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Discussion Starter #1
UPDATED QUESTION:

Instead of erotica, because I've almost certainly crossed that off the list...

Should I write "More Adult Theme'd" stuff on the side of my main UF series under a different series title (that plays off the original series title to let others know it is still related to that world, but definitely suggests a more adult-themed series. I already have this name in mind.) with warnings that this series is darker than the regular series and has more adult themes?

Does that seem more doable than writing erotica on the side?

I can tell the darker tales, but try not to get beyond "pretty steamy" with it?


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An idea my wife and I have been toying with is putting up Erotica of characters from the world I'm writing my UF in on the side of the main novels.
We have a really catchy name for the Erotica-only side of the series that incorporates the main world name.

We wanted to do this for two reasons: 1. To tell the stories of some of the more racy and taboo characters in the main world. 2. All those success stories we see with big numbers seem to involve erotica writers...

Though to be honest, the first thought was because we wanted to tell the stories of some of those characters that might be a little out there for typical UF stuff.
Not that I'm completely sure on that. Succubus, Demon, Devil... I imagine those can fit in UF pretty easily, even if they do some pretty Adult-oriented things, right?

Still, easier to tell their tales if the audience is expecting the full experience that they'd offer.

Ultimately though, what I'm wanting to do is tell their STORIES and sex would be involved, so I am considering how best to do that.


I picked up an erotica title last night on my Kindle Prime borrow just because I've never read one, ever. I did my best to find one that sounded interesting, but once I dug into it, damn it was boring. I mean, so, so boring. I like sex. I really enjoy sexy stories when I run across them. But the erotica I picked up was either AWFUL or it spells doom to me for what the genre is all about. I guess I just expected it to be more a story with awesome sex scenes than... I dunno, a play-by-play of someone's fantasy as written by someone who has no idea what real sex or worse, real people are like? Maybe I got a bad title. Maybe. But it left me wondering if my kind of "erotica" story is even really erotica. Or if it's something else. Maybe VERY adult fiction?

Anyway, to get down to the real questions here:

1. Does this sound like a good/viable idea? Putting out an erotic/more adult series that belongs in the same world as my main UF?
2. Does this sound more like erotica or something else? Is there something else?
3. Is it okay to write something very adult with my name if I write something more general UF first?
4. I also considered short stories on the side of my novel series with love scenes with more detail between the MC and her love interest. Thoughts?
 

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My advice, try to write it.  Publish if it is good.    And yes good erotica is getting harder to find.
 

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As an erotica writer I can tell you got pure smut. There are different types of stories in erotica. Some don't have much of a story line, others do. You have to pick and choose your author according to the kinks they write about.
 

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cinisajoy said:
My advice, try to write it. Publish if it is good. And yes good erotica is getting harder to find.
Thats because they're all moving to erom and NA. I'm making that jump myself with the one I'm working on now. I'm gonna need a beta reader for that. Do you happen to know one, hint.
 

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I think if your main story isn't pretty spicy to start... I'd avoid it.  If your story is racy and has some sex scenes, then it could work... but aside from that, I'd make up a new world to really let your prawn flag fly. :)
 

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Discussion Starter #6
The main story has some sex in it. Not going for play-by-play, but I am going for the realistic insertion of sex in the world as it exists.
(No pun intended there.)

I can't make up a new world for this. These stories are already written in a sense. I just need to write them *down*. And the characters in the world are characters I would LOVE to tell the stories of. I don't think I can tell some of them without sex. (Again, Succubus, Demon, Devil, etc...) And some of them have some pretty racy concepts behind them.

I just think of what I, personally, would like. If Jim Butcher threw down a series next to Dresden Files that was set in Dresden Files but followed a White Court Vampire character more closely and thus told me about a lot of sexual stuff, I'd snap that up. I'd be all over it. Why? Because I LOVE his *world*. I love White Court Vampires. I'd love to read more about one. And if it was sexy? Okay! Awesome. That sounds great.

Though, I'd personally prefer it be "Sexy" not "Smut". And maybe that's more what I should aim for?
Essentially writing the "sexier" parts as "Steamier than the main series, but not smut"??
 

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carinasanfey said:
Remember that not all readers are you, and readers are the ones who decide whether or not to buy your books, or how many stars to give you in a review. I think doing something like this could have a very negative effect on the sales of your UF work.

Yes you can. Trying to maintain your own personal standards of integrity could really hurt your sales, and any writer worth their salt - and, judging from your articulate and interesting posts on this forum, this most definitely includes you - can transfer their characters into another world and into other bodies without sacrificing the story or the sense of who the characters are.

