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  • First Week on Wattpad Rankings

    So it has been a little over a week that I have started writing on Wattpad. The story I’m writing is a gothic, bully romance. A servants daughter and the rich son of a wealthy family get haunted by the ghosts of an old estate and neither is sure if what they are doing to each other is them or the ghosts. It’s called The Haunting of Tempest Bradshaw.

    Now, to rank high on Wattpad, it all comes down to tags. And you can’t just tag your book sci-fi or fantasy or romance. No, most die hard readers aren’t going to search by that. You want to make sure that you are tagging by tropes.

    For me, when I originally posted my story The Haunting of Tempest Bradshaw, I put the following tags: bullyromance, enemiestolovers, ghost, ghoststory, gothic, gothicfiction, hatelove, hatetolove, haunting, newadultromance, richboypoorgirl, and finally, romance.

    Wattpad determines your ranking by which category your story is the highest in. So for instance say you are ranked 41 in a category with 15,000 stories but number 2 in a category with only 800 stories they will rank you based on the more impressive category. Because 15,000 is a larger pool of stories to choose from, 41 is actually the better ranking than number 2 in a smaller category.

    Here’s where The Haunting of Tempest Bradshaw is right now:

    Is it ranked higher in gothic fiction? Yes. But, it’s not as impressive because there aren’t as many stories in gothic fiction. Only 93. Whereas in the gothic category, there are 6,400 stories which means ranking 52 in such a large category is actually more impressive.

    Want to help The Haunting of Tempest Bradshaw climb up the ranks? Go read and vote for it on Wattpad! It’s totally free right now and you can be part of the process.

  • Paperback Books on Amazon

    Kindle Unlimited isn’t the only way that you can do books on Amazon. You can also do print copies if you want. Originally, I wasn’t going to do this because I was worried since I wouldn’t be able to get print copies to order and review before I did it.

    However, Amazon also has a previewer on their print copies so I could look at it and at least make sure that things were okay visually. I decided that I was going to print copies and am now waiting for Amazon to review them. Like everything else with Amazon, it takes 72 hours for them to get it ready.

    From what I could find, most people charge $14.99 for their paperbacks but this is my first book with Amazon so I made it $13.99.

    Amazon even has a cover creator to help you adjust with your formatting on the print cover. I haven’t quite figured out print covers in photoshop yet because you have to include the back. But fortunately, Amazon also came prepared for that.

    All I did was include the summary for the book and a small bio about myself. I also changed the font which unfortunately you could only use the fonts provided but I tried.

    It was a fairly painless experience and let’s just hope that To Trap A Kiss gets approved for paperback copies.

  • The difference between erotica and porn

    Erotica is the word for erotic romance. So, romance with sex scenes in them. There’s still a plot. There’s still character development. But the book isn’t just fade to black. You get explicit detail in the couples lives, and sometimes the sex scenes are just as important as the scenes outside of the bedroom. Because it’s all an emotional journey for the couples in the series.

    Take 50 Shades of Grey, for instance. Anna Steele is a naïve virgin when she meets Christian Grey. She’s not used to his dark world and tastes or even sex itself. Anna’s struggle is to accept Christian as he is and fight for her identity too.

    FILE- This file combo made of book cover images provided by Vintage Books shows the “Fifty Shades of Grey” trilogy by best-selling author E L James. When newcomer E L James launches her tour for the wildly popular “Fifty Shades of Grey” series in Miami Sunday, April 29, 2012, she’s expected to be greeted by hundreds of devoted fans. She will sign books and later speak at the historic Biltmore hotel, the site of presidential visits and weddings, and now a discussion on erotic fiction. (AP Photo/Vintage Books)

    She’s not prepared to be the submissive Grey wants her to be, which is what causes conflict in their relationship. Because even though Grey is obsessed with Anna, that’s not enough for her. Thus there’s conflict and story and plot. The sex scenes are an inner glimpse into the kind of person Christian Grey is.

    Why is that Erotica and not Porn? Because it has plot and character development and an actual story. What is not Erotica but porn instead?

    Hard Knocking At My Backdoor: A Very Rough First Anal Sex Short by Mary Ann James.

    I kid you not this is an actual title of a book.

    This book cover is not even trying to present itself as a romance. It’s graphically detailed and in fact was actually pretty hard to find on Amazon. And I’m SURE it’s because of that. The only reason I found out about it was because I came across a youtuber who was a guy who said he was writing erotica and he wasn’t making six figures. Curious, I looked up one of the titles he had in a screenshot and this was what I found.

    Now the book is only .99 cents but .99 cents for seven pages? I can buy full books for $1.99. It’s also not listed in Kindle Unlimited, which means that it is losing sales right there.

