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Thursday, August 1, 2013

Crazy Eyes, Harry Potter and The Real Housewives of New Jersey

('Teresa Giudice' / Jennifer Marie Puglia / CC BY-ND)

Last night I had the pleasure of going out to dinner with my girlfriend and her mother. A woman who will hereby be referred to as 'Crazy Eyes' for her ability to continually pound straight Vodka with no ice, unabashedly grope male servers, and make young children cry. (I wish I was kidding.) My girlfriend was apologizing to the host, I was trying to call Crazy Eyes' husband, and all of a sudden I hear a kid at the next table burst into tears and she's staring at him slack-jawed like an extra from The Walking Dead.


But this wasn't even the best part. Earlier in the night the three of us had a conversation so revealing I simultaneously realized that a) There was no point in getting mad at my eventual mother-in-law ever again due to the fact that b) I would get as much satisfaction arguing with her as I would from repeatedly smacking my head off the pavement outside.

Why? Because Crazy Eyes' favorite housewife is Teresa Giudice.

If the gravity of this statement isn't immediately clear to you, allow me to offer an analogy. This would be similar to having a conversation about Harry Potter, and the person you're talking to says their favorite character is Voldemort. "Voldemort?" you ask. "Don't you mean Dumbledore?" And then they roll their eyes at you and say, "Fuck Dumbledore."  

Crazy Eyes idolizes a petty, malicious, vengeful, manipulative, fake, deceitful witch (who this Monday also happened to be indicted on thirty counts of financial fraud, if you need any further indication of character).

So my point is this: If you find yourself arguing with someone who glorifies the equivalent of a storybook villain, it's better to avoid them at all costs rather than get sucked in to one of their twisted little narratives.

Because life is not reality television. So whether it's getting indicted with enough charges to be facing more than fifty years of jail time, or in the case of Crazy Eyes, having the cops called on you by neighbors that have known you for over fifteen years because they don't want to hear your shrieking any more while they try to enjoy their family barbecue, there will always be consequences to self-entitlement.

- Lilith, August 1

Saturday, July 13, 2013

A Love Affair With Erotica

60's Erotica
('60's Erotica'/Paul Papadimitriou/CC BY)

So I read an article on CBS News (Lust and Elves: How 'low brow' lit made ebooks), that got me to thinking about the profession of erotica authors in general, and the judgements placed upon them by a nervous society that can't live without them.

Needing an explanation for the raft of taboo erotica now present on Amazon, the author postulates that the success of 50 Shades of Grey is the reason for publishers' leniency towards such extreme subject matter being available for sale. With profits in mind, online retailers are hoping to cash in on the public's desire for hard-edged erotica, the red-headed stepchild of traditional publishing. (An analogy I've always been particularly fond of.)

But it's the same old song and dance, as it always is. Those crying the loudest usually have the least to say. And while it makes for seemingly good public relations for publishers to distance themselves from authors of taboo erotica, those same individuals that are uncomfortable with the moral implications of such subject matter usually find it simultaneously intriguing. (Utah being the porn capital of the U.S., anyone?)

Similarly, authors (such as myself) who publish taboo erotica find themselves in constant flux, wondering if the success of their next eBook will also bring about enough attention to warrant a negative response from online publishers. There are authors who had their entire catalogs removed for months by Amazon because of accusations of improper content in one of their stories. (Shudder.) But that's the risk we take.

At the end of the day, the desire for romance and erotica will always be there. Humans are sexual beings by nature, and the nature of sex is to continually push boundaries. (Well, at least it is if you want to have fun). So this is me flying my taboo flag proudly, and proclaiming my love affair with erotica.

And it's nice to know at least a few of you out there agree.

- Lilith, July 13

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Author Tips & Tricks: Attracting New Followers on Twitter and Google+

This is part one in a series of articles called 'Author Tips & Tricks' that I'll be posting in the coming weeks. In an attempt to give back to the amazing online community of romance and erotica authors (and all those who self-publish), I'd like to share the best of what I've learned over the past year. I'll do my best to provide you with beneficial, well-organized information that I consider invaluable. Just my way of saying thanks.

So if you want to learn about attracting tons of new followers on Twitter, Google+ and your blog, read on!

Attracting New Followers
Two of the questions I'm asked most often are how did I gain followers on Google+ and Twitter, and how did I get people to actually like me on Facebook. (Something that continues to be a work in progress.) Why is this important? Well it's important for the obvious reasons, such as increasing potential reach and exposure for your eBooks, but also because it helps you gain legitimacy in both the eyes of your audience and your fellow authors. And as you gain more likes and follows you'll increase the likelihood of your status updates, posts and tweets showing up in timelines, newsfeeds and search engines. Which is exactly what you want.

So, what are the secrets?

