds and has a top speed of 266 mph. It handles incredibly well.[/i]

But than what if you don't want to go through all of this? You just want to grab one Quick Story Idea? http://www.seventhsanctum.com/generate.php?Genname=quickstory [i]The theme of this story: dramatic slice-of-life. The main characters: short-tempered acrobat and famous exorcist. The start of the story: surrender. The major event of the story: inheritance. The end of the story: reconciliation.[/i]

All together there are more than 300 random generators found on these two massively huge sites. The ones I've listed here are just the few I go back to and use over and over again.

This very (random) formulated way of creating stories is how I changed my writing output from one 13k to 36k story every 3 to 4 months to I'm now publishing at a rate of one 13k to 36k story every other week. It's because I no longer have to think about what I'm going to write. I just ask the generator and that's what I write no matter what the generator says. I no longer spend hours planning and outlining. Now I just take whatever the generators give me and that's the story I'll write. No plot creation required.

There are a LOT of writers who REALLY hate this "factory production" method of writing, and preach oodles of pages of rants against the evils of what they call "paint by number writing" but hey I'm the one living on the beach and driving a rhinestioned car, so yeah, I don't really care what the naysayers think about my writing methods. It works for me and that's all that matters. And besides I've been writing for 36 years, it's hard to think up enough plots to write that many years. In the 1970s and 1980s I was a freaking plot factory. But by the 1990s writer's block used to be a real problem for me. I discovered 7thSanctum in 2004 and have never had writer's block again since.

So, this method is a huge time saver that allows me to write faster, because I don't have to spend hours staring at the computer asking myself "So what am I going to write today?" Time is the big factor in how much you can write per day/week/month/year.

So, yeah, I start out with a beat sheet, drop in a pre-written plot, grab random generators and start tossing the stuff they give me into the plot, and than I start writing.

I highly recommend both pre-written plots and random generators. Use them all the time. Love 'em, Love 'em, Love 'em!

A few weeks ago someone asked me to show them how I actually made this work. I'll copy that post here because it shows what I do in action:


You remember the Magic 8 Ball toy? ask it a question and it tells you the answer? That's what I do with random generators. If I can't think of what to write I ask a generator and it tells me what I should write. and sometimes what it tells me is pretty strange. But I'll take you through it step by step, right now, seeing how I've not yet started my writing for the day and thus I am currently in need of something to write. Whatever this thing comes up with by the end of this post, that's the story I'll be writing today, so here we go, let's see what I'm destined to write today...

I use the Writing Challenge Generator http://www.seventhsanctum.com/generate.php?Genname=writechallenge to tell me what the story is about:

[i]The story takes place in mid-spring. During the story, a character breaks something important to them. The story must have a stained-glass window appear in the middle. During the story, a character eats something that disagrees with them. A character will take a bath. During the story, a character makes a life-changing decision. The story ends at night.[/i]

Because I tend to write Medieval type D&D style fantasies (in outer space, on distant planets), I grab a tavern from the Tavern/Inn Generator v0.8.6 http://www.chaoticshiny.com/taverngen.php and start my story there.

  • [i]Name: The Mournful Lamb Inn
  • Overall Quality: Good 
  • Cleanliness: Decent 
  • Size: Medium
  • Drink Pricing: Fair
  • Food Pricing: Fair
  • Room Pricing: Fair 
  • Drink Quality: Very good
  • Food Quality: Good
  • Room Size: Medium 
  • Drink Variety: Far above average
  • Food Variety: Above average
  • Room Availability: About three-quarters occupied
  • Popularity: Very crowded
  • Noise level: Loud
  • Crowd: Seems mostly law-abiding
  • Dark corners occupied: 0%
  • Sobriety: Most patrons drunk
  • Patrons openly armed: Almost all
  • Attractions: card and dice games
  • Noteable Patron: the silent, sullen assassin who is buying everyone drinks
  • Menu: no prices written on it
  • Bartender: loud 
  • Bartender reaction: greets party after a few moments
  • Bartender quirk: is female

House Special: Sapphire with a few bubbles and a bit of smoke coming from it. The drink smells like perfume and tastes metallic. Boar teeth are rumored to be a key ingredient.[/i]

Okay so my character is going to be getting free drinks from an assassin. Though I wonder how is that being a female classifies as a "quirk"? I've also just decided that my main character is a male Elf wizard, because I like Elves and wizards and that's what just popped into my head as I was reading the tavern generator's results.

I use the meal generator http://www.chaoticshiny.com/mealgen.php to determine that my Elf wizard has just ordered:

[i]Brined hare with a side of diced Brussels sprout and rhubarbs. Served with potato bread, brie, frog pie, Prussian asparagus soup and scrambled eggs.[/i]

Okay, that is a weird meal. Why in the heck did he just order something like that? Somewhat icky but I'm gonna keep it and go with it, see where it takes me.

I want my Elf to meet someone while he is here, so I ask the crowd generator http://www.chaoticshiny.com/crowdgen.phpto give me a random stranger for him to encounter. It gives me:

[i]The tattooed, obnoxious old man who is carrying a strange staff.[/i]

A staff? Is he a wizard too?

But now I want to know, what is his attitude towards my Elf, so we ask the attitude generatorhttp://www.chaoticshiny.com/attitudegen.php and it says:

[i]Is unfriendly towards the character, and has strong feelings about it. Their attitude is due to local gossip.[/i]

Ah, so he's obnoxious and unfriendly AND I now know that there is local gossip going around town about my Elf wizard. hhhhmmm. I wonder why?

And you know what? Because I like portals and taverns are good places to have them, and obnoxious and unfriendly old man with a strange staff indicates there is magic going on here, I'm going to run off grab the portal generatorhttp://www.chaoticshiny.com/portalgen.phpand drop me a portal into the tavern.

[i]This portal appears as a flickering bronze stair. A deep rumbling noise emanates from the portal. The key to opening it is a word.[/i

Now, I need the portal to go somewhere and I think it's going to lead to a hidden room rather than another realm or plane, so this time I'll use the room generator (though I could as easily use the Lost Civilization generator, the Outer Realm Generator, the Other Planes Generator, or any of several others.) The room generator tells me that the portal leads to:

[i]Hallowed Antechamber of Divination[/i]

hmmm...I'm not sure about that, let's try again:

[i]Mystic Dining Room of the Idol[/i]

Still not sure, I may come back to this and try another generator, but now I wonder where is this tavern located?

I use the adventure site generator http://www.seventhsanctum.com/generate.php?Genname=advnameto tell me that the tavern is situated in the:

[i]Haunted Swamp of Unspeakable Beings[/i]

Ah, so now I know the tavern is in a swamp. Good. I live in a swamp off the edge of a salt marsh on the shore of a beach, so swamps are something I'm good at writing about. this is a good fit for me. Got to figure out what those "Unspeakable Beings" are now. Why has my Elf wizard traveled to this swamp and is he just stopping at the tavern for a meal or does he have other motives?

You know, there is a motive generatorhttp://www.chaoticshiny.com/motivegen.php , let's ask it, why my Elf wizard is at this tavern:

[i]This character is motivated by mischief and insanity. This stems from a recent incident.[/i]

Oooookaaaay. My Elf is insane. I like it. No wonder he's ordering frog pie. Makes scene now that I know he's insane. Hey...this actually fits with one of my series that I'm already writing. Wait - is this Quaraun? Could this be a new story for my series? Is this Elf not a wizard but actually my Necromancer. Is this in fact Quaraun the Insane? Ohhh, now my character here has a background history and a name because no longer is he a random character, he's a character I've written about before and that means I now know why he's here: he's hellbent on becoming a Lich, and there's got to be a piece to that puzzle here somewhere. Well now those two rooms the portal gave me are starting to fit into place. I can use both of them. Now I have to decide if it's just 1 portal that can go to two separate locations or are there two portals? I figure that out later after I start writing, because you know what? Now that I've realized I know this character, I'm ready to start writing and I don't need to ask the generators any more questions, expect, what do I start off with?

I now use the Writing Exercise generator http://www.chaoticshiny.com/wegen.php to tell me to how to start writing this story:

[i]Write for at least 5 minutes about a relationship beginning, a stone, and a gambler.[/i]

And if you don't like something the generators give you, just refresh the page and it'll give you something else. See, as I'm clicking these generators, my mind has given me an Elf in a tavern, ordering his meal and reading a map (even though the generators did not mention a map) but than this last generator mentions a relationship and a gambler and I'm thinking, they don't match the story image my mind is forming for me here, so let's click it again and see what it gives me...

[i]Write for at least 400 words about a meal, a mirror, words, and a historic item. Focus on describing unusual details.[/i]

Ah! yes, that's better. we already know he's ordered a meal, I'll assume the tavern has a mirror hanging over the fire place...ohhh, just had a thought. My elf is looking over at the mirror and suddenly he notices the other guests are not reflecting... ohhh, 7th Sanctum has a generator for that, off to go grab another story detail...

The vampire generator... http://www.seventhsanctum.com/generate.php?Genname=vampire which tells me to add the following vampire to my story:

[i]This cheerful male vampire has slitted gray eyes. His thick, wavy, cream-colored hair is neck-length and is worn in an uncomplicated style. He is very tall and has a graceful build. His skin is completely transparent, and the blood flowing beneath it actually seems to glow. He has bushy eyebrows. He can read the minds of people. When exposed to human purity, he will be incapacitated. His diet is like that of classic vampires. He feeds not through his mouth, but via a long tongue with a mouth-like end. His outfits are those of a soldier.[/i]

Ooohhh. I like him, I'll keep him and use him in my story now. And hey, is he the "Unspeakable Being" that the swamp was named after, or is he just guest at the tavern and the "Unspeakable Beings" are something far worse? I have yet to determine.

And now I take all of those things, and start writing. I have no clue where I'll take it or if it'll get published, but these random excessive like this work wonders for getting me back into the "writing zone" so that I can get back to working on projects I'm supposed to be working on. There are more than 300 generators on 7thSanctum and Chaotic Shiny and by combining them like this I can come up with infinite ways to get rid of writer's block.

Okay, so now I will take this an combine it with one of my pre-written plots. I have chosen a Paranormal Romance Plot about a guy trying to impress a girl who doesn't know he exists and in frustration seeks out the help of a magic user. I'll make the main character in the plot a Wood elf instead of a human and turn his love interest into a purple haired fairy instead of a blond prom queen (as she is in the pre-written plot), the magic user is of course being turned into my long time series character Quaraun the Insane, a Moon Elf Necromancer. 

Next I will now change the high school in the pre-written plot to a tavern. Instead of a prom queen the girl is a bar maid. Instead of a computer geek, the guy is baker/cook for the tavern. 

Now I will take every thing the generators gave me and drop those items into the pre-written plot: the old man with a staff, the assassin buying drinks, the portal, the swamp, the vampire, etc ...in they go.

Now it is time for me to take this "outline" and re-write it into a 15k word story for my Quaraun the Insane series.

Viola! I have once again taken a pre-written plot, one I've used already for other stories, and turned it into a brand new story outline waiting to be written.

a half hour ago I had no plot, now I have a plot and and ready to write. And there you have it, that's how i use the pre-written plots and how I can take 1 pre-written plot and write 100 or more stories with it.

I think this works (at least for me) in the the same way that the "bend and stretch" and "if you're happy and you know it clap your hands" songs work for school kids. Teacher let's the kids get their wiggles out with dance activity songs at the start of the day, than they are ready to sit down and do their studies. These random generators activities let me shake the spiders and cobwebs out of my head so I can get back to writing. Works wonders and often I end up with something publishable out of these exercises so that's an added bonus too. (One of these exercises ended up becoming a series! I just got so into the story as I started writing it, I ended up writing a whole set of them.)

And as I have not yet started writing today, I now have my story to write for the day. So, I don't know if I helped you out any or not here, but I sure just helped myself! LOL! :)

(ETA: March 5, 2015 - The story this prompt ending up as is now published under the title: Quaraun and the Vampire, Into The Swamp of Death.)

So, yeah, there you have it. How I turn a handful of pre-written plots into hundreds and hundreds of stories (I've written close to 700 stories this way.) 

