Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Promo, Personal Appearances and All That Stuff (#MFRWAuthor @centrsexculture @fetlife @BDSMtweets)

I don't often make personal appearances, which in my line of work are readings, lectures, booksignings and the like. I used to before the internet took over the world and relegated personal appearances into second place behind internet marketing, which in my mind is really more efficient. I can reach more people with the touch of a button than I can by giving ten thousand readings, especially since few people show up to them. I've attended booksignings with not one but two best-selling authors who had hit the NYT list, and was shocked by the few customers they attracted. Humiliating to give a party when no one attends.

So I was surprised at my own enthusiasm for appearing in San Francisco at the Center for Sex and Culture to give a reading--that event will take place next Saturday evening, August 30 at 7 pm. I'll be there along with several other well-published erotica authors. And not only am I enthusiastic about it--I essentially created the event along with M. Christian, another author I "met" online. Chris lives in SF and has been a part of the scene there for quite a while, and get us set up at the CSC. He has confidently predicted that 30-50 folks will show up, each ponying up $10 for the privilege of hearing me and others read our work. Maybe they'll buy a book or two. Who knows?

Anyhow--I'm beset by doubt, to say nothing of the question of what readings to give and what to wear--damn important in my mind.

I'll probably read from the books I'll be flogging. I have copies of a couple of print books to sell--The Wilder Brother and Seducing the Hermit. Both are erotic, of course, but are basically romantic comedy. I'll be raffling off a print copy of Desire in Tartan as well.

Here's a snippet from Desire in Tartan to pique your interest in the event:

“Now,” he said, breaths harsh. “Are ye ready for me, mistress?”

She gave a little nod, but stopped, aware that he couldn’t see her in the darkness. But p’raps he had seen, for he used one deft hand to part her thighs and push his rod deeply into her."

Aaahhhh…” His groan and hers harmonized as his shaft forced its way past tight muscles and he was again parting her, opening her, creating a special space for him to nest. 

The mingled pain and pleasure undid her, and she cried out. 

He went instantly still, though he didn’t withdraw. “Mistress?”

She sought to slow her frantic pants, and he waited until her breaths had evened. “It’s…I’m all right,” she managed to say.

He bent his head to kiss her again with great gentleness. She entwined her fingers into his hair, his glorious mane of wild, black hair, reveling in the smooth slide and feel of it across her palm as they kissed. 

He started to move inside her, a slight thrust and wiggle that was about all she could take. Through the haze of pleasure clouding her mind she wondered how he could know exactly what she needed, how he could divine her feelings so truly.

If you can't make it to the reading, get the book here:

And here's the 4-1-1 about the event:

Leather, Lace & Lust: An Evening Of Erotic Storytelling and Sexual Merriment
Come to an evening of lusty literature by many of the best erotica writers in the Bay Area!
From the tempting tease of delicate lace to the steamy heat of hardcore leather, these authors and performers will amuse, delight, and most of all excite you in all kinds of new and provocative ways; This is an evening of witty, carnal, and provocative literary endeavors that will tickle just about every kind of fancy, a festival of playful sensual fiction that will make you laugh, cry, and get that oh-so-special tingly feeling in your nether-regions.
In other words, a night of kick-ass erotica performed by ass-kicking writers!
Our featured performers include:
Suz deMello, a.k.a Sue Swift, is a best-selling, award-winning author of seventeen romance novels in several subgenres, including erotica, comedy, historical, paranormal, mystery and suspense, plus a number of short stories and non-fiction articles on writing.
Molly Weatherfield: “Twenty years ago, a mild-mannered computer programmer decided to spend some quality time with her erotic fantasy life, and Carrie’s Story - BDSM for smart girls - was born.”
Mistress Lorelei Powers is a well-known bi poly sadist and Domme. She is the author of several BDSM classics, including On Display, The Mistress Manual, and Charm School for Sissy Maids.
Blake C. Aarens is an author, poet, screenwriter, playwright, and a Black Girl Nerd.
Jean Marie Stine is the author of a number of pioneering works of erotica published in the late 1960 and early 1970s, beginning with Season of the Witch in 1968, which was filmed as the motion picture Synapse. Her erotic short stories and novelettes have been collected as “Trans-sexual: Fiction for Gender Queers.”
A.M. Davis is a poet, artist and novelist who lives in Oakland, California. Her first novel, You Were Always Waiting For This Moment to Arise, as well as her first poetry collection, Six Lifetimes of Love, will be published in late 2014.
M.Christian is a recognized master of erotica with more than 400 stories in such anthologies as Best American Erotica, Best Gay Erotica, Best Lesbian Erotica, Best Bisexual Erotica, Best Fetish Erotica and many others.

Saturday, August 30th, 2014
The Center For Sex And Culture

1349 Mission St, San Francisco, CA 94103
Doors at 6PM, Event starts at 7PM
Admission: $10
And as for the initial question--what do you think? Has the internet supplanted personal appearances as far as writer promotion is concerned? Please leave comments below.


  1. The authors I've known who have had book signings, etc in the last few years have all said they would never do it again. I wish you lots and lots of luck, Can't wait to hear how your reading goes. The one thing in your favor is the venue. People will attend because they like erotica and you are providing it. Got my fingers crossed for you, Suzie.

  2. If nothing else, you will get value from posting this blog about your appearance and promoting the event on the Internet. Thus even if few people show up in person, you've still had the Internet exposure. Good luck!

  3. I do several signings each year and yes, I notice my sales increase, esp if I've spoken to many people. Some events I may only speak to one or two, but a few years ago I happened to be in a 'high traffic' area and gave away nearly all of my promo materials:)

    I love getting out and talking to readers, and I think the 'personal' connection helps more than just an anonymous person sitting behind a computer. If you have a GOOD relationship online with readers, that helps also, but you shouldn't forget the in person connection.

    Just my two cents:)

  4. Thanks for your comments...I'm enjoying the anticipation and the process and hope it goes well.

  5. Suz, I don't live in the SF area, but I have friends who do, so will forward your blog to them. Good luck with your readings. I have never done much good with book signings except for the ones I had with people I worked with.

  6. I think that it is great to get to meet an author face to face. I loved hearing from other authors at conferences and connecting with them. And while I agree that the internet allows us to connect with more people, meeting them face to face is much more personal! Have fun!