    Also at seven pages, even in kindle, it probably wouldn’t make that much. This isn’t meant to be a jab but just a clarification as to what works in Kindle Unlimited and what doesn’t.

    Even for stories that are just porn, there is a way to do them well without having the reader get bored. And not feel cheated because they paid .99 cents for what was basically something they could have found on a fanfiction website for free and at least have it be about Henry Cavill or something.

    In contrast, there’s an author called Emily Tilton who isn’t trying to masquerade her books as a romance. The focus is NOT the plot of the book but the sex the rest of it is basically just background dressing to help with the escapism of it.

    The work is very much written in the vein of a porn. But it’s 182 pages, it is in kindle unlimited, and it makes it clear this is about the sex without having a cover that makes people uncomfortable rather than want to read it. Emily Tilton is seducing you with her covers not scaring readers away by having a dark, awkward picture on the front.

    In comparison see erotica author Rina Kent’s books.

    Is it a book with a lot of sex in it? Yes. Is that the focus? No. The characters are fleshed out and there’s something actually keeping them from being together.

    A majority of people who read erotica are usually women. Erotic romance provides fantasy for the women that do read it. You can step into a book, and be a naïve girl being swept away by a billionaire. Or a rock star. Or a famous actor. Or a shifter. Whatever floats your boat.

    Whereas porn books like the ones written by Mary Anne James aren’t so much about the fantasy aspect of sex but rather about the eroticism of sex itself. And that’s the difference between an erotica author and a porn author.

  • Rankings on Wattpad

    If you are a writer, chances are that you have heard about Wattpad. Wattpad is a serial fiction platform where writers can post their novels for free and gain followings with them.
    Some writers have even gotten so popular with their books on there that they have been adapted into movies and television shows.

    Of Wattpad books that have been turned into movies and tv shows, they include the following:

    The After Series, by Anna Todd which started out as One Direction fanfiction.

    Light as a Feather by Zoe Aarsen which was turned into a Hulu series.

    Turn On was turned into series for Vidio.

    The Kissing Booth by Beth Reekles was so popular it got turned into three movies for Netflix.

    The Bad Boys Girl.

    What Happened That Night by Deanna Cameron.

    And Through My Window by Ariana Godoy.

    But how do you become popular enough that Wattpad will try to find a place to adapt your novel? That all as to do with rankings.
    After, for instance, ended up with over a million reads on Wattpad.

    The book I am posting right now for free is The Haunting of Tempest Bradshaw. Right now, its number one in Gothic Fiction. It’s ranked number one because there are only 93 stories in Gothic Fiction. So it was easier to rank higher because not a lot of people are writing gothic fiction.

    In just the gothic tag, there are 6,400 stories and it is number 93. So because there are a larger amount of stories in this one, it is harder to rank.

    Like with everything in social media, the key is to write to trend and post often. I plan on releasing the full book of The Haunting of Tempest Bradshaw through Wattpad for free first and then seeing if it will sell on Kindle too.

    In fact, since I’m going to write it as a stand alone, I’m planning on using a service that allows me to post it to multiple platforms and not just kindle unlimited to see if there is a difference. So, only time will tell if writing a free novel on Wattpad that isn’t say, fanfiction, is really worth it. But let’s hope that it is as I continue to write the damn thing.

  • How do you get reviews for your book

    One of the hardest things to get as an indie author is reviews. You’ve got to time everything perfectly to get them so that the bloggers have enough time to actually read your work. I’ve never been great at this. Because I am TERRIBLE at self-promotion.

    I didn’t know how to get reviews for this book. In fact, I’m actually pretty nervous about whether or not anyone is going to read it. I made myself a trailer and put it up on tiktok and I’ve done a few of those. I’m HOPING it has caused enough interest that people will actually read it once it is on kindle unlimited.

    At the moment, since I am a brand new author on Amazon, I’ve only got a few pre-orders.

    Mostly, I’m concerned about if anyone will read the book once it actually launches. And I know for me right now the hardest thing is that I don’t have any reviews.

    I’m already working on the sequel to this book which is about Luca Capaldi, the brother in the first book of The Capaldi Brothers Series. And I started looking at ways to get that reviewed because it doesn’t come out until February 28th.

    In fact, I keep on having panic nightmares about it. But you know…

    So how do you get reviews? Especially when you are a new indie author?

    Particularly for romance writers, Book Sirens is the best place. They have a long list of book bloggers all in one, easy to find location. They also have resources to help you grow your street team which is something I’ll be talking about in another post. Street Teams are used to generate buzz about your book pre-release.

