Your Beta Readers and Market

Most of you know I’m a BDSM romance writer.  Not too long ago, I had an interesting experience.  I met a new friend who loves to read and is kink aware. I had no idea how full a reader she was because we met just recently (DragonCon of 09) and shared a room together for two nights.

She bought two of my books and then offered to beta others for me I have no problem with that since a writers’ greatest tool before publication is the beta reader who is well read.

OMG I didn’t know what I was in for LOL!

When I began reading her notes on my latest BDSM novel (Part 2 of “I Will Submit to You, Master out from Renaissance E-books) I was astounded because her feedback was so insightful to the story. I’m in the middle of going through an upgrade in writing skill so I can hit higher markets. I’ve had beta readers before and they’ve all given me feedback I asked for and some I needed.

Because some of the feedback she gave me was spot on, I’m going to change what needs fixing because said reader has an understanding of the Scene. My question is, is it possible that she’s too intellectual for my current BDSM Market?

I mean, to my knowledge, I only know about a handful of my readers i.e. the ones on twitter and who email me with any regularity. Otherwise, the hundreds who buy my work from Renaissance E-books I never get to see, but judging by other sales figures from other authors in the same genre, I can gather a loose guestimation of what my readers may or may not like.

Many of said readers are fans of another author who writes darker edgier stories that push boundaries even in a BDSM context. (Think the just turned 18 year old catholic school girl who learns to like sucking cock in church) as well as the lighter stuff that I tend to write.

Many of those same readers are romance readers and understand that I’m at heart, a romance author. I just happen to like my romance with whips and chains *g *

The question for me is do I upgrade the style of writing to fix my beta’s issues or do I release the story with the understanding that not all of my readers live in the real life Scene experience? I’m not suggesting that my readers are ignorant but some prefer to live without the knowledge that some of the stuff I write actually happens.

For me, it’s about sales. If fixing these issues is going to give the story more credibility to Scene people and to others who aren’t into BDSM but like rougher sex, then I need to take a hard look at the suggestions and take them to heart.

My advice to you authors: Do the same. If you have a gifted beta reader or critique partner, utilize them to the fullest extent and remember to thank them.

To readers, my advice is this: Give the authors everything you can. We like hearing that you love our work, but we like to know what we did right for you and what you think we could improve upon. Many of you have experiences that we only write about and having your feedback may mean the difference between one more reader or the loss of several hundreds.

Caveat to that: Don’t overdo it :

Sascha Illyvich – Sascha’s Secrets…stories so hot they must be whispered
Http:// – Catch the UnNamed Romance Show Mondays at 1 PM PST and Thursday at 3 PM PST.

About saschaillyvichauthor

Sascha, who was proclaimed by the publishing industry as The Gentleman Playboy of Romance, started writing eighteen years ago. His erotic romances have been listed under Night Owl Romance’s and Road to Romance’s Recommended read lists, and he’s been nominated for a CAPA by The Romance Studio. Recently, Torn to Pieces was a USA TODAY Recommended Read. Sascha is a trained and experienced public speaker, and enjoys giving talks and teaching, particularly on aspects of romance, erotic romance, and writing. He was the former host of The Unnamed Romance Show on Radio Dentata, and is fond of doing guest spots and interviews, on both traditional radio and podcasts. Sascha writes for City Lights Publishing, Red Sage, Sizzler Editions, Totally Bound, and Decadent Publishing. Find him at
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