I’ve always wanted to write an erotica ebook. I’m confident that I could put together a collection of steamy stories in under a week, and then spend the rest of the time promoting the book and building a following.
What I didn’t expect was how much work goes into writing one. It turns out that creating an ebook from scratch is a lot more complicated than I thought it would be. In fact, it can be such a pain to get right that I almost gave up on the idea. Then I found a publisher who believed in my project and worked with me to make my dream a reality. In this article, I’ll run down the steps and process that I took, as well as share some of the resources that I found extremely useful along the way.
Choosing A Theme For The Book
Before I started writing my ebook, I knew that I wanted to focus on a specific theme. As the lead stylist on a fashion shoot, I was exposed to a range of sexually suggestive poses and outfits. There are so many opportunities to explore, and I wanted to choose the theme of my book with care, to best represent my inspiration. When it came to picking a title for my ebook, I wanted to stay true to the theme I had chosen. My publisher helped me come up with a list of suggestions, and when I came back from my holiday, I settled on Sexy Little Stories. (I also considered Twelve Days of Marisa, but I liked the promise of the stories inside much more!)
Deciding on a theme for your erotic book is a critical decision. You don’t want to pick one that is too vague, or will cause you trouble when it comes to marketing and distribution. Make sure that your chosen theme is something that you can develop content around. For example, if you’ve decided on a vampire story, make sure that you can come up with a range of outfits and hairstyles that your characters can wear. Alternatively, if you’ve decided on a fairy tale theme, make sure that you can come up with a range of magical outfits and accessories. Most importantly, make sure that your chosen theme is something that you can develop content around. It’s a good idea to think of what you already know and enjoy, and then use that to fuel your decision making process. For example, if you’ve decided on a vampire story, make sure that you can come up with a range of vampire costume and makeup options. And if you’ve decided on a fairy tale theme, make sure that you can come up with a range of outfits that fit the character you’ve created for your story. Once you’re happy with the content that you’ve created, take some time to promote it. Consider doing the following:
- Adding a sex toy to your product shot or magazine feature
- Creating a fake advertorial for your book (where you’re paid to promote it)
- Writing up some sexy quotes to feature in the book
- Adding your book to Amazon’s ‘Look Inside’ feature (which allows potential readers to see what the book is about without having to buy it)
- Setting up a Twitter account for your book
- Creating a Facebook page for your book
- Writing a blog post about the process of creating your book
- Adding your book to Goodreads
Research & Style
No, I don’t mean do your nails and waxing, I mean actual research! I always like to say that writing an erotic book is like writing a non-fiction romance, except with a bit more naughty detail. It is essential that you do your research into the topic, so that you can write with authenticity and style. If you’ve decided that vampires are the theme of your book, then you need to consider doing some research into what vampires are like in real life. Are they really dark and moody creatures, or are they more of a comedic relief in Twilight? What type of hobbies do they have, and what are their interests? It’s important to find the truth about vampires so that you can write a believable character. The same goes for other themes as well. If you decide to write about zombies, for example, you’ll need to do some research into what it is that zombies are like in real life. Be careful not to offend any living creatures by accident, as you could end up causing serious problems. Take your time gathering information, and write what you find out. Don’t just copy and paste from the internet, try to find sources that represent the topic well. For example, if you’ve decided on a vampire story, then look into actual vampire folklore and history, as opposed to relying on TV shows and films for your information. If you do decide to base your story on a real-life event, then make sure that you do your research and get it right. You don’t want to give the impression that your book is merely a retelling of events that happened in real life. It’s also important to consider what era your story is set in. If you’ve decided that vampires were the theme of your book, then make sure that you base your story on events that happened in the 18th century, as opposed to the 2010s. (Vampires were first documented in the early 18th century.)
Cue The Music
If there’s one thing that I love about writing erotic stories, it’s the opportunity to use my favourite bits of music as background. I’m not talking about listening to music while you work either, I mean using music that you know and love, to set the mood and enhance the experience. It doesn’t have to be a classical piece either – anything that makes you feel happy and nostalgic is perfect for an erotic story.
When writing my story, I had a range of classical music that I could choose from. I often found myself choosing pieces by Wagner, mainly because I love listening to his music while I work. (He has some incredible piano pieces, which I found helpful when depicting certain intimate moments.) Using music in this way is a great way to add an extra element of imagination to your story. It doesn’t have to be while you’re writing the book either, as you can trigger a memory or emotion while you’re relaxing at home. (Even if you don’t have music in the background, you can still play your favourite piece when you find yourself in the mood.)
Bring It All Together
Once you’ve finished your research and style guide, it’s time to put everything together. This is where you’ll need to pull your hair out, as it can be hard to find the right combination of words and pictures that make up your story. The first step is to write a blurb for your book. A blurb is short for ‘book description’, and is used to draw potential readers to your work. The best blurb can hook the reader and make them want more. It should be something that will make your prospective readers want to pick up your book, but it should also stay away from any sexual content, or at least be of the ‘clean’ variety.
If you’ve decided that vampires are the theme of your book, then you can write something like:
“A master of the macabre, John has created a unique collection of short stories that are guaranteed to give you a fright. With his dark sense of humour and knack for creating monsters, you’re in for a treat. This is one book that you don’t want to miss.”
This blurb, while it doesn’t contain any specific details, gives the reader a good idea of what they’ll discover inside. It is short but sweet, and it draws the reader in. (The above quote is from a review on Goodreads, by the way.)
This blurb should be easy to write. Just think of something that will make your readers want to pick up your book. Be careful not to choose too extreme or vulgar language though, as it might end up spoiling the mood and humor of your story. Once you’ve written your blurb, take some time to edit it. Look for spelling and grammar errors, as well as words and phrases that might offend. Once you’re happy with the final version, take some time to promote it.
The Final Step
Last but not least, we have the ‘final step’. This is where the magic happens, as all your hard work is about to pay off. Your book will be published, and you’ll be able to enjoy the fruits of your labor. (I can’t promise that you’ll be able to enjoy it as much as I did, though – it took a while to write!)