  • Consistency and Quality Are King: It used to be that content was king, but times have evolved. When first starting out, one of the biggest mistakes I made was simply sharing too little, and only posting my own content (a mistake new writers always seem to make). While I always made an effort to be witty, funny or a little naughty (for my erotica fans), I never really seemed to gain that much traction. I was rarely retweeted or even favorited, and no one ever responded to me. (Seriously. A good day was one interaction.) I would tweet people and they would ignore me outright, mostly because I had no followers and was obviously trying too hard. (Sound familiar?) I ended up following hundreds and hundreds of people with no one following me back, and I had no reach or influence. But after a few months, I came to two very important realizations.
    • Consistency: You need to post to Facebook, Google+ and Twitter every day. No kidding. This does not mean your life has to revolve around social media. However, you do need to devote at least 15 to 30 minutes a day to maintaining your online presence. This includes answering fans, responding to comments, updating profiles, searching for promotion opportunities (like blog hops, guest posts and author interviews), or simply posting new content. As an example, your Twitter timeline should be (roughly) 30% personal tweets (similar to status updates), 30% tweets about specific content (e.g., pictures, articles, quotes), 30% retweets/favorites of others' content, and the last 10% should be about your titles or promotions you may be running. This ratio, while only an approximation, can be used for both Facebook and Google+ as well. Your willingness to share and promote other users will gain you more followers and influence, and their reciprocal sharing of your content will help you gain fans that you wouldn't have otherwise. Additionally, your increased online presence will start gaining you followers just by virtue of your consistent posts. 
    • Quality: But your consistency comes with the caveat of quality. If you're posting every day in an attempt to improve your reach and gain new followers, you better be posting quality content; not spam. And this can be especially difficult for authors who publish online, because self-promotion seems so important. Yet the truth is most people will find incessant posts about your eBooks to be extremely annoying. Instead, your focus should be on establishing and improving relationships with fellow authors and fans. And the best way to do that (like any relationship), is to be honest and genuine. There's a reason reality shows and TMZ are so popular. People crave real information and gossip. Self-promotion is the opposite: It's an advertisement designed to incite people to purchase a product. You need to be real. But does this mean you need to give away everything about your personal life? No. But it does mean if you find yourself playing a role instead of being yourself, you need to take a step back and reevaluate. Stop trying to be what you think people want you to be, and stop trying to force yourself to be funny or witty if you're not feeling that way. Instead, connect with your audience and let them know what you're feeling on a day-to-day basis. You'll connect with a much broader range of individuals, without question. And from those connections, followers will come.
  • Engaging Your Followers: So once you've started gaining followers from your consistent, quality posting to social media networks, how do you engage them? (Meaning, how do you get them to respond to your promotions, retweet your tweets, and like your posts?) By identifying your audience and seizing opportunities.
    • Identifying your audience: You need to be honest with yourself. Don't assume your audience shares your gender and age demographic. Don't assume that your audience shares the gender and age demographic most common to your genre. Basically, don't assume anything. Sign up for Google Analytics, StatCounter (real-time, free), and use the statistics provided by Blogger, Wordpress, or your hosting provider to make informed decisions. Do the majority of your visitors use Internet Explorer? Then it's likely you're targeting an older, less technically-savvy crowd. Why? Because I.E. is the default web browser for Windows, which means the visitor was not comfortable switching to an alternative browser such as Chrome or Firefox (which would suggest they were comfortable with both technology and accessing material online). Also, find out which websites your visitors are referred from (where they were before they accessed your blog), and from what country. If you write contemporary romance and you see a large influx of visitors originating from a specific site in France, find out why. Is it a forum where people are talking about you and there's a natural buzz? Was one of your stories shared by a popular foreign blogger? Was your blog linked to a popular site that specializes in your genre? All of this is valuable information you can use to further engage your followers and seize opportunities in the limited time they're available. A recent personal example would be when I noticed an extremely large influx of Russian users to my blog, a small number of whom also started following me on Twitter and liking me on Facebook. I had absolutely no idea how they found me, until I discovered the site they were originating from was a blog for taboo erotica. Someone had posted one of my stories with a link, and sure enough I was soon being visited by hundreds of horny Ruskies who liked my style.
    • Seizing opportunities: When I discovered my story had been linked by the foreign erotica blog (which provided me with a new source of traffic), I immediately tried to leverage the opportunity. (Anyone else noticing my college minor in Business showing?) Instead of demanding they take down my story (which was posted without my consent, in full), I realized I had a valuable resource at hand. (Or at least I hoped I did.) So I emailed the webmasters of the blog and asked to provide them with a promotion of two exclusive short stories. What was their response? They offered to post each story one week apart, briefly promote each on the front page of the site, and do an interview with me. Two weeks later and suddenly I had received a few hundred (!) likes on Facebook from foreign individuals I'd never heard of before, and I had captured a new audience I never, ever would have found had I not taken the time to both identify my audience and seize the opportunity that became available. Yet on my part, the only effort required was sending an email and being available for a quick interview on Russian time.

