#HopswithHeart Winter Warm-up #BlogHop

 

 

Winners Announced!!!!

Cheryl Drake Johnson you are the winner of the eBook ($10 or less) and Jean Torgeson White you are the winner of the CD.

Blog Hop Button.5 (A)

I’m not a cold weather girl. I prefer the sun and sand so generally speaking, I’m not a huge fan of winter. But I adore this time of year. People have recovered from the black eyes they received while Black Friday Christmas shopping.

Speaking of gifts, there are TWO rafflecopter contests in this post. One, from the hop itself and the other from yours truly

. a Rafflecopter giveaway I’m giving away an autographed CD from these guys: Revolution Machine Cover

and an eBook of your choice, up to $10 from any site. That’s right – YOUR CHOICE OF EBOOK! It doesn’t have to be mine, it can be anything as long as it is $10 or less.

Back to my post…as a mom, my favorite thing about this time of year is the excitement building in my kids. We make cookies, decorate the tree, sing along with Bing Crosby like we were at a live concert and enjoy our family.

I also love that my husband is predictable. Among the wonderful things he’ll give me will be a bag of whole bean, Starbucks French Roast and a pair of fuzzy slippers.

This time of year is about giving…giving to your friends and family and giving them your time. Gatherings of family and friends…merriment, this is what makes me adore this time of year.

In the spirit of giving, this hop has it’s own rafflecopter contest – A $75 Gift Card!!! https://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/3ad276f824/ You can enter here: a Rafflecopter giveaway

But that’s not all – the fun thing about a blog hop is that numerous blogs participate, increasing your chances of winning prizes! You can visit the hop at www.hopswithheart.blogspot.com

Merry Christmas!

 


 

 

Marketing 101 for Authors

This is obviously addressed to authors, but readers might find it interesting to see what we go through as well, so please feel free to stay non-authors.

As a disclaimer, I am not an expert. My sales rise and fall. But I’ve been in the business about a decade and I’ve seen what works. I’ve seen what doesn’t. Most of all, I pay attention to what READERS say. READERS – not other authors. More on this later.

I’ve followed the big boys and girls for quite awhile. I’ve had one-on-one conversations with a few of them who were generous enough to spend the 5 minutes chatting with me. I spent most of the time trying to act like a professional instead of squealing like  a fan girl, but still… they gave me their TIME.

I have a very altruistic nature. I care about this business.  I care about you, my colleagues.  I’ve given my assistance to other authors over and over and over again. I will continue to do so. I’m a director at the Erotic Author’s Guild. I host the Erotic Authors Panel. I’ve beta read, alpha read, reviewed and hosted for other authors. I’ve donated my time (which is already stretched too thin) and my money to the cause.

So What Now?

First of all, you too should do your research. Kristen Lamb is a social media expert. She has a few books out, which I highly recommend you buy. She blogs and gives advice away for free. You should follow her. Read her books. She’s a saucy broad from Texas and SHE LOVES AUTHORS. Follow people who are successful. Read. Read. Read.

Now I’ll get to Marketing.

Your Marketing Guide

1. Twitter – Stop auto-tweeting your book links. Readers HATE IT when their twitter feed is nothing more than ads. Engage people. Talk. Hell I tweeted with someone about #chopped (the Food Network Show) and got a DM from two people who bought my book just from cracking a joke about making dessert from Corned Beef Hash and Beets.

2. Don’t be an asshole. Seriously. Don’t do it. We hate used car salesman. Why do we act like them? We’re not selling Avon. We’re selling WORDS. Give them your words. I admit, out of desperation I tweeted ad after ads. Then I remembered I was acting like an asshole. No one likes an asshole.

3. Facebook – Okay, Facebook replaced MySpace and gave us all these cool features: groups, events etc. Problem is, it’s entirely overused. I just clicked on my FB profile to check my stats. I’ve been put in 20 new groups this week (without my knowledge) and have… wait for it… 300 INVITATIONS TO EVENTS. Book launches, cover reveals, follow parties… you name it. What the EVER LOVING FUCK??? Most of the people I don’t even know. I’ve never spoken with them. How did I get here?