A quick warning though: 

Be careful of pre-written plots. DO NOT use them as you bought them. I'll tell you why. I ended up writing a series of books on pre-written plots. The short of it is, I wrote this series because I needed a book like this for my own writings and I just couldn’t find one out there. I figured, I couldn’t be the only one looking for a book of this nature, so there is a need to be filled. I kept hearing about “Pre-Written Plots” and I even bought a few of them to see what they were. Overall, the concept of pre-written plots appealed to me, but I found the idea to be flawed on many levels.

If you don’t know what pre-written plots are or how they work, basically, the idea is, for someone to write a basic plot to a story. The plot being from 1 to 10 paragraphs long, each paragraph being about 100 words in length. Not a lot of detail goes into the plot, as it is only 100 to 1,000 words long. The plot gives you the basics: characters and what happens to them. It is up to you, the author, to now take that plot and write it into a novel, the goal being to write 10 pages per paragraph of a 10 paragraph plot, or 100 pages for the one paragraph plot, etc. 

In other words, you take a 100 word plot and turn it into a 100 page book.

And it’s a great idea, one that works, but, it had flaws...

For starters, the idea was started by a single person and that person and two others, are the ONLY way you can buy these pre-written plots. They do not sell these plots in a book of plots. No. They sell each plot as a single PDF file that you have to download off a site known as The Warrior’s Forum.

I went out and bought several packages of these pre-written plots, and found that each package only contains about 10 or 12 plots. Well, that adds up to a lot of money, fast, when you are paying $30 per package. Ouch! So, that ends up being $3 per plot. Okay, but then you sell the books for .99c and earn only .35c per sale, which means you have to sell 100 copies before you make your money back on the plot, and maybe (if you’re lucky) you’ll sell a single copy a day (though most authors can expect a single copy a week), meaning it can be as much as 6 years before you make that $3 back. Yeah. Hard facts about sales in self-pubbed writing. You are not going to become a millionaire in this business, heck, it’ll be 3 or 4 years before you start making enough to buy cup of coffee each week. If you are into self-publishing for the money, Honey, you are in the wrong business. Writing is a labor of love.

Now, you have to get covers made for you books and you have to pay for editing and formatting (unless you do it yourself, which is highly unrecommended.) By the time you get done, you have put $200 to $300 into your book before it’s even published, and then after publication, you next have to start paying for marketing.

Okay, so, you get the idea here: self-publishing a book is cheap from the standpoint of how many businesses can you start for under $500? But when you figure in how long it’ll take you to get that money back before you start to see a profit, it’s expensive, because how many businesses will take you 5 or more years before you see a $100 a year income? Well, the point is, once I started adding up the over all costs, I began to realize that paying $3 per plot, for a pre-written plot, was kind of a scam that was being pulled over on us authors, and that didn’t set well with me.

However, I was still buying those pre-written plots. Like I said, I went out and bought a lot of them. Here’s the thing: I didn’t read most of them. I bought a set, then bought a second set, them bought a third set...and so one. Just collecting them up, without going over them to read what I was buying. I had bought more than 60 pre-written plots before I sat down and started reading what they were, and here’s when I got mad and realized, just how big of a scam these pre-written plots really were.

Here’s what happened:

Before you can get to reading the plot, you first have to read the warnings. Yes, warnings. I thought this quite odd. Why do they need warnings? What is wrong with these plots that they require so many warnings. Not one or two warnings, but page after page of warnings. Each pdf, consisted of 20 pages of warnings followed by 1 to 10 paragraphs of plot. This felt odd to me.

The warnings, went on and on about the imperative need to CHANGE EVERYTHING, about the plot in order to avoid being sued for plagiarism.

Okay, wait a minute...what? Why? Didn’t you write an original plot here? Why do I need to change everything if this is an original plot, one that you made up off the top of your head? If I’m using an original plot to write an original story, I have no reason to be worried about being sued for plagiarism now, right?

Her warning states: 

  • “Change the characters’ names, you don’t want to be sued for plagiarism. Make the character unique and all your own...blah, blah, blah...”
  • “Change the characters’ hair color, you don’t want to be sued for plagiarism...”
  • “Change the characters’ jobs, you don’t want to be sued for plagiarism...”
  • “Change the characters’ birth places, you don’t want to be sued for plagiarism...”
  • “Change the characters’ genders, you don’t want to be sued for plagiarism...”
  • “Change the characters’ living situations, you don’t want to be sued for plagiarism...”

...and so on, for 20 freaking pages.

Okay, so the author of these pre-written plots, I had bought off the Warrior’s Forum is absolutely paranoid out of their minds, okay. Then after 20 pages of warnings I FINALLY get to the 3 page long 1,000 word plot.

Each of these plots was about 1,000 words long, consisting of an outline, with one paragraph per chapter, summarizing each chapter, and then a list of characters. Now, that would have been great, if it wasn’t for the plagiarism. 

Yep. You heard me: plagiarism. 

  • I read a plot and thought to myself: “This sounds really familiar.” 
  • I read a second plot and thought to myself: “This sounds really familiar, too.” 
  • I read a third plot and thought to myself: “I know I’ve read this before.” 

It went that way for a few more plots, until I read a plot that started out with a nurse, finding a naked man in the road, and he turns out to be a werewolf and the rival of her vampire boyfriend. And I stop and go: “Wait a minute. I just read this two days ago.” 

So, I go and pull out my Sookie Stackhouse books and sure enough, I had just read it. But it gets worse, I’m looking at the names on the character sheet, versus the names in the book, and whoever wrote these pre-written plots, never even bothered to change the names. Well, no wonder each plot had 20 pages of change this and that warnings tacked onto it! If you use her pre-written plots, exactly as she “wrote” them, you WILL get slapped with a plagiarism lawsuit, and it’ll be from the biggest names on the bestseller lists too.

Now I take the other familiar sounding plots and head to Google. I start Googling the names of the characters, and there they are: several recent New York Times bestseller books.

I could kick myself for not researching the pre-written plots being sold off the Warriors Forum more. I’m just glad I didn’t use any of them to write any books, before I realized they were outright plagiarism. Then again, it’s not the first time I’ve run across a major scam being sold off the Warriors Forum. Scams, especially scams aimed at authors, abound on that site.

Okay, so these pre-written plots turned out to be a scam and I had fallen for it, but the idea of pre-written plots is still a good one, and so I started searching high and low to find some that were actually real and not scams. Turns out, there aren’t any. The plagiarized pre-written plots being sold of the Warrior’s Forum are the only pre-written plots available for sale.

Well, that’s a phooey, because I really did like the concept and I think it could be a big boon to authors everywhere if such a thing really did exist.

So, I came to the conclusion that, if I can’t find what I want, then the only course of action is to make it myself, and so I did, and that is how this series of books: 

PHOTO

So you see, I mostly wrote the books for my own use.

I suppose you could use my pre-written plots anyway you want to, but I’ll tell you how I use them. I use them two ways.

First, I use it for writing my books. Namely, I use these plots for writing the Quaraun Series. For writing books, I grab a plot at random, and start writing. I add the details as I get into the momentum.

Second, I use these plots for playing RPG games, such as Dungeons and Dragons, Pathfinder, etc. These plots are OSRIC™ compatible, because I prefer to use the ORSIC™ system of game play. To use these plots in game play, I first select a campaign and setting (usually I use SpellJammer, RavenLoft, or Forgotten Realms - Neverwinter) and then, I take one of these plots, and use it as the reason for the quest that the player characters will be going off on.

I suppose you can use them for other things, I don’t know what, but use your imagination and I’m sure you’ll think of something.

Now, these plots are quite a bit more simplified, then the very detailed (and plagiarized) plots found on Warriors Forum, so if you are looking for 1,000 word long plots, with lots of details, and lists of character sheets, then this book is not for you, because that’s not how I wrote it.

Here is what you will find in these plots.

Each plot is about 100 words long, some are shorter, into the 70 word range, some are longer into the 150 word range, but over all these plots average out at 100 words long each plot.

The plot gives you a basic story idea. (Which in this book, follows the theme of Epic Fantasy Romance.) It tells you the main character, what s/he wants, who one or two secondary characters are and what they want, what the major obstacle to their plans is, and a few random things they will encounter along the way.

It is VERY open ended, allowing for a lot of wiggle room to make the story uniquely your own.

You can choose to add or delete and details you feel require adding or removing.

If it says a character is female, but you want that character to be male, go ahead and change it.

If it says a character is an Elf and you want him to be a Vampire instead, then go ahead and change it.

If it says a character is a wizard and you want him to be an archer, it’s your choice, your story, go ahead and write it your way.

Because these are Romance plots, each plot has a male and a female character listed. However, if you want to write a M/m (gay) romance, just make it two male characters. I’ve designed these so that they are extremely flexible to fit whatever type of story you want to write.

You will find that I have not included names, and while genders are listed, they are easily switched.

And best of all, as everything here is 100% original, you don’t have to live in the mortal fear of “I have to change this to that or I’ll be sued for plagiarism.” Plus, the plots are thin enough, so that even if 100 other people choose to write a book, based off the exact same plot you did, there is no way that their book and your book would ever be confused with each other.

PHOTO


[quote author=NAME REMOVED FOR BOOK PUBLICATION EDITION]I'm still not sure where to put this--six graphic sex scenes in 20,000 words, but the mc goes through changes during each, and the graphic nature is necessary to explaining what she really is and how she changes, and there is a good plot and reason for all this. It is as much science fiction as romance but no HEA. Do I put it in science fiction as X-rated SF or do I categorize it as Erotica or porn or what? There is a lot of focus on the sex, because it is a key to what the mc is (humanoid but not quite human).[/quote]


I've got a new series about to roll out, and I'm on the fence about where to put it, because, the story takes center stage, and while there's sexual tension and build up the whole thing, there actually is on one sex scene planned per volume. very porny sex scene that goes on for like 5 pages, but the reader has to go through 40 pages of no sex to get to it. 

My conclusion is, that I'm going to put it in Fantasy>Wizards&Witches (it's Sword&Sorcery, main character is a wizard) and Gay Fiction (main character is bi-sexual, pivotal plot point is hunting down his wife's murderer, but through-out the series, he's in a relationship with another man [i]*cough*Monster that can turn into absolutely anything or anyone it wants to be, including wolves for knotting and squids for tentacles or both at the same time for man/wolf/squid-fest*cough*[/i]), some volumes border into Sci-Fi, due to sudden alien invasion of Brain Sucking Squids from Neptune's Moon (creatures that I swear are not Illithid/Mind Flayers! :D) and those I'm planning to list under Science Fiction and Gay Fiction.

So at this point, in spite of the really porny, very graphic sex, I'm not planning to list any of the volumes in Erotica at all, because sex isn't the point of the plot, even though sex does play a big part in the plot, and the sex is extremely graphic. It's maybe 4k words of total sex scenes vs 11k words of plot/story and I think that puts it outside of the qualifications of the Erotica category, even though the sex itself is very graphic.

HOWEVER: I might be putting a warning in the blurb stating "ADULT CONTENT: This story contains graphic M/M sexual encounters with monsters [i](aliens)[/i] and is recommended for adults only!."

So far, I've not had a problem doing it this way with other books, and I see no reason for it to be a problem. 

It sounds like your story will have more sex scenes, at a rate of one every 3k words? I would say that probably should have at least one category as Erotica. A lot of Erotica shorts are 3k to 5k with 1 to 3 sex scenes, so, yours would be sex vs word count, on standard with Erotica.

You might want to read Virginia Wade's "CUM/Moan For BigFoot" . The sex vs word count is pretty low (when compared to Taboo/PT/etc/Erotica) and there's quite a bit of story going on between the sex. It's considered the standard by which Monster Porn strives to be like, and in some respects is tamer then more standard Erotica. That's a good example of Erotica that has a story/plot pushing it forward (and it went on for 16 volumes and would have gone on longer had Amazon not shut the series down) the later stories had less sex and more Romance going on as well, and yet it was still listed as Erotica, so some books are Erotica even with only 1 or 2 sex scenes and a lot of story. 

With that much sex, it sounds like it belongs in Erotica. Otherwise you may have some unhappy science fiction readers. Erotica readers (particularly monster porn fans) will be very happy with six sexy scenes. With a sex scene every 3k words, it could be more sex then some Sci-Fi readers are looking for.

