Poll: What should I write next?

Poll: What should I write next?

I’ve got a bunch of stories in my hopper, and I need some help deciding which one to focus on next. Here are the ones I’m looking at, in no particular order:

  • Under the Covers – a new story following Danny and Suzie from Over the Top trying to find a way to get together while they’re going to school on opposite sides of the country. (M/F)
  • The Wilding of the Shrew — Shakespeare’s Kate as an unsuspected submissive — she has no idea until Petruchio comes along. (M/F. I posted the start here a while back.)
  • The Visitor Entertains — Lea brings Sean and Andy to the theater, and makes sure it’s a very entertaining experience. (F/M/M. Part of the Visitor series, obviously.)
  • Juliet Takes Charge — Allison gets Ken and Jordan to give her the birthday present she really, really wants. (F/F/M. The next story in the Juliet series.)
  • Meredith — First times can be sweet, but sometimes so can last times — even if you don’t know that’s what they are. (M/F. The next story in the Love Letters series. I posted the first half a little while back.)
  • Open the Door — A couple who have just emptied their nest welcome in a neighbor in need. (M/F/F. A Friendly Ménage tale.)

Whew. I’ve got some others, but these are the ones that I actually think I’m ready to work on. So tell me: which one should I write next???

Thanks! If you have any suggestions or questions, let me know.

Still More Steamy Sighs – Juliet Takes First released as an audiobook!

News, eroto-audiophiles! Stillpoint/Eros has released the audiobook of my collection Juliet Takes First! The stories are all wonderfully narrated by the multi-talented Mary Cyn. Check it out!

Juliet-Takes-FirstStillpoint/Eros is pleased to release its newest audiobook, Juliet Takes First, drawn from four steamy stories by K.D. West, all recorded by the multi-talented Mary Cyn. Now available in a single volume, the first four stories in K.D. West’s Juliet Takes Flight series.

Sexual initiation (from “Juliet Takes Off” – read by Mary Cyn)

Searing tales of forbidden erotic romance: collected for the first time, the first four stories in K.D. West’s Juliet Takes Flight series! When you fall in love with your teacher, that’s taking a chance. When your teacher falls in love with you, that’s taking it to a whole new level. Allison finds her Romeo, but Ken is much older – and he’s her teacher. In this collection of tales by K.D. West, this young Juliet finds that love can cross all boundaries, and can lead you in directions you never expected. Sexy, surprising, and moving, this collection includes:

  • Juliet Takes Stage: Allison has wanted Ken ever since he became her teacher. and how could Ken not want this passionate young Juliet? Now Ken’s alone and Allison has graduated. He still wants her. She wants to give him… everything.
  • Juliet Takes Off: What if Romeo were more than twice Juliet’s age — and her teacher? Would that have made a difference? Allison tries to find another leading man, but ends up being drawn back to the first person who ever inspired her to real, undeniable desire. How can this Juliet convince her much-older Romeo to take her seriously? How can she convince him that she is a woman, and no longer a girl?
  • Juliet Takes Her Leave: After dreaming of going to college for years, Allison finds once she gets there that she misses the people she left behind: her best friend Jordan and especially Ken, her lover, her one-time teacher. Fortunately for her, they miss her just as much.
  • Juliet Takes a Chance: As Allison’s awakening continues, she discovers that sometimes what seems far away can be incredibly close. When her friend Jordan comes to visit her in college, she finds that BFF and ILU mean a lot more in person than over a text.
  • BONUS – Juliet Takes the Floor, pt. I: A sneak peek at the next installment of Allison’s story. In the aftermath of Jordan’s visit, Allison finds herself rethinking everything that she thought that she knew about herself — and her lovers.

The audiobook is available exclusively through Audible, iTunes, or your local Amazon Store!

(M/F, F/F. Sexually explicit romance. 18+ only!)

The author of the up-coming novel A Joy Forever: An Erotic Education, K.D. West is a teacher, writer and performer living in a small suburb of a big city:

Not a huge amount to say — I’m an author of steamy stories who happens to be a teacher; these things don’t mix well in public, so I tend to be fairly quiet about real life in my blogging. I am, however, interested in all sorts of things — books, writing, theater, mythology, and, obviously, erotica! I’m a huge reader of genre fiction — mostly mysteries and fantasy, but also science fiction and historical romance.

West is writing two intertwined series involving a young woman and her older lover (the Juliet Takes Flight and Erotic Tales: Letters to Allison stories) and a series of stories about friends discovering that they can become much more (Friendly Ménage Tales). Also on the way: an erotic paranormal/urban fantasy novel involving a long lost friend coming all-but-literally back from the dead, and showing a happily married couple just what they’d been missing. For more information, visit KD West’s blog or Stillpoint/Eros. Stillpoint/Eros, your home for fine erotica to feed the mind, the soul, and — yes — the body, is the erotica imprint of Stillpoint Digital Press.

SmutTalk: My Offense Is Rank – what I’ve learned about selling erotica

SmutTalk: My Offense Is Rank – what I’ve learned about selling erotica

There was a conversation over at the Reddit Erotica Publishing forum/subreddit/thing about what genres new authors should pursue. A newbie author (which was me, not so long ago) said that s/he’d been writing smut for fun for a while, but now wanted to see if there was money to be made, and had been advised to “Just look at what’s hot and try your hand at that” in order to make money at selling erotica.

