For new writers, breaking into the erotic romance market may seem overwhelming but here’s what I suggest:
Pick up the following authors and devour their work:
Angela Knight, Morgan Hawke, Christine Feehan, Laurel K. Hamilton (not exactly traditional erotic romance) Julie Templeton, Kate Douglas, Candace Havens, Dakota Cassidy, Joey W. Hill, Lori Foster, Diane Whiteside, Lora Leigh, Christina Dodd. Don’t bother with Dodd’s historicals (this is a bias against historical romance novels on my part) but her contemporary and paranormal stuff is excellent. That’s just print stuff. For E-books, Lora Leigh, Joey W. Hill, Marianne LaCroix, Kiernan Kelly (We just put out her second collection of m/m erotic romance stories) Stephanie Burke, Treva Harte (writer and owner of Loose ID) Marty Rayne (one of my students)Joanna Wilde, Celia Kyle, Alexandria Rayne, Em Petrova, (hell, go pick up any of the Secrets Anthologies out from Red Sage) Sascha Illyvich, Cherise Sinclair (another student of mine) Brenda Williamson, Brenna Lyons, Belinda McBride, Barbara Karmazin (RIP) Marie Harte, MaryJanice Davidson (over at Loose-ID) Suzanne Rock, Cheyenne McCray. That should get you started learning about Erotic Romance. Most of those authors mentioned I’ve either mentored, grown up with (sort of) taught in my classes or read their work, interviewed for the radio show and they are dynamite writers. At the local library, hit up the print stuff and find yourself in the romance section. You want to go no “less” hot than Harlequin BLAZE. That’s their “attempt” at erotic romance and they are the gold standard in publishing, with numerous authors who go onto bigger, better and more lucrative careers.
Join the Romance Writers of America. If you’re a male romance author, attend meetings, regularly and get over any nervousness that may occur because the chapter members are predominantly female and many are where you want to be already. And many of them are gracious enough and kind enough to pay back as well as forward. Be warned RWA is still jumping (slowly) on the ebook bandwagon but that’s a national issue, not a local chapter issue. The local chapters are very supportive of their members and share a TON of information. If you can afford it join Passionate Ink, the erotic/spicy chapter of RWA. Next year I plan to be speaking at their annual club meeting at RWA Nationals since it’ll be in Anaheim CA.
Find and follow Deborah Riley Magnus on Twitter and Facebook That’s my publicist. She’ll help you (via her blog) with marketing tips, tricks etc. She isn’t geared towards this genre but she IS geared towards the trends in publishing and collecting information that is geared to help the author become a better success.
I’ll have more tips next week. Stick around!
Lifting Spirits, an erotic m/m romance
$3.99 from Sizzler Editions