However, as a teen, I remember reading Sci-Fi and Fantasy novels NOT Romance novels, to find all the "dirty parts" that my mom didn't want me reading. :P

My mom had no idea there was so much sexy smut in Sci-Fi, and she thought as long as I wasn't reading "those trashy Romance novels" she didn't have to worry about my reading material. I think Sci-Fi has had a LONG tradition of having more sex scenes in them then Romance did. LOL! 

So, yeah, you could, easily put it in Sci-Fi and just note in the blurb something like "This story contains sexual encounters with aliens and is recommended for adult readers only." Let's readers know there's sex in it, so that any readers who'd be offended wouldn't buy it, and any readers who are looking for smexy Sci-Fi know to buy it.

Sex with aliens falls under Monster Porn, so it's probably a good thing to put it in Erotica as well as Sci-Fi. It's not as big a deal as you might think, so don't worry too much about it.


[quote author=NAME REMOVED FOR BOOK PUBLICATION EDITION]How do you come up with new ideas for Monster Porn? Isn't it hard to think up so many different monsters and stories about them? You are such a prolific writer, you seem to be able to write about anything. I wish I could write like that, but I never know what to write about. Where do you get your ideas? How do you not run out of ideas? 

...

[quote author=NAME REMOVED FOR BOOK PUBLICATION EDITION]Is Old Orchard Beach a real place? Why are all your stories set in this town?[/quote]


Oh, that's REALLY easy for me to answer. I could be out of character and answer with one simple phrase. In fact, I will. Here it is: The Saco River Curse.

But that means nothing to you if you don't live in Saco, Maine along the edge of the Saco River Delta, so, let's pull out the LONG answer. ;)

But first, let's take a look at how I get my ideas, before looking at where I get them. 

*****

Ideas, Ideas, Ideas - 

And Where The Heck To Find Them

Below is a reprint of the 2006 article formally known as "Ideas Where?!?"

Ideas Where?!?


[quote author=NAME REMOVED FOR BOOK PUBLICATION EDITION]And, how does the use of one or more erotic/Erotica pen names play into your strategy?[/quote]


I'm planning to release the 52 Stories Challenge books under 3 separate pen names: my real name (the name I use here on KB) will publish the milder (non-Erotica) Horror/Sci-Fi stuff; while my primary pen name which is my real name with a different spelling will publish my Horror/Sci-Fi Erotica & Monster Porn, and a third pen name that has no connection to my real name will publish the more taboo stuff I don't want my family reading.

I've formally written under 15 pen names, but I'm "retiring" most of them, and will only keep 4 of them active in the future. It's just way too much of a headache trying to decide [i]"Should I publish it with this pen name or that pen name or this other pen name or many that penname or..."[/i] Eeeek! Originally I was separating by genre: this name all Horror, that name all Sci-Fi, this name contemporary romance, that name historical romance, Erotica goes here, westerns go there...wait aren't westerns historical? what about when Horror and Sci-Fi overlap, is monster porn Horror or Erotica, should I start a new name for that one of put it under this one? It got to be such a mess, because I wasn't just jumping genres any more I was mixing genres too.

So finally I decided:

  • 1 penname for childrens books
  • 1 penname for monster Erotica
  • 1 penname for non-monster Erotica
  • my real name for everything else (romance, Sci-Fi, Horror, etc.)

My real name and my monster Erotica penname are the only two names I use that can be connected back to KB, and thus the only two names ever seen on the book covers in my sig. 

The third penname is my more taboo stuff that I kind of don't want my family/mom/etc or my husband's church (he's a priest) getting a hold of. 

The 4th name that I'm keeping, is my children's books also remains unconnected to my other pen names to keep kids from reading the books than trying to find more books and running across my Erotica.

Eventually my goal is to unpublish everything from the 11 pen names I will no longer be using, and republish them under one of the 4 names I'm keeping depending on genre, thus consolidating everything. I had planned to do it along side of my 52 stories goal, but than realized that was just putting too much on my plate, so I'll leave them as is for now and start consolidating pen names next year after I'm finished with this 52 story goal.

So, that's my goal for the year and part of next year.

***ETA: April 17, 2014:

My goal was to write and publish 52 stories (1 a week; short stories 5k each more or less, which at the end of the year is about 260,000 words) for a new series (not 1 series, of 52 books; but rather multiple series each with 4 or 5 books) I had outlined out last fall. Unexpected injury (back, hip, & knee) put me out of commission for 5 months (hospital, than weeks in bed couldn't move, than weeks on crutches, it wasn't until April that I was up moving around on my own again now relying heavily on a cane). And now I'm 5 months behind on even STARTING to get any writing done this year. Icky. Oh well. I'm just starting late on my goals. 

So, my goal has made a slight adjustment... originally it was [i]52 stories in 2014[/i], one a week starting January 1st and finishing off Dec 31st, now it's been adjusted to [i]52 Stories in 52 weeks[/i] starting this week first week of May, and ending first week of May 2015. Still same goal just different start and end dates. But now that I have started I'm moving along on schedule.

***




[quote author=NAME REMOVED FOR BOOK PUBLICATION EDITION]I asked these same questions on the forum last week. Do you know what people said to me? 

Take some classes.... Apparently that writing degree I just got was a waste of time. 

Anyway, thank you all for telling me I'm a bad writer. This will be the last time I ask for advice here. Just as an FYI, this is not my first title. I have about 17 titles and they all sell. I have NEVER received a one star review or gotten comments about my lack of skill as a writer. Most of my reviews are five stars. 

So thank you all for the insult to injury. 

Everyone loves a winner but will join the stone throwing as soon as they see an opening. [/quote]


Yes. I saw your thread. I don't know what's happened to KB lately.

All the old regulars are leaving left and right. Most of my friends here (Hugh Howey, Joe Konrath, Russell Blake, Viola Rivia, M.C.Black, etc) have left. I'm considering leaving myself. Amanda Hockings and John Locke are gone too. I didn't know them well.

It looks like any time some newbie author, starts seeing their sales pick up, an onslaught of jealous, vindictive new non-name accounts show up to lash out at them in a fury.

I noticed nearly 100 new accounts made this week alone, all with the usernames beginning in L... G... are the ones doing it. Lisa Grace, Linda Grant, Lindsey Gordon... what is it with all the L.G. names? Everyone of them created the same day. I saw them all attacking you. Vidisiously.

I think it's all the same person. Just one person with lots and lots of accounts. Their real name must have the initials L.G. the way they names all these fake sock puppet accounts with L.G. names like this.

And it's not just you.

I think it's the Kboards Anthology we made a few months ago. Did you notice, of the 101 authors who were in it, 79 of them have left Kboards now? Every one of them after being attacked by these mysterious L.G. accounts that are showing up by the hundreds out of no where.

They've been sending me all sorts of horrible private messages. Viola and McBlack both told me they were getting the shitty private messages too.

Hugh Howey said his lawyer told him to not post on the Kboards forum any more because he's been getting death threats over the Kboards anthology, because he's the one who came up with the idea.

Kboards is getting bad fast and I don't know why. I think someone is really pissed because they didn't get in the anthology. That's what it looks like, the way it's ONLY people like you and me and the others who were listed in the anthology.

These new authors that were lashing out at you, seem to be hell bent on picking a bone with all of us who were published in that anthology. They've been taking their share of pot shots at me as well. I've been trying to ignore them. It was why I did not reply to your thread. I didn't want to get them stirred up more then they already were.

Did you see what they did to Viola this week? She's deleted all her posts off Kboards.

So didn't Russell Blake.

Everyone who was publishing in the anthology has been receiving death threats. Every one of us. It's not just you.

Hugh Howey isn't even posting on his blog any more he's so scared.

They've lashed out at me on every thread I've replied on lately. I saw them lashing out at you and, didn't dare to post in the midsts of their attack. I'm glad you contacted me directly.

***July 2016 UPDATE: The Kboards hostility has reached insane levels. 3 members have been murdered. 2 more have commit suicide. Another died of a heart attack after receiving yet another death threat. Someone is killing off the 101 authors who were published in the Kboards Anthology. The FBI is now involved and investigating both Kboards and NaNoWriMo as well as the Warrior's Forum. If you have any information on who is targeting these authors, please contact the FBI agent in charge of the case: Agent Andy Drewer @ (207) 774-9322  ***

I have not read your work or the reviews, so not sure what the exact issue is, only know what I'm reading in the thread here.

I have had similar issues with characters, and changing scenes too fast. It's a problem I have to watch out for in my own writing - having a character at As house talking to A&B and than suddenly A, B, and C are all at Ds house 2 towns away with no mention of how they got there or why. 

I'll have a beta reading say to me: "Good God, what did they do, teleport?"

I'll be like...huh...I don't know, maybe they did teleport. Geese, I gotta fix that.

Abrasive characters, I hear ya on that one. I tend to lean towards writing those quite a lot, so I've had my own share of "OMG! I just can't relate!" comments.

I always have issues with my reoccurring MC, Roderic. He's not a likeable character. I mean, in one story he walked into a room and bashed a baby's brains out with a shovel, and this is the hero, (you should see the villain). Granted he's a Vampire from outer space and eats Humans because he views them the same way Humans view cows - tasty with ketchup, but still, it jolts readers right out of their seats and onto my FaceBook wall with a whole great be long "What the frigging hell did you have this guy do, how am I supposed to identify with this guy, he's a freaking monster, blah, blah, blah, blah..."

Not being able to identify with the characters is one of the most common complaints I get from readers. Not being able to emotionally invest in the MC, is something I hear a lot, and it's always because the character lives a life that is VERY outside the mainstream. 

Another MC, a mermaid, I frequently use, is a prostitute. He's also a transvestite and most folks don't realize he's a man, until at some point in a sex scene were one character is "OMG you're a man!" at the exact same time the reader is "OMG! He's a man!" And than I'll get the readers on my FB Wall, going "Why didn't you foreshadow?" "Why didn't you tell me upfront?" "You should have warned us readers he was a man!"

What is the issue here? Well, like the other character I mentioned, readers simply can not relate. I mean, how many readers are mermen transvestite hookers? About as many as there are who are baby eating alien vampires. 

And, for me, it is a style issue, because I do tend to go for the whole shock factor of the moment when it hits the reader, "OMG! What just happened?" But that is a style, that is uncommon, most readers expect to be getting "the insider story", so they don't know how to react when an author pulls a red herring on them...which is why everyone tells authors nt to play with red herrings.

But this is my impression of what's going on with your story and it's reviews. It seems to me that you are writing in an nontraditional style, so you are pulling a shock factor on your readers, which pulls them out of the reality of the story and causes them to feel they've lost that reader-connection to the MC.

When you write in a nontraditional style you are bound to run into neg reviews at a higher rate than had you written in a more traditional style. It just a fact of being this type of writer. You as a writer either have to learn to live with the neg reviews or change your style to one that is more mainstream reader friendly. 

Should you change your style and/or characters or not? Only you can answer that.

This is something you have to decide on as a writer: will you change your character to keep your readers happy or will you write your character the way you want to, and say to heck with the readers? Some writers are going to want to please the readers, so will change the characters. Others, like myself, will tell the reader off (I don't recommend it on reviews, but when they are posting on my personal FB wall, I just tell them exactly what I think of their 2cs) and keep on writing the MC the way they always did.

What you do when you have an unlikable MC or an unrelatable character, is totally dependent on how well you can handle negs and critics. If they roll off you like water on a duck's back, than go rip roaring ahead and keep your character as is; but is you are bothered deeply by negs and critics, you might want to consider changing the character to be more "reader friendly".

Having an unlikable MC will effect your sales, because most readers do want a character they can identify with. They want to go "Hey, I did that too, I know how s/he feels, I can identify with that."

I mean, me as a reader, I like reading shock factor stories that make me go "Woe- I didn't see that coming!" So it's a style I write, because it's what I enjoy reading. I view writing like potato chips: I'm gonna grab a bag on my way home and eat them all in one sitting while I'm driving back. I just ruined my appetite for my meal I was going to cook when I got home, but boy did it taste good.

Writing and reading, for me are like that...it's like, sure it's not a great big nourishing classic that's going to sustain my health, but boy was it good while it lasted.

I think what you need to do is look at your character and ask - would YOU enjoy reading about them? DID you enjoy writing about them? If you had it to do over again, WOULD you enjoy writing this story a second time?

