Thursday 11 September 2014

A Promoter Turns Down Your Title About Whacking Women’s Arses with a Stick

The situation: tart rejection email.

The symptoms: shock; failure to comprehend.

When you market an eBook, one of the first things you learn is that there are dozens of websites running daily listings of book offers. Some are more useful than others. eBook Listings are frequently used to announce new releases and price drops.

Fuelled by the belief that newsletter administrators will be delighted by your half price deal, you submit Wanda Whacked Against Her Will. You feel the blurb really captures the essence of the book: boy meets girl, boy falls in love with girl, boy captures girl in a large net, boy hits girl’s arse with stick, girl asks boy to stop hitting her arse with a stick, boy hits girl on the arse with a bigger stick, girl falls in love with boy.

You’re amazed when you receive a response that reads: ‘We’re sorry, but we’ve decided that Wanda Whacked Against Her Will is not suitable for our catalogue.’

The first thing to remember is that book promoters are real people and a large proportion of real people do not condone whacking women’s arses with sticks.

Ask yourself: “Is my storyline an example of consensual adults acting out a fantasy?” If you are unsure, go and chat to a few victims of abuse, meet some adults who enjoy consensual S&M, and if you still want to share Wanda Whacked Against Her Will, don’t expect help from promoters.

Book promotion websites make decisions based on a variety of other factors, including quantity and quality of reviews, attractiveness of the cover and blurb concision.

‘Buy my other books for super, super cheap prices: Stephie Smacked Against Her Wishes / Penny Paddled Against Her Better Judgement half price NOW!’ is widely considered a spammy start to a blurb. Similarly, having to scroll through dozens of quotes to get to a synopsis irritates administrators who are trying to get to the facts and run a tidy website.

Some promotion websites ask for money in exchange for advertising your book. As with pay-to-enter competitions, you should proceed with caution. Many eBook listers don’t publish their referral data, and those that do sometimes use misleading statistics. For example, an organisation may have 40,000 followers, but that doesn’t mean that 40,000 people will see your advert. Often links posted to social network are seen by less than 5% of a page’s total followers. Similarly, some websites use deceptive measures of central tendency to inflate the apparent magnitude of sales. I’m not saying never pay for a listing on a third-party website, but research other authors’ experiences before you part with your hard-earned cash. Do this by actively inviting opinions from forum friends rather than searching the internet, as false testimonies are easy to plant.

If you want to be featured on a book promotion website, be sure to read the site’s individual guidelines as each one varies. Many mainstream promoters reject erotica by default and separate sites have arisen to deal with the demand. If you must promote Wanda Whacked Against Her Will, then look for sites that allow it.

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