It’s like waking up drunk at a party you didn’t remember going to. Not cool.

4. Be gracious. Be giving. Be ALTRUISTIC. – Now I hate book pirate sites. I hate them because they have no right to give away my stuff. I WANT TO GIVE IT AWAY.

What? Anita! You can’t make money giving away books!

Wrong! I track everything. In a decade I’ve given away over 2,000 books. When someone says, “I put it on my TBR or Want List on Amazon,” GIVE THEM THE GODDAMNED BOOK. Email them and offer it to them. Why? Because they’ll remember you. It will impact the reader. You gave up that two bucks and what you’ve received in return is a FAN FOR LIFE.  There’s no better marketing tool than a complete stranger going on and on about how they love an author. Besides, it’s a gift. Everyone likes gifts.1416350_91168614

And you don’t know why it’s on their TBR list. Maybe they have a sick family member at home and they’re financially tapped. They only have $10 in disposable income. But they have 30 friends who love books and aren’t in the same situation. Don’t be greedy. You’re investing that $2 in royalties. And, you’ve probably made a Street Team member you’re totally unaware of.

5. Everyone is hopping on the Street Team bandwagon now. Buyer beware! You must must must reward your street team members. Don’t use them as your doormats. They’re not doormats. They are your TEAM!

6. DO be yourself. Don’t treat people like shit.  But if you’re shy – talk about it. Lot’s of people are shy. They will RELATE TO YOU. If you’re witty, snarky and a downright wiseass. . . others will like you (and some won’t.)

7. Don’t be a jerk to other authors. Even if you hate them. I have one I hate and I have to fight myself EVERY DAY not to out her as the condescending HAG she is trying to throw us back to the Victorian Era EVERY FUCKING DAY! If she were on fire, I wouldn’t piss on her to put it out.

8. STOP MARKETING TO YOUR COLLEAGUES. We are not your mothafuckin demographic!

9. Buying ad space. I just spent all my disposable income last month on ad space. I’m tracking it now. I WILL post where I put the ad and the results when they come in. Why? Because I want you all to be successful.

Dear God! What now? I’m terrified!

Relax. The best piece of advice (and often the most repeated) by successful authors (one making 100k a MONTH!) is: Just Keep Writing. Write more books.

I know it feels like a high school popularity contest… and it is. Except the pool is bigger. There are freaks, weirdos, comedians, stoners, loners, loud mouths and others. You’ll find your crowd and they will LOVE YOU.

Most of all… don’t bitch at folks who leave you less than favorable reviews. As a very wise woman once said, “You can be the tastiest, most delicious green apple in the world. Not everyone likes green apples.”

Erotica or Pornography – you choose.

Part of one’s responsibility as a writer, is to support your community.  With the broad sweeping of novels off the shelves by retailers due to the drama in the UK, many authors blogged about it.  It’s a delicate situation.  I don’t really like censorship, but I don’t want to see books like TAKING MY DRUNK DAUGHTER either.  Case in point, I don’t think books should be published that portray child abuse, rape (for titillation) or necrophilia.  But I’m no emperor and quite frankly, I enjoy my first amendment rights.  I won’t give them up without a fight either.  Therein resides the fine line.

However, I read a blog post the other day that had me spitting fucking nails.  Now I will provide a link in a moment and while the article really really gets under my skin, I will ask that anyone commenting to show a modicum of respect.  Agree or disagree – this is one of my peers and I will show her more respect than she’s shown me and mine.

The first quote that started my blood boiling:

“In broad terms, pornography is abuse: sex with children, rape, incest; sex with animals, sex with the dead, sex where blood is spilled. Porn is often, though not always, written from the male point of view, and is frequently composed with expletives and euphemisms.”

Are you kidding me?  Where the hell did that definition come from? I’d be willing to wager that those in the porn industry that check ID, ensure health cards are up to date and take responsibility for their craft would love to tar and feather her for that statement.