My advice? Write the stories, change the characters and the world, and consider publishing them under a pen name. I think you'd be shooting yourself in the foot otherwise.

Disclaimer: This is just my opinion. Feel free to ignore it, it may well be a load of rubbish. 8)
I took an erotica story and am in the process of turning it into a thriller under a new title and my thriller pen name. I wouldn't have even considered using the same name, though. I can't imagine the number of readers I would offend if they clicked on my erotica page. I came back here to add I actually had a nightmare I clicked on the wrong chimp mail list and sent erotica to thriller readers. I am so paranoid about doing this.
 

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I would say if you have doubts just release it under a pen-name. Maybe just a short story to see what happens. You could judge from there based on reader reaction.

Good luck!
 

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I was considering something similar (same universe, different characters). Because every time I play around with writing Adult Situations, it gets done five times faster than my usual stuff. FML.

Ultimately, to avoid turning off readers when I get them...someday, I decided to re-skin the sidestory as a separate universe, under a different pen name. Because people who are reading New Adult fantasy may or may not want to read racier stuff, and honestly, vice versa. They might cross over, sure. It may be more likely that UF readers will cross over into erotica.

But here was what scared me off in the end: Whichever one a reader lands on first, they're going to assume that the rest is of a similar flavor. They'll excitedly follow your catalog down the line until they hit the other side of the divide, then you run the risk that they'll feel cheated - no matter which side they started on! "Why are people suddenly getting naked / why is nobody getting naked?!" I think that's the key issue, establishing expectations of what your name as an author "means".

It can still be UF, and honestly the characters can probably stay more or less the same and renamed. Or play around with ideas that didn't make it into the main story! Or whatever you want.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I think one of the biggest problems that isn't clear in my original post is this:

My Urban Fantasy is set in a world with rules and concepts that I've been working on for over a decade with my wife.

All the characters I want to write about are part of THAT world and belong in it, and exist because of it.

Writing it in a separate universe under a pen name isn't an option.

I either write it or I don't, but it's content from the same world, so it can't really be separated.

I feel I'd run the risk of having 1 star reviews on the pen name from people saying "It's a knock-off of Shei Darksbane's world..."

What about the idea of just writing something that is a bit more strongly adult-themed and not going erotica-level on the sex scenes with it?
 

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I think if you do this, you're going to run into three types of people:

1. Those who, like you, would snap the stories up.
2. Those who are uncomfortable about it, quite possibly enough to stop reading the tamer stories.
3. Those who don't want to read erotica and will just ignore the erotic stories (make sure the erotic stories are clearly labeled!)

You have to decide what kind of audience you want to have. If you do this, your core audience will probably become the people who are into getting sexy(er) stories on the side. They are the Laurel K. Hamilton crowd, and you'd have made them happy whether you put the sexier stuff on the side or right in the books. They buy a good bit of books, so it's not like you'd be whittling your audience down to a tiny crowd. You would probably lose readers who worry that the extra-sexy will cross over into the regular books-these would be the same people who gave up on the LKH books by the time they turned into sex fests. They're don't want explicit sex. I have no idea how big the third group might be, the ones who'll just ignore your well-labeled erotica.

Essentially you could either be narrowing your potential audience to only those who are comfortable with explicit releases in the story world, or you could be widening it to grab both the readers who like UF that isn't heavily focused on sex and those who like a lot of heat. (It occurs to me as I type this that the people who are looking for the sex might be just as disappointed by the less sex-focused books as the people are looking for non-sex-focused books are by the sex-focused ones.)

I kind of lean toward the advice that if you're going to branch out to erotica you might want to do it with a different story world and pen name. It's not quite the same thing as saying, "What if I wanted to make an offshoot of my UF series that's a UF romance series?" Erotica can bring out some highly charged reactions from people.

On the other hand, you're just starting out and so don't have a lot to lose by giving it a try. It's not like if Jim Butcher suddenly started putting out erotica about his characters/story world-he has existing fans who'd be all, "WTF?" You're at the start of your career; you can begin shaping audience expectations right here.

So then it's a matter of what do you want to do-divide your time and resources between the two audiences, both sides of which will be demanding more story in the vein they prefer reading, or focus on satisfying one side with book after book of what they're looking for?
 

