Dec 182014
 
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By Nobilis

A speedbump slows you down for a bit; a setback is a loss of progress. Preparation keeps speedbumps from turning into setbacks.

This morning when I got my stuff together to go to the office, I discovered that my netbook needed an update. This is not uncommon, as the Ubuntu OS it runs, along with the apps I have loaded on it, are updated regularly. The problem arose when the update got stuck partway through and I needed to get on the road to be on time for work.

I did the exact wrong thing and interrupted the update.

Needless to say, the netbook is now not functional. I am composing this blogpost on my tablet, which is a good deal slower than I like but that’s how it goes.

I’m not worried, though. Even if the device is permanently kaput, I know I will not lose ground, because each day’s work was automatically uploaded to Dropbox.

That’s the kind of thing that keeps a speedbump from turning into a setback. Backups are the key—not just to saving my work to a secure location, but also to having backup hardware to work with until I can get my primary device back into service. This preparedness is what gives me the room to be flexible.

The same preparedness is necessary at every stage of the writer’s operation. For example, if Amazon were to suddenly remove all links to erotica titles, so that anyone who wanted to buy it would have to link directly to it,  if search and author pages and all of the other methods readers use to find books no longer worked, what would you be able to do? How much control do you have over that part of your business?

If your favorite publisher, the one you’ve been working with for years and have a strong relationship with, were to suddenly announce they were closing their doors, do you know what would happen to the rights to your books? Do you know where you would take them?

If your blogging platform were yanked out from under you, how quickly could you recover?

Taken all together, these questions can be pretty daunting. I know I am not prepared for all of these contingencies. But writers, erotica writers especially, need to be ready for the ground to shift under their feet. It happens too often to ignore.

***

Learn more about Nobilis and his work at his…

Website: www.nobiliserotica.com
Podcast: nobilis.libsyn.com
Twitter: @nobilis

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Jan 182014
 
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By Jean Marie Stine

“My ebook sales are declining!” and “Why are my sales declining?” are litanies being heard increasingly from established authors who have been writing for at least three years or longer, and from publishers who have been in the business for the same period. And yet, we are told more ebooks are being sold than ever before. How can that be?

In fact, total ebook sales have risen over the past few years, but not even double—whereas the number of published books available for sale has gone up twenty-three hundred percent during the same time period.

Here are the figures: When Amazon opened the Kindle store, they announced that they had 100,000 ebooks for sale.  Today the site shows their number of available ebooks at 2.5 million. There are now categories in the Kindle store that have more ebooks in them than were on the entire store site when it first opened.

2.3 million titles (and this is just ebooks, not counting print) is at least 5 times the total number of books for sale in the U. S. before the advent of the Kindle.

It is an unprecedented, watershed event in publishing history.

It means the individual ebook today, your book, is vying for attention (and the reader’s dollar) among 2.3 million others. Whether you have written one book or thirty—30 out of 2.3 million is daunting odds.

Of course, the number of titles your ebook is competing with is appreciably smaller than this.

People generally write, sell and buy ebooks according to their favorite genres and categories. Since these categories are smaller, you have a much smaller number of ebooks clamoring for attention along with yours. If you write romance, for instance, your book is only in a pool with slightly less than a quarter of a million other romance ebooks available for sale at Kindle. In addition to which many readers, naturally, have a particular subcategory of romance they prefer, such as paranormal or bondage or m/m, etc., where the number of competing books is smaller still, and the odds improve even more. Your paranormal romance will be offered for sale among only 30,700 others at Amazon Kindle.

The situation for those writing erotica is much the same. Amazon reports slightly over 131,000 books for sale in erotica.  But if you specialize in bondage, you only have to make your book stand out in a field of 19,000. And, if you write about male dominants, you are only competing with 9,000. That is still a lot whether you have written one book or thirty, and individual readers can only afford to buy so many books per month or year—and even the most dedicated readers of bondage fiction with the most time on their hands will probably not buy not 19 thousand.

So, practically speaking, what does that all mean? How many sales can you expect on average when purchases are spread thinly over so many titles?

At a recent industry conference I was on a panel with a woman whose husband worked for Amazon’s Kindle division and she said the average ebook sells 4 copies per week. As there are a number of writers selling thousands per week, that means overall there are hundreds of thousands of books that do not sell even one copy per week.

