Archive for April, 2016

Succeeding as a self-published author isn’t easy, but it is possible

Posted in Scott Hildreth, self-publishing, succeeding at self-publishing, successful self-published authors with tags , , , , on April 28, 2016 by scottdhildreth

First things first. I’m stubborn. When I set a goal, I reach it. I’ve never been one to set unattainable goals, but I’m certainly not opposed to setting difficult ones.

It was 2012. I had committed myself to writing a novel and succeeding. With no job, no income, and a dwindling cash reserve, I locked myself in the house and began writing. Thirty days passed. Another thirty. Maybe more. I slept little and typed a lot. Then, I cast aside what portions of the MS weren’t needed, kept what I believed was, and whittled it down to the base essentials. I had finally reached a point where the MS, at least in my opinion, was perfect. A good friend (who just so happened to be an editor) came over and read it.

He told me I had a knack for writing. In short, he loved it.

The next day I fired up my tired laptop to make a few final touches to what I expected was going to be an award-winning manuscript.

The computer locked up. After repeated attempts (by me, friends, and professionals) to resurrect the document(s), I found out my hard work was lost.

And, I started over from scratch.

A few months later I was done (again). I convinced myself version two was better than the first.

During my development of my first MS, my car was repossessed (no job, no income, and the necessity for a home trumped the need for a car). I didn’t care. I was sure I was going to be pretty damned wealthy in a matter of months.

I walked to the coffee shop, logged on their internet, and self-published my first book, Broken People.

Family, friends, and everyone I had met at the coffee shop over the years rejoiced. They all bought the book, read it, and loved it. 5-star reviews on top of 5-star reviews followed. I rubbed my palms together and dreamt of what color of car I was going to buy to replace the car that was repossessed.

60 days later, I got my first check (they sent me an actual check, because I didn’t even have a bank account). It was roughly $100.

The next month I got another. It was $70.

The bank came and repossessed my motorcycle. My motorcycle. My motorcycle. A motorcycle I had for over 10 years. My signature. My other half. I bit my quivering lower lip and reminded myself that I was going to succeed.

Challenged by a literary agent to write an erotic novel, I did so. Upon completion, I sent it to her. She chuckled. “It’s not marketable,” she said. “I couldn’t get an editor to even consider it. The hero is an asshole, and although you could self-publish it, you need to…”

She continued to speak, but I didn’t listen. What did she know?

I self-published my second novel, Baby Girl. The agent was right. It was marketable as a self-published work. It made it to #1 in Erotic Romance, and stayed there for two weeks. It was 2013. At the time, I was one of just a few self-published male romance/erotica authors. It was more of a curse than a blessing. Personally, I hated it when people said ‘you’re my favorite male romance author.’

What? Out of the four that exist?

I wanted to be categorized with everyone. A man, especially one in touch with his feminine side, should be able to write romance as well as a female, right?

I wrote a second book, Baby Girl II, a continuation of the couple in the first book. And then, a third, Baby Girl III.

Between my motorcycle’s departure and the third book, I got a few eviction notices. I’m not even going to get into that. I’ll just say I was determined. I worked 14-16 hours a day writing, and did so 7 days a week. I went 90 days without so much as opening my front door. I didn’t get the mail, I didn’t see friends, I didn’t do anything. The eviction notices stacked up.

I read. I wrote. I studied. I read more. I wrote more. I asked questions. I listened. Although I didn’t have a television (I hadn’t had one in 10 years), or the internet (I didn’t have it for 10 years either) I used the free wireless down the street at the coffee shop. I started a blog. I got a Goodreads page. I got my first Facebook account.

You see, up until that time, I was anti-social media. I didn’t believe I needed Facebook in my life. If someone wanted to know how or what I was doing, they would  have to know me well enough to either have my phone number or know where I lived.

To succeed in the self-published world, however, I had to become social. So, once again, I bit my lip and did so.

The Baby Girl series sold extremely well, and I was pleased at my first attempt to write erotica.

A check came. It had a comma in the amount column. I paid my rent. And.

I ate food.

Peanut butter. And oatmeal. At the same time.

In December of 2013, I wrote another book, Undefeated. A boxer with a hard head and a soft heart. I published it in January 2014. It was met with mixed reviews, some saying he was too warm-hearted, and others saying he was too much of a hot-head.

I took it personal. I wondered, however, how he could be too soft and too hard. I reviewed my MS, re-read the book, and scratched my head. Time passed. I realized there will always be people who make it a point to hate on a self-published work. They enjoy it. They pick at it like a festering sore.

I decided my hero, Shane Dekkar, was a great guy, and wrote a four book series about him and his best friend, Mike Ripton. Unstoppable, Unleashed, and Unbroken all went to #1 in their subgenres, and Unleashed went to #1 in all of erotica for an entire month.

Finally, I was making enough money to survive.

I wasn’t getting rich, but I was paying my rent.

