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Guest Blog by Erotica Author Eden Baylee

March 22, 2011

Today we welcome author Eden Baylee to our pages!

 

How I Published My First Book of Erotica

 

When I started writing full-time in March 2010, my main goal was to send my stories to an online publisher such as Ellora’s Cave, Loose-Id, Samhain, and the like. I wanted to be part of the “pack” of writers who were published by some of the most premier romance/erotica sites around. The first thing I did was print out all their submission guidelines, circle the deadlines for special categories I wanted to write for, and plan accordingly so I could meet each of the target dates. My calendar was filled with days, weeks, and months of writing stories of varying lengths and topics that I had to submit.

 

I’m a very fast writer, averaging 1500-2000 words a day. At times, the majority of what I wrote was pure shit, and it was edited out the next day before I wrote another 1500 words, and so on. After four months, I had written five novella-length stories, submitted to eight publishers, and received eight rejections.

 

My mentor and critique partner, Kate Austin, a multi-published erotica and romance author reassured me that I was a good writer, that I just needed to “connect” with the right publisher for my style of writing. She said it was very positive that I had received constructive criticism in my rejection letters, suggestions for how I could improve my stories to fit with what the publishers wanted. Nonetheless, a rejection is a rejection, and it’s demoralizing when it comes one after the other. I knew I had to grow a thick skin if I wanted to succeed in this business.

 

Then, one day, when I was feeling particularly sorry for myself, Kate sent me an email that changed how I looked at my writing. She wrote, “Sometimes persistence is even more important than talent, and you’ve got both.”

 

I remembered crying after I read that. I’ll never forget those words and how they inspired me to keep going. I’m nothing if I’m not persistent, but I can also be incredibly impatient.

 

Though it may seem like it was just the beginning of my writing career, the fact is, I’ve been writing most of my life, just not for anyone else. I couldn’t have known it then, but I feel very fortunate all those publishers rejected me. My stories were good, but they weren’t great. They needed work, and though I was too cocky to admit it back then, they also needed the eyes of a professional editor on them.

 

My past life working as a consultant and being in control of every aspect of a project made self-publishing the ideal avenue for my first book. I knew that at the end of the process, I wanted an e-book version, but I also wanted a physical book in my hands. I wanted to design my own cover and have full say in the book’s interior, exterior, and most importantly, the final written content. Too much to ask? Perhaps. But there was one more thing—I also wanted my book released within the year—no later than March 2011.

 

This last criterion made it impossible for me to be published traditionally. It just doesn’t happen that quickly, and I knew it. Even though I’m creative, it’s important to understand that I treat writing as a business. Just as I would not spend years holding onto a losing investment, I will not spend years submitting my work to traditional publishers to be rejected. I’ll change direction and try something else, which is exactly what I did.

I took critiques and criticism to heart. I rewrote my stories, packaged four of them into one book, got it professionally edited, and had a cover designed to my specifications. I’m very lucky my husband works in media and was able to put the cover together for me. Once that was done, I learned about “publishing on demand” to distribute my books via the major channels such as: Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Chapters/Indigo and all the other online book retailers.

After all that was in place, I set out to do marketing, promotion, and branding. This is something both traditionally and self-published authors must do if they want to sell their books. For three months, I worked on building my blog, creating an Internet presence, and networking socially to learn what other authors were doing to market themselves. My greatest source of information and support has been through other writers. During this time, I thought it would be a good idea to have an official book launch and signing as well. I was fortunate to meet an “old school” book buyer/book lover/bookstore owner who was willing to host my event. The funny thing is, he didn’t even carry erotica in his store! I couldn’t have been happier with the success of my launch which happened February 10th.

In the end, I accomplished what I had set out to do – release a book I am very proud of and do it within my desired timeline. More than anything, I did it on my own terms, which I felt was very important for my first book to establish myself as a writer.

Would I do it again this way, and would I recommend self-publishing to others? The answer is “yes” on both counts. It’s not easy, and does take a certain personality and commitment, however, for me, the rewards have certainly been worth it. 

Thanks for having me on your blog, Adriana. It’s been a real pleasure to share my story with you and your readers.

 

For your generosity, I would like to give a book to a reader who comments on this post. I’ll let you randomly choose a name, and I would be thrilled to send a signed copy of Fall into Winter to the winner.

