Friday, July 27, 2012

You Know You've Made It When You Become Grocery Store Talk

"I googled it, Sir"~Brie
If you have read Brie Practices Her Oral Skills, then you know the humorous line, "I googled it, Sir," spoken by Brie in front of the panel of trainers. We have joked on my FB page that it would be fun if women everywhere knew the meaning of it and used that line with others. It would be like our secret code...

I never really thought it would happen until one of my fans, Victoria Webster, shared a story with me last night. Rather than retell it, I will repost it in her own words:

Just now in the grocery store...

Friend #1: I can't believe you read that stuff!
Friend #2: 50 shades is not smut!
#1: Yes, it is!
#2: it's like a manual. John and I have never been so adventurous!
#1: is that why you need lube? you are going to hell!
#2: more like the red room of pain.
Me: giggling...
#2: really, the ideas are endless. And I found this new author who is better! It's this story about this girl named Brie...
#1: I don't want to know.
# 2: I mean I couldn't put it down. I read the whole thing in one night.
Me: I googled it, sir!
#2: high fives me and hysterical laughter ensues.
#1: saunters off to the meats.

I never thought that Brie (much less the line "I googled it, Sir.") would actually become common chatter at a grocery store. That signifies true success to this little indie author!

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Red's Editor and Friend: Tameika Ortiz

Tameika Ortiz

A few months ago I blogged about my horrible editing skills and that's when Tameika Ortiz emailed me offering her expertise. The stories you love (including the Brie series) have been improved by Tameika's magic touch.

As far as the storyline, I totally count on her to give it to me straight. She tells me where my characters are lacking, details that need to be added or conversations that need a little tweaking. She does all that in the kindest, most encouraging way. I love getting her emails!

I had one book, Blissfully Broken, which had its publishing date postponed because of Tameika's dedication to me as a writer. She told me that she didn't feel the story was quite there yet and that it didn't have the "Red Phoenix" feel to it. Despite my disappointment, her words rang true and a month later I finally published the novelette - one that is very much Red Phoenix. ;)

Another example of her "magic" is found in the story Brie Lives Her Fantasy. She suggested I detail the Rytsar's physique and include a tattoo. What would that sexy Dom be without his dragon tattoo? She also suggested that the man rip off his clothes as he stalks Brie. That has got to be one of the sexiest scenes in the book! Those small but essential details give the extra "punch" in the scene to make it more memorable.

I count on Tameika to open my eyes to simple changes that ensure my characters remain consistent and make individual scenes pop!

If you would like to contact Tameika for a little indie encouragement or help here is a link to her website: Indie Edits

Oh, there is one more thing: Tameika has a wickedly fun sense of humor!

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Brie Embraces Bondage... The Sixth in the Series by Red Phoenix

Brie Embraces Bondage available on Smashwords and Amazon

I have been looking forward to writing this particular book for a while. Bondage is an area that interests me and it's been fun exploring it with Brie. She experiences all kinds of alluring scenarios she's been afraid to approach, because of the freedom bondage affords her. I know some of you are wondering how bondage can equal freedom. Well, it can...

Brie Embraces Bondage:

Brie is thrilled when the Submissive Training Center focuses a whole week on bondage lessons. Little does the inexperienced sub know what's in store. Brie explores areas she has been reluctant to tread and finally discovers what has been holding her back. The call of the rope opens her to new experiences that leave her panting with bated breath for more.

This wickedly arousing novelette encompasses an entire week of Brie’s submissive training, including her third Auction Day.

Brie longs to delve into the world of bondage and finally gets her chance at the center. She personally encounters the "mighty" male model, her trainer Master Coen, and later surrenders to another lesson with Marquis Gray. In answering the call of the rope, Brie discovers new avenues of pleasure. But there is a hefty price to be paid when her heart becomes torn between two masters.