Finance writer Mike Cooper analyzed reports from Amazon and other sources and concluded that the average ebook at Amazon earned $297 last year. Again, that means there have to have been hundreds of thousands that earned nothing or virtually nothing. Cooper concluded that the average author would have to write and publish “48 books per year just to make minimum wage.”

“But what about Facebook and Twitter,” some authors say. “I have a hundred fans who have friended me and ten times that on Twitter who follow me.”

Sadly, those FB and Twitter fans also follow other writers, and have only a certain amount of disposable income for purchasing books. According to the same woman I was on the panel with, for all the efforts writers put into them, FB and Twitter followers account for at most only 28 copies out of the average ebook’s sales.

And here is a final set of figures, the number of free books for Kindle available at amazon: 54,000! Let’s break that down a bit. There are over 2,000 free romance novels, written by newer writers and even quite famous ones, all trying to gain new readers for their work. Almost 200 free lesbian novels. And if you write bdsm erotica, readers will find over 100 free titles.

And who doesn’t like free? No wonder the average Kindle title sells only four copies per week.

Of course, these are daunting figures for those seeking to earn some or all of their income from writing, and for smaller publishers trying to find sales for their authors. But they do pinpoint why everyone’s sales are declining. Since the first step in solving a problem is to find the cause, being aware of the romance and erotica markets for ebooks is a major step forward.

What can you do about all this? In a market this gargantuan, how can you draw greater attention to your ebook, make it stand out above the others, let alone generate big sales?

The fundamental principle of marketing is first, study your customers. In this case, study your potential readers. You may think you know your readers because you have dozens, if not hundreds, of Facebook followers and because you meet readers at events—but, while helpful, these folks do not necessarily represent the typical book buyer.

Findings on such matters as the influence of Facebook, author blogs, Goodreads, cover, price, reviews, video trailers, famous author endorsements, twitter, publisher name and more on readers’ decision to purchase a books are, to say the least, illuminating. If you haven’t read our summary of the widest reader survey ever undertaken on contemporary book buying habits—and what does and doesn’t influence readers to buy an author’s book—click here now to read it.

The second step in marketing something is to educate yourself on the best ways to promote and sell your product. Working “smarter, not harder” is not just an oft-repeated cliche of the business world; it’s a fundamental, applicable principle, especially when it comes to online marketing. Of course use your blog, your site, your Twitter and Facebook. But use them more wisely and realistically, recognizing their limitations. and learn how to automate functions—that step may save you time otherwise unnecessarily wasted. Generally speaking, do yourself and your books a huge favor and search this blog for tips from established writers and marketing professionals—in addition to the articles linked above, there are many more on these subjects!

And remember, sometimes success strikes with the first book, and sometimes with the 50th. But if you give up on writing, it can never strike at all.

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Sep 252013
 
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By Jean Roberta

During the Feminist Sex Wars of the 1980s, someone (I can’t remember who) claimed that for women, sex is more emotional than physical, implying that sex is an emotionless form of exercise for men. Regardless of whether you believe this, or which of your characters experience sex in what ways, actual sex is a physical activity for anyone who takes part in it.

At its best, sex is accompanied by intense physical sensations as well as a whole spectrum of emotions from ecstatic love to performance anxiety to ambivalence to relief to gratitude to pride to fear. Sex can actually express and elicit any emotion we can imagine. The one general statement anyone can make about whatever we call “sex” (and definitions vary), however, is that it is a physical activity. In effect, sex is a dance (and it doesn’t have to be horizontal. It can be done standing up, underwater or while flying through the air.)

Writing about any activity—as distinct from describing settings or characters, or outlining a character’s thoughts—carries its own set of challenges. Choreographing a sex scene is much like choreographing a swordfight or a joust in a historical novel, or a dance scene in any era. The interaction of two or more bodies requires a certain amount of strategy on the page, just as it usually does in real life.

Erotica and erotic romance are often considered so different from other genres of fiction that even we (writers of sex scenes) tend to forget that all fiction has certain elements in common. We all have to position our characters so that they move through space (their physical setting) and time (a period of hours, days, weeks or years). Likewise, a sexual encounter needs to begin with a first move (he kisses her, she reaches for his hand, they embrace, Person A deliberately presses against Person B) and progress to the next move, which will usually seem more intimate than the first move, both to the readers and the characters. From those initial moves to the end of the scene, the sexual activities you describe need to make enough sense that your readers can immerse themselves fully in the eroticism of the story.

