My exploration of self-publishing erotica has been a rollicking adventure filled with lots of days going commando and—well, we’ll get to my personal habits some other time. Right now, the topic is length. No, not that length, my dirty-minded lovelies.
The length of erotica books.
I discovered a sad thing with The Billionaires Club series. It’s apparently not possible, at least it isn’t possible for me, to get readers to pay one dollar more for a novella than for a short story in Erotica.
Yes, it seems that to most readers, a well-developed novella isn’t worth any more than a quickie short story. In my innocent enthusiasm at this serial’s initial popularity, it didn’t occur to me that readers who pay $2.99 for as little as a dozen pages would balk at $3.99 for episodes several times the length of a short story. Balk they did.
The reason this is sad is that I much prefer writing longer, character-driven books to short smut. I could have written several short stories in the time I spent on each of the novella-length episodes of The Billionaires Club.
In addition to being four to five times longer than an average smut short, each long episode requires more time in structure, characterization and editing. There’s additional editing for continuity, a process similar to working on film. Someone has to go through all the scenes and make sure the characters are in the right costumes and all the other details are accurate. In this enterprise, that someone is me.
I enjoy my work. Maybe I enjoy it too much. Because I’m always writing, and the passion for writing often undercuts my business brain.
On the positive side, readers have appreciated The Billionaires Club. The reader reviews make me happy. I’m glad I did it, and I’m getting blue at the thought of ending it. I’ve mapped the concluding episodes and soon I’ll say, That’s a wrap.
I doubt that I’ll go back to writing all shorts. I’m a novelist at heart. For now, serials are as close as I can get to writing books with the depth I need to feel engaged and satisfied while—just about—managing to pay myself enough to continue writing fiction.
The compromise has to be shorter episodes. Otherwise, I’m screwing myself—and not in a fun way. Readers speak with their wallets. The shortest episodes of The Billionaires Club sold the most copies. Whether that’s because they were the first two or because the audience for these books prefers shorter books over longer ones is a standing question. It suggests I’m not likely to lose readers by cutting back on length.
Here’s the list of the books in this serial, my most popular one to date.
Episodes 3-5 are novella-length. I’m delighted some readers particularly appreciated Capture; it’s my favorite so far. I’m almost finished with Chased. It’s the most challenging one of all and may supplant Capture as the one I find the most satisfying, despite all the trouble it’s giving me. I appreciate my fabulous beta and ARC teams for their patience.
The Billionaires Club Episode List
#1 SOLD: Party Toy
Brittani serves Black men
#2 AUCTION: No Protection
Hailey obeys Doctor’s orders
#3 OWNED: Bare Show
Minx submits to ex-cons
#4 BOUND: Bare Innocent
Pia’s First Time
#5 CAPTURE: Wrecked Innocent
#6 CHASED: Athena the Fighter
#7 BOUGHT: Pirate Captive Laine
#8 Secured: Bodyguard Cherise
Titles, subtitles and character names of forthcoming episodes may be subject to change.
When I’m feeling down, I often reread my favorite reviews by readers. Here are excerpts from a few of them. The complete reviews are on each Amazon.com U.S. listing page.
OMG! Wow! — Rachel
If you like things hot and steamy, and you like getting wet while reading, then this is the story for you! —Donna Feibusch
This book is hot. I couldn’t put it down. I really love the ending. You will squirm in your seat on this one.—LM Kindle Reader
“One of the fastest and best books read. Sex with a capital S.” —Bibs
I’ll be adding more reviews to the site. They hearten me and offer a sweet counterpoint to the comments by people who take the time to refer to my books as disgusting. 🙂 I confess, I often quote the fellow who described Bound as “sick and twisted.” Yes, a selling point. Thanks, love.
I appreciate everyone who takes time to leave a review. Some of the feedback is mystifying. While I find it difficult to fathom the level of denial involved in pretending to download any of my books for a purpose other than titillation, I’ve started adding a warning to the first reading page of all books. Perhaps that will spare the unwary or obtuse from unnecessary outrage. What fun will they have then?;)
To you, adventurous readers, my appreciation and my best, always.