If you answer yes, than ask yourself why you enjoyed it. What made it good for you? Than go back in and work on those parts, make them better, make them more enjoyable.

If you said no, figure out what it was you did not enjoy, and go back and remove those parts, take them out and replace them with stuff you do enjoy.

Than have a beta reader red it and ask them to write right on the print out, point by point EVERY thought and impression they had as they were reading it.

I had one story I did this with and the first thing my beta reader had said was "Boy do you love your pronouns". I asked her what she meant by this and she told me that on page 1 all the characters were named, but that for the entire 30 pages afterwards not a single name appeared in the story, it was all "he" or "she" from page 2 onwards. I had no idea that I had done this, and after she told me this, I looked at my other stories and realized this was a huge problem from me - I did it A LOT.

Well, I went back and changed this error in a lot of my stories, I fixed it by a system of 5s: name, pronoun, pronoun, pronoun, name; so that I never used a pronoun for a single character more than 3 times in a row.

And guess what? Readers who had previously said they couldn't relate or identify or find a reason to like the characters, suddenly found them more likable, more relatable, more easy to identify with. All I did was change the pronouns to proper names. That's it! No other changes. It made a big difference in my stories and how the readers connected to my characters, and if it had not been for me telling my beta reader to just lay it all out, everything, I never would have known I had this issue with my writing.

So, yeah, beta readers are going to be very helpful, but only if you hand them a print out copy and a red ink pen and tell them they have permission to massacre your work. And don't flip out on them, either or they won't tell you want they really think next time. During beta reading is the time to be brutal. The last thing you want is a beta reader who pats your shoulder and tells you it's great. You want a beta reader who tears your story apart word for word and rips your characters apart...that's the only way you'll ever find those errors and flaws so you can correct them.

Brutal beta readers = best thing I ever did for my writing. They can be a real eye opener and they can only help to make you a better writer.

Oh, and as someone mentioned on this thread, make sure you uploaded the right file. I did that once on one of my LuLu books. I ordered the proof and I was "What the heck?" The book had gone through 4 draft edits and I credit a new file for each edit and I had uploaded the very first rough draft file before it had been edited at all. It was lucky LuLu requires you buy a copy before they list it public or I never would have noticed I had uploaded the wrong file. 

I have Autism and Dyslexia. I did not attend high school or grade school, because I was born in a time period when Autistics were NOT ALLOWED in public schools. I published my first book at age 8. 36 years later I have 30 books, 600+ short stories, and 2,000 non-fiction articles under my belt.All written BEFORE A received any sort of "education". I didn't get my GED until I was 37 years old and than I required taking adult ed night classes before I could start college, for an English degree. I was starting college when most women were thinking about retiring soon. 52 credits worth of English and Creative writing classes later, I did see a huge improvement in my ability to proof and edit my own work. However, it's still not perfect and missed words, miss-spelling, grammar errors, and typos still slip in far more than I'd like.

My point is, no one's perfect, not even after a life time of writing and and English degree am I able to publish something without it needing massive edits. I've worked as an editor even, I can edit other people's works beautifully, but I just do not see the errors when I try to edit my own work. I read what it is I meant to say every time, instead of reading what I actually wrote. 

Taking classes is not a bad thing. I know, it hurts to hear it, because I've heard it a lot myself over the years. I continue to take classes at the local community center and I attend local workshops for writers. I go to these groups and I've been a published writer for more years than most of the other group members are in age! Half the time I'm older than my classmates grandmothers are! But one thing I've learned is that no matter how much you know about the craft of writing, there is always something new to learn. Taking classes can only do good. I highly recommend taking classes for EVERY writer, old, new, whither they think they need 'em or not, it's always a good experience that'll help you advance your career.

I don't think members are actually getting angry and throwing stones here, I think they are honestly trying to help you improve your work, that's all. You asked for help and they are just pointing out the errors they noticed, to help you make your book the best it can be.

{{{hugs}}} Having your work chewed up by others is hard to hear. I know. Boy do I know! A LOT of people hate my work. My books get lots and lots and lots of 1 stars reviews, most of them calling me retarded, and in all my books I think I've only ever gotten four 5 star reviews TOTAL, EVER. No one I know personally likes my books, none of my online friends or offline friends likes my books, none of my relatives like my books. Local church leaders like to gather piles of my books in my driveway and burn them. I've been publishing dozens and dozens of books since 1978, and I've YET to have someone say a nice, good, or kind thing about my writing. Not even from my partner. And my mom, she's the worst of all. Says I'm going to hell every chance she can. I know what it feels like to never hear a kind word about anything you write. If I didn't have my cats I wouldn't have anyone who supported me in my writing.

I know being told your work is shit is hard to hear. But it really is the best way to improve any flaws in the story. {{{hugs}}}

Sending you lots of great big hugs, and hoping you'll be feeling far less upset and stressed soon. Hopeful we can both find someone out there who will finally, eventually some day have kind words for our stories.


[quote author=NAME REMOVED FOR BOOK PUBLICATION EDITION]What sites should I sell at (besides Amazon)? Are there any I should avoid due to censorship?[/quote]


Smashwords is the reigning king of Smut. I think you can publish just about anything on SmashWords and they won't pull it down just so they can say MasterCard/PayPal/Google (whoever the current company is demanding "you take Erotica off your site right now!" is) isn't going to push the around. Sales on Smashwords storefront is smaller then elsewhere, but Smashwords does seem to be a sort of safe haven where Erotica authors huddle together when the big retailers start swinging their Erotica chopping axes around.

You can publish SOME types of erotic content on RPGnow, but it's very limited and highly niched.

There are lots of other places recommended by other authors, but I've never used them so I Don't know what the others are like.

Most of my stuff is not available as eBooks, but rather was published in print either via magazines or limited run vainity press chapbooks sold only through local bookshops and local underground fetish shops.


[quote author=NAME REMOVED FOR BOOK PUBLICATION EDITION]What should be revealed in the blurb/description?[/quote]



I actually don't reveal too much in my blurbs. Again, pointing to "50 Shades of Grey", which is Erotica, and yet, no where does the blurb hint to that at all. 

[quote]When literature student Anastasia Steele goes to interview young entrepreneur Christian Grey, she encounters a man who is beautiful, brilliant, and intimidating. The unworldly, innocent Ana is startled to realize she wants this man and, despite his enigmatic reserve, finds she is desperate to get close to him. Unable to resist Ana’s quiet beauty, wit, and independent spirit, Grey admits he wants her, too-but on his own terms.

Shocked yet thrilled by Grey’s singular erotic tastes, Ana hesitates. For all the trappings of success-his multinational businesses, his vast wealth, his loving family-Grey is a man tormented by demons and consumed by the need to control. When the couple embarks on a daring, passionately physical affair, Ana discovers Christian Grey’s secrets and explores her own dark desires.

Erotic, amusing, and deeply moving, the Fifty Shades Trilogy is a tale that will obsess you, possess you, and stay with you forever.

This book is intended for mature audiences.[/quote]

See? Nothing sexual is revealed. There is no "He ties her up, pulled her used tampon out and tosses it across the room, and oh balls and chains and whips and other super kinky taboo stuff too hot to mention on Amazon so I stuffed the real blurb in my Look Inside, go look at the Look Inside to see all the hot stuff included Amazon won't let me say here!" type of stuff in the blurb, even though that is what happens in the book.

NEWSFLASH: Fastest way to get on Amazon's radar is to make a list of all the kinks going on in the blurb. 

Say:

  • "Hot gay sex"
  • not "lots of sexy taboo gay anal sex"


Say:

  • "sensual encounters with a werewolf"
  • not "hot, sweaty taboo knotting going on in these pages!"

Say:

  • "Human characters have sensual encounters with non-human alien entities"
  • not "hot sexy barely legal teen gets probed by horny doubled-d**ked aliens on their ph*l*s shaped space craft"

It's all in how you word the thing. I never put any "details" about the "type of sex" involved, other than to mention if it is M/m or Monster Porn (because a lot of readers DO NOT WANT to read M/m or Monster Porn and will neg review you for not warning them.)

Go back and read 50 Shade blurb again. No sex is mentioned. No details. Nothing. The blurb tells the plot of the story and has just a quick note at the end mentioning that it is an "Erotic tale intended for mature audiences".

I try to describe the plot in under 200 words, under 100 words if possible. And then at the end tack on a note/chart stating:

  • Format: (Short Story, Novella, Novel)
  • Word Count: xx,xxx
  • Approximate paperback printed page count: XX pages
  • Pairing: (M/f, M/m, M/m2f, M/M/M/M/M/M/M/f, etc)
  • Heat Level: (Sweet, Steamy, Spicy, Erotic, Erotica, Porn)
  • CONTENT WARNING: Intended for adults only!
  • MONSTER PORN WARNING: This story contains sexual encounters between a human and non-humans.

The reason for keeping the blurb super short, is so that this entire thing can can be displayed on the description without the reader having to click on the "see more" button.

--------------

I've never seen Amazon "attack" a book that followed after 50 Shades' method of keeping the titles/blurbs/description/keywords/look-inside/covers "50 Shades style clean and classy". I really do think that if all Erotica authors followed the 50 Shades style to titles/blurbs/description/keywords/look-inside/covers the Amazon Erotica Sweeps would disappear and stop happening, because I've never seen a 50 Shades style titles/blurbs/description/keywords/look-inside/covers hit during the Erotica Sweeps.

On a side note: August/September/October is when Google sends out Panda/Penguin/Phantom/Hummingbird/etc out on the kill.

When push comes to shove, it's Google not Amazon who has the final say it what gets adult filtered - Amazon bends over backwards to not get punished by Panda's blacklist, Penguin's unindexing, or especially the notorious website deadly Hummingbird's backlink cutting slash and trash that cuts you out of search results not only on Google, but even on places like FaceBook and Twitter or your own author website. Since their unleash in February 2011, Amazon along with every other large (and small) web has been cowering at Google's feet and the fear mounts as each new spider bot gets more fierce then it's predecessor. With last months's death of Squidoo at the hands of Hummingbird, the entire SEO community is quaking in terror at the formidable power levels Google's bots have now reached.

Panda is the one that's going to be reading your blurb and description, what Panda finds, is reported to Penguin, is reported to Hummingbird, is to Phantom and so on. Fear panda, live by Panda's rules, don't do anything (keyword stuffing) to get on Panda's bad side, and you'll keep Amazon happy. Because once Google sends a AdSense ToS violation notice to Amazon, your book is dead - Amazon starts sending you nasty emails and or slaps on the "adult filter" (if Erotica) or manual drops your sales rankings (if not Erotica) or slaps the 'content farm' filter (if non-fiction). Once Google's Panda blacklists your book page, Amazon is going to be on your case. If you the author don't fix whatever the offense was before Penguin gets there, you are in trouble, because Amazon WILL delete your entire account, all your books, even your ability to buy books, if Penguin sends them a AdSense ToS violation second strike warning. Amazon will do anything to avoid being hit by Hummingbird, and that mean banning author accounts that got unindexed from Google's search index by Penguin. Hummingbird is the 3rd strike, and Google sends no third warning before sending Hummingbird out on the kill to REMOVE all backlinks to your website, cutting your entire website off search ability like a sinking sink, just like they did to Squidoo last week.

Prior to February 2011 keywords was the way to go. Amazon got hit hard by Google with Panda bad early on, thus why they removed "tags" (keywords in books), they were one of the first site's to fall off Google's search result radar, and they worked like hell to claw their way back up to first page search results on Google page 1, and now that they are back there, they will not let another author knock them back off. Thus the invention of such things as the "adult filter" that same year, along with huge changes in Amazon, such as the removal of tags under each book and links in the book descriptions.

Here's an article that explains what's going on in more detail: http://internetretailseo.com/seo/did-you-get-hit

^^^THIS^^^ article explains what happened on Google's end, what Google did to retailers, in October 2013, to result in Amazon's infamous Erotica Sweep, that took out Daddy Porn and Monster Porn. People blame MasterCard, but MasterCard was only a small part of the equation: MasterCard was also hit by Google's Phantom in October 2013, Amazon had BOTH Google and MasterCard on their backs, thus what they slashed and trashed author accounts so hard in the days following Google's Phantom attack.