I have sometimes flinched while rereading a first draft of a sex scene I’ve written. In the throes of writing, it’s sometimes too easy to slap down lines like this: “Their eyes locked from across the room, and they quickly pulled each other’s clothes off.” A reader is likely to wonder: how long were their arms? If the sequence of events is impossible to visualize without a loud guffaw, the reader is likely to be pulled out of the mood.

Other gaffes in unedited sex scenes can include a character who seems to have three arms (or three of anything that most folks only have two of), a sex toy that enters an orifice and never comes out (and even the horniest character is likely to want the dildo or the buttplug to be removed at some point), extreme floggings that leave no marks, bondage that defies the laws of physics and/or medical science, clothes that mysteriously vanish and then reappear on bodies, completely buttoned and zipped.

If you remember nothing else from this post, remember two things: one, that even the most elaborate orgy on Planet X must be plausible enough for the reader to imagine it, and two, that safe sex for a sex writer includes proofreading.

 

Jean Roberta writes in several genres. Approximately 100 of her erotic stories, including every orientation she can think of, have appeared in print anthologies, plus three single-author collections, including The Princess and the Outlaw: Tales of the Torrid Past (Lethe Press, 2013. ). www.jean-roberta.livejournal.com

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Sep 242013
 
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By Valerie Tibbs, Tibbs Design

When I get a request for a cover, I always go through and see what the author wants.  Sometimes the requests are just ridiculous, like “I need a zombie carrying a sword and going on a killing rampage”.  Uh… Sure.  About that…

So after I explain to the author the limitations of stock photos, they finally have a better understanding.  Sometimes however, I run into an author who’s adamant about a particular thing, and I can’t deliver.  I have to refer them to an illustrator or they’ll have to muddle through on their own.  It happens.

I had to realize I couldn’t make everyone happy every time.

But here’s part of my process that I wanted to show you.  I got a request for a hot guy (a Selkie to be exact, which I had to look up since I didn’t know what that was), coming out of the Northern Atlantic ocean at night.

Well, I thought to myself, that should be easy.  So here was my first draft:

1

I showed this to a friend, and she went, “I don’t like the girl’s butt in my face.”  Eh.  Good point.  Not quite what the author wanted, either.

So here’s the next one that I showed her:

2

Oh, he’s sexy.  But, um… he’s coming out of the ocean.  Shouldn’t he be wet?

Uh… oops!

So here’s the next version:

3

Nice, huh?

Well, I forgot one thing.  It’s supposed to be the North Atlantic, not the Caribbean!  Wrong color water. Dang it.

Because we didn’t like the guy in the previous one we picked him instead:

4

Here’s the next revision:

5

Better, yes?

But, Valerie, it’s supposed to be night time!

Dang it…  One more revision:

6

By George, I think she’s got it. YAY me! :)

And here is the final, with full resolution images and a tweak on the author name:

7

And that is just a fraction of what goes on with creating a cover…  This is my process.  Every artist has their own way of doing things.  But I love it!  :)

 

VALERIE TIBBS

Valerie Tibbs is a graphic designer with over 20 years of experience, including hundreds of book covers and dozens of websites. Find her at www.tibbsdesign.com, and Twitter: @valerietibbs

 

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May 022013
 
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One of the things I promised we’d cover at WriteSEX has to do with knowing your story vs. the actual story being told.  In every novel there’s what the writer wants the world to see and what the story is really about.

We write a book or story and think it’s about one thing, when it turns out it’s really about something deeper.  Each well written novel has a point it’s trying to prove, an ISSUE based on a PREMISE.

Knowing the difference can make synopsis writing and selling the book/story MUCH easier.  Let me illustrate this with an example from my career:

My recent sale to Red Sage required me to fill out standard author paperwork.  This paperwork though, unlike most places I’d been published before required me to understand and know my marketing plans for the book, and thus rework my original synopsis and cover letter.  It asked me to dig deeper, and be a tighter writer just so they could sell the book to their audience, which is the ultimate goal.

