Today, I am posting an interview with romance and erotica writer Harris Channing.
Some of the topics we touch on are writing in different genres, secret identities, and the huge popularity of erotica e-books.
Hi Harris, thanks for taking the time to answer some questions. There’s plenty of stuff I want to ask about, but I have to get one thing out of the way first. Does sex sell?
The short answer is yes…but there are degrees of success. The big thing right now in the field of erotic romance is the ménage. And I have yet to write one of those, but according to a lot of writers and publishers, those are the best sellers.
I see you that while you bill yourself as an “erotic and mainstream romance” writer, you actually write all sorts of stuff. Can you tell us about some of your books?
Up until this year, my only releases were in the erotic romance field. But in February I got my courage up and self-published my mainstream, paranormal romance The Demon Is In the Details. It has done better than I expected and I’m in the process of outlining a sequel.
With the relative success of Demon, I self-pubbed a Regency romance called An Unwilling Baroness.
I enjoyed this story so much that I’m in the process of writing an erotic Regency. Of course that’s not new to me. My erotic romance, Goldie and the Three Behrs, is a Regency romance.
Some of your titles have paranormal elements, others are historical romances, and others again are straight erotica or romantic suspense. Do you have to build a fresh audience in each sub-genre or do you get a lot of crossover?
To be honest with you, I’m not sure. I rarely hear from readers. But I do know what works for me, and I wouldn’t know how to do it any other way.
You write erotica as well as romance. For our readers who may be unfamiliar, where is the dividing line? Do you use separate names?
I considered using different names for each genre, but Harris has been around since 2007 and I didn’t want to change and try to rebuild. As anyone trying to get their name out there knows, it’s difficult, especially when there so many people writing. I even started a Facebook Page for my ‘other’ persona – Christiana Cameron. Poor girl, never gets any attention.
As for a dividing line, that’s in the product and website description. Being unheard of does have its benefits! Readers really don’t have an expectation as to what sort of book I’m going to be publishing.
Erotica has done particularly well in digital form. Why do you think that is?
See your question above – sex sells. Also, a Kindle with erotica is like a brown paper bag to a bum. Is it booze in there or a half-gallon of milk? Let’s face it, erotica, like many romance novels, is not something you want your boss to see you reading. Unfortunate for writers, but a fact, nonetheless.
Some commentators have speculated that readers are free to read in public without the giveaway of a lurid cover, or that they will have less embarrassment taking the book to the cashier. Do you think there is anything in that?
Yes…like I said, the covers are something I’m proud of, but would I want to run into my preacher at Wal-Mart with a copy of The Kama Sutra? Nope.
Do you write under a pseudonym?
Yes. Harris is my alter ego…but I like her.
Are there any practical difficulties with writing under a pseudonym? Who do Amazon cut the checks to?
The only worry I’ve ever had is with a copyright notice using my real name. My last name is not Smith or Jones, so I’d rather keep it to myself. As for checks? No problem. Amazon has been very good about masking my true identity…sounds cloak and dagger doesn’t it? It’s not. Just my personal preference.
A lot of the romance and erotica writers on Kindle Boards seem to get a huge portion of their sales from Barnes & Noble. For most other indie writers it’s only 10% to 20% (if that). Do you know why this is?
No. The simple truth is, in my case, Amazon is where my books do best…all of my genres.
I notice you have a free short story on your blog, and it seems that more and more indie writers are incorporating some free content as part of their overall strategy. Has it hooked you more readers?
I believe so. Anyway you can get word about yourself or your work out there, you should follow through. It’s important, albeit time consuming.
Finally, what advice would you give to a writer starting out on the self-publishing path? What do you wish you did differently, or what advice do you wish you had received?
I’d give any writer, those shooting for self-publishing or traditional publishing the same advice. Do the best work you can, read and write, and read and write. Study the craft and put your best work out there.
Thanks for having me today, David. Happy reading everyone. Hugs,
Stella Campbell has come back to Silverton, Georgia to bury her wicked witch of an aunt. But is she strong enough to endure what’s to come? Zane Weathers has been around a long time, like, two thousand years. But he’s never met anyone who touches his warrior soul, like Stella. Together they must face not only personal obstacles, but obstacles straight from hell!
An Unwilling Baroness:
Three years ago, Chloe allowed her heart’s desire to leave her. Now Jude is back, but between his mother, her father, and the Baron von Richter, is she destined to become an unwilling baroness?
Thank you to Harris Channing for taking the time to answer my questions. You can read more about her at her blog.
Finally, there is an interview with me over at the blog of GW Jefferies.