Here's another one: http://searchenginewatch.com/article/2279032/Phanteguin-A-Phantom-Penguin-One-Two-Punch-From-Google with more charts and details on what these Google bots do to your web sites (in our case as authors, this is what is happening to our book pages on Amazon)

My recommendation? Do a Google search for the phrases: 

  • Google Panda
  • Google Penguin
  • Google Phantom
  • Google Hummingbird

Google has others, but those are the 4 big bots you have to watch out for. They are the big boys who'll cut your off below the knees and inspire Amazon to rush in axe swinging on your books.

Find out just exactly what these bots are capable of and why web site builders tremble in fear at Google's feet since the creation of these mega-bots. 

Then use that information to write you book blurbs with. write your blurbs for Google's algorithms, and you'll be writing them for Amazon's as well.

I build websites, I've built hundreds of websites since 1997, I have backdoor views of rank and tracking stats of these websites, I've seen first hand the awesome power of Google's barnyard and their ability to kill your website. For the past 4 years Amazon has been watching their web pages take hit after hit by Google's mega bots. Amazon bends to Google's command.

The only way for an author to stay of Amazon's radar while staying high in Amazon's search results, is if they stay off Panda's (Google's first strike) radar and high on Google's search results.

Panda goes out every quarter, it would have just gone out mid August. Meaning first week of September is when you would see Amazon reacting to a Panda blacklist of their pages. any page blacklisted by Panda, Amazon is gonna pull, no questions. It's just gone. If authors try to republish or keep publishing more, and than Penguin or Phantom attack Amazon, Amazon will delete the author's account. This is WHY you see the Erotica Sweeps in September and then again in October. It's a side effect of the one-two Panda/Penguin or Phantom/Penguin punch that Google hits Amazon with.

Now, not all of it is Google, of course. What Google is doing is looking at titles, blurbs, keywords, and links. When Google detects a high rate of spammy looking keyword stuffing in the titles/blurbs/keywords Panda punches Amazon hard, knocking every keyword stuffed page out of the Google index.

This is the first alert Amazon gets. 

Now Amazon takes all of those unindexed pages and looks at each one one at a time. Some one at Amazon's customer service manually looked at your cover, reads your blurb/title/etc, reads your look inside too. Amazon then notifies the author of a content violation.

NORMALLY Amazon only looks at your book when a customer complains, but when a massive site wide sweep occurs the reason is because of Google's Panda lashing out at keyword stuffed pages and amazon, then doing a massive site wide scan of all pages Google reported as offending the AdSense ToS by practicing keyword stuffing.

THIS ^^^ is why I included keywords, when I said, I keep my keywords clean and on topic. Often the Erotica books hit hard by Amazon used long tail spammy keyword stuffing style keywords, which is what tipped Panda off.

For example, the keywords I used in the book I used in my example were:

[i]elf, fae, wizard, romance, quest, sorcery, shapeshifter[/i]

Google's Panda won't give them a second glance.

Someone who was keyword stuffing would have used keywords like this instead:

[i]hot sex with elves, super taboo raunchy sex with faeries, hot double penetration annal sex with wizards, sexy erotic romance, sex quests from hot free sex, sorcery and sorcery and sex with unicorns and other hot sexy mythical beasts, wicked smexy gay knotting sex with werewolf shapeshifters[/i]

Can you see the difference between keywords and keyword stuffing? Often whatever they put in the keywords, they repeat in the blurb, and in the about the author sections.

Usually it's keyword stuffing, that causes a big sized Erotica Sweep, because Google is actively looking for keyword stuffing, and blacklists every Amazon page it finds which practices keyword stuffing. Usually it's either Erotica or short Non-Fiction, hit during these Panda scans, because both Erotica and short Non-Fiction are notorious for spammy keyword stuffing, due to a high rate of "online marketers" just writing Erotica or short Non-Fiction as a way to get rich quick and than using keyword stuffing to try to boost their books in rank.

Unfortunately, as soon as Panda finds these spammy keyword stuffed books, they notify Amazon "The following pages are violating our AdSense ToS" (Google sends this notice out to ALL webmasters every 90 days - because I'm good at NOT keyword stuffing, every notice I've gotten from Panda has read "Congratulation, we did not find any AdSense ToS violation on any page of you domain -----.com". ) Well, as soon as Amazon gets that email from Google, they lash out fast at every offending book page, and then, look at whatever the "hot topic" keywords were, and start checking all of them. Then everybody gets hit by a massive "Erotica Sweep".and that's why you see these sweeps happen every February/March and again every September/October - it's because Panda is cleaning Google's index and Amazon is trying to stay off the blacklist.

 ***


[quote author=NAME REMOVED FOR BOOK PUBLICATION EDITION]I keep hearing about the adult filter and the amazon dungeon. What does it do? Is it really that bad?[/quote]




Yes. It is that bad. 


***ETA: May 30, 2015: The original answer to this question has been removed and replaced with more current and up to date information: Here to tell you more about the adult filter and the dungeon is a blog post from March 2015:


The Quaraun Books & The Continued Harassment, Bullying, Defamation, Libel, Slander, Impersonation, Intimidation, Threats, Fraud, Defalcation, Misappropriation, Vandalism, & Similar Irregularities Caused By Their Publication Continues As Outraged Kboards Members Make Demands For Amazon To Remove My Books For Sale 

Or

Why My Quaraun Books Vanished Off The Amazon Website For 9 Days In March 2015


[quote author=NAME REMOVED FOR BOOK PUBLICATION EDITION]Tell me what you like/hate in Monster porn. Is anything too cliché?

[/quote]


I like fast pace and interesting characters. Fast pace as in shorter stories with less descriptions and more dialogue, like a stage play script or a comic book script. I'm not very interested in fast pace when the meaning is action and fighting going on. I like stories with a slower more meandering flow, such as characters talking to one another. I like the style/formate Ernest Hemmingway used in "Hills Like white Elephants" when the entire story is nothing but dialogue between two characters talking over drinks at the bar. You never even learn their names or what they look like. It's just straight up dialogue. Most of my books are written in that style. It's an unpopular style, a lot of people don't like it, but I prefer it. So, that's the way I write my stories and it's actually one of the things which hinders my sales. So, I don't recommend you use it for your stories, if you are planning on them becoming bestsellers, because it's an old fashioned style of writing that today's readers really aren't interested in. It's considered one of those artsy-fartsy styles, used by literary authors. 

When I say I like interesting characters, I mean, I like characters i can identify with. There aren't many of those in fiction these days. I didn't grow up in mainstream America, I don't live in mainstream American culture, I have absolutely no understanding of the weird slang Americans use when they talk. Half the words Americans say, I don't even know what they mean. and yet, most characters in fiction are mainstream Americans and aimed at readers who are mainstream Americans. For example, I read a story once (in college in 2012), that took place on a subway. And I couldn't make heads of tales of what the story was talking about. I finally had to ask the professor, what exactly was going on in this story. 

She said: "Well, it's about these boys who are riding on the subway." 

My answer was, "I know, but I don't understand what that means."

She couldn't understand what it was that I couldn't understand.

After a few minutes of asking my various questions, it occurred to her what the problem was and she said: "Do you know what a subway is?"

I said; "It's that place down the street that sells sandwiches."

She says: "Have you never seen a subway?'

I said: "I eat there all the time."

She said: "Haven't you ever been to Boston or New York?"

"I've never been outside a five town radious of Old Orchard."

"Have you never seen a subway on TV?"

"I don't have a TV. We don't have electricity.

"A subway is like a train, but it's underground."

"Then why didn't the author say it was a train?"

"Because it wasn't a train. It was a subway."

Of course, there are so many characters in stories, who are living lifestyles that are so off the deep end it's incredible. I mean there are women in fiction who wear pants and makeup and cut their hair! Can you believe that? I mean, there are actually authors, who write women and describe them as wearing pants! That is just so completely unbelievable. And authors are always having their characters drinking coffee and talking on cell phones. I mean who does that? It's so completely unrealistic. I mean, who in their right mind drinks coffee? And authors of modern fiction, act like the whole world has access to phones? Seriously, where do these authors live that they think readers are even going to be able to identify with women who wear pant, and people drinking coffee and everyone having cell phones? Not in Maine, I'll tell you that.

But you see that's the problem I have with most every book written in the past 20 years. It's like the authors are from another planet. The culture of the lower 48 states is so dramatically different from the culture hee in Maine that I just can't wrap my mind around the story. The American culture is so weird and alien and unlike anything I've ever encountered, that I can't identify with characters in most of today's books.

So when I say, I like characters that I find interesting, I mean characters who live a lifestyle that I can actually understand and identify with. Characters who do things, like I would. I know everyone always talks about how diverse their books are, but, are they really that diverse? Every main character is a blond bimbo who frets over hair, nails, wears skinny jeans, and never gets off the phone, and is out and about in public without a male chaperone.

So that's a major dislike for me, because I don't like stories if I can't understand why the characters are doing the things they are doing. American culture makes no sense to me and I find it very difficult to identify with characters written by American authors. There is a desperate need for cultural diversity in characters.

I like to know what characters are thinking. And I like monologue, like the way Edgar Allan Poe wrote them.

I like things that make you stop and think, but do not make you stop reading. 

I hate prophecies and heroes whose destinies where spelled out for them centuries ago. I hate stories that start out with poor little hero, but suddenly hero reads prophecy and now knows he can win. I want heroes to win of their own accord, not because some prophecy said they were going to win, so therefor it must be so. 

I would prefer to see more villains as point of view characters, and also more villains who get away or win. I'm bored with goody two shoe heroes always winning. In real life, no hero is 100% good and no villain is 100% bad; I wish writers would reflect on this more often.

There is never enough, *good* mental health usage in fiction. It's always: "We need a villain, let's grab the schizo dude and give him a knife." or "Hey, there's a schizo, he's the bad guy." or "Let's use a schizo, because they can't think anyways." There is too much bad press in fiction about characters with schizophrenia. Schizo characters are every where in fiction, it's a major cliché, but they are being thrown into these stories by authors who don't even know what schizophrenia is, so they have the character doing all sorts of non-schizophrenia-type activities and just say it's schizophrenia because they don't know what else to call it and they are too lazy to do any research into the matter. I blame the authors of these types of books (and the movies like them too) for all the bad stigma that real life schizophrenics have to deal with, because people read these books and think: "Well it must be true, schizos must act like this, the author MUST have done their research before writing this book." When in fact nothing could be farther from the truth. I wish there were more schizo heroes in fiction. 

There needs to be a revival in the way authors deal with schizophrenia in fiction. I think authors who misuse schizos in their stories, should be made accountable for their actions because they are responsible for the bad rap that real life patient have to deal with. 

Same goes for Autism. I have Autism. Autism is used in a lot of fiction these days, but it's always used WRONG and INACCURATELY. Fictional Autistic characters, rarely ever accurately reflect real Autism. I'd like to see more authors handle characters the way I do my Roderic and Quaraun. Roderic and Quaraun both have Autism. Other characters see them as being a bit off their rocker, and usually think they are villans, but they are not villains, and not only are they not villains, but in each case they just happen to be the main character. That's something you don't see often: Autistic characters as the main characters. Most fiction with an Autisc character, only has them their as the "token special needs kid" and never a primary character at all, let alone the main character. And the few times an Autistic is the main character, the story is about their Autismand acts like there is NOTHING else in their life at all, but Autism, Autism, Autism. Did you know that I have never written a story about either Roderic or Quaraun, where their Autism was the focus of the story. Did you also know that in 200+ stories featuring Autistic main characters, I have yet to use the words "autism" or "special needs" in ANY of my stories? I'd like to see more authors treat Autistic characters as equals.

I wish there was more serious UFO and alien abduction fiction out there. Too much of it is written with the point of view that abductees are crazy and only UFO chasers ever see UFOs. Did you know that one in every thousand people claims to be an abductee and that 98% of all UFO chasers have never seen a UFO? There are almost eight billion people in the world and one in every thousand admits to having an alien abduction experience. Do you have any idea how many people that is?

I love alien abduction stories, and Monster Porn is where you can find a lot of them, but most of them are just utterly ridiculous and completely unresearched. I've yet to see an alien abduction Monster Porn that was anything like an ACTUAL alien abduction experience.