The next quote, this is where things start to get dicey and I’ll explain.

The first rule of erotic literature is that it is literature. It should be well-written. Erotica explores the dark, hidden, secret side of human sexuality. Its key elements are psychology, disparate human emotions often explored through aspects of domination and submission. Is spanking erotic? It can be. It is a human activity and its study requires the rhythmic stroke and elegiac beat of the literary drum. In a FaceBook Forum this same week with United Filmmakers Association, Joshua Looby provided tips on shooting erotica, and writer Caesar Voghan pithily summed up the discussion by pointing out that, in film terms, in simple terms, nudity is erotic, genitalia is pornographic.

Now it should be noted, if you didn’t catch it, the above quote about nudity and genitalia is not hers, but a filmmaker’s.  But this would make shows like Spartacus–porn. (Can you hear my eyes rolling?)

Finally – the third quote and what set me off:

I will end with some advice. To the booksellers: remember, writers are like flowers. Don’t trample on them. To the pornographer: put down the pen and get a life. To the erotic writer: keep going, keep writing, keep improving. Look at your work and, if you think to yourself: that’s good enough. It’s not good enough. Cut. Edit. Re-write. The way ahead will be tough. The only weapon you have is you ability, your integrity, your imagination.

So let’s sum this up: If genitalia, expletives and euphemisms are used, it’s porn.  Porn is abuse.  I, apparently, don’t write erotica, but according to Ms. Thurow, I write porn.  Therefore, I am a criminal who should be locked up next to the child abuser, the rapist and the necrophiliac.  Because my books have a bit more heat than hers and I’d rather see the word COCK then something like stem or rod or hardness.  Please, I’m an adult. A dick is a dick, not a flower, not a bulge – it’s a dick, cock, erection and so on.  Also, according to her and her definition, I should just quit writing. . . despite the fact that I just acquired a 3-Book deal from a publisher.  Well, I should quit writing as well as thousands of other authors. 😡

Never mind that the porn industry is a $14B a year business.  Yes, that’s billion.  Translation: whether or not you admit it, you watch it.  I have no problem admitting I watch porn.  On some nights, especially the rare night where the kids are all gone, the hubby and I like to kick back with an adult beverage and something rated X or worse.

But I digress… I’d really love to hear from you.  I want to know if I’m alone.  What is your definition of porn?  Do you think that erotica that doesn’t dance around names for genitalia actually porn? Is it criminal? Does it take from your reading experience or do you want to spend your time trying to decide if some guy is banging a hot chick or sticking into a dew filled lily?

Comment below and I’ll throw your name in a hat.  I will choose one random winner (no you don’t have to agree with me to win.)  I will send an Amazon gift card to the lucky winner.

Now if you want to read the blog post in it’s entirety, you can do so here.  But again, I implore you to be respectful.  Hell, you may even agree with her and that’s okay.  Just remain respectful is all I ask.

Happy as a Bearded Clam

UPDATE AT THE BOTTOM

As I wipe the sweat from my brow, I’m happy to say that I’ve finished the first draft of the third book in the Dirty White Candy series.  It’s the longest in the series thus far and I really had a difficult time ending it.

Candy goes through many changes in Trading Places.  I’m excited to see how my readers feel about Candy, John and a few other characters when this is all over.

Now that I’m done and sending it off to be printed (I simply cannot edit on a laptop.  It must be on paper,) I’m curious about something.  As a writer, I can do just about anything to my characters.  I can write nearly any story.  As I’ve said before, I write in other genre’s under my given name.

What do you like?  What do you want to read?  Werewolves, shape-shifters and vampires? BDSM? Secret societies?  What gets your panties wet or pops your tent?  Tell me what’s up, other than hard dicks and airplanes.

I value your opinion so much – here’s what I’ll do.  I’ll give away FIVE A.R.C.s (advance reading copies) of my new Dirty White Candy book (eBook only) for my top five choices.

So comment and share.  Momma is interested in what you have to say.