 

Stay sexy all,

Eden

 

 

Website/blog: www.edenbaylee.com

Twitter: http://twitter.com/#!/edenbaylee

Facebook: www.facebook.com/edenbaylee

 

Fall into Winter is available in hardcover, paperback and e-book formats:

Amazon.com

Barnes & Noble

Amazon.co.uk

Amazon.ca

Chapters Indigo

Diesel eBook Store

OmniLit

Books-A-Million

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24 Comments leave one →
  1. March 22, 2011 8:35 am

    I love to hear stories like this – of those who will go for their dream no matter what. congrats!

    • March 22, 2011 6:32 pm

      Steena, thanks so much for your kind words. I really appreciate you leaving a comment. Eden

  2. March 22, 2011 10:00 am

    Very inspiring. It takes courage to (and perserverance) to make your dreams a reality. I admire that. Congratulations!

    • March 22, 2011 6:34 pm

      Hi Kari – love your encouraging words. I think perseverance is really key for so many things in life. Thank you for coming by.

  3. Jenifer Avery permalink
    March 22, 2011 12:11 pm

    I loved reading this! I like to hear great success stories; keeps me motivated!

    • March 22, 2011 6:35 pm

      Jenifer, Thank you so much. I hope you remain motivated to do all the things you want to in life.

  4. March 22, 2011 4:05 pm

    After not making the next round of ABNA, this was a wonderful inspiration to read. And you already know how much I love your writing….:-)

    • March 22, 2011 6:35 pm

      R.B. You are such a gentleman, and thank you so much for your lovely comment. Eden

  5. March 22, 2011 4:55 pm

    It’s heartening to hear someone’s tale of success. I myself have learned to deal with the generic rejections and look forward to the more personal ones. Of course, the occasional acceptances are my favorite! I’m still going the traditional route, but I have yet to put one of my novels out there. Right now I am riding a demanding streak of short stories, enjoying every minute of it, and waiting to build some credits behind my name before I take the plunge on one of my novels. It’s nice to know that there are many different avenues available when I’m ready to take that step! Good Job!

    • March 22, 2011 6:45 pm

      C.W. Thank you for leaving a comment. Yes, it’s very encouraging to know there are so many more options for authors today than there ever was. I think that just in getting my book edited opened my eyes to some of the areas in my writing that needed help. This was a key piece for me to ensure that I would have a good product with my name on it.
      I ‘m thrilled you are enjoying the writing. At the end of the day, that is truly the most important thing – love what you do.
      Eden

  6. March 22, 2011 5:05 pm

    This sounds very similar to my own story, and it just reaffirms what I’ve grown to believe: that for a pro who’s willing to put the extra work in, indie publishing is a great way to break out of the pack.

    By the way, I so love your cover. It’s truly gorgeous!

    • March 22, 2011 6:41 pm

      Hi India! Thank you very much for your comment about the book cover. I am very happy with it.

      As for going indie – I agree, it’s opened doors for me in many ways, and though I won’t say “No” to ‘trad” publishing, I feel I’m much further ahead of the game now. I have a brand, platform, and a book to my name, which is a heck of a lot more than I had a year ago.

      Thanks for coming by. Eden

  7. March 22, 2011 5:26 pm

    Eden I am so glad you did not give up and you pushed onward…You made your dream come true after all this hard work….This is amazing…

    • March 22, 2011 6:47 pm

      Hi Savannah,

      Really appreciate your kind words, I can be a pushy broad sometimes, so pushing onward is never a problem!

  8. Jack Douglas permalink
    March 23, 2011 9:27 am

    Well done Eden…
    An inspirational story for certain.

    J

  9. Al Boudreau permalink
    March 23, 2011 10:02 am

    Eden…I’m so impressed with your candor. Yours is a telling and inspiring story of strength and faith. It would have been easier and less painful, initially, to just give up, but you dug deep and soldiered on. I will be sending a link to this blog post to a number of people who I’m certain will find it inspirational, as I did. Thank you so much for sharing your story.

    • March 23, 2011 10:13 am

      Al! I’m so happy you stopped by to leave a comment. Thanks for your supportive words and for sharing. I really appreciate it. Eden.

  10. March 23, 2011 12:47 pm

    Very interesting post. And a beautiful cover!

  11. Eva Von Pelt permalink
    March 23, 2011 6:53 pm

    Yes, the cover is gorgeous! Congratulations on your success and thank you for sharing the story of your journey through this process.

    • March 23, 2011 9:46 pm

      Eva, I appreciate your kind comment and thank you so much for taking the time to leave a comment. Eden

  12. adrianakraft permalink*
    March 25, 2011 6:21 pm

    Thanks so much for stopping by and blogging with us, Eden, and congratulations on your perseverence and above all your success!

    I’m thrilled to announce that India has won a signed copy of Fall Into Winter – congratulations, India!

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