I love long running series. I hate it when a series ends. I want "just one more volume" every single time. I really hate it when a series suddenly ends and the ending reads like the author was bored so made up a bunch of nonsense just to end it and get it over with.Where's the closure? What about all those loose ends and plot twists that you left unanswered? 

Worse thing ever is when the author of a series dies before they write the final volume. Has happened to 2 different series I was reading.

Cliches in Monster Porn? Big monsters. I'm mean, seriously, have you ever read Monster Porn? EVERY monster is always 6'4" or taller. EVERY ONE OF THEM! Okay, I have issues with that. I don't big guys. I really don't. I'm seriously repulsed by them. I don't like big guys in real life and I don't like them in fiction either. And where's the realism in that? Have ANY of these authors ever done any actual research into REAL monster folklore?I mean, there's a reason, monster from folklore were referred to as "The Little People" and why their are phrases like "we dare not go a hunting for fear of little men". Traditionally monsters were small.

The thing I like best about writing Monster Porn is the fact that I can write it the way I want it to be. I can write short monologue ing monsters and actuate alien abductions. I can write it the way I wanted it to be.


[quote author=NAME REMOVED FOR BOOK PUBLICATION EDITION]I'm having trouble thinking of new titles. How do you come up with yours?What was the inspiration for your title? I've known all along my working title was a bit pants but had assumed something would jump out at me during the process. Guess what? I'm fast approaching the pointy end of the stick and have someone to design a cover; I need one and am running out of ideas! So far I've spent hours scanning the text, pondering the answer in my head, on amazon etc. doing a genre stalk. What else?What inspired you? How did you come up with the title for your books/stories?[/quote]



No idea really. They just come to me. I don't sit around thinking: "What can I call this?". I just go about to writing, and the name pops up some where along the line. Usually they have something to do with the story itself. 

It's all over the place for me. 

Sometimes a title will be the name of a character, ([Lynxianna is the cat who tells the story; Inugami is the name of the main character's dog) other times it will be the name of something in the book (The Ruby Hummingbird is a carved statue in the story; The Blue Monkey is the pirate ship on which the story takes place; VISION-D8 is the name of the starship; The Golden Palace is a gold plated palace floating in the clouds over an alien planet). 

*The Ruby Hummingbird* came about after I watched The Birds and thought, "Wouldn't it be great if humming birds went on a rampage and started skewering people with their beaks?" I wrote down the title on paper and than did not think of that story again for over 5 years. One day I was going through my notebooks and found a sheet of paper that said simply: "The Ruby Throated Hummingbird", and the next thing I knew I was writing a new story about Blackbird. 

Other times it'll be a line from the story (Where in the Heck is the Ceiling? is a question asked by the main character early on in the story). 

Sometimes it'll be a description of a character (The Port-A-Potty King is the gorgeous guy the main character obsesses over, but owns an RV park honey dipping waste removal business, and she's torn with being attracted to him and be utterly repulsed by his job) or a description of what the character is doing (Year One In No Hurry - No Hurry is the name of the motorhome, the story tells their first year of mishaps  - this is a non-fiction title btw, the main character is me, and No Hurry is the big green RV in my avatar).

Other times the title will be just something which tells you what the story is about (The Sex Diaries of Leslie Dean Trailer Park Queen- is the story of a retired elderly transvestite porn star trying to adjust to life in a senior citizen trailer park with religious seniors who don't think too highly of having an 83 year old former porn star next door; I Was a Door To Door Adult Sex Toy Salesman - title says it all...and was inspired by the fact that one day I got a knock on the door and was greeted with "Hello, I'm your local Adult Sex Toy Salesman, I thought I'd drop by and give you my card, let you know I'm available. We are always discreet and no one will ever know what you buy from me." I'm thinking, yeah, right, after you knock on every door in the neighborhood, everybody is going to know what you are selling when you come back; 

Some titles come from the theme or event of the story. For example...in Road Trip a salesman on the way home takes a deadly wrong turn. In Shiver, a boy went off to find out what shivers were. Neighbourhood children spy on the new man moving into the old house and discover Dracula Lives Next Door. Sometimes it's best not to look Behind Closed Doors and one should avoid haunted lakes and The Curse of Suicide Island.

Then you have BloodFall in Playland, the book that inspired psycho crazed stalker Kendra Silvermander to go off on her rampage. The story about my home town, Old Orchard Beach, and it's amusement park Palace Playland... about 2 teenagers stuck at the top of a ferris wheel, when alien zombies attack and eat everyone on the ground. (The covers in this series are all photos taken by my of the real park and it's real rides)

(EelKat's Twisted Tales)

(EelKat's Twisted Tales)

(Friends Are Forever: The Twighlight Manor series)

(Friends Are Forever: The Twighlight Manor series)

(EelKat's Twisted Tales)

Part 2 of BloodFall in Playland, Attack of the Zombie Pizza Boys - again, title speaks for itself; as does For Fear of Little Men - a horrific non-fiction book about little gray male aliens abducted girls for a breeding program than reabducting them to steal their unborn babies and the lifetime of PTSD these girls live with and the becoming laughing stock of the medical world because they believe their "false pregnancies" were alien babies stolen from them). On the same topic is Monster Porn title "Thoughts of Children That Never Were", or "The Lonely Kelpie" again, the story is just what the title suggests: it's a Monster Porn story about a lonely Kelpie looking for a mate.

(EelKat's Twisted Tales)

(Friends Are Forever: The Twighlight Manor series)

(The Quaraun series)

Friends Are Forever confuses people, the title suggest girly chick lit, not bloody gore feast, or so readers have told me. The title comes from the plot line - which basically is crazy guy who isn't a vampire but people think he is, guy marries mermaid girl, girl dies, crazy guy kidnaps alchemist to resurrect girl, things go gorrily horribly wrong, lots of people die, house comes to life and starts eating people, alchemist keeps every body alive, un-vampire goes insane surrounded by dead friends who refuse to die and live in undeath forever - thus the title Friends Are Forever. *Friends Are Forever*, is a ghost story about two lovers, one who lived and the other who died, and the house that ate her. 


(The Alien Bible)

(The Alien Bible)

(The Alien Bible)

Like Friends Are Forever, a lot of my titles are descriptive but not what readers thought it meant.

Garden Party for example - is Adam and Eve getting kicked out of the Eden because of having wild sex filled techno-rave parties with aliens from outer space - God being an alien and not liking other races of aliens stepping on his parade. Readers said the title suggested Regency romance not sci-fi insanity.

The Renegade Preacher- Jesus died, came back, Zombie Jesus is still preaching, falling apart as he goes, the 4 Horseman are alien invaders 4 giant starships in orbit about to wipe out the human race, Jesus knows they are coming but no one's listening because who listens to green oozy dead guys? Readers have told me the title suggested a Christian Romance about a preacher who is saved by a Christian woman.

I was listening to the reader tell me this and thinking "Clearly you have never read anything I wrote before, I write sci-fi, weird tales, absurdist and bizarro fiction, it's not often romance, but if it is, you can be sure the hero has fangs or tentacles or both and is probably a vampire brain sucking squid lich from Neptune's moons, not mainstream romance Christian or otherwise". (I wrote an entire series about vampire brain sucking squid lich from Neptune's moons, which I wrote mostly because I just like saying vampire brain sucking squid lich from Neptune's moons over and over again;D )

*The Great Crystonite War*, was of course about the war by the same name.  Into The Mushroom Forest has a character lost in a forest made of 100 foot tall mushrooms and being hunted by 30 foot fuzzy caterpillars. The Burning Planet tells of a planet just before it's sun supernovas. All 2 of these books, by the way, are from The Twighlight Manor series.

Also from the Twighlight Manor series are "Roderic's Butler, The Green Serpent, and White Rock, all 3 about Roderic's butler with the snake tatoo, who built the mansion turn asylum known as White Rock.

*Love Lust Madness*, another book from the Twighlight Manor series, is about a lover's triangle: one who loved truly, one who was just playing the field, and one who was a serial killer. 


(Friends Are Forever: The Twighlight Manor series)

(Friends Are Forever: The Twighlight Manor series)

(The Quaraun series)

(The Quaraun series)

(The Quaraun series)

(The Quaraun series)

(The Quaraun series)

The entire novella *Ice Storm* was written all in one night, while the worst blizzard we had ever seen threw trees through the side of our house, buried us in 8 feet of snow, and knocked out power for a week; that storm is now known as the famous Ice Storm '98, which swept across the entire North East. As the story was written as a result of my boredom during the Ice Storm, I included the ice storm itself in the story, and then shocked my fans by killing off not just one, but two of my reoccurring main characters. All the events in the story took place in a single night during the worst ice storm to ever rock the Twighlight Manor, and thus the story itself became known simply as *Ice Storm*. (UPDATE - 2015 - Ice Storm has been renamed "The Blue Eyed Demon of the Enchanted Racetrack" - after the gambling, gangster main character)

*Pink Frog* was of course about a pink frog named Pink Frog. 

You get the idea, right? Actually, it's pretty easy to figure out where my titles come from.

The Quaraun The Insane series is the main character's name, while each title is a description of the volume in question. For example: "Kelim and the Necromancer" is about a guy named Kelim and a deal he made with a shady Necromancer. "BoomFuzzy" is about a candymaker named BoomFuzzy, "The Phooka of a Thousand Deaths" is about an Phooka who commits suicide a thousand times trying to find a way to end the curse of his undeath, in "The Summoner of Darkness" Quaraun meets a rival Necromancer who calls himself... why, The Summoner of Darkness of course!


Titles like "Captured by the Goldfish King" or "Frost Dragon" or "Lord Bunny" are rather self explanatory.

Wasted Time is about a man, a bank robber, who is in a car accident after hitting a man moving snow out of the road, and is given a second chance to go back and change the last few minutes of his life... instead of NOT robbing the bank, he wastes time covering up his tracks in the snow in the road in front of an oncoming car...

Lucky #7... a man who does everything in 7s, on the 7th day of the 7th month has a sudden change of luck.

The Oak Tree... lovers run to carve their names in the old oak tree...but some trees just want to be left alone.

The Sand Castle - the story of a little girl, who just wanted to build a sand castle, told by the cat who was the only survivor of the slaughter on the beach that day.

Shifting Sand, goes back to that same beach, when the town attempts to wall off the beach and the seagulls and crabs have other plans for the residents of Old Orchard Beach.

GhoulSpawn and the Lich Lord's Lover - Unicorn is the Lich Lord, Quaraun is his lover, and Unicorn does not like Quaraun's new friend GhoulSpawn.

Concussion - about a man who wakes up from a concussion, and has no clue where he is.

Freedom - Living In Days of Toob is a cyberpunk tale of a world after a TV set has become the global dictator.

Visions - a man keeps having them and they are getting worse.

Visitors - they came from outer space and you don't want to know what they want.

The Curse of Were-Turkey Gorge, takes place in said gorge.

A Spectral Darkness falls over the land...

The Toob series, btw, is based entirely off this music video...



It's not hard for me to come up with titles. You just pull a title from the story. A character's name, a place, an event, a line from the text.

The problem readers had with confusing titles, is the covers: plain solid color, usually light blue, with the title in black letters. No cover art to tell what genre, no back cover blurb to tell the plot. They have only the title to go on. But when dealing with a local copy shop and vanity press print books sold only locally, cover art gets expensive. It was at reader request that I am now at work on reissuing new editions, ones with actual cover at, and making them easier to buy by putting them up on ebook and POD editions.

So, the lesson there is, the title can say one thing to an author but something else to a reader, so get cover art that helps the reader figure out the genre, because the title alone doesn't always convey the right message.:o 

But yeah, for me, there isn't really any standard answer to how I come up with my titles, it's kind of just hit and miss and changes with each project. Some times I know the title when I start, other times I'm pulling my hair out trying to figure out the title. Usually I'll just keep reading and re-reading the story and something from the story itself (a line, a name, etc) will just click and I'll be "That's it!, that's my title!" Sounds like you are already doing that.

Perhaps, if nothing is standing out, maybe you could just go with a character's name as your title? That's what I do when I can't think of anything else, and it works.

I nearly always have the title at the start. Those are the first words of any story to me. I don't brainstorm / plan. I just invent titles and then free write from there. With me it's titles first all the way. Only rarely do I ever have a story idea first and have to think up a title to match it. It nearly always the other way around, I have a title first and write a story to match the title.

