The first time Author Dez Burke stopped by for a visit was way back in April when she’d just released Captured By the Bodyguard, her sixth book for 2013. (In fact, Cane Hutchinson, the hero, was a finalist in Roxy’s Top Ten Heroes for 2013). Since then, she has released several other bestsellers, her most recent being Burned by Passion and Skin Deep.
Let’s welcome Dez, and ‘listen’ as she shares her writing and publishing journey with us.
Hi Roxy. Thank you for having me here once again to talk about my publishing career.
While my publishing journey may seem short, my writing career has actually been quite long. I’ve been a freelance writer for over seventeen years and my non-fiction articles have been published in over 500 newspapers, magazines and websites. I’ve written about everything it seems from “How to Prepare Your Child for Kindergarten” to “Touring Walt Disney World in a Wheelchair.” So while I wasn’t writing fiction during that time, I came into ebook publishing with a basic understanding of the writing world in general.
My fiction publishing career began a year ago in September 2012. Like many of the contemporary romance writers today I began writing and self-publishing erotic short stories under another pen name. The first story I wrote was a mere three thousand words and sold for $2.99; the same price as my full-length 60K stories now. Well, it sold very well and I made a couple of thousand dollars from this little pamphlet length story. So I wrote a few more, enjoying the fast and easy money. Then around January the market started changing and readers began requiring longer and more satisfying stories.
I saw the proverbial writing on the wall so I quickly moved completely out of erotica and into longer stories. The first couple of books I published under Dez Burke, “Seduced by the Football Player” and “Jamaica Nights” were basically longer erotica pieces. I’ve even considered pulling those two from my collection, but many people seem to like them so I leave them up.
When I published “Claimed by the Marine” in March, I had an a-ha moment when I realized I was finally on the right path and in a spot where I felt comfortable with what I was producing. Even with the easy money, writing pure erotica wasn’t something I wanted to do the rest of my life. And in case anyone is wondering, the erotica market is a dead deal at the moment. Even experienced erotica writers are having trouble staying afloat because of the “adult” filters Amazon has put in place, so don’t even think about it. The train has left the station as far as erotica on Amazon is concerned. And for all those people who have asked, my erotica pen name has been retired and all the books pulled. Let’s just say it wasn’t my best work so to keep from embarrassing myself I took them off sale.
The last six months have been both exhausting and exciting. I’ve sold over 50K books since March and plan to publish two more books before the end of the year. I’m also very excited to be included in an upcoming “Billionaire Bundle” with nine of the Top 100 Contemporary Romance Authors. My book, “Trapped into Marriage” will be one of ten bestselling books for the low price of $.99. Our goal is to make the USA Today bestseller list.
This month, I publicly opened up my publishing company, Pink Lotus Publishing to submissions so I can share what I’ve learned with other authors and hopefully make them bestsellers too. There were many people along the way who helped me by giving their advice freely so I’m trying to give back and do the same thing. I study the publishing world constantly so I can stay on top of things. If I make mistakes, I want to make sure it is with my own books and not another author’s book that I’m entrusted to publish. That’s why you’ll see me split-testing odd things like publishing four of my books in a bundle for .99 or putting five of my author’s books together for $2.99. I’m a non-practicing CPA so I run everything by the numbers. If something doesn’t work financially, I want to know it right away and be able to change it immediately.
Next year should be fun though. You never know what changes Amazon will put it place so I’m working as hard as I can right now. Like my grandmother used to say, “make hay while the sun shines.” It’s exhausting but so worth it.
So that’s it, folks. It was truly a privilege and pleasure to have Dez with me today.
You may follow her: