Loyalty Oath

Not too long ago, I knew everyone who read my blog personally. Maybe we went to school together, or worked for the same employer, or did the same kind of work. The connection, whatever it is, was face-to-face and in real time at some point in the last fifty years.

The number of visitors to my blog has gone up a lot over time. Some days I get more than 200 hits. But  I still feel like I know the majority of you in person. Even if we’ve never actually met, we’re friends on Facebook, or follow each other on Twitter, or read each others’ blogs or email each other. I know you too well to think of you as my fans. You are friends who support me in my endeavors, and I can’t tell you enough how very much I appreciate you.

My motivation for blogging has always been to entertain. Making money never entered my mind. Well, not until I thought about the whole “send me a dollar” campaign, which to date has resulted in a total of…drumroll please…zero dollars and four cents. Thanks to both of you for adding your two cents–you know who you are.

Now I have a new motivation–to sell books. But asking people to buy them isn’t a very effective strategy. If that’s all I do on the blog, even my diehard friends will eventually quit checking in.

Since signing my contract, I’ve been busy writing blog posts for other authors and typing up my answers to long interview questionnaires. It’s been fun. It’s also helped me think through how I can maybe make this work for all of us.

I figured some stuff out–all by myself, too. First, y’all are more or less just like me. You like to read, and you’re as new to the other side of publishing as I am–especially the little corner of the market I landed in called erotic fiction. I never heard of male-male romance until I joined the writers group. There are dozens of sub-genres and combinations of genres I’ve never heard of before, and I assume the same is true for you.

You’re also a lot like me in that you’ll read pretty much anything, as long as it’s not (fill in the blank). Fear of buying a bad book keeps us going back to the same section of the bookstore to look for the newest titles from our favorite authors. Now and then we’ll try something that catches our eye or that a friend read and liked. But we’re not very likely to try unless we have a pretty good idea of what we’re getting.

The other big thing I figured out is that I’m not really selling books–I’m selling me. That’s what brought you here. You like the way I write about things that are happening in my life. You’re probably a little tired of hearing about all the book stuff and hope this contract doesn’t mean an end to the blog you’ve always enjoyed.

Change has been a constant here on the blog. Last Monday you saw the first in what I hope will become a regular feature on Mondays called Meet the Author. Several of you let me know you’d ordered one or two or five of Adrienne Wilder’s books. My first guest appearance posted on Greetings from the Trailer Park on Tuesday. Eden Winters was delighted with the response. Y’all are really making me look good! I’ll continue to post links to any guest posts I do on other blogs.

Erotic fiction is a huge category that includes a lot of very different things. Rather than just a plug, I’m asking my guests to do a post that helps you (and me) learn something about the world of erotic fiction and mainstream romance that we didn’t know before.  Some will share tips for writers, published or not.  I’m also lining up writers to explain some of the different genres.

You may not like some you’ll read about, but at least you’ll have a better idea of what they are, and in some cases, are not. But I think you’re more likely to discover something new you like, whether a genre or an author, that you probably wouldn’t have discovered any other way.  And as you tuck your newest book between the mattress and boxsprings, know that you are not alone. There are thousands of closet erotica readers just like you. Hell, even a lot of the authors use pseudonyms.

The truth is, has always been, and will always be that this is your blog, too. I’m not going to leave you behind. I promise. We’ll take this journey together, right here on…

My Glass House