Adult Material (18+)

Warning: This book contains sexually explicit content and scenes that some readers may find objectionable.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Fan Art For Red Phoenix: "I Googled It, Sir"

Sexy Phoenix by Donna Baldwin
I, Red Phoenix, have the most awesome fans in the world! I say that with a straight face and a full heart. They are amazing, funny, and extremely talented. As proof of that fact, I present to you the unique art inspired from the punchline in Brie Practices Her Oral Skills (Book #5 of the Brie series) - "I googled it, Sir". (If you want to know why it's so funny, you'll just have to read the book.)

Banner by Brandi Rohr-Sandlin (used on my FB page)

Very 1st shirt by Becki Wyer
To be honest, when I wrote that line I laughed so hard I had to wipe the tears from my eyes. Good ol' Brie!

After reading the book, fan Juanita Blau found the punchline so humorous she suggested it should be made into a shirt & history was made. It became a little movement on our FB page. I decided to share their passion, talent, and good humor with the rest of the world - enjoy.

Colorful banner by Laura Olson

Phoenix Mask T-shirt by Juanita Blau


PS - a few people asked if I could just make a t-shirt for them to buy. After getting legal permission from Zazzle, I am pleased to present the official "I goggled it, Sir" T-shirt.

* The beautiful Phoenix you see gracing all of my book covers is now available to you. Nicole Delfs (creator of the phoenix) donated the beautiful creature to me. The two of us will share equally in any profits made from Zazzle, because I am enamored with the lovely bird and wanted to share her with the rest of the world.

If you have any suggestions of products you'd like to see, leave a comment and we will see about making that a reality for you.

"I googled it, Sir" ~ Brie  ;)

Saturday, July 14, 2012

How Should You Take Bad Reviews as an Indie Author?

You suck!
Bad Reviews, Everyone Gets Them

Bad reviews are inevitable. It is the natural way of things, because people are different and tastes are different. Early on in my writing, I got slammed by readers on B&N. The reviews were harsh and made me question myself as a writer. It forced me to decide why I was writing. Was I writing for others or was I writing for my own enjoyment?

Turns out, I am writing for me. I love bringing my characters to life and seeing how their stories unfold. It is a high like no other. At the time, I chose to ignore the reviews even though they hurt. I chose not to let someone else decide what I would do with my life.

Had I listened to those depressing reviews Luke and Tesse, Dan, Jenny and Ryan, and sassy little Brie would never have been born into the world. Their voices would have remained silent.

Follow you heart, authors. Ebooks allow us to write without anyone losing money if we fail. We have the freedom to let our imaginations soar. Yes, look at the bad reviews to see if there is something you can improve on. You should always be willing to grow. However, don't let it kill your dream if you know you are meant to write.

Something else to keep in mind: The people who write bad reviews are generally not your audience. It is okay if they don't like your work, because they aren't the people you are trying to reach. 

* If you want to check out my nasty reviews (you know you want to), here's a link. FYI, Amy does NOT do her cousin.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Should Indie Authors Charge $2.99 for Short Books?

You Want to Charge $3 for 35 Pages???

I charge .99 because I am a reader as well as a writer, and I want to make my books affordable. However, I wonder if am I losing potential readers because of my price.

I really want to know what readers think on this one. If you are familiar with my work, you know I normally write novelettes (between 12,000 - 18,000 words). I personally like erotica at that length and feel comfortable charging .99. I am confident it is worth at least that much for the hot sex scenes. ;)

I have been noticing other erotica authors charging 2.99 for the same length novelettes and I am a little shocked, especially if it is part of a series. If an author charges that much for five novelettes within a series, he/she has just made the reader pay $15 bucks for what ends up being a simple novel by the end. That is a lot of money!

* For those not in the industry, an indie author makes 35% for books under 2.99 and 70% for any books sold 2.99 or higher on Amazon. There is a financial incentive for charging more.

However, I think 2.99 is too much for books under 20,000 words. Yet if you look on Amazon's erotica list right now, you will see the series Anything He Wants is doing VERY well, even though reviewers are complaining about the price of the last two novelettes.