TL/DR: Attracting new followers on Twitter, Google+ and your blog/website requires consistent posting to social networks with quality content (following the basic ratio outlined above). It also requires identifying your audience through use of stat analytics, as well as identifying and seizing opportunities as they arise in order to engage your followers.

So that's it for part one of Author Tips and Tricks. Feel free to include it on your blog or website, just please be kind enough to include a link back to me. And if this post helped you (or can help one of your fellow authors or bloggers), please don't hesitate to share.

Happy networking.

- Lilith, July 10

Sunday, July 7, 2013

A Naughty Girl for Daddy (Audrey Gets Revenge): Cover Preview

Below you'll find a cover preview for A Naughty Girl for Daddy (Audrey Gets Revenge). Please let me know what you think!

Erotica eBook Online A Naughty Girl for Daddy (Audrey Gets Revenge)

A Naughty Girl for Daddy (Audrey Gets Revenge) will soon be available on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Smashwords, and other fine online retailers of erotic fiction.

- Lilith, July 7

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Happy Independence Day!

Fireworks over Boston
('Fireworks over Boston'/Mike Halsall/CC BY-ND)

So I'm pretty tipsy, watching fireworks reflect off the pond in the most lovely of ways while my girlfriend plays with my hair. This is a wonderful Fourth of July.

Love to everyone. (And get home safe.)

- Lilith, July 4

Friday, June 28, 2013

Blog Update

I hope everyone enjoys the updated look of the blog as much as I do. And a great many thanks to my wonderful girlfriend, who spent much longer than originally anticipated creating the header and template for me.

For all my fans, please check out the new comment system (located at the bottom of each post) if you've got the time. Feel free to have general discussions, comment on (or criticize) the blog, story excerpts, book covers; or just stop by to say hi. You don't have to log in (unless you want to), and the system has a lot of really neat features. And yes, in typing that last line I realize how much of a nerd I am.

(Also, if you happened to stop by earlier today you might have noticed a post about how I broke all the pictures on the site. Well I finally managed to fix it, though I now know more about the inner workings of Blogger than I ever cared to. Hopefully everything looks okay to the rest of you. If not, let me know. Seriously.)

So now I'm back to writing. I'll have a new story up very soon, and thanks to everyone for the kind messages and emails! Keep them coming (if you know what I mean).

- Lilith, June 28

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Here I am.

('Bar'/sacks08/CC BY)

Well, the year of living dangerously is over (dare I say), and I'm finally comfortable enough to come out of hiding and give everyone an update on what's been happening in my life (and why I disappeared).

So, first things first. I'm not dead.

Thanks for the concern from those of you who wondered why I dropped off the face of the earth. Also, I did not rob a bank, nor was I imprisoned for the lewd content of my stories (though from some of the emails I received, some of you certainly think I should be).

But alas, the truth is much simpler (as is usually the case).

Question: What should do you if your boyfriend calls you a cunt in front of a crowded bar filled with your friends and co-workers?

If you answered: "Throw an empty beer stein at his forehead causing a giant gash that will require him to get nineteen stitches and a monumental emergency room bill because he still doesn't have health insurance even though you constantly nagged him to fill out the paperwork," then A) We should hang out, and B) It's likely we shared a jail cell the night this happened and I already told you this story.

In my defense, I would like to point out that I'm not completely crazy, and let everyone know he didn't just call me a cunt. There were extenuating circumstances that led me to the conclusion that chucking a piece of German stoneware at him was an appropriate retaliatory response.

Nevertheless, we parted ways soon after, leaving me and our (formerly) mutual girlfriend to wander the greater New England area for the last eight months in search of sexual gratification and genuine relaxation. And I have to say we did a pretty good job finding it.

So now I'm back, with many new story ideas and a reinvigorated sense of purpose. And I promise to keep in touch.

- Lilith, June 22

Tuesday, August 28, 2012


So it turns out there were a few grammatical errors in Jerked by Mommy (The Next Day) and A Naughty Girl for Daddy (Audrey Gets Punished). New editions are currently in review by Amazon, and should be available shortly.

Hopefully none of you are judging me too harshly out there, but I do apologize. I blame overwork and a lack of sleep, but I'll certainly try to make sure it doesn't happen again. And as for my editors (both my boyfriend and girlfriend), I'm not sure if they'll be getting fired or not. But considering they both read both stories more than once prior to publishing, I think we all need to have a talk about the importance of not skimming. Ever.

Also, I'm almost finished with the third installment in the Jerked by Mommy series, so you don't have much longer to wait. For those of you emailing me with story requests, I'll do my best! There's just so many great ideas, it's tough to choose.

And remember, if you're unable to access any of my stories on Amazon, it's because the updated editions are being reviewed. They should be available by this evening.

- Lilith, August 28