Consider Kink and Genre When Writing Smut
Guest Post by Harlotte Sometimes
Everyone who will listen knows I’m a kinky girl. I like ALL the sex. Tell me you want to try something but you don’t want your friend to know, and I’m your gal. Tell me you tried something and it rocked your socks off, and I’m next in line to ride THAT ride!
Men have scars for questioning my kinky. This sexy vixen uses claws! In light of this confession, please understand I only write to tell you this dirty, painful secret out of my twisted ideal of love.
I understand, young smut writer, YOU think its kinky when your boyfriend calls you “Daddy.” When it comes to writing commercial erotica, “Daddy” is only kinky if your boyfriend is also your step-son.
“Kink” is a marketing term, just the same as “Genre.” To successfully self-publish and sell, this distinction means everything.
To illustrate, allow me to explain what Kink isn’t. Kink is not the same as “Freaky,” “Nasty,” or “Oh my god, she DIDN’T!”
I think of “freaky”, “nasty”, and “romantic” as spice for my story, and I use them accordingly. ALL successful smut has some of those flavors. No matter how HOT a story tastes, these spices do not sell meals.
To continue overcooking my metaphor, Kink describes the way your food is served and Genre describes the basis for the menu. “Billionaire” (a genre) means “comfort food” in this culinary example; “FemDom” (a kink) says “pub style.”
Amazon, believe it or not, offers many tools for uncovering the ways its customers behave. Amazon wants you to sell as many books as possible. The biggest secrets in Smut Writing Success hide behind the unpublished toolkit Amazon provides.
To understand Amazon’s model of the Universe, use Amazon as a customer does. Complete the purchase process. Read.
Sooner or later, Amazon will act as if Amazon understands you. Amazon pays attention to which links you click and how long you spend on a page. Look at the books Amazon recommends for you. Keep track and decode the data contained in Amazon’s URLs.
If your browser enables “auto complete”, Amazon will try to guess the phrase you mean to type. Amazon also tells each browser how many titles meet their search results. If you type “sex” and Amazon suggests “sex addiction”, maybe Amazon has some questionable ideas about your reading desires. Or perhaps Amazon knows more about your customers than you assume. Maybe you should take Amazon’s advice.
Once I conceived the Kink / Genre cooking model, I took my job as spokes-supermodel to a higher level. I no longer told myself “this toe-sucking scene is super kinky, and the character happens to be the member of a motorcycle club, so YAHTZEE!”
In my metaphor, my previous statement seems just as silly as selling my meal as “Creole” because I used some red pepper and I like endin’ gerunds in apostrophes.
Dinner may taste great tonight, but folks expecting real bayou cookin’ are, AT BEST, looking for someplace else to eat. My red-pepper flavored potential best seller will not make me millions from people too hungry to look for the meal they want.
In short, I know you’re a great writer, sweetheart. I honestly believe you’re the VERY best. This is about marketing, honey, not talent. No one believes in you more than me.
You don’t start getting good at anything until you learn to do the thing. Now come give your Princess Harlotte a big, sloppy kiss.