Sexy secret to #epublishing success: @gpwriter guests

George Pappas, author of Monogamy Sucks

These days I am the most confident I’ve ever felt as a writer. My writing dreams of being a full-time author are finally in reach.

After a shaky start, my novel Monogamy Sucks is receiving critical support from readers and fellow authors that I always hoped for. I have found an incredibly supportive writing community on Twitter that inspires me daily.

My novel Monogamy Sucks has performed well on Amazon. It has been ranked as high  #11 among Erotica novels on Amazon Kindle and is consistently ranked in sales among the top 50,000 to 100,000 in the Kindle store out of 800,000 e-books.

My next novel about Internet dating and sex is slated to come out later this summer, and I am currently working on a story for a paranormal erotica print anthology by Lazy Day Publishing that is scheduled to come out in October.

But it hasn’t always been this way. Until recently, I was an isolated writer leery of sharing my work with anyone.

Overcoming fears and doubts is one of the more daunting challenges a writer faces.

If you don’t believe in your own work, why should anyone else?

Easier said than done. From an early age, we are taught that writing — good writing is the bastion of a gifted few. Successful or lauded authors are put on a pedestal and considered to possess almost God-like powers to create stories that captivate us. I believe subconsciously we begin to believe our own stories are not worthy of telling by comparison. I know this feeling well and lived with it longer than I should have.

My own fears and doubts kept my novel Monogamy Sucks, which was recently published as an e-book by Lazy Day Publishing, in my computer for more than 12 years. I never showed my work to anyone — not even my closest friends or family.

I personally was afraid that no one would grasp my novel’s vision or understand what I was trying to do — explore the limits of monogamy through the eyes of a liberated male who goes on a taboo bending journey into the swinging lifestyle.

It wasn’t just that I was dealing with controversial subjects such as swinging, threesomes, orgies, but that I was also challenging the status quo of monogamy and writing my novel from an edgy male perspective.

Questions haunted me.

  • Would I turn off potential female readers?
  • Would I go too far and readers be put off my novel’s explicit erotic material?
  • Would readers enjoy and be amused by my main character Jake Dalmas’ dark and sarcastic sense of humor, which represents the core of my book?

I have been pleasantly surprised that female readers have embraced my novel as much as they have. However, I didn’t know if that would be the case at the time.

I also worried if there was a market for my controversial novel.  My first novel Letters From Cyberspace, which I self-published in 2001, was completely ignored, and it was a book written from the female point of view.

I also had a frustrating experience in trying to find an agent and publisher for my first book and doubted if it would be any easier with this novel.

Additionally, I was reluctant to relinquish control over the content of my novel.

So all of this anxiety conspired to keep my novel under wraps for years as I worked on draft after draft waiting to bring it out myself.

A little over a year ago in May 2010, I finally decided after much consideration to bring out my novel one chapter at a time on a dedicated blog — www.monogamysucks.wordpress.com.

I had seen a photo feature on the Huffington Post about how many bestsellers started out as blogs. I figured what did I have to lose?

Still, in the weeks and days shortly before and after my novel’s May 2010 blog launch, I dreaded what people might think.

All of my worst fears proved unfounded. I didn’t find a group of haters waiting to attack my novel, but instead found supporters and potential readers. What ultimately surprised me was the overwhelming positive response I received to my blog novel. Readers praised my novel’s humor and sexuality. They mentioned how they could relate to Jake’s foibles and experiences and wanted to read the entire book.

Two months into my blog novel experiment, Lazy Day Publishing, a new digital publisher, offered to publish my novel. It was more than I ever could have imagined.

What did I learn from all this that I can suggest to my fellow writers?

Bring some sunshine into your private writing world. Embrace the Internet. Start a blog and begin blogging about your writing experiences, and even more importantly, reveal some of your writing online. Build up your own readership and supporters. Don’t wait to be discovered by agents and publishers. Go on Twitter and Facebook and meet fellow writers and potential publishing contacts and readers.

Writers no longer need to languish in isolation and obscurity wondering if anyone will ever care about their writing projects. A new writing destiny can now be at your fingertips. You can truly make it your own.

I believe the next literary star will most likely be found on the Internet not in

University workshops or the notorious “slush” pile. Just look at what

happened to indie novelist Amanda Hocking. She was discovered through her blog and now has prosperous writing career. Stories like hers have been an inspiration for many of us writers.

The DIY revolution that made Punk Rock and independent filmmaking so thrilling has finally taken over the publishing industry.

Join it.

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George Pappas is a Los Angeles-based novelist, blogger, poet and lyricist. Lazy Day Publishing released his second novel of erotic fiction Monogamy Sucks as an e-book in December 2010. Pappas launched the first six chapters of his novel on his blog in summer 2010 after more than 12 years of writing and researching his work. His novel explores intriguing notions about monogamy, relationships, casual sex and the swinging lifestyle.