And. I. Continued.

I’m not going to bore you with all of the details, but I made a few changes. I realized my covers were nothing short of a photo that covered the title page. My wife volunteered to make me new covers. I replaced all my old covers. Sales picked up.

I spent an hour or so a day interacting with fans on Facebook, an hour on Goodreads, and wrote for 12 hours. Seven days a week, this process continued from 2014-2015.

In 2015 I did my first signing, and took 300 books. My wife and I had no idea what to expect. It was at Hard Rock in Tulsa. In four hours, we were sold out of books. It appeared that I had reached a point that I was being well-received by readers. I convinced myself I was capable of writing. A pimple, if you will, on an author’s ass.

I left with a sack of cash and a stomach full of humility.

On the surface, I appear to be an ass. I am, however, a very humble man.

I bit into a slice of humble pie, and in fall of 2015, I sent the agent (the one who said Baby Girl was unmarketable) a query. Enough time had passed that I realized she was right about Baby Girl. You see, in the beginning, many of us think we’re authors. More often than not, we aren’t. We’re simply writers.

We put words together until they form an improperly punctuated sentence, follow it with a little dialogue, and give the dialogue a very descriptive dialogue tag. We tell a lot and convince ourselves we’re showing. We make mistakes.

My first manuscripts stand as a testament to my ability to sell a story that’s poorly written, filled with mistakes, and nothing short of embarrassing. I’m a great story teller and a really crappy author.

So, the fall of 2015…

I’d written a series of books about a motorcycle club. They’d all been to #1, and they’d also hit the top 100 out of all book on Amazon, regardless of genre. Two made it to the top 50. I was selling (with each release) between 1,000 and 1,500 books a day. My author ranking, at the time, was #2. Only EL James was above me.

I emailed the agent. The email turned into a phone call. The phone call produced a challenge on her part to have me write a book for her that an editor had specifically asked for. I accepted the challenge, and wrote the first 4 chapters for her.

She submitted it to the editor. Within 12 hours, I had commitment for my first book deal. It seemed my writing had progressed enough to gather the attention of an agent, a major publisher, and become mainstream.

The next month, I won a Kindle All-Star award for selling more books than most self-published authors.

Then, my book won a Kindle All-Star award. And then, I won another. And another.

Amazon contacted me. They offered to buy the audio rights to my motorcycle series. I refereed them to my agent. I liked saying it. “I’m sorry, you’ll have to talk to my agent.”

2016 rolled around.

I exhaled for a moment at Christmas and realized more that three years had passed since my first stab at writing a self-published book. 25 full-length novels later, and I had finally reached a point that my writing didn’t embarrass me.

And now, everything’s pretty much the same. I write 12-14 hours a day, seven days a week, and each day I learn something about the craft that makes my writing more clear, more concise, and more marketable.

How?

I listen to my agent, Michelle Johnson. And my wife, Jessica. And my PA, Kat Chadwick. I read a lot. And, I realize that above all, I’m human. Not super-human, simply human. And, humans make mistakes. A lot of them.

I guess I’ll close by saying this. I had written for almost 20 years (magazine articles) but committed myself to becoming an author in the late months of 2012. I stuck with it. I lost everything, but I never gave up. I listened. I changed. I realized when I made mistakes and learned from them. I thanked people for their constructive one-star reviews. I read all the reviews, applied what I felt I should, and, as a result, developed a more palatable book.

I now stand as proof that a self-published author can make it.

We can succeed.

But we must be willing to admit something to do so.

We’re only human.

And in being so, we make mistakes.

 

 

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My next book, due out May 10th is going to KNOCK YOU OUT!

Posted in Scott Hildreth on April 26, 2016 by scottdhildreth

UPDATE of my Upcoming release (mid-May).

In two weeks, the erotic romance book world will once again be turned on its ear.

Why?

Well, someone is coming back.

Someone HUGE.

Someone funny.

Someone who loves to fuck, fight, drink, swear, and have dinner at home with his momma.

Whaaaaat? You ask. Who might this be?

Well, have a look at this PROLOGUE.

Ladies and Gentlemen, this is all you get. No first four chapters. Not of this one. You’re just going to have to wait until the teasers are posted for some more.

BUT.

This one is fast-paced. Filthy dirty.

And.

It has the best heroine ever.

EVER.

Meet Jaz.

Just don’t piss her off.

Or her trainer. He’s been known to have a temper.

This is a STAND-ALONE Erotic Romance. But. You need to be prepared for a book like HUNG, told from a woman’s POV. This one is a GREAT story, but OMG does it have a sexually active couple.

And action galore.

I’m giddy!!!!!

 

 

 

PROLOGUE

Cheerios. Ten or so of them floating in a bowl of milk. That’s my earliest memory. I don’t know how old I was at the time, but I was less than two years old, because the next vivid recollection I have is of my second birthday. I don’t recall the gifts I received, but I’m sure I was two. Either that, or my father could only afford two candles. There was frosting. Lots of frosting. And wrapping paper.