Endangered is essentially a story about overcoming addiction through love, through support while learning how to deal with the harsh reality surrounding the major characters.  Each one portrays some aspect of the core ISSUE in one way or another, as it happens around the plot.  Josef is the clearly obvious addict, swearing allegiance to the bottle and the dragon while Isabella seems addicted to her logic.  The problem with that logic is that it can’t fight the bond growing between her and Josef, except there’s still the issue of her lover, Livia.

Livia’s addiction is…well you’ll have to read the book.  but when I wrote and tried to sell this story in the first place, I wasn’t telling the story from the point of what ISSUE was being addressed.

I simply thought this book was a paranormal menage story involving three characters.   Since I knew the core issue of the story, I knew the plot and could write it quickly.  Coming up with the reworked details Red Sage wanted took some serious time – time I could have spent working on the next book.  It’s my fault for not really looking at the marketing aspect of this story from a wider perspective.

Had a similar conversation with Margie Church about the Razor series she and KB Cutter have written for Sizzler Editions.  Love’s Storm just came out but while we were all crafting the blurb I kept telling Margie to make the blurb pithy and find out what the core issue of the story was – This is something Morgan Hawke taught me but I took my sweet time learning.

Razor is a love story with a point to prove.  As the editor, I’d say the point is “Polyamory is a different type of love, one that requires a lot of work and trust, but does exist.”

Margie will have a better version of that if she comments.

We’ll cover Premise next time I have the blog.

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Mar 282013
 
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During the changing tides in publishing, a lot of questions abound as to how to get published, what to do, do you need an agent or not?

Today we’re going to focus a little more on career oriented information.  Let’s state the facts first.

  • FACT: Writing is a very lonely process, putting the writer at will with his/her own mind in a room alone until such time the writer can return to reality.
  • FACT: Publishing isn’t an easy business to navigate, which is why you’re reading sites like WriteSEX
  • FACT: Serious authors know when the time to move up in their career be it for money or whatever, they need a team.
  • FACT:  You alone are responsible for your success or lack thereof. 

An agent can be part of that team.  Let’s be clear, not all agents are created equal, but with any group of similar things, there will be bad apples and good apples.  I’d like to believe the majority of agents have the author’s best interest in mind as it helps not just the author, but the agent’s bottom line.

Let’s be clear.  If you’re in publishing and taking your career seriously you know you’re in it for money.  The RIGHT Agent can help with that.  But it’s not just the money end of things they’re good with.  The relationship is a give and take.  Let me start with an example from last year.

I’d been busting my ass all year with less than stellar results (thanks Amazon) in sales and was offered a temporary editing gig that could become permanent.  As an editor for Sizzler, I do all right, getting paid faster due to my quick turnaround on books.  It dawned on me I’d do better if I quit writing, left the reader groups I’d become so beloved on, and just focused solely on editing.

I called my agent to have her stop me from my stupidity.  She did.  On numerous occasions both Saritza and Marisa have stopped me from doing dumb, career ending things because they believe in my career and in ME.  And it’s not a bottom line thing, either.  Yes, that’s part of it but the fit here is that I respect their firsthand knowledge of something I’d have to get second hand.  Numerous times that will happen, things change, authors change, grow, setbacks occur.   The agent can guide the author out of the maelstrom.

I respect the skill sets they possess and that’s important.  Yes, I will learn the things they have to teach me, but at a much slower pace, and at a pace that takes time away from my writing.

What creative people often forget is that making money is a team sport.  Yes you can go it alone, yes you can struggle, learn the lessons, become the best writer of your genre with the most knowledge but if you make a lot of money it’ll be over a longer period than if you have someone who can help you accelerate and learn certain lessons faster.

Erotica is no different.  Yes, our fun is a little more hands on (heh) but it’s still publishing.  The agent who knows how to navigate the options, knows how to help you steer your career toward your goals.

It behooves the author to make choices with their career that help further his goals.  Understanding how to help your agent help you will only benefit you further.   Stubborn authors may get ahead but the slow path isn’t one I’d like to be on.

Yes there are horror stories.  Covered that above.  There’s a plethora of authors who made bad decisions because they didn’t think tings through or have clarity.  There are also a number of unscrupulous agents as in any industry.  Sometimes the two pair, sometimes they don’t.