So, my question is this:

Do you generally feel that a book is more viable if there is a higher price attached to it - no matter the length?

Let me put it more bluntly...

Do you feel a  .99 book is normally not worth reading?

Friday, July 6, 2012

June Numbers for Red Phoenix on Amazon

If you write with love, it will show up in your work similar to when chefs bake love into their creations.  You can just taste it...

I was excited to see what June would bring. May had been such a good month, but I must admit that part of me feared it was a fluke. I am happy to say June exceeded all my expectations. The most I hoped for was to double my sales, but they tripled and I have my many readers to thank for that!

Not only did I publish the fifth in the Brie series this June, but I was also able to release the third in the Blissful Series. Two accomplishments I am proud of. Based on the reviews for both, I am thrilled that readers are happy with my newest work. :)

Again, all of my books are getting attention (sales/downloads) and that is gratifying. I love the characters I write about, so it's awesome that my older work is getting more notice now. Again, thank you.

For the Month of June 2012:

18,021 Total books sold
60,329 Total Freebies Downloaded

Best Sellers for the Month of June:

Paid - Brie Learns to Obey  4799, Brie Lives Her Fantasy 4134, and  Brie Learns Her Power as a Submissive 3766

Freebies - Deeper Baby! 17,317, Brie's First Day of Submissive Training 14,816 and Blissfully Snowbound 8550

* For the month of June I added two books on Amazon and another book went FREE. 
   (I now have a total of 11 freebies on Amazon.)

Quick Recap of Past Months:
Brie #5 is doing well.

May 2012:
6,079 books purchased
71,212 freebies downloaded


878 books purchased         
29,879 freebies downloaded 

693 books purchased
27,571 freebies downloaded 

298 books purchased         
12,386 freebies downloaded

What I am Learning:

You can see that my freebie downloads are starting to slow. (Although, who can complain when the paid ones jumped up so high?) However, what it tells me is that an author needs to keep writing and moving forward. You can't sit back and expect your older books to carry on like they have. Bring something new to the table but always, ALWAYS have fun in the process. I think if you start to overwork yourself to the point of resentment or publish a book too soon due to pressure, it will only end up hurting you.

Here's an example: I was set to publish Blissfully Broken in May. I thought I was ready but my editor, Tameika Ortiz, and my beta reader both said it was lacking. I postponed the release and retooled it. My readers expect and deserve only my best - deadline or no deadline.

I shall update you next month to see how July pans out. Thanks for joining me on this journey. I hope it will encourage other aspiring writers to take the leap. :) 

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Blissfully Broken: Third in the Blissfully Series

I know some of you have been waiting quite a while to find out what happened to Dan, Jenny and Ryan. Your wait is finally over! Blissfully Broken is now out on Amazon and Smashwords and is one HOT novelette full of sexy encounters - and a little taste of revenge. This book was a struggle for me because I came down with pneumonia and tried to write through it. Well... I was set to publish last month, but needed to go back and tweak a little. I am proud to offer you this exciting peek into the lives of two men loving one woman.

Blissfully Broken

Jenny is living the dream of a ménage a trois with two passionate men. The sex is delicious, but the intense love of both men makes it that much sweeter. There is only one problem. Jenny betrayed her best friend when she accidently fell in love with Dan. Revenge and a proposal are in their future and may be enough to unravel the sexy threesome.

This racy novelette is the third in the Blissful series exploring the sexual creativity of a FMM ménage a trois involving one woman and two hot men.

Extended description:

Dan, Jenny and Ryan have chosen to live a legitimate ménage a trois. Both men are in love with Jenny and are willing to share her. Dan moves in with the couple and the three experiment with the sexual possibilities of two men loving one woman. Unfortunately, Jenny’s ex girlfriend is intent on revenge. Kelly uses one of the men to create a crack between the three. Can Jenny protect the unique relationship before the fracture grows large enough to shatter their beautiful arrangement?

Adult Material (18+)

Warning: This book contains sexually explicit content and scenes that some readers may find objectionable.