    You can visit them here: https://booksirens.com

    And there are also a lot of newsletters that you can submit to so you can get the word out about your book. If you have the budget, you can do Pubby or Net Galley. But those can get pretty pricey.

    Also, don’t be afraid to check out facebook groups. There are a lot of rabid romance readers on facebook all eager to look for their next read so that can also be a great place to get readers for your new book.

  • Will Writing a novel on Wattpad translate to sales for me?

    I’ve tried this experiment before but the laptop I had that had the novel I was working on totally bit the dust. This time, I have a novel that’s going to be released on Kindle January 31st, To Trap a Kiss, a Mafia romance.

    I want to use this website as a way to experiment with different writing platforms and see if they translate into sales. For this first one, I am starting with Wattpad. I am releasing a free novel on there and seeing if I can get readers to come over to kindle by releasing that novel on amazon.

    I’ll be writing it on there first. Then once it’s finished, I’ll post the whole thing on Amazon.

    The book is called The Haunting of Tempest Bradshaw. It’s a gothic, bully romance.

    My least favorite place in the world was the home of the person I hated most. The haunting, old Harrington Estate.  I spent my youth there as the daughter of servants being tortured by their arrogant, cruel son, Mercury Harrington. But when Mercury shows up on my  doorstep after graduation, with an ultimatum from both of our dead parents, I have to return to the place of my nightmares. Live with Mercury for a year in the old house or Mercury will forfeit half of his inheritance to me. 
    Harrington House. 
    The minute we return to the house together, strange things start occurring. I've got gaps in my memory. Someone is sneaking into my room and leaving things from dead people. And my only companion is the man that tormented me through my whole childhood and teen years. Is this all part of Mercury's plan, to get rid of me? Or is it the house, trying to make up for it's own haunted history of tragic love affairs?

    So if you want to follow along, the novel is going to be free on Wattpad. As of right now, I’m updating daily but that could possibly change later on. I also want to see what the highest ranking I can get with a story like this is. I hope you will follow along!

    https://www.wattpad.com/story/332308712-the-haunting-of-tempest-bradshaw-a-gothic-bully

  • How to edit a fiction novel

    When people hear the term editing, I think most assume it is only referring to grammar and punctuation. But there’s a lot more that you want to look for when editing, particularly if you are self publishing.

    1. Character Edit -What is a character edit? Something I’m pretty sure I made up, but mostly where you go through and make sure everything is correct on all of your characters. For instance, if you start out saying that your character has blue eyes on page one, and then they change to brown, that’s really going to confuse people. Or if they’re wearing a red shirt and then a green shirt in the same scene. Get my drift? You want to make sure everything remains consistent.
    2. Plot Edit-Similar to the character edit, you want to make sure that your plot all ties together. That there aren’t too many plot holes, unless you are planning on writing sequels and those are something that can be put in the next book. But you also want to make sure that nothing seems too out of character for the world you’ve built.
    3. World Building Edit-I’m going to make sure to write another post on world building, and what that really means. But basically you want to do a location check on your characters. Did you by chance say they were at John Doe’s house and later it changed to Jane Doe’s? Did you get your facts about your city setting right? Did you include enough atmospheric language to make it seem like the characters are really there?
    4. Pacing edit–Pacing is incredibly important to a story. It determines readability for the book. So, if something is happening to fast, or to slow, you’ll want to go back and either cut things or ad things in. Especially with romance, you don’t want your characters getting together too soon or too late but you also don’t want the story to drag.
    5. Voice edit–A voice edit would be where you go through and make sure that everything sounds good. I recommend reading aloud for this or using a text-to-speech feature on the computer. That way, if a sentence sounds off, you can change it. Also, it will sometimes help you catch spelling errors.
    6. Grammar and punctuation-The very last type of edit you should do is for grammar and punctuation. There are all sorts of tools to help you with this, including Grammarly, or the Hemingway app. But save this for the very last edit that you do because you’ll probably be rewriting a lot during your previous ones.

    Also, if there is something you are stuck on plot wise after finishing your novel, I recommend taking some time away from it. Some writers will tell you to take a month. But it doesn’t always have to be that long. It might only take a few days. Usually, writers block is caused because there’s something else bothering you.

    So, take a break. Do something else you enjoy. Make time for friends and family. Read. Paint. Take a walk and get some fresh air. Whatever. You never know what will help get the creative juices flowing again.

  • Warnings in Erotica

    Erotica is one of the few genres, if not the only genre, where I have seen authors provide warnings for their books. A good place to do this is at the beginning or in the summary of the book. Why is this important?