The changing face of the industry, with publishers going under, Amazon being Amazon, new opportunities coming up, new trends popping up, it all becomes madness that makes writing, the very thing we want to do, difficult.  Why not go with a guide, someone whose job it is to navigate and explain options, thus allowing you clarity in your career?

The more I can help my agents to help me, the further and faster we’ll all get ahead.

As with anything though, nothing worth having is worth having without work.  Writing erotica, or otherwise for a career choice is no different.

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Sep 272012
 
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Now I know right off the bat what some of you may be thinking.  Hard ass editors are a requirement for writing and selling erotica/erotic romance and they must be dealt with…BUT why couldn’t they at least be a little nicer?

I’ve been quoted on Twitter as saying the following:

“I get it. You hate me as an editor. That’s good. Means you’re learning how to treat your book like a commodity instead of a friend.”  The incident that inspired that comment has more to do with general behavior I’m seeing by new authors, but some of the older establishment whines as well.  Things that irritate editors:

1. They ask for glowing praise.  – WRONG!  That implies that the piece submitted is worthy of GLOWING PRAISE.  Rarely is this the case with first time or new authors.  That includes much of my earlier work.  So here’s how you deal with that as an author:  Don’t expect it.  If your editor is a hard ass and he/she has taken your MS and ACCEPTED IT, that’s a good sign they believe in YOU.  YOU are, as an author, NOT your work, you are your VOICE!

2. Wonder why editors don’t compliment more often.  – My job is to tear down your work and destroy the relationship between parent and child  The parent can grow, the child can change.  What’s the difference?  The parent’s skills can improve.  The child can improve too, but a story is just that, a solid idea based on plot, characterization and your ability to craft a story.  The child may have started out with a blooming career in art, now has a solid idea that he/she wants to be a corporate CEO.  As an editor, I need to see the best possible piece you’ve got, then help you improve it because acquisition editors spend money acquiring stories that SELL.  In my case alone, we spend up to $500 per book, including marketing, cover art, and editorial fees.  Other publishers spend more.  So, while an artist seems to have integrity, traditionally, artists are BROKE.  Corporate CEOs however, are not.  Your book is not a good child, it IS a good story however.

3. Not learn how MS Word (or your preferred word processor) works. – Bullshit. Learn the damn program. Learn how to compare documents, learn how to use spell check, learn how to customize the program to work for you.  Learn how to use Track Changes.  Learn how to format to the editor’s specifications.  It’s NOT really that hard.  I have to do it as an author, you have to do it for your editor.

For what it’s worth, my editors have always been brutal with me.  They’ve never held my hand  until I really needed it and then they had the foresight to see when I needed a helping hand oftentimes before I did.  They were the ones that did say “Let’s try a different spin on the plot.”  My agents have been the same way.  Marisa isn’t nice, she’s professional becauses she has a financial stake in my career.  If I’m on the verge of a breakdown, she’s responsible for picking me up. And always do my agents do that.  My editors have done that.  And it’s not because I’m me,  or I’m special or anything like that.  It’s purely because they believe and needed to show the human element.  And from me as an editor, you’ll get it when you NEED it.  TRUST your editors.  They aren’t doing this for the money alone.  TRUST me.

I’m going to share a secret most editors won’t tell you unless you ask them.

At the very end of my day, as an editor, I’m very proud of all my authors.  They too should be proud that someone as jaded as me acquired their work.  What I hope for each and every author I ever mentor, edit for, guide or shove in the direction they want to go in, is that they reach the highest possible level of success, because they took a chance, found courage, dealt with inner demons and put pen to paper to create stories that readers of all types will enjoy.  They’re building brands that may be the next 50 Shades, or Sleeping Beauty.  They’re taking over my spot.

And as an author, and tough ass editor, I couldn’t be more proud.

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Jul 092012
 
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Before 2008, in what it think of as the wild and wooly days of the ebook, when almost anything went, because there were few readers and almost anything went, the only competition ebook publishers had was each other.

eBooks were read either on pcs or palm data devices and a handful of clunky ebook reading devices – and from the beginning it seemed like there were almost more publishers than readers.

Our audience was so small that big publishers of hard covers and bestseller type paperbacks just laughed at us.

With almost no venue for distribution but our own book sites, we all tried hard to make our sites interesting fun places to visit with lots of intriguing books on display.

