Monday, April 19, 2010

Grrr... that's frustrating

As I expected redesigning the web site has made it cleaner, easier to navigate and read. Unfortunately I lost my position on google. Used to be if you googled "erotic hypnosis", Hypnotic Dreams came back 5th in the results. Now I'm 23rd.

My first response was to ask: What good is having a great web site if no one finds it? But then I reminded myself that I already established my reputation in the erotic hypnosis community. I redesigned my web site as part of a new marketing strategy to enter the romance literature market and establish myself as a cr0ss-genre publisher. Now I have to figure out the next step in that strategy. How do I get google to return my site in searches for paranormal romance, romantic erotica, and hypnosis for sexual health ?

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

updating the web site

It's taken a few weeks, but I finally finished updating the web site (at least for this year). Hypnotic Dreams now looks a little more like a publisher of romantic erotica.

At first, it was a little weird changing the way I think about my recordings. Until recently, I viewed them as only appealing to a small niche community. Now I think of them as crossing several genres and potentially appealing to several different audiences. That made it necessary to update the web site; at least enough to make it 'feel' a little more like a cross-genre publisher (but without loosing the appeal to the erotic hypnosis community).

Well, I think I've got it; at least for now. I'll probably have to make more changes as the project continues to grow. But one step at a time; and maybe someday I will be a full-fledged, self-published, world-renown (though completely anonymous) best-selling author.

One thing that just occurred to me, this change in my marketing approach could help people feel a little more comfortable sharing Hypnotic Dreams with friends and lovers.

Monday, April 12, 2010

What's taking so long?

A couple of people have asked why it's taking so long to record Demon Seed and my other scripts. So I thought I'd answer them here.

For me, recording these scripts is a bit like voice acting. I like to project passion and energy into the stories as I tell them. The listeners can hear and even feel my passion, which helps engage them in the stories. If/when I don't feel that energy, the recording sessions don't feel right, don't sound satisfactory to me, and don't meet my quality standards.

The past few months, I was struggling with a nearly continuous allergic reaction, which really sapped my strength. So I wasn't able to produce a good quality recording. I finally figured out that I'm allergic to potassium sorbate (which is an additive in the prunes), and now that I've eliminated it from my diet, I'm starting to feel my energy return.

It also helps that I can bicycle again. So hopefully it won't be too much longer.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Common Sense on Barns & Noble

I just caught wind of the article Judy Blume: Too hot for sixth grade. I'll be the first to admit that none of my audio stories are fit for a sixth grader. But the article discusses two topics that caught my attention.

First, "age appropriate" ratings. The article describes how the B&N web site only lists Common Sense Media's age ratings without describing how that rating was decided. As the article's author states, people mature at different rates, and what will interest one person at age 10 won't interest another until their 13. I for one, didn't develop an interest in sexually-related literature until I was in my late twenties. And didn't even learn about BDSM literature until my late 30s. Had anyone tried to tell me anything about sex while I was in highschool, I'd have dismissed them as a nuisance.

But on the internet, I have chatted with men and women whose interests in BDSM developed anywhere from the ages of 13 to 45. While I'd never introduce a 13 year old to BDSM, when one asked me some well thought-out questions, I answered her honestly. But had I given that same information to a 30 year old who wasn't remotely interested, it would have gone in one ear and out the other. So I've come to the opinion that "age appropriate" ratings are rarely useful.

The article also quoted author Sarah Dessen as saying, "I worry it's breaking a book down into these pieces that don't do justice to the whole." I understand this concern, but I also understand that many people who read fetish literature deliberately look for those pieces.

As an author, I understand what Dessen is saying. Every novel is a work of art that is crafted; ideas are presented with technique and skill and integrated into an adventure. If I tell you that a novel is about a time traveler who meets different philosophers from the 11th-19th century, does that tell you how well the author treats the philosophical arguments within the context of the book? Does it tell you if the character will be interesting to you? I think not. Likewise, if I tell you that one of my recordings shows you how to accept sexual submission, does that tell you how well I treat the subject within the context of the recording or if you'll be able to identify with the character? Not likely; You need a detailed read (or listen) to discover this for yourself.

Terry Pratchett's novels Going Postal and Small Gods are great examples. The man is a genius satirist. No half-page description can do justice to the art he creates in those full-length novels.

But listing the "pieces", the elements of the story, do help people decide whether the book or recording will be interesting to them. When I bought femdom erotic hypnosis recordings, I specifically looked for recordings that included conditioning and triggered erections. And I specifically tried to avoid recordings with smoking or humiliation. I got very upset with Lady Lita after buying her Harem - Eastern Delight recording because the recording included a smoking scene that wasn't identified on her web page. I was equally upset with MzDominica because her descriptions didn't mention that the recording I bought contained humiliation.

So marketing sometimes needs to be about the pieces; even though the story is so much more.