Thursday, October 25, 2007

Miss Viola on Promotional Double Life

Hello dahlinks! Miss Viola here.

I’ve just returned from a week at the most marvelous spa in Sedona with one of my best friends (you all know her as the famous hostess of a hugely popular TV show and magazine) only to find my inbox heating up faster than the last episode of Desperate Housewives.

I currently write YA fiction novels but would like to delve into writing erotica/adult romance in the future. I know I'll need a pseudonym for this venture (and have come up with a name already), but how can I promote books from opposite genres? Sign me Steamy in Stanton

Dear Steamy,

Just as you will spend twice as much time writing, you will now have to spend twice as much time marketing. And unfortunately, in this case, one genre cannot build upon the other.

No, no, just like a Michael Jackson before and after photo, you will need to create two completely separate personas for yourself and your books. And really, you might even consider using two separate computers, so that the two will never come into contact with each other, rather like Madonna’s bre@$ts when she wears those leather brassieres.

No, no. I jest. It’s all this talk of erotica. (Is it hot in here or is it just moi?)

Sometimes when authors write for different genres, their pseudonym is an open secret. For example, when a NYT bestselling author began writing dark mystery thrillers in addition to romance, her publishing team came to me and I advised her to write the mysteries under a pseudonym, then let everyone know that it was her in a wink::wink sort of way. Unfortunately, this won’t work in your case.

Logistically, you will need to do everything that you are currently doing for your YA books, then turn around and do just as much work under a different name and targeted to different marketing contacts for your erotica.

One thing that will save this from feeling like a frustrating duplication of effort is that they have significantly different distribution channels. For example (other than in California) school libraries buy very little erotica, so your marketing efforts for that genre will be much more consumer oriented—a website, online contests and giveaways, that sort of thing. Also, many erotica authors keep a low public profile, preferring to connect with their readers over the web in order to maintain their personal privacy, so oftentimes booksignings and readings are less of a factor for this genre than YA.

However, children’s book writers who also write erotica are not uncommon. One famous NY agent I know told me that half his stable of children’s authors were writing or had written erotica at one point in time. For example, no one knows that Dr. Seuss and Henry Miller were one and the same, do they?* Or that the woman who wrote the Nancy Drew mysteries also wrote under the name Anais Nin.* If they can keep them separate, so can you.

And that’s all I have time for today, my dears! I’m off to give poor Marie Osmond a brush up on her dancing lessons!

*[Robin here. After a number of emails this morning, Miss Viola wanted me to put in a post script for her. She says: (and I quote) Dr. Seuss and Nancy Drew was a joke, darlings. Call off The National Enquirer!]


Mary Hershey said...

Thanks, Ms. Vi! Wow-- interesting stuff about the number of children's writers also doing erotica. Who KNEW???

And, do be kind with Marie-- love her!

Mary Hershey

liquidambar said...

There is a rumor that you yourself, Miss Vi, have an alternate personality. Does this give a person more freedom than having only one?

Mary Hershey said...

Dear Steamy in Stanton,

Please email me off-line and let me know your mailing address so I can send you one of our SVP coffee/tea mugs, courtesy of the Divine Ms. Viola.

Congrats on getting your question selected and DO keep us posted as to your progress with your double life!