Contests, chats, blogs were the order of the day and if well presented drew readers to publishers’ sites in droves, and drove sales of ebooks along with them.

When Amazon came along with the Kindle, ebook publishers had lots of ebooks to supply and the big publishers were still busy laughing. Increased readers meant new people finding us and visiting our sites. eBook publishers were still each other’s only competition.

After a year the big publishers caught on at last and began to scramble just to get their new books into ebook as they came out.

All the ebook publishers still had the edge and our ebooks were still in the majority of those available on the web.

Then came 2011.

In 2010, I was reading thrillers and mysteries, among seven or eight series, were the Harry Bosch series 17 books (we are speaking at the time) the Charlie Parker thrillers 7 books, the Matthew Scudder mysteries 15 books, etc., etc.

In every case i was lucky if the most recent two or three were available as ebooks. I had to supplement my reading by ordering most of the books I couldn’t get in these series (and that was most of them)  for my kindle as used paperbacks.  That became onerous and i gave up on reading them.

The late part of last year, I checked out these series again and found out every book in each series was now available as an ebook.

So add to the books now on Kindle, etc. say ten more ebooks for each mystery series of which there are probably now over a thousand, plus every romance series, and scifi/fantassy/horror series. Then add ten or more ebooks for all the back list titles by nonseries romance writers, mystery writers, nonfiction authors, etc.  (and of course many authors of both types have 20+ titles in their backlist).

So right there, the number of ebook titles at Amazon took a ten-fold hike. Which means there are ten times more titles competing for visibility and sales with those of independent ebook publishers.

But in fact, the last two years have seen the number of titles at Amazon, etc explode far more that just ten times as selfpublished authors have literally flooded the Kindle ebook store’s pages by the tens of thousands.

At the moment the Kindle ebooks store says it has 1,500,000 ebooks and magazines for sale.

Probably less, even much less, than 100,000 of those are from longtime ebook publishers. Probably less than 50.000.

So ebook publishers have gone from having only each other to compete with to get their books noticed and bought, and less than 50,000 titles to compete with, to a million and a half ebooks and periodicals.

Given that, is it likely that independent ebook publishers can continue attracting readers to their sites in the same numbers as today, even with contests and chats – considering the competition from both authors of big publishers and selfpublished authors flooding and overwhelming social media like Facebook and Twitter trying to attract attention to their ebooks?

Even three years from now what will be the role of the epublisher’s site. Will it be sales? Or efforts aimed at selling books not at the site but on Amazon and B&N? Or something altogether different?

JMS

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Apr 052012
 
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One of the things I get asked as an editor is how do I effectively market and sell my book?  In other words, what’s the best use of my time as an author?  Unfortunately, this isn’t a short answer but it is an easy one.  From an editor’s perspective, we acquire books based on how good a story can be told, how well the writer’s skills are and lastly, how the story can make us (the publisher and author) money.

The easiest tool any author has in their arsenal is the excerpt.  Yup, you saw it.  It’s really that easy.  Once a story is polished and the author has seen their corrected galleys, they should feel free to chose an excerpt that meets the needs of their audience.  This being WriteSEX, and an erotica based audience, we want to see SEX!  Yes, adult content, sex, two (or more) bodies building up the anticipation of a climax we believe is going to happen.

In erotica – sex IS the plot.

In other erotic genres -sex FORWARDS the plot

That being said, we want to pull out a selection of text from our stories that sets the scene.  If the story is erotica, we want to see as much of the buildup to the sex scene as possible without giving away the climax.  Why?  Because looking at one handed readers and getting them off doesn’t equal a sale if you do it in the excerpt.  It’s like clip sites in pornography, you show me the money shot, why do I need to bother with the back story?  Or anything else for that matter?

Take fore example an upcoming release “Treasure’s Gift.”  It’s a FFM menage story for Decadent Publishing coming out soon. The blurb:

Treasure has always had a thing for Mark, her best friend.  When he drops in unannounced, she’s glad until she realizes his workload is keeping him occupied when the only thing on her mind is jumping him.   With the help of a very sexy friend, she uses the one thing designed to make Mark slow down and take notice.  What will he do at the temptation of two beautiful women?

Sounds pretty simple, right?

