When I first started the journey of self publication I thought it might be difficult. I had done some research and found a mixed bag of results in the online retail stores between Quality and Unspeakably Bad and the vast abyss between these two points. Quality always stands out. A polished product with a pretty package and quality content will always rise above the mediocrity of so-so production and half-ass content or just plain old trying to rip a reader off.
When I started it was always my intent to produce high quality Erotica at a value price that everyone could afford and in doing so not only would the reader be happy but also so would I knowing I had done right by them. But, like I said, that was my intent and we all know about good intentions...lol
What I learned was that I could write a pretty good erotica story. More importantly I learned-this was way harder than I first anticipated- and boy did I need to find some help fast if I wanted to meet the demands I had set for myself and give my readers the polished product they deserved regardless of price. What could I do?
Here's the part where I knew I had to put myself and my trust out there and share what I was up to with a few friends. One of the first people I brought on board(besides my wife of course who had always believed in me)was my long time friend Brandi. Brandi has helped me by correcting numerous errors in my text as well as pushing sentences in much needed directions and also letting me know what works and what needs work. From her input alone I saw a big increase in the quality of my writing and was able to carry that forward. So, to Brandi: Thank you friend because as always you have had my back!
Next I met a few ladies that helped my confidence along and did the best thing for a writer that one can do. What is that you ask? Honest Feedback. If a friend of yours reads what you have written and says its perfect; they wouldn't change a thing! Guess what? They are lying to protect your feelings.That does not help you develop at all. Aww...but I made some good and kind friends who know how to criticize while building you up at the same time. We'll call them Ashley and Beth. Ladies,as always, you have done me a great service time and time again. Thank You both for helping me again and again!
Now, I have some editing, and some beta/proof readers, some guffaws when I screw up and even some women to let me know if the way I write women is not only erotic but also honest, respectful, and believable. This is all starting to come together. What else could I use to improve my writing?
Enter Mia Downing, respected author with a keen eye for bad grammar and a propensity to call you out on it in many finger wagging ways. I should mention, however, that each and every way is filled with truth and a true willingness to help you better yourself. She found me, taught me some things my stories desperately needed corrected and is still educating me. Another piece of the puzzle in place. Thank You Mia!
But I know I am still missing something. Oh Yeah! Quality cover designs!!! Well, here is where I am my most weakest and vulnerable. Not only do I completely SUCK with any kind of photo cover designing program that I have tried but I also just don't have a designers eye. Here's the part of the post where a chance encounter comes into play. Vibhu, another author and a gentle soul that sings the praises of love and friendship introduced me to Aphrodite Smiles. For this act alone I shall ever be indebted to him. His generosity and unselfishness paved the way to not only me meeting an Incredible Cover Designer but also to developing a great new friendship and Collaborater.
Aphrodite Smiles ties the total package together with great cover designs and puts the finishing polish and Big Shiny Bow on the product making each book shine like a star in the night sky. Thank You Aphrodite for your incredible work and amazing artistic eye.
So self publishing was my passion but along the way when I needed to learn and grow it was the friendships existing and new and the random acts of kindness that helped put together an end product I am proud to offer my customers. So unless you are a super person I would suggest taking any help that comes your way. Friends, the kind that can tell you like it is without being mean, are going to aid you in more ways than you could know and they will be your staunchest supporters and keep your creativity fresh and thriving. Thanks to All!!! Chase