While I should be asleep, since I have to get up in a couple of hours for my day job, my mind doesn’t want to slow down. Wifey and I just got in from meeting up with friends for a drink that turned into a mid-week party. It’s now 3:15 AM in Sin City and I’m lying in bed with my laptop on my knees.
One of the writers forums I belong to has been pitching SmashWords against Amazon as a publishing platform to distribute our musings. While Amazon is certainly the 900# gorilla in the room for publishing eStories, SmashWords offers a number of advantages that appeals to moi.
If you’re not a writer, this may not interest you and so I’d suggest that you pull the sheet over your head.
I’ve been writing smut for four years and it’s been a fun trip. My schooling was in engineering and computers, so I’m a geek and not an English major. As a typical engineer, we all seem to have trouble with the English language. Personally, I consider English a second language but without a primary language.
One of the things writing erotica has done for me is in technical report writing. I’ve found that I’m much better at writing reports now, which in my day job is required all the time. Answering questions such as “What widget do we need and what’s the best way to apply it?” is a lot easier.
If you’re starting to write, then you probably wonder how to get my masterpiece out in the world so I can start collecting groupies?
Two of the biggies are Amazon and SmashWords. Amazon naturally because they have become the Super Walmart Super Store. From what I understand Amazon sells over half the ebooks distributed. So when you publish with Amazon, you have clout.
The problem with Amazon is that you become a small fish in a big pond full of fish so it’s easy to get lost. In case you’re like me and write erotica, you walk a balance beam all the time. Make your blurb too dirty or the cover picture too erotic, they will kick you to the curb.
So how do you sell “X” rated material using “G” rated advertising? It’s tough I tell you and you don’t always win. When Amazon decides that you are a pervert, they label your work as “Adult”, which means that it doesn’t show up in the search engines and basically disappears.
Now if you sell erotica, you’d think everything would be classified as “Adult” but that’s not how it works. You strive to be rated as “Safe”, which means that readers can find you even though you have fuck’n and suck’n inside.
Now SmashWords on the other hand is like when you’re 15 and your parents leave for the weekend, with beer in the frig. What could possibly go wrong?
SmashWords will let you get away with pretty much everything. Let’s use “Fuck” in the title, sure why not. So why not just publish with them, well the problem is that even though SmashWords is one of the largest indie publishers around, most readers have not heard of them and everyone has heard of Amazon.
So I end up sometimes with two different covers and “blurbs” or descriptions. I’d like to think that I’m not crude but like a catchy cover image that’s sexy but doesn’t terribly push the line. With Amazon I have to be more “R” rated than “X” rated even though we all know there is smut inside.
Anyway, I have absolutely no idea why I’m writing this as it doesn’t seem to make a lot of sense and certainly wasn’t worth losing a hour of sleep. Maybe my brain is just fried from looking at hot girls in short skirts. As my wife tells me, I’m like a dog chasing a car. If I caught it, I probably couldn’t drive it.