Have you ever been tempted to self-publish? Lust Bites friend t'Sade gives us the low-down on what it's like.
Naked, as all slaves were required to be, the woman was not uncomfortable with her nudity. Plastered against her back, her sweat-soaked hair clung to her skin as she strained with the effort not to move. Held above her head, her wrists twisted inside golden chains, trying to break free. They were just tight enough to place a strain on her back, but not enough to hold her off the cold stone ground. Spread out beneath her, her legs quivered slightly with the effort to keep her sweat-soaked knees from sliding on the stone. Between, the naked mound of her womanhood glistened with sweat and fear, and more than a little excitement.
Above is the first paragraph of my novel, The Mummy's Girl, which I had published in December of 2003. You know what? I love that beginning, it represents so much to me, both in a novel I created, but also the first time I held a book in my hand and was able to say "I did this" and have it not mean something I just printed up on a laser printer at work.
This novel came to being while I was watching the movie The Mummy endlessly for two of my Hollywood boyfriends (i.e. men I'd like to meet and... do other things to). In the first meeting between Imhotep and Evelyn ("Evie"), where they are just inches away from each other, there is the dramatic rescue. However, my dirty little mind thought about other What If? scenarios instead. What if he wasn't as... crawling with bugs, didn't have juicy chest wounds, or missing important parts? What if she felt a longing inside him, a hunger that she couldn't explain? What if instead of being rescued, he actually kissed her? What if... what if they just fucked right then and there, gasping and thrusting, like two lovers split apart by death and centuries?
The mummy closed the door she had left open and walked heavily over to Nikki. Kneeling down, he brushed her hair off her face to gaze at her. Nikki stirred and moaned. One eye opened briefly and closed. Her hands clenched against the blanket and he watched her shiver for a moment. A whimper of pain escaped her throat as she drifted back into unconsciousness. He stayed next to her, guarding her with a surprising vigilance. When she began to stir, he was waiting.
"Binis." His voice was almost a reverent rasp as he felt his body grow cold from shock.
That is the story I wanted to hear about. So, I sat down on my daily train ride and began to write a story. When I finished, I was happy since I wrote what I set out to write, a story that I liked. Yeah, it was a bit fan-fictiony but it was still inspired by that one specific scene. Naturally, I told my friends all about it, naughty bits and all.
"If I... please you?"
A ripple of chuckles filtered through the watching soldiers and they danced from foot to foot. The commander grinned and looked around. "Well, we won't stop you, now will we?"
After I finished, I figured I had the hard part done and it would be fairly simple to get published, maybe a month at the most.
... okay, I'm done laughing.
So, I thought it would be easy to get published. Didn't even pay attention to the guidelines for sending submissions, just sent out random email queries to various publishers looking for a home. First one came back: "lovely writing but we don't do erotic brutality." Fair enough, the next day, I sent out my second: "send us other stuff, but no whipping." Bah, that isn't a good sign. Three days later, I sent out my third query. Got a response an hour later: "Sure, sounds good, send it."
Jennifer moaned loudly, as she felt the man pulling at her skirt, rotating it until he found the tie that wrapped it around her waist. With a grin, he worked at the knot until she felt it pull away. There was a soft rustle as the fabric crumbled to the ground and she blushed with the sensation of being bare to Robert and Melinda's hungry gazes.
Melinda's mouth began to nibble down her right shoulder as her fingers continued to gently tease Jennifer's hard nipples. The soft whimpers of pleasure escaped her throat as the woman leaned back against Melinda. All three of their breaths grew faster as Robert gently lowered himself in front of her, looking up at the beautiful body in front of him.
"We going to get that bad taste out of you, and then replace it with something very nice."
(Of course I'm not using snippets to keep you interested in what I'm saying. Couldn't imagine why you'd consider that.)
Binis shivered in fear and forced her brown eyes to lock onto Anuset's. "Yes, master... anything for you."
Binis nodded but didn't say anything. For a moment, Anuset frowned at her silence, wondering if there was anything to it. A merest moment passed before his smile returned to his face. A growing need asserted itself and he looked down at his manhood, already pushing up the loincloth with its desire.
Binis' eyes followed his, watching the shaft as it twitched and pulsed toward its full hardness. Anuset spoke softly, moving his gaze to the breasts that strained under her deep breathing.
The slave looked up with a fierce burning in her eyes, of love and lust, and said, "Master."
The soft caress of her fingers sent a surge of lust through his length and he tightened his fingers as he twisted harder. Binis leaned against the pinching fingers on her nipple as she wrapped her fingers around the thickness of his shaft and pushed up.
The cloth rippled over her hand until she pushed it aside, revealing Anuset's cock in its full glory. Her eyes shone as she admired his length--longer than three of her hands. A few thick veins bulged out from the surface as the massive cock twitched with fast heartbeats. The head was slightly thicker than the rest, with a narrow ridge before it led into a fat, spongy wedge, already dripping with a clear, slick fluid. The entire length was turning from red to a deep purple with his excitement as his balls, two massive plums, dangled from beneath the huge shaft.
Self-publishing is actually fairly easy to do it badly. At minimum, you have to produce a PDF in the right size with the right margins. The place I used, Lulu, has everything on two pages, one for books to be sold on their site and one for books that can be sold through Amazon or a brick-and-mortar bookstore. If you can follow directions, you probably can figure them out.
There was one other reason I decided to self-publish. I have two other novels, one completed and one in first draft. Unlike The Mummy's Girl both aren't really publishable in the current climate. One is erotic horror and the other was "published" on a website already so it isn't new enough. Both are good stories, I feel, but getting The Mummy's Girl is setting the path for these two; I want to see them in print because I think they compliment my writing and they are good stories to a lot of people. And, I'm kind of setting myself up as a "publisher of one" for my writing. Some day, people will want to pick up books by me because it is by me.
And there is a market out there for this type of story. True, it is consider on the edge for many people and I won't see it at Walmart or in the shelves at Barnes and Nobel, but I know there are people who want to read it. It just isn't a large market, as a single book goes. But, if I can write enough of them, then I'm hoping to start appealing to the people who have fetishes for what I write, but represent a relatively insignificant portion of the entire erotic readership base. I know that if I sell a hundred copies, its a hundred copies I didn't have sold before. If I do that enough times, I'll build up a "brand" of t'Sade and people will start buying because I wrote it, knowing what I can do.
Yes, for me it is. It isn't for everyone. It requires taking a path less traveled, one that requires a great deal of time, energy, and money to succeed. But, sometimes, just sometimes, to do justice to your love, it takes a few generations (printings) to do it right.
With blood, sweat, and the occasional orgasm.
You can also read the first 10 pages from Lulu.com or the entire second chapter.