Writing

Insights & Lessons Learned from SIR AND BABYGIRL

I consider myself a writer, but for whatever reason find it difficult to call myself an author. Whether it's because I don't feel like I write often enough or publish often enough, it's not a title I'm comfortable with yet. Frankly, I keep waiting for someone to leave a review that shreds my ability to string two words together. They haven't yet, in case you wondered. Any negative reviews have been about the topic I've written about - and I can live with that. BDSM erotica isn't exactly for everyone.

I know I've come a long way since the release of my first short story, The VisitorΒ in June 2013. I've learned more - beta readers, editing help from amazing friends, use of language and sentence structure. Every single time I work on a new story that I intend to publish, I'm putting more and more skills I've learned into practice.

My newest release, The Adventures of Sir and Babygirl, has gotten many more reviews and much more attention. A blog tour definitely helped. In terms of the time it takes to coordinate and plan a tour, it was worth every penny I paid. Did I make my money back in sales? Not exactly. But these things take time.

I will admit I made mistakes with Sir and Babygirl. In terms of marketing, I haven't made it clear that each chapter is really a short story that is meant to be able to stand on it's own - but connects to one another in terms of telling a bigger story. The last two chapters/stories were tacked on because I worried there wasn't enough heat and sex in the earlier stories. I like to think they're both well-written, but they don't flow. That would be ok, if I'd make it clear that they didn't have to flow. Each chapter/story is supposed to be a different adventure, so that the title actually makes sense.

I also didn't make it clear that this was the first in a series. I should have added something extra to the title. I'm already thinking of topics for future books - limits and boundaries, meeting the family, and maybe just some random kinky stories. The idea is that I want people to see the relationship grow between them, but not necessarily in the typical story-telling format.

With regards to writing, well, without a professional editor, I have no doubt someone could find errors. Being the perfectionist that I am, I hate the idea of someone spotting mistakes. But, the writer in me only as one question, "Do the errors detract from the story?" As long as they don't, I can live with it...sort of.

After a couple of less than positive reviews, I doubted myself. I was afraid that I'd royally screwed up by not being clearer in my promotion. I spent a night feeling sorry for myself and wallowing in self-doubt. And then I realized that this is my first novella instead of a dark, erotic short story. Of course, I still have plenty to learn! And the majority of the reviews I've received have been positive. That's got to mean something, right?! (This particular review meant a lot because it's not something he normally does.)

So, I'm going to keep learning and growing, getting better and better each time. And there will definitely be more from Sir and Babygirl. Their story is only beginning, and it's my job to tell it.

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About the author

Kayla Lords

I am an erotic author, sex blogger, podcaster, freelance writer, and an opinionated marketer. I’m also a masochistic babygirl submissive with an amazing and sadistic Daddy Dom. Welcome to my kinky corner of the internet!

16 Comments

  • As long as you can learn something from the negative reviews, then it’s actually a positive and will help you improve. For those that just leave one star or two star reviews – they are not really helping anybody, including themselves. Writing is a learning curve πŸ™‚

    • I agree…writing is a learning curve. It’s in my nature to want to be perfect the first time out…I’m very unforgiving of my own mistakes. Writing has forced me to go against my nature because if I waited for perfection, I’d never publish anything. I’m taking note of the more critical reviews and will probably incorporate most of that into my future books.

      That being said, at the end of the day, I just want to tell a story that people like, too. If the reviews are any indication, I’m doing that.

  • It’s always scary to send one’s work out into the world. But over time you do develop a thicker skin–you have to in order to survive in publishing. Read any 5 star book (even the classics), and you’ll see 1 star ratings along side it. Reviews are subjective and personal. They are one person’s opinion,even if that person happens to be a “professional” reviewer.

    But if you see a “trend” in reviews and/or see similar comments from people who liked a book, that’s when you should pay attention to the negative comments.

    But keep in mind, some people will never like a certain kind of book no matter how well written–yet for some incomprehensible reason, they’ll keep buying them and reviewing them.

    I am a big believer in professional editing. An editor will do more than catch one’s typos, a good editor will help you tell YOUR story in the best possible way. Writing and editing are two distinct skills and a writer can only edit his/her own work to a certain point.

    • Considering that I read Breeder and absolutely fell in love with it, I’m going to TRY not to act like a celebrity came to visit. Thank you for reading and commenting!

      I agree with you completely on the editing. With my first two short stories, I didn’t even consider it (such a newbie). With Sir and Babygirl, I couldn’t afford to hire an editor, but I took some help from friends who have a knack for editing. I took a lot longer to release Sir and Babygirl because I attempted to read it a few times with fresh eyes over the course of about a month – which worked, I caught different errors each time.

      I haven’t developed a relationship yet with any editors, but I’m hoping to hire one for future releases.

      And it took me a while, but you’re right, if there’s a trend in the negative reviews, it’s definitely something that needs to be taken more seriously than one random person who just doesn’t like it. Because not everyone is going to like it, and I’m ok with that.

  • I edit student work for a living. It is hard for my students to receive my feedback even though it is necessary for their career development. I can really appreciate how difficult it is to be vulnerable in words and yet, as I tell students every day, the ONLY way to improve writing is to keep writing. I have enjoyed those I have read and do not find your errors detracting from my enjoyment of your message. If you ever want fresh eyes, I’d be happy to offer help or advice for self-editing methods. πŸ™‚

    • I appreciate the offer. Thank you!

      I admit that for a long time, I didn’t want outside help, but I had to get over that. Fresh eyes really do make a difference. My hesitancy goes back to my insecurity of thinking someone will tell me to get out of the writer’s club because I don’t belong here…even though I know it’s not true.

  • No one has the right to tell you to get out of the “club”. πŸ™‚ writing is a deeply personal endeavor. I think you are amazing to lay your soul open for others to see. That takes a special kind of courage.

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