Building a series – Part 1

A few days ago somebody asked me this question.

I’ve been working on a series of Erotic stories following a character through her trials and adventures. My question is, any better ideas on how to move this forward? I started it more as an exercise, now I’m so far into it I feel the need to complete the story. But it seems erotica closes a lot of doors. Should I make it a free book? Should I use a pen name? Any input on a good path forward is appreciated. BTW, it’s dirty not filthy. 50 shades of Grey level. (Oh God, did I just say that?)

I answered his question as best as I could – however, this advice would hold true for ANY genre – not just erotica.

Here’s my answer.

Erotica can work profitably if you possess the ability to really put it out there. If you can pump out a novella a month, or better yet two a month for a full year and then start putting together collections. Once you get about twenty or thirty actually e-books out there – THEN you start promoting them.

And keep pumping them out.

Erotica is a numbers game for the most part. Oh sure, you can hit that FIFTY SHADES OF ECRU jackpot if you are lucky – but the best way (or so I have heard) is to get a lot of books out there under one or two pen names. Erotica readers are like romance readers. They find an author they like and they buy up just as many as books by that author as they can get. So my advice to you is to sit down and lay out your series of stories. Come up with some good covers – or one cover with a running series of colors – or SOMETHING that says that this is a series.

I don’t know WHAT genre this author works in.

I’d put the series out under a pen name, if you regularly write in a completely different genre. However, if you regularly write romance – a FIFTY SHADES OF PUMPERNICKEL might actually work for you. You’ll have to decide that part of it.

The main thing is to make sure that first segment is clean and sticky. Clean, in that there is no grammatical errors or misspelled words. Sticky, in that you leave enough there – without cliff-hanging – to leave the reader actively panting for more. Put out maybe six parts of your series right at once and promote the hell out of that first one. Price them according to length – but let’s say (just as an example) that you decide to price them at 99 cents a book – then box up all six and make a book box out the first six in the series and sell that for 99 cents. Then get to work on the next six, keeping up the promotion on that first book. Hit Bookbub, hit Robin Reads, hit ENT and any other promotional site. Try and hit one site a week, always aiming at promoting that first book. Then – once you’ve got the next 6 books out, do the same with the second set of six books.

Or start a DIFFERENT series of 6 books. That’s what I can think of off of the top of my head.

That’s ideally what I want to do with my KELPIE DREAMS series. I want to write at least a half a dozen novels in the series. I’ve already got two more in the plot stage. My problem is that I can’t seem to write fast enough. I’ll be working on achieving a bit of momentum over the next couple of months.

Hope that advice helped some.

yours in storytelling,

Steve Vernon

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One response to “Building a series – Part 1

  1. I`ve written five books in my Suleskerry series, it`s about selkies, but they have been written over a period of my life. The first time I went back and read Suleskerry One, I didn`t recognise who the writer was. So, little by little and sometimes a huge bit, I`m editing them but I`m a big believer in series, growing up that`s what I read. Great post thank you.

    Like

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