At some point there was loud music. Kisses. Fizzy drinks. The blue car with multi-color cloth interior. A mustache. The house with no trees. Rain. It rained forever. The house with nothing but trees. And bunkbeds. I never understood the bunkbeds, but then again, I never asked.

And then, nothing until I was seven. Second grade with Emily Barton. We got in a fight in the hallway over something so unimportant I couldn’t recall it a week later, and damned sure can’t remember now. I’ll never forget how much it hurt to have my hair pulled, though.

Elementary and middle school must have been uneventful, because I really don’t remember much between Emily pulling my hair and the first day of high school. High school brought with it football and house parties. Bobby Breyton talked me into giving him head in the back of Toby Wilson’s truck when I was a freshman. It was cold and his dick was the size of my wrist. And long. Really long. He told everyone what a slut I was. At first, I denied it. I later learned admitting to it made me more marketable, so I proudly laid claim to the house party truck bed blowjob.

An overabundance of sexual opportunities soon followed, and my sophomore through senior year was a blur of boys, beer, blowjobs, and being backhanded by my father. I learned that I was a product of my environment, and my father’s anger soon turned into mine. As the fights with my father continued, fighting at school became second nature for me.

I left home when I was eighteen. Eighteen and angry.

It was May 21st.

The day after I graduated high school.

Depending on what one’s definition of a great distance is, I didn’t get far. It was 1,057 miles from my home in Omaha, Nebraska to Corpus Christi, Texas, and Corpus Christi was my final destination. I made it as far as Austin, Texas.

It was a far cry from the Gulf of Mexico, but at the time, I saw it as the beginning to what was sure to be a perfect life.

When we met, I was 18 and Preston was 31. We both liked coffee. And wild sex. He was going out when I was going in. We collided. It was the first time someone told me I was beautiful that I believed them. He was handsome, rich, treated me well, and fucked me even better. At least at first. A year quickly passed. Every day it seemed things got better. Not that they were ever bad. In fact, they were great. And from there things got better than great.

Spectacular.

Yes. Life at the age of 19 was spectacular.

And then the wheels fell off. Things went to shit. Not over a period of time, or after a sequence of events, but immediately. One day he decided he’d had enough. And just like that.

Boom!

My life was over.

He kicked me to the curb, and not a metaphorical curb kicking. He actually kicked me to the curb.

With a backpack filled with my personal items and a little money he gave me to get on my feet, I went from the comfort of his million-dollar home to living on the streets.

I didn’t live there for long. Two years and six months later, I had the world by the balls.

How?

I hit a girl in the mouth for talking a mad line of shit to me in the parking lot of a Starbucks. Before she had a chance to wipe the blood from her lips, I met a man who volunteered to train me as a professional fighter. And, at his gym, I met another man. The man I fell in love with.

My name’s Beth, but no one ever calls me by my name.

They call me Jaz.

It’s short for Jasmine.

And the trainer who noticed my raw talent?

His name’s Mike. Michael actually.

But no one calls him by his name.

They call him Ripp.

This is my story. It’s intense, fast-paced, often violent, full of crazy sex, and hard to believe at times…

But it’s true.

The ENTIRE Selected Sinners Series on SALE for $3.99

Posted in Scott Hildreth on April 21, 2016 by scottdhildreth

SINNERSSALESave $23.94 on the series.

ALL countries. Appreciation BOOK SALE. The entire 7 Book Selected Sinners Series is bundled together and on SALE for $3.99. That’s $0.57 each. Less than a buck a piece. This has never happened before, and it’ll never happen again.
 
I always put a book or two up for sale to show my appreciation of the successes of my new book. This time, I was out of town, and didn’t have the resources to do so.
 
So, now that I’m back, here you go. Feel free to share, tag your friends, or buy as gifts. The ENTIRE #1 Best Selling Selected Sinners Series for the price of one.
 
But, you better hurry, sale ends May 1st.
 

“DICK” is LIVE on Amazon, and DICK is good.

Posted in Erotic Suspense, Scott Hildreth with tags , , , , , , on April 14, 2016 by scottdhildreth

Everyone loves DICK.

DICK is a HUGE hit.

DICK needs your attention.

Give DICK a try today.

DICK is LIVE on Amazon

BUY LINK: http://www.amazon.com/DICK-Scott-Hildreth-ebook/dp/B01E2UD0ZK

DickFinal

 

My newest novel and best-to-date, “DICK” is LIVE on Amazon.

Posted in DICK, Scott Hildreth on April 11, 2016 by scottdhildreth

DickFinal

Dick is LIVE on Amazon, and is a must read if you like fast-paced erotic romance with a GREAT HEA. This book is HOT, HOT, HOT and has a great freaking story. Asshole rich guy meets sassy take-no-shit heroine and the sparks fly.

WOW!