More specifically, I don't invent the titles myself. Instead, I click on this: http://www.seventhsanctum.com/generate.php?Genname=advname or this www.seventhsanctum.com/generate.php?Genname=bmovieand it spits out 10 to 25 random titles for me. Whatever it gives me, that's what I write that day. I never know what I'll be writing about, it absolutely totally random.

For example those 2 clicks just now, that I did in order to get the page links, resulted in this:

  • Animated Woods of the Dragon
  • Aquatic Marsh of the Unholy
  • Bloody Maze of Demonic Writings
  • Church of Enchantment
  • Cursed Desert of No Return
  • Demense of Visions
  • Demonic Islands
  • Flesh-eating Castle of the Crazed Murderers
  • Great Arena
  • Haunted Vortex of the Deceiver
  • Infernal Demense of Unknowable Madness
  • Insane Catacomb of the Destroyer
  • Island of the Dark Lord
  • Islands of Flying Storms
  • Jungle of Foulness
  • Living Tunnel of Floating Death
  • Metal Grotto
  • Mountain of the Demons
  • Mystic Moor
  • Ossuary of Insanity
  • Oubliette of Destruction
  • Ruins of Enchantment
  • Ruins of the Mummy
  • Subterranean Tomb of Lies
  • Tomb of Aquatic Prayers
  • Tunnel of Fate
  • Unholy Crypt of Solitude
  • Unknown Cave of Annihilation
  • Woodland of Steel
  • Woods of Writings


and this:


  • Assault of the Murderous Tigers
  • Beauty Castle
  • Beyond Xanadu
  • Damnation Brides
  • Filth Castle
  • King Horror
  • Love and Damnation
  • Monsters of Wonder
  • Nun of Blood
  • Sensation and Disease
  • The Adventures of the Wolf-Women
  • The Boston Evil
  • The Horrible Cop
  • The Magic of the SS
  • The Mystery of Jack the Ripper
  • The Saint Louis Evil
  • The San Francisco Pestilence
  • The Sinful Dog-Man
  • Vampire Controllers, The Next Generation
  • Wednesday of the The Terrifying Bat

A total of 35 brand new titles for me to write. I few of them don't strike me as anything I'd use, but Animated Woods of the Dragon, Aquatic Marsh of the Unholy, Bloody Maze of Demonic Writings, Church of Enchantment, Insane Catacomb of the Destroyer, Flesh-eating Castle of the Crazed Murderers, Island of the Dark Lord, Mountain of the Demons, Ossuary of Insanity, Oubliette of Destruction, Unholy Crypt of Solitude, King Horror, Love and Damnation, Monsters of Wonder, Nun of Blood, Vampire Controllers, and Wednesday of the The Terrifying Bat have all just been added to my "stories to write this month" list. :) I have no idea what genres they will be, what they will turn out like, but, I will write them and find out.

This is the real secret to how I can come up with 52 to 208 new stories a year and than publish 1 to 4 stories a week. As long as 7thSanctum exists I will never be at a loss for what to write next. No plot, no problem, complete and total pantser, just throw a title at me and I'll write a story for it no matter what it is.


[quote author=NAME REMOVED FOR BOOK PUBLICATION EDITION]...I guess the bottom line from the is that anyone selling a lot of books is only writing those books because they've sold out. The thing is, they doesn't personally know every writer. I write mysteries and I do very well. I started reading mysteries at age 3 starting with Tizz a Pony, moving to Trixie Beldon, Nancy Drew, Agatha Christie, etc. I specifically wrote my current bestselling series because it's exactly what I always wanted to write and was told by NY wouldn't sell. How exactly does that make me or anyone else like me a sell-out? I AM writing exactly what I want to. I AM writing it exactly the way I want to. The fact that other people also have a similar sense of humor hardly makes me a sell-out. It makes me darn lucky to make a great living doing exactly what I want. I know a LOT of other writers doing exactly the same. Where do they get off calling me a sell-out...


...Am I a sell-out because I wrote some lesbian monster erotica? No. It makes me committed to doing what I need to do to survive. Screw this "lazy writing" concept. People have bills to pay, and mouths to feed. My next book will be out soon. Will it sell a lot? Probably not. Will I bitch about it and blame it on those "lazy billionaire writers"? Those "lazy YA writers"? "Lazy Zombie writers" ? "Lazy Romance writers" ? You know what needs to die as a trope? The idea that someone's lack of success is anyone's fault but their own. If you put a bad cover on a book, its your fault. If you put out an unedited book, its your fault. If you pick an unpopular genre to write in, its your fault. If your book doesn't sell like you want it to, its your fault. Because that's the end goal here -- selling books. If selling books is not the goal, then what is? Self-improvement? Vanity? In the words of Tyler Durden "Self improvement is masturbation.[/quote]


I agree. That is the way I feel about the stuff I write. A LOT of folks don't like what I write. I don't care, because I like what I write.

All this talk flying around the forum of "selling out" and writing for money, especially in regards to the billionaire troupe, I find rather annoying. I mean, who died and made them God? Who gives them the right to tell other authors what to write? There's a lot of people reading the billionaire troupe. A lot of women love it and can't get enough of it. That means, there's gotta be a lot of authors who love it enough to write it? If they are enjoying what they write, they are not sell-outs. 

I get the same thing with My Monster Porn.Just because Monster Porn suddenly rocked the boat in 2013 and sales went through the roof, suddenly I'm a sell-out because i write Monster porn. They don't even consider the fact that i have been writing it since 2006. No. Why would they? they are too busy being crybabies and shitting their pants while they scream and bitch and moan and throw the nasty grams at all us Monster Porn writers. 

But hey, they can bitch and moan, all they want; I'll just keep laughing my way to the bank, because I'm doing what I love. I've been doing it for nearly a decade, and I stuck with it and now, after 8 years, it's finally paying off. Heck, they were dissing my genre 10 years ago too. Only back then they were dissing it because it was a flop that no one would ever want to read. No that it's selling like hotcakes, they are dissing us authors, saying we sold out. How did we sell out? Huh? We slaved over these books for peanuts for decades. Oh well. Haters are gonna hate. Just ignore them.

When you get right down to it, it's not you they are mad at. It's not the troupe you write. It's themselves. They are kicking themselves for not writing the troupe before it became a hit. They are wishing they had written Monster Porn back when, and they are just jealous and guilty. Jealous that you have money coming in, guilty that they laughed at you in the beginning instead of joining you in writing Monster Porn as well.

Hey, a few years ago, if you wrote vampires you were a sell-out. I've been writing vampires since the 1970s. But did that matter? No. Because I was still writing vampires in the 200's and that was a bad thing, because vampires were now a fad trend. Well, that fad died and I'm still writing my vamps. I was doing it before the trend. I'm still doing it long after the trend. Why? Because I like vampires. And I love Bela Lugosi.

And before vampires, it was wizards. Harry Potter was the hot thing for the 1990s and BOOM, suddenly anyone who had ever written a wizard fell under fire. We were all sell-outs. Uhm...yeah, I write Dark Fantasy, so I have my vampire wizards, because you know, the only better then a vampire is a wizard, and let's make him even better by being both, right? Again, been writing this since the 1970s, so doing it long before Harry Potter, and now that the Harry Potter fad has died, here I am, still writing writing my wizard and his vampire wizard lover full swing.

It's well known my annoyance at billionaire fiction, and it's extreme laughability for being so absolutely unrealistic. Which I suppose is silly coming from some one who reads and write primarily Monster Porn. i mean, sex with mythical beasts - how realistic is that? LOL! I think the difference is I know a real billionaire and I don't know a real yeti, so I see billionaire erotica and it does nothing for me because I know the lifestyle too well, while yeti sex I love to read because I know absolutely nothing about it and can thus fantasize about what it must/might be like.

So, while I don't like billionaire erotica, I don't begrudge any one who does enjoy it, because I know it's a Fantasy mind trip for them. Let them have their Fantasy I say. I personally think of the billionaire story as being nothing more than a modern day Cinderella. Charles Perrault wrote about a cinder maid who daydreamed of marrying the prince and her fairy godmother granted that wish. How is that any different from the billionaire story? (And what does that say about me reading yeti? I guess it's a good thing I don't have a fairy godmother to make that Fantasy come to life! LOL!)

But yeah. Don't listen to them. Ignore them. They are just a bunch of whiny, jealous, crybaby, pricks with no self esteem, and are trying to make you feel bad, because they want to pull you down to their level, but Honey, remember, if they are trying to pull you down, it only means you are already above them. Don't sick to their level, just hold your head high and move steadily upward and onward.











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The Top 202 Most Visited Pages of 2017

Seeing how on October 15, 2017, we reached 10,000 pages, I thought it'd be fun to update the Top 100 List and see where were were now.

Top 202 Most Viewed Pages Of 2017 So Far
(Out of 10,000 pages)

(January 2017 to October 2017)
(Excluding the Home PageAbout Page, and Site Map Page, which were the top 3)

