Coffee heat rising

So How Are We Doing in the Erotica Biz?

Well. Define “doing…” 😀

We made more in this paycheck than we did for the last Amazon payout period. Somebody in the UK likes the Roberta Stuart stories and kindly buys them. Whoever that person is: ♥♥♥♥

We still aren’t making enough to cover the cost of writing and production. BUT…comparing our figures with those of the author I mentioned a while back, the woman who reported that after she got about 80 books up on Amazon, she scored a $4,000 paycheck, maybe we’re not doing so bad. Our revenues are twice what hers were at this point. Probably, though, we have more books up than she did.

If that’s the case, then it supports the hypothesis that current publications and backlist resonate off each other, so that the more stuff you have online, the more, almost exponentially, you earn.

Before long, we’ll see if that really is the case.

Yesterday, which I’d planned to devote 100 percent to marketing, was subsumed by a nasty little flap.

Mrs. Accountability, who’s not only a fellow PF blogger but an occasional client, called to say her virtual assistant had found all of her books and a considerable number of mine posted on a free-download site. Putatively, its operators make their living by charging people for an all-you-can-eat subscription “membership.” She said the site reported that the first Fire-Rider installment, A Gift for the Kubna, had 9000 downloads!

Well, we both almost fainted dead away. Her books, which sell significantly better than mine, had similar figures. On Gift alone, then, I’d lost about $18,000 to theft!

We cruised around trying to find reviews or information about this pirate site but our searches revealed next to nothing. I had to go out. While I was driving around the city, she learned that the site was registered with GoDaddy and is apparently based in or near Hong Kong. She also saw several other PF bloggers’ books displayed on the pirate site, including Crystal’s from Budgeting in the Fun Stuff.

As soon as I got home, I called a class-action lawyer I know in Seattle and explained the details. He said intellectual property isn’t his thing, but he would ask his colleagues who are expert in that kind of law. His concern about suing the bastards was the possibility that the criminals undoubtedly are operating from some foreign country and, he knows the difficulty of enforcing the international copyright treaty.

Then I called GoDaddy, whose CSR instructed on how to complain and to whom.

Shortly before I geared myself up to launch into a full-blown complaint to GoDaddy, I happened to get an email from Tracy Atkins over at the Friedlander Book Designer outfit. When I described what was going on, Tracy responded with news that the site was a scam, all right, but not the kind of scam it appeared to be.

“Sites like that are notorious because they don’t actually have the books,” said Tracy. “They just skim the listing from a book store’s website.  Then they rely on people, and authors, to sign up on the site to see what is there,  only to find out that they are collecting your credit card info.  The odds that your book, any book, is on there is very low.  It’s just a scam all around.”

The scam is not to steal your books but rather to steal your credit-card data.

Wow! That bit of intelligence came across just in time: I was considering “subscribing” so as to get a better look at what they had. Which, obviously, was exactly what the crooks hoped for.

Meanwhile, at almost exactly the same moment Mrs. A. got the same advice from someone she knows. Everyone is pretty certain that the crooks don’t have any book content at all, ours or anyone else’s.

This is borne out by the observation that the site’s “statistics” change every time you reload a page. The number of downloads may go up, or it may go down, hilariously enough.

So that was a relief. But nevertheless, the little drama consumed the whole damn afternoon. I was not pleased.

Thanks to Atkins, the hard-copy version of The Saga Begins — a collection of the first six Fire-Rider books — is posted to the print-on-demand company’s magical-mystery website form, and it looks excellent. The cover that I tricked out in PowerPoint still needs some tweaking: the back cover copy needs to be tightened and made a great deal sharper, and I’d like to move the “Suggested retail price” tag elsewhere. The dimensions may need a little adjustment — hard to tell from this end. I have a call in to their guy, who should be able to advise on that whenever he calls back. But I hope at this rate to have a few copies to take to the shindig I’m attending in December. Every little sale helps!

We continue to post Racy Books for Racy Readers. The latest, Marisol and Banny Driving to San Diego, went live yesterday; another will go up tomorrow.

The graphic design artist just sent “boxed cover” designs for the next two Fire-Rider collections. Those will go up between now and Christmas, probably.

I need to plan some giveaways. Fortunately I didn’t do the one I’d planned — a Kindle Fire — Amazon having of course put them on sale at a gigantic Black Friday markdown.

Hmmm… I wonder if it’s possible to get a gift Kindle Fire and download a bunch of our bookoids into it — say, half-a-dozen — to enhance a proposed giveaway? Hmm hmmm and hmmmmmmm… I wonder. What if we could not only do that but maybe add a book or two by friends, PF blogger types? How great would that publicity be?

2 thoughts on “So How Are We Doing in the Erotica Biz?”

Comments are closed.