Pappas is a lifelong resident of southern California and has been writing fiction since he was 15. When he’s not writing, Pappas enjoys traveling, music, reading his favorite novelists Henry Miller and Anais Nin, watching films, exploring life’s many adventures and pleasures, and living near the ocean.

links

Twitter: http://twitter.com/gpwriter

Blog: http://monogamysucks.wordpress.com

Publisher: http://www.lazydaypub.com

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Monogamy-Sucks-ebook/dp/B004E113X4

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Monogamy-Sucks-An-Erotic-Fiction-Novel/171812426178729?v=wall

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One Insular Tahiti by Thea Atkinson

Samples are always free on Amazon

BTW: I read George’s book, and I must say, I did enjoy it–a lot. the main character is self-deprecating, which makes the ‘swinger’ angle much easier for a monogamous type reader to take. George writes flawed but likeable characters and while our genres are different, I think we have that in common. Feel free to sample One Insular Tahiti if you enjoy characters struggling with their own darkness.

Thea Atkinson is a writer of character driven fiction.

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Posted in guest blogging
10 comments on “Sexy secret to #epublishing success: @gpwriter guests
  1. Doug Fiedor says:

    Interesting post here. Funny thing is that I also wonder how women will find my novel(s) and there is zero in the way of erotica in the first book. Fact is, women who have read the first novel, Walker Chronicles, suggest that maybe I should add a few hints of a little erotica in the series. I think they are correct and so have added a couple slowly brewing love interests that is intermittently sprinkled throughout the story line.

    A few years ago I talked with a couple agents, and even a large publishing house, about other works of mine. They were interested, but I was not interested in their offer — nor the time-frame in which they do things. I found the deal at Kindle more to my liking because I am a rather fast writer. The problem is, now I have to learn advertising. . . .

    However, being retired, I have the time to play with what amounts to little more than a new hobby at the moment. Will this new hobby show an overall profit? I think so. But I don’t expect to see any significant return on the time invested for the first few months.

  2. George, thanks for sharing your inspiring story! That’s quite a catchy title.

    Scott

  3. Wendy Kelly says:

    Love hearing that persistence pays off! Always good to remember. Thanks for that. I also really appreciated the reminder about how much support is out there for us as writers. I have found that to be true so far.

    I *also* really like the idea of putting your novel out as a blog…I actually had not heard of this before. I might try it myself…

    Thanks again!

  4. gmpwrite says:

    HI Mark,
    Thanks for your thoughtful comment. There are a number of advantages of going with a digital publisher over self publishing. First off, I have a great publisher and staff at Lazy Day Publishing — who supported my book’s vision and was willing spend money on developing a great cover, editing and making my book available on a number of key sites such as Amazon Kindle, B & N, etc. In the end, they worked with me to create a professional product and we are working together on my next two books as well. They are wonderful to work with and I have no publisher horror stories to share.

    I self-published by first book and it was a frustrating experience for me. I am not saying it is that way for everyone, but right now I don’t see a reason to publish myself. That being said I am a champion for indie authors and feel there has been a real sea change in the book industry that is only starting to be realized.

    My book is available on B & N.com and other retail sites, but I see Amazon Kindle as the real leader in the industry and prefer to promote my book on their platform which is easy to use for readers. The Kindle sales rankings are also helpful for authors to determine how well their books are doing.

    Thanks again for your excellent comment

    George Pappas
    author of novel “Monogamy Sucks”

  5. eden baylee says:

    George, always nice to catch up with you on your busy schedule in cyberspace. As I’ve told you many times before, you deserve every success, and more so when I learn about the difficult and sometimes ego-deflating journey it took for you to get here.

    I’ve always believed that persistence is key, and I’m thrilled you persisted.

    eden

    • gmpwrite says:

      Dear Eden,
      Thanks so much for kind comment and continued support. I really appreciate it.
      Meeting fellow writers like yourself, who have championed my work, have made the tougher parts of my journey worth it.

      Thanks again for everything

      George Pappas
      author of novel Monogamy Sucks

  6. Jim Bronyaur says:

    Great interview. No fear, right?🙂

    I believe it was myself who once quoted the famous line… “The only thing we have to fear… is… spiders.”
    🙂

    Keep writing and keep sharing.

    -jb

    • gmpwrite says:

      Dear Jim,
      Thanks so much for kind comment about my post. I really appreciate it.

      Fear can be crippling to a writer, but overcoming mine has made all the difference for me.

      Thanks again,

      George Pappas
      author of novel Monogamy Sucks

  7. Another inspiring epub success story.

    Overcoming fear and self-doubt is the biggest hurdle for most of us. believing in yourself and your work is key.

    Especially so when an agent comes back with the rejection letter. Unless they’ve been very specific about any perceived faults then it’s likely it just wasn’t for that agent on that day. And even if they do come back with observations, it’s just their opinion. They get it wrong all the time. It’s readers that count, and now we can put our work before them directly.

    Two questions I would ask George: why go with a digital publisher and not just epublish yourself? And why no B&N link and other sales links?

    For our part, the only reason we could see value in going with a digital publisher is to get acess to B&N (only availale to US bank account holders) and the other up and coming e-outlets who currently won’t let individuals upload.

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