That didn’t sit right with me — either as a writer, as a teacher, or as someone who’s currently actually doing fairly well at smut-peddling, I’m surprised to say. And so I responded as follows:

I have to say, I like the “try your hand at it” part — but it seems to me that you should start by writing stuff that you enjoy writing, or would enjoy reading. Write lots. Publish what you feel confident is polished (and sexy), but don’t feel like it has to be genius. If you’ve been writing smut for a while, see if any of those pieces feel finished to you and just… put them out there. No harm if they don’t find a market, but they’ll get your feet wet, and help you figure out just what you actually need to do.

(Also, I hate to say it, but one of the best ways to find an audience… is to produce a lot of titles. Some of them won’t ever sell, but some will, and those will lead readers to other stories, which will…)

And read. Figure out what you like. Try to write that.

I guess you can tell: I teach. I spend a lot of time trying to tell kids that it’s more important that they find their voice than that they fit someone else’s rigid model.

So write your stories. Then write some more. Honestly, I think that’s a better business plan than trying to write yet another “Billionaire” story.

P.S. Okay, so I will say: I have followed my readers a bit. I wrote a couple of two-guys-and-a-girl threesome stories and they blew up (in a good way) — so I wrote more. And those sold too. So I’ve kept writing them. But they’re stories I like writing, and that I’d enjoy reading, even if I have had to let some other stories languish a bit in order to find the time to meet the demand.

After thanking me for my input, which was nice, the OP asked me an interesting follow-up: do shorter or longer stories sell better? Again, I didn’t quite answer the question, but I’d like to think that I provided a map to the answer:

Do you mean sales-wise? It doesn’t seem to make a huge difference. My two best-selling stories are about four and ten thousand words respectively. Stories under about three thousand words I tend to give away, so I can’t tell you about that.

I will say that you can’t usually charge more than $0.99 for a single short story (in spite of what Kristine Kathryn Rusch’s otherwise excellent advice would suggest). At Amazon and B&N that means that you get a much lower percentage (35% instead of 70% on Amazon and 40% instead of 65% on B&N), and so while I sell many more copies of the stories, my biggest money makers generally are the collections, which I generally charge a bit less for than the cost of the stories — $2.99 or $3.99 for a collection of four stories, for example. For those I get the 70% royalty. So it takes about eight $0.99 stories to net the same amount as a $3.99 collection.

One other part of the calculus, however: Amazon’s all-important sales rank is based not on net revenue per title but on sales volume. The reason you want a better rank is that the lower the rank, the more likely your book is to show up in that list of “Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought” or “Customers Who Viewed This Item Also Viewed” — also known as the most valuable real estate on the internet, because it leads to sales you don’t have to do anything to create. Also, a low ranking in a particular sub-genre will land you in the best-seller list for that category — which can lead more potential readers to your book. So having some high-volume/low-netting titles can be a great way to promote your whole list.

Whew. Make sense?

So those are my opinions on the subject, this May Day, 2014. What do you think? Am I being a romantic hippie, saying “write what you like” instead of encouraging the poster to write yet another Fifty Shades of Grey knock-off?

The Visitor Arrives coverPS – ANYONE WANT A FREE COPY OF The Visitor ArrivesI’m currently running a giveaway on GoodReads; the catch is that if you take a copy of the book (which includes the first four Visitor stories), I expect you to write and post an honest review — on GoodReads, on Amazon, on your blog, and/or anywhere else you generally post reviews.

If you want in on the action, you can sign up at GoodReads, you can comment here, or you can email me at kdwestwrites [at] gmail [dot] com. Be sure to tell me how to send it to you, and also whether you want an ePub file, a mobi/Kindle file, or a PDF!

This is a “while supplies last” offer — so don’t wait.

Hot off the presses! My new collection o

Hot off the presses!

My new collection of threesome erotic romance, The Visitor Arrives: Friendly MMF Menage Tales, is now available at Stillpoint/Eros and Amazon!

It collects for of my most popular stories in one volume. Woohoo!

Here’s the blurb:

It’s the the world’s oldest story: A girl, her fireman, and her other fireman.

When Lea heads off to Atlanta for a job interview, all she’s thinking about is the work. Well, and Sean, her best friend’s brother. Sean, the tall, muscular firefighter. With the gentle Southern drawl and the wicked smile. Whose couch she’s going to be sleeping on.

Well, actually, whose couch she hopes very much she won’t be sleeping on. But it turns out that Andy, Sean’s roommate, is another, equally hot Southern firefighter, and so when a visitor — or perhaps two — joins Lea on that couch, it sparks a series of events that none of them could possibly have foreseen.

But that none of them regret. Not even a little bit.

This collection contains the first four installments in The Visitor Saga.

  1. The Visitor
  2. The Visitor Comes Home
  3. The Visitor Comes Again
  4. The Visitor Goes to Work

(MF, MMF ménage à trois. Bisexuality. Explicit language and scenes of sexuality between consenting adults. Adult readers only.)