    Because Erotica deals with sex, not everyone might feel comfortable reading certain types of things. On top of which, you also want to make sure younger readers don’t pick up the books by accident. Always make sure your books are labeled 18+ if you are writing erotica.

    Billionaire Romances and Bully Romances in particular tend to lean more to the darker side of things. The MCS—Main Characters—-are usually super intense and sometimes like things that could potentially freak readers out.

    You never know who might be reading your books after all. For instance, because I’ve had some dark things happen to me in my life, I read dark fiction in order to remind myself that I am not the only one who has gone through those things. And that you can get through it. It’s the same reason why I write it.

    But while I might be comfortable reading dark fiction, some people might not be. It’s no different than having a rating for movies. A simple note beforehand saying something along the lines of: This book contains dark, intense situations with dubious consent that could potentially be triggering. If that makes you uncomfortable, this book might not for you.

    That way, readers know that it contains graphic content they might not want to go near.

  • How To Choose Your Keywords on Amazon

    The first few times I tried publishing something on Amazon, it didn’t really go well. I thought I could just upload my stuff and people would magically find it. What I understand now is how amazon works. Yes, Amazon is a website for shopping. But its also a huge search engine.

    So, if you want someone to find your book you want to make sure that you are using the correct keywords for people to find. There’s a few different ways that you can make people find your book easier too.

    There’s a reason why romance does so well on Amazon and it’s because people can use tropes to search. Let’s take a look at how authors do that.

    So, let’s say that you like college romances. If you want readers to find your book how would you find that?

    So here we have LJ Shen’s Playing with Fire. Titles are one of the things people would search for to find a book. There in the title is the name of the book and then the type of romance that it is. In this case, it is not a sweet romance but a Bad Boy College Romance.

    You also want to make sure that you are writing the right categories. Originally, I thought erotica was the best category to place my book. Because it is a smut book.

    However, that could make people shy away from your book if they think it is just sex which is what a lot of people mistake erotica to be. So, consider what genre your book is and place it there instead.

    So, in this case Playing With Fire is a New Adult College Romance and a Romantic Comedy. By making sure your book is placed in the right categories then you’ve got a better chance of people finding it.

    Another way you can make your book searchable is by making sure that you have those same keywords in your summary. That way, when people are looking for those things the search engine will be able to use that find them too.

    Take this book here. Embrace of Shadows by Jes Drew. The last paragraph says that it is a slow-burn, closed door, fae romance with elements of Beauty & the Beast, Hades & Persephone, and Egyptian Mythology. So if anyone searched for Beauty and the Beast re-telling, this would come up.

    Take another look at the page for Handsome Devil by Jaine Diamond.

    Right at the top she has this in the summary: “A scorching hot enemies-to-lovers romance, featuring a strong, feisty heroine and the billionaire boss she’d love to hate, an unforgettable kiss, a whole lot of lies, an irresistible battle of will… and a twisted deal that just might save them both from losing it all.

    So, if someone were to search “enemies to lovers romance” then they’d be able to find this book. Especially if you are first starting out you might not have money for advertisements or marketing. And it might be hard to get reviews as an unknown author.

    By making sure that your page is filled with searchable terms, you are giving your book the best chance for success.

  • You are probably formatting your books wrong

    You are probably formatting your books wrong

    So, on New Years Eve I actually started writing a dark, mafia romance novel called To Trap A Kiss. It’s book one in The Capaldi Brothers series and it comes out at the end of January. You can pre-order it on Amazon right now or if you want to access it early, check it out on Kindle Vella. It will go live on January 31st, 2023 in Kindle Unlimited.

    When you are uploading a book to Amazon, they require a table of contents. At first, I tried using Words table of contents. And that was a complete disaster. It’s just way more complicated than it needs to be and that is even after the three videos I watched to try and make sense of how to do it.

    I KNEW there had to be a better way. Writers are a savvy bunch, particularly indie writers. Chances are if there is something we can get done for free we will find it.

    So I typed something like “free table of contents creator” into google and it popped up with Reedsy. Reedsy is a website with a bunch of resources for writers. If you input your manuscript on there, they have a team of people that will totally format yours FOR FREE. Which made me breathe a sigh of relief because the thirty something chapters I have would have ended up being a HUGE pain to go back and create a table of contents for.

    Don’t pay for something if you don’t have to, especially when you are first starting out. Reedsy is right there with a lot of tools to help you get started. And if you already have an audience, they’ve even got self-publishing and distribution!

    Me, I’ve messed around with publishing on kindle before but this is the first time I’ve ever taken myself seriously doing it. Going all in. And typically formatting can be SUPER expensive.

    So yeah, Reedsy is definitely your friend.