~Much Love,

Anita

It was brought to my attention that many folks wish to stay private – so you can email me at AuthorAnitaCox@yahoo.com if you wish 😉

Horny Humpday Q & A with Cox!

SESSION NOW CLOSED.  Thank you to all those who participated.  I really enjoy chatting with my fans.

It’s quickly approaching the 7 o’clock hour (CST) for our Wednesday Q & A.

600261_146015415568351_1179831841_n

There aren’t too many rules here at the house of Cox.  You must be 18 due to mature content.  You can ask me just about anything.  I’ve yet to decline a question. Frequent topics are: sex, clubbing, swinging, health & relationships.

Feel free to post questions anonymously (Most do) below in the comments section.

Author Laura Cooper

After reading 50 Shades of Lack of Character Development, I searched for better material.  After all, just because a book is traditionally published, and gets a lot of attention, doesn’t necessarily make it the best novel.

While perusing through what was available and downloading several freebies, I ran across Author Laura Cooper.  Both she and her husband Chris write in the erotica genre.  Laura decided to grant me an interview as well.

Laura’s book, SEMPER FI, was such a good read I couldn’t stop until I finished.  Her characters were like-able  relatable and she writes very good steamy scenes.  I found myself hot under the collar a few times.  I highly recommend diving into what Laura has to offer in this genre.  I give it 5 out of 5 stars.

64debafa01f5d03944bfff02474d1f98bc3ceb02-thumb

Please help me welcome Author Laura Cooper.

Laura:  Thank you!  It’s a pleasure being here with you.

Anita:  The pleasure is all mine.  So tell my naughty bunch a bit more about you.

Laura:  I’m a stay at home mom who has just gotten our last child out of the house and off to college.  For the first time it has allowed my husband and I an opportunity to enjoy the peace and solitude of an empty house.  No more crazy kids bolting through our locked bedroom door with every kind of emergency known to man.

Anita:  So how did you go about writing erotica for the first time?  What made you pursue the genre?

Laura:  I was sitting around reading on my new Nook in January of 2011.  I mentioned to my husband that the best thing about it was that I could read anything I wanted and no one would know.  So, I downloaded an erotic book and it gave him the idea to write one himself.  I thought he was nuts.  In fact, I was a little mad when he wrote and published his first book.  But as the series took off, I thought, “why not?”

Anita:  I noticed that both you and your husband write erotica.  Does that help the heat at home?

Laura:  We’ve always had sort of a special relationship.  We are a blended family (children from previous relationships), and so when we met we sort of dispensed with the usual “getting to know you” crap and just sort of let it all hang out.  We are very open and honest about our feelings and desires, and quite frankly that has brought us closer as a couple.  So our “Heat,” has always been set pretty high!

Anita: Tell us about SEMPER FI.

Laura:  We were sitting around watching Fox News when Sandy hit the north east.  Being from South Carolina, we are no strangers to hurricanes.  I made a comment that without power and television, they’d probably have a lot of babies born in about 9 months.  It got me thinking about being stuck in a storm, or stuck in an airport, or something like that.  Perhaps even a sexy public scene would be cool.  Also, my husband is a former Marine, so I based his character sort of on him.  So, I sat down and started free writing, and voila!

Anita:  I was pleasantly surprised to find myself laughing out loud when I read parts of your book.  I really didn’t expect that in an erotica novel.

Laura:  Well, I find humor in so many things we do on a daily basis, so why not include it.  Some of the stuff just seems funny to me.  Perhaps it’s my warped sense of humor that makes it through in my writing.

Anita:  How many books do you have out?  Where can we find them?

Laura:  We have something like 38, 39 or so.  We probably have about 75 that are sitting around on our computers.  We are just sort of slow at putting them out.

Anita:  Thank you for your time Laura.  I really enjoyed your book.  Where can others buy it?

We are published on Smashwords, All Romance Ebooks, Ibookstore, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Kobo, Diesel, Sony Reader, and probably some others that I’m not aware of.  Stop by my blog http://laurabcooper.blogspot.com or email me at lbcooper123@gmail.com for more information!