Jules Jones

Yog's Law: Money flows *towards* the author

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New release: In Like Flynn 1
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Some news on the writing front - I've sold a short story series to NineStar Press, and the opening story is now available for pre-order before release day on 2 January 2017. :-) Details below, along with selected links (I haven't had a chance to chase them all down yet, but am assured by my Shadowy Mistresses that it will be available in all the usual places).

Yes, that is a new pen name on the cover. This is because I decided a while back to have a separate pen name for material that's erotica rather than erotic romance. The primary reason is simply so that readers who were expecting a HEA or HFN aren't disappointed. It so happens that my long term plan for this series will involve a HFN, but this specific bit of it is basically two guys in an office thinking "I would not kick that out of bed on a cold night".

A Collision with Reality

by Storm Duffy


Flynn’s new boss is so hot he can’t wait to get home to tell the chatroom how much he wants Dom’s cock down his throat. By Friday, he’s shared quite a few thoughts on what he’d like his boss to do to him. But he’s not as anonymous as he thinks, and Dom’s intent on disciplining him for breaching company policy on social networking. Dom gives him a choice of put up or shut up: he can play out the fantasy in real life, or he can walk out of the office without a word to HR as long as he never talks that way about Dom again. Flynn chooses “put up”—but he’s forgotten about one of the things he said he wouldn’t mind doing.

NineStar Press (where you can find an excerpt)

All Romance eBooks (where you can find an excerpt)

Amazon US

Amazon UK

SmashWords Mirror of http://julesjones.dreamwidth.org/314251.html, where it has received comment count unavailable comments.

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Congratulations on the sale.

I'm curious about your experiences with sub-branding your writing career in this way. I can understand, in theory, why people do it. But how does it work out in practice?

I have a few historic romance stories that I imagine would be a trifle more explicit than the Alpennia series and have meditated on whether the tone would be different enough that it would make sense to use a different name, but I keep coming back to the problem that it's hard enough to get *any* sort of name recognition for indie/small press work. Why would I want to throw away the tiny bit of recognition I've managed to scrape together?

Part of my reaction has to do with my own feelings of invisibility combined with the problem that so much of my writing is so intersectional I wouldn't know where to start drawing lines. (For example, the next Alpennia novel is going to have a YA slant. So it would never make sense to try to do an adult/YA identity split. But then how would that interact with writing other historic-based material that might want some separate from a YA audience, but where I'd want the synergy from the rest of the Alpennia books?

So it would be useful to have some data from the practical/sales side of the equation to integrate with the emotional/thematic issues.

My experience has been more from the side of having not sub-branded. I can't really say how much it's affected my sales, but I have certainly had comments and reviews that indicated that a reader had expected Something Else and was disappointed not to get it. The one that's really stood out for me is that I had a reputation for lots of kinky sex, so the less steamy stuff was considered to be a disappointment (and/or people who bought stuff labelled BDSM expecting lots of whips and chains and were disconcerted to get something that was entirely dom/sub headspace D/s). However, the other thing is that genre romance readers really, really want their HEA/HFN, and not unreasonably get grumpy if they think they've been subjected to a bait-and-switch. One would hope that people would read the blurb, but readers who inhale books often click on auto-pilot based on the author's name.

I think with your material being speculative fiction as the primary genre and other themes being what flavour of specfic it is, there's less need to differentiate and more opportunity for synergy, but I have so little feel for the specfic market these days I can't really give advice. I do know that some of the erotic romance writers feel that there can be benefits and problems whichever way you go on separate pen names for sub-genres. The general view seems to be that if you have separate pen names it's good to link them and explicitly use them as branding, unless you have good reasons to firewall them (eg children's fiction and erotica, especially if you're a teacher or living in a small twon in a conservative area).

Given how intersectional your material is, my feeling is that you'd be best off with one pen name, but at the moment it really is just a feeling based on forum discussions with other writers about the issue.

Edited at 2016-12-26 09:02 pm (UTC)

That's pretty much my thought. I mean, Floodtide will definitely be spun YA, but in a "these are teenagers and some of them are having sex, just not on the page" sense. And that's pretty much the only project I currently have in mind that is aimed at anything other than a general-age market. Any younger reader who comes to the series through Floodtide is going to be reading general-audience novels for the rest of it (though not ones with explicit sex). So it may be that "Alpennia" is enough of a distinctive brand for that aspect, without implying that my non-Alpennia books will necessarily have the same flavor. (Some will, some won't.)

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