As an erotica writer, you might know a thing about ‘spreading;’ legs, libido, desires, play with various partners. For this column, though, I am suggesting spreading your scribbling as far and wide as possible.
First of all, you should be spreading your net wide when exploring possible places to submit to. Market places like the EWR will lead you to erotic publication guidelines as well as upcoming anthology needs. But with the net as your guide, you can research lots of other places for up-to-the-minute changes to guidelines and instantaneous postings. I’d say check your favorite spots often and do some deep diving as much as you can.
Secondly, even if you write only within a specific genre, you might want to search outside of the usual publishers you know who support that genre. Sure, the more niche your writing is, the harder it might be to place it far and wide. Still, you’d be surprised at the places (publishing houses, online portals, small press anthologies) that consider those pieces that might fall a little farther afield than the usual fare they take, but somehow still fits their needs. You’ll need to do a little research, but I have found quite lusty naughty tales in sci-fi books because the sex happens a few years into the future or kink passages in places I’d never expect them.
It’s also a good idea to spread your titles around…if you can. Sure, the prevailing wisdom is for building a relationship with a publisher by getting a healthy listing of books with them, so they start to consider you a worthwhile commodity. But there is also something to be said for placing a bunch of titles across the field of a bunch of publishers. Admittedly, this isn’t so easy to do with a niche like erotica, where the pickings of potential publishers are few. But a long time ago, the wonderful and wise Jean Marie Stine of Renaissance E Books, Inc., the first house to publish my erotica and someplace I go back to time and again, told me that it was a good idea to have a bunch of books published by a bunch of different houses. She never saw this as competition as much as free advertising, in that if someone found and enjoyed a book of mine published by one house, they might go looking for more titles by me. That search might very well bring them to my books published by Jean Marie…or anybody else.
Makes sense, right?
Also, even if you stick with one genre (which I don’t), you might find one erotica publisher is open to naughty stories of a certain type while another is into something else. Or houses fill-up sometimes on one kind of thing and you might find another house open to what you have. This has happened often with me, and the only way I got ahead of the game was to spread myself around, do a little digging, see who might want at the time of my submitting, and keep open (ok spread) enough to take advantage of some options.
Lay down, spread-um, and take note. It will do you and your writing a world of good.
Photo by Leo Burca
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