  1. Amphibious Aliens: The Story of Etiole & The World's Most Haunted Car
  2. The GoldenEagle: An Auto-biography of the World's Most Haunted Car
  3. Medieval Servants: Their jobs and their place in historical fiction.
  4. How Long is 50,000 Words?
  5. On being a handicapped CosPlayer at PortCon Maine 2017
  6. Stephen King's The Thinner and The Gypsies Of Old Orchard Beach, Maine
  7. Writing Mute Characters
  8. Flamboyant Nipples: The KKK's New Gay Hating Site About Old Orchard Beach | The Site That Makes Fun of Terrorist Hate Crimes
  9. Writing Dares Random Generator
  10. Don't put flyers on people's cars...
  11. The Saco River Curse
  12. Our Primary Site Topic Is Small Penis? Reaching #1 on Page 1 of Google.
  13. Help FBI End Anti-Gay White Power Terrorist Attacks of Old Orchard Beach
  14. Creating Character Profiles | Meet The Characters | Who Is Quaraun?
  15. Introduction To The Quaraun Series: aka Too Gay For Old Orchard Beach
  16. The Dazzling Razzberry aka EelKat's Autism Awareness Car
  17. Autism, Asperger, PTSD, & Mad Cow: Writing Clinical Insanity Accurately | What is wrong with Quaraun? 
  18. Quaraun Free To Read Online Complete Chapter Index In Chronological Order
  19. Necromancy: Fact Vs Fiction; Or How Can You Be A Necromancer In Real Life?
  20. 600 Pages: Epic Big Super Sized Novels and Why You Should Never Write One
  21. Why Crude Adult Comedy and Pink Humor Yaoi Is Not Erotica
  22. The FBI In Old Orchard Beach, Maine Trying To Capture A Domestic Terrorist
  23. One Gypsy's Review of My Big Fat American Gypsy Wedding
  24. The Gypsies of Old Orchard Beach - page 1 (Online Release of Banned Book)
  25. Autism, Asperger's, And The Danger of The Self-Diagnosis
  26. Spell Casting Side Effects: Magic In Quaraun's Universe | Author Interview
  27. What Type of Music Does A Gypsy Listen To? My Top 10 Favorite Bands
  28. Beware of White Men In Gypsy Clothing: Fake Psychic Scams
  29. How long does it take to hit 1667 words?
  30. How to Write A Kiss
  31. Phookas
  32. Creating Character Profiles | Meet The Characters | Who Is GhoulSpawn?
  33. Albino Races - Moon Elves In The Quaraun Series
  34. Daily Writing Prompts (June 2017 Archive)
  35. My 30th Anniversary of Being Transgender
  36. Why Are The Quaraun Books Rated M18+
  37. How to Write Hot Sex - Tips For Erotic Romance Authors
  38. The Zaharam-Chapelle-Parunas Ethnographical World Building Questionnaire
  39. The Jiggler & The G-String Teddy Bears | The Adventures of Quaraun The Insane
  40. What exactly makes an Elf an Elf? (What is the definition of an Elf?)
  41. Online Income: The Reality vs The Fantasy
  42. World's Most Haunted Car Merchandise
  43. I Am Not GhoulSpawn | Excerpt From Rose Garden of The Pink Necromancer
  44. Old Orchard Beach Hate Crimes
  45. BoomFuzzy Chapter 1 (Novel Excerpt - Quaraun The Insane)
  46. How can your books have gay transvestite characters and not be Erotica? or Why are gay haters beating up elderly woman for wearing pink for breast cancer awareness and saying she's a transexual because only transexuals wear pink?
  47. EelKat's Guide To NaNoWriMo Featuring The 13 Step Method To Writing
  48. Autism and the Stigmas - Why Can’t You Accept Me As Me?
  49. Maine UFO Sightings
  50. Page 11 - The Gypsies of Old Orchard Beach - The Scottish Traveller Crime Family
  51. Psychedelics In A 'High' High Fantasy World (High Elves Getting High)
  52. KBoards, The NaNoWriMo ML Rumor & The Vindictive Stalker
  53. Writing Racist Characters VS The Ku Klux Klan In Old Orchard Beach, Maine
  54. Captured By The Lich Lord | The Night of The Screaming Unicorn
  55. How To Build A Magic System
  56. I've everything but a kitchen sink. Wait, how'd that sink get in my pocket?
  57. Stephen King's Thinner Gypsies & The Ku Klux Klan of Old Orchard Beach
  58. Autistic Characters In Fiction
  59. City of The Slushies | Chapter 7 | Quaraun The Insane
  60. Manuscript Reading Services or Will You Read My Book and Tell Me What You Think?
  61. Suicide, Rape, and Abuse In The Quaraun Series
  62. Wizards vs Witches vs Sorcerers: How are they different? | Writing Fantasy Books
  63. FRED: Google's Most Deadly Update Ever?
  64. How To Write A Novel: Question Everything Before Putting It In Your World
  65. Content writing: How long do you spend creating a quality blog post?
  66. SBI: To Review or Not to Review? That Is The Question
  67. Twerking Dragons: The Joys Of Writing A Novel With A Voice Recorder
  68. A Day At Witch Pond & Fleeing To The Forest | Summoner of Darkness
  69. Transgender, Transsexual, Transvestite, or Intersex: What Is Quaraun?
  70. Sheep | GhoulSpawn The Crazed & The Rose Garden of The Pink Necromancer
  71. Colour Magic - Gypsy Style
  72. Ideas, Ideas, Ideas (Where Do You Get Them?)
  73. Keywords & Pigeons: How I Do Local Business Marketing
  74. Quaraun & Autism In Fantasy Novels
  75. The Signs Of Old Orchard Beach & The FBI Investigation Of The Town Hall
  76. Tom Addams & The Warrior's Forum
  77. A Field of Poppies On The Road To Witch Pond | Summoner of Darkness
  78. An Elf and a Lich in the Gingerbread Pit | The Night of The Screaming Unicorn
  79. Markiplier Jacksepticeye and Pewdiepie Play Resident Evil 7
  80. Santa Claus: Lich Of The North Pole (Includes NSFW 18+ CBT Yaoi scene)
  81. A Motorhome named 'No Hurry' becomes Rosebud & The Story of Ten Kidnapped Cats
  82. Create Original Content aka I Hate Jackass Gutter Scum Thieves
  83. Lost In a Space That Isn't There: Going North To Head South
  84. An Elf Gone Mad: The Rise of The Pink Necromancer
  85. Aspergers is NOT Autism
  86. Is The Quaraun Series Erotica? - No! Here's why...
  87. Summoner of Darkness: GhoulSpawn and Quaraun Trapped With A Phooka
  88. The Dungeon Master & The 1974 AMC Gremlin
  89. The Lich's True Form Revealed | The Night of The Screaming Unicorn
  90. Using work you already started for national novel writing month?
  91. World-building In The Quaraun Series: Creating a Fantasy World
  92. Books in Vacationland 2017
  93. BoomFuzzy's Gingerbread House From Hell
  94. Lets Playing Is No Longer Fun
  95. Santa's Floating Dead Body | A Scene From The Summoner of Darkness
  96. The Banshee Sisters: Bean-Nighe and Ben-Neeyah In the Swamp of Death
  97. The Gypsies of Old Orchard Beach - page 2 (Online Release of Banned Book)
  98. What vlogging equipment is needed to get started as a YouTube vlogger?
  99. April 2015 Update: Too Gay For Old Orchard Beach: The Kidnapped Cats
  100. Betta Fish Aesthetic on Pinterest
  101. Domain Name Branding: Should You Put Your Brand Name In Your URL?
  102. Life As A YouTuber: How To Earn An Income From Making Videos
  103. Making YouTube Videos: How did you decide what content to make?
  104. Page 4 - The Gypsies of Old Orchard Beach
  105. Twighilight Not Twilight
  106. YouTube Index
  107. Amphibious Aliens: My health since the stroke and Etiole . . .
  108. Are You A Satan Worshiper?
  109. Average Typing Speed
  110. Custom Leggings - Designs By EelKat
  111. Ernest Hemingway Style of Writing Literary Fiction Used In Epic Fantasy Novels
  112. Google Flagged Your Site! What To Do? (Help For Web Masters)
  113. How valuable is a writer’s group?
  114. Lives Destroyed: Amphibious Aliens 10th Anniversary Update
  115. Lost In a Space That Isn't There: Santa's Letter To Satan
  116. Summoner of Darkness: Quaraun Meets The Gremlin
  117. The Terrorists of Old Orchard Beach Put My Dad In a Coma
  118. Using Yahoo Answers to promote your book and author website.
  119. What Is This Site?
  120. You Stole My Idea - I was writing a book, but you already wrote it 10 years ago!
  121. City of The Slushies | Chapter 1 | Quaraun The Insane
  122. Creative Writing Story Prompts: September 2017 Edition
  123. Dungeons and Dragons: The Joys Of Calculating Gold Weight In AD&D 2ed
  124. Fabric Designed By EelKat
  125. My Fave YouTubers Play: Dream Daddy - The Yaoi Dad Dating Sim Otome Game
  126. Necromancy: How will resurrection affect society as a whole?
  127. Page 7 - The Gypsies of Old Orchard Beach
  128. Pink Flowers Aesthetic on Pinterest
  129. The Gypsies of Old Orchard Beach - page 12 (Online Release of Banned Book)
  130. What will a traveler encounter on the roads in your world?
  131. Are you insane? Am I? Let's Find Out...
  132. Becoming A Better Writer: How to write interesting dialogue.
  133. Character Creation
  134. Copper Cockeral Cards & Gifts
  135. Elves, Drugs, and Opium: A Look At The Drug Use In The Quaraun Books
  136. How To Stay Motivated To Write | Writing Fantasy Books
  137. Jewelry Fashions in Moon Elf Culture | World Building | Writing Fantasy Books
  138. Keyword Marketing - What to do when your best keywords are low demand
  139. Magic Systems and How to Build Them | Writing Fantasy Books
  140. NaNoWriMo Overachievers: How did you do it?
  141. Quaraun Cover Art Gallery | Fantasy Novel Book Cover Art
  142. Quaraun The Insane : Zebulon's Captive: The Last of The Moon Elves
  143. SEO Advantages of Embedding YouTube Videos On Your Website
  144. Summoner of Darkness: A Tavern Scene - Chastity Cages, and Whores
  145. Summoner of Darkness: The Return of ZooLock (free to read online)
  146. Twighlight Not Twilight Part 2
  147. Vanishing Books Update - Why 27 of my books were deleted off Amazon
  148. What is a God in Your Universe? | World Building | Writing Fantasy Books
  149. Writing Maine: How To Write About Maine Life Accurately
  150. What the Ocean Gives Me (How Things In Your Life Affect Your Writing)
  151. City of The Slushies | Chapter 14 | Quaraun The Insane
  152. February 10, 2008 - Harassment Continues in Old Orchard Beach, Maine
  153. How does a bestselling book become a bestseller?
  154. Marriage in Moon Elf Culture | World Building | Writing Fantasy Books
  155. People are not interested in long winded copy
  156. September 26, 2017 - The Latest Attack By The KKK on The Thinner Gypsies
  157. Spending Money To Make Money Online? Should You Do It?
  158. Summoner of Darkness: The Demon Cultists and The Coming of The Darkness
  159. Summoner of Darkness: The Map of The Town (novel free to read online)
  160. The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt GOTY | Completionist Run: Episode 01
  161. Trespassers: April 2007 Updates
  162. Turning Scenes, Into Stories & Writing Travelogue Style Fantasy Books
  163. Where To Get Endless Ideas For Short Stories, Novels, and Articles
  164. Writing Controversial Books: Political Correctness & White Supremacists
  165. Are Bad Reviews Good For You?
  166. Branding Yourself While Avoiding The Scams | EelKat On Content Writing
  167. Child Sacrifice in Fantasy Novels | Writing Fantasy Books
  168. How to Handle Writing Fantasy-Horror That Features Violence Against Children
  169. How would you explain your Fantasy world to a stranger?
  170. Page 6 - The Gypsies of Old Orchard Beach
  171. Summoner of Darkness: HellBorne The Evil, Lord of Black Tower
  172. The return of Friends Are Forever - Banned and Burned it's about to be reborn!
  173. Why do Lovecraftian beings come to earth?
  174. Writing Prompts Syndrome?
  175. Autism = The Crazy Cat Woman of Maine
  176. Autism: Understanding what is really going on inside the child’s head.
  177. But what exactly IS a full time income?
  178. Content Marketing & writing: How I write content for my website
  179. Do you write a novel start-to-finish?
  180. GhoulSpawn and The Lich Lord's Lover: How To Kill a Lich
  181. How is it that the church leaders are claiming you do not pay tithes?
  182. How To Write A Novel: In what order do you create your world?
  183. I loved my children but I loved BoomFuzzy more | From Quaraun The Insane
  184. My Two Favorite People: FarDarrig and The Baby That Never Should Have Been
  185. Need help writing characters of color | EelKat on racist white readers
  186. Quaraun and the Amazon Adult Filter
  187. Quaraun GhoulSpawn and The Lich Lord's Lover: The Lover's Triangle
  188. Summoner of Darkness: Where Are You Hiding That Horse?
  189. Tired of people who don’t care. :( Tired of the harassment. :(
  190. What would happen if an Elf adopted a Human baby? | Writing Fantasy Books
  191. Page 10 - The Gypsies of Old Orchard Beach
  192. Page 3 - The Gypsies of Old Orchard Beach
  193. Page 8 - The Gypsies of Old Orchard Beach
  194. SCRIPT FRENZY 2010: I WON! & Psycho Stalker Attacks
  195. Wristlets, Wrist Bags, Mini Clutch, Cosmetic Bags, and Designer Mini Purses
  196. Writing Your Novel: Do you save chapters as individual files?
  197. Are old AD&D adventures still any use to current players?
  198. Autistics Have Feelings Too & Diverse Books Rant
  199. Be True To You: YouTube Gamers: "Faking" a personality until you make it?
  200. City of The Slushies | Chapter 10 | Quaraun The Insane
  201. HEA in Erotica (Should You Write Happily Ever Afters?)
  202. Stephen King's Thinner Gypsies



dancing bananadancing bananadancing bananadancing bananadancing bananadancing bananadancing bananadancing bananadancing bananadancing bananadancing bananadancing bananadancing bananadancing bananadancing banana


“Karma comes after everyone eventually. You can't get away with screwing people over your whole life, I don't care who you are. What goes aroMy Two Favorite People: FarDarrig and The Baby That Never Should Have Been

Need help writing characters of color | EelKat on racist white readers

und comes around. That's how it works. Sooner or later the universe will serve you the revenge that you deserve.” 

― Jessica Brody


"By autistic standards, the “normal” brain is easily distractible, is obsessively social, and suffers from a deficit of attention to detail and routine. Thus people on the spectrum experience the neurotypical world as relentlessly unpredictable and chaotic, perpetually turned up too loud, and full of people who have little respect for personal space." 

— Steve Silberman



Attempt Something New Today! – too many people talk about doing this or that but few actually take action, it's the why behind why so few succeed and so many fail.



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Fabulous and flamboyant...

who knew?




“If you're horrible to me, I'm going to write a song about it, and you won't like it. That's how I operate.” 

― Taylor Swift


Bullies should never force you to  suffer in silence. If someone has hurt you, let others know.



“One's dignity may be assaulted, vandalized and cruelly mocked, but it can never be taken away unless it is surrendered.” 
― Michael J. Fox



“I would rather be a little nobody, then to be a evil somebody.” 

― Abraham Lincoln


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