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Arshness said:
What about the idea of just writing something that is a bit more strongly adult-themed and not going erotica-level on the sex scenes with it?
Again, that's a question of deciding what audience you want. Where do you see yourself five years from now-not what do you see yourself writing, but what do you see yourself known for? Write for that audience, whatever it is.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
No need to apologize Colorwheel. I realized it wasn't clear so I clarified. :)

Z. Rider said:
Again, that's a question of deciding what audience you want. Where do you see yourself five years from now--not what do you see yourself writing, but what do you see yourself known for? Write for that audience, whatever it is.
Uh... I'm supposed to KNOW what kind of audience I want?? I just want *people* to like my book... I dunno what kind of audience they are...

Okay seriously, I have no preconceptions about my audience. Crap.

What do I see myself known for?

Shei Darksbane, author of the hit Urban Fantasy series: Dreamweave Chronicles.
Dakota Shepherd is the next "Harry Dresden" or "Mercy Thompson".
*waves to the crowd of adoring fans waving e-readers they'd like me to sign*

I can dream big if you let me get going... ;)
I guess I just generally felt that people with any decent sense of humor and who enjoy good stories would like my book. Beyond that, I've never deeply considered it.
 

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Arshness said:
No need to apologize Colorwheel. I realized it wasn't clear so I clarified. :)

Uh... I'm supposed to KNOW what kind of audience I want?? I just want *people* to like my book... I dunno what kind of audience they are...

Okay seriously, I have no preconceptions about my audience. Crap.

What do I see myself known for?

Shei Darksbane, author of the hit Urban Fantasy series: Dreamweave Chronicles.
Dakota Shepherd is the next "Harry Dresden" or "Mercy Thompson".
*waves to the crowd of adoring fans waving e-readers they'd like me to sign*

I can dream big if you let me get going... ;)
I guess I just generally felt that people with any decent sense of humor and who enjoy good stories would like my book. Beyond that, I've never deeply considered it.
You will get a very specific type of reader with erotica, so definitely be sure you want to target that audience. Also, erotica is not a one time genre. They'd expect you to be really prolific and give them more or you'd sink in the algorithms pretty fast and it likely wouldn't be worth the trouble. Do you want to write erotica regularly? Just food for thought.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
I think the answer to that question is: I don't really want to write erotica. At least I don't think I do. I DO want to make money off my writing, and I DO want to tell stories about some characters with some racier parts to them. (Succubus, Demon, Devil again). But I don't really care about writing play-by-plays of sex.

I think the ultimate thing I need to do with this thread is start it over from a new angle.

The question has evolved in my mind from "Should I Erotica on the side?" To "Should I more adult-themed stories on the side?"
 

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You can do racier scenes in your books.  Read a couple of the Anita Blake series after book 6.  I think 15 is the raciest.
 

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Arshness said:
I think the answer to that question is: I don't really want to write erotica. At least I don't think I do. I DO want to make money off my writing, and I DO want to tell stories about some characters with some racier parts to them. (Succubus, Demon, Devil again). But I don't really care about writing play-by-plays of sex.

I think the ultimate thing I need to do with this thread is start it over from a new angle.

The question has evolved in my mind from "Should I Erotica on the side?" To "Should I more adult-themed stories on the side?"
I think you'd do better just sticking to more adult-themed then. Erotica can be taxing for those who don't really want to do it.
 

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could you write it where it was less explicit than erotic, but still more graphic than the actual series is and place it in para romance, NA, or something like that? You can get away with a lot in the romance catagory. Maybe you could put a banner or something on the covers that let people know they are in for something a bit more graphic. I'm sure some of the readers might translate over provided it's not just a F*** fest wrapped in a nice cover...
 

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Discussion Starter #20
cinisajoy said:
You can do racier scenes in your books. Read a couple of the Anita Blake series after book 6. I think 15 is the raciest.
Anyone ever read Winter Pennington?? Kassandra Lyall Book 3 was SEX SEX SEX SEX oh look a wild plot appeared but it was full of SEX SEX SEX SEX

... and I guess while I was a little annoyed at the feeling that the plot in that book was more about the sex life of the character than the plot that felt almost shoehorned into the sex...

Well, I suppose I was not completely turned off to the series by it because I was still hoping for Book 4.

That said, that series opened with a steaminess level maybe on par with or slightly heavier than mine... so by book three it was beyond the threshold of what I want for my main UF yet probably closer to what I'd need for the adult-themed stories.

Maybe part of the issue is I'm not very clear on what makes Erotica and what is just sexy-scenes in a non-erotica book.
 
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