Well here’s the excerpt I used originally:

Mark looked at Treasure, wishing he could just fall asleep in beautiful pools of her eyes. Or swim naked with her. 

His cock hardened uncomfortably in his trousers.  Could Treasure feel his arousal?

Did she know the depths of wickedness he’d love to explore with her?

He fought a yawn from the overbearing heat and length of his flight.  Closing his eyes, he leaned back in the chair and let out a breath.  The hectic schedule his travel required of him would exhaust anyone. 

The fact that his property was in Kingwood, he had to fly into Houston Intercontinental and then drive all the way back to Sugarland where Treasure lived added to his building fatigue, but hell, he’d do anything to see her standing before him, looking at him with a hidden mischievous grin and her hands on her hips.  Nipples would ache for him and jut out proudly while her oh so kissable lips moved.

“I’ve got all sorts of ideas, babe.”

“I’m sure you do,” she nodded.  “Just come to bed when you’re done.”

She walked away, ass swaying from side to side with each step she took.  Hands reached for the hem of her shirt and pulled it over her head before she disappeared, leaving him with a view of tanned skin, no bra and the need to slake his own primal needs tonight.

“Damnit!”  Mark knocked back the drink and slammed the glass on the table.  He certainly didn’t look forward to the next few weeks of very long Saturdays despite being so close to achieving his financial goals.  Not if Treasure intended to taunt him with hints at her naked flesh. 

He had to do something about his raging erection.  Maybe a cold shower.  Or maybe a long, hot shower featuring Treasure stepping into the large tub with him, setting her delectably round ass against his cock and coating his dick in her juices would… 

Sadly, Mark showered quickly, ignoring his hard on.  He dressed in pajama bottoms, a tank top that showed off his muscular arms and pale skin.  Bedtime included a nightcap, a large one designed to knock him out so he’d sleep without dreaming of Treasure’s body blanketing his while her pussy milked the life out of him. 

Mark slumped back in his chair, head hanging forward.  He took a sip of bourbon, let the liquid burn his throat before he took another longer swig.  Sitting up, he looked over the now neatly organized stack of papers

“Treasure?”

His lips curled upward. 

The bedroom door opened.  “Mark,” The soft lilting of her voice reignited the spark of arousal. 

Mark set his glass on the desk and waited.  “Yes dear?”

“It’s bedtime.  Come to bed.”

She sounded needy. Another man would have missed the subtlety of want in her voice.  “I have things to do before bed first.” 

“Then I’ll come to you.”  Her voice dripped with unmistakable husky lust. 

Mark arched a brow. 

A moment later, Treasure appeared before Mark wearing a black see through teddy that flowed out at the bottom with lace trimming and barely reached the top of her thighs.  A scrap of lace hid both nipples and obscured his view of her sex.  Dirty blonde hair fell around her shoulders in loose curls, bouncing with each step she took towards him.  Hands started at her shoulders, smoothed down her arms, over full breasts and down her round stomach until stopping at her hips. Treasure stuck one leg forward, took a tentative step closer to Mark and stopped mere inches from him. “Well?”

His jaw dropped.  He blinked several times to make sure he was seeing right before focusing on her expression. 

She frowned.  “You think I’m fat.  I knew it.”

“No!” He stood and took her hands in his.  His stomach tightened from the contact while his cock stirred against his pajamas.  Blood pumped faster down south and his mouth went bone dry.  “No, that’s not it. It’s just…just…wow Treasure.  I’ve dreamed of this for years.”

“What do you intend to do now?”  She tilted her head and her mouth curled into a wicked grin.

We’re left wondering if he’s really going to go forward with it like a man should, or if he’ll play an idiot and turn down his best friend.  I could have used a longer excerpt to show you but again, that’s not creating demand for the reader to want to know more.  Hopefully in the excerpt above I’ve convinced the reader to buy the story.

The excerpt should not only match the desired audience but should be LENGTHY depending on story size.  Treasure’s Gift is only 5k in length, whereas my previous 1NS release from Decadent was 11k, and my excerpt was almost 2k.  The rule of thumb is simple.  You want to create as much want in the audience for your story as possible by keeping them ENGROSSED in your world for as long as possible, then pull the plug, leaving them with only the desire to buy your book.

I’ll cover more next time on Excerpts.

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