Pollygraph (interviews with erotica authors): Carl East

Erotic Authors CollectionThese are interesting times to be working in erotica. As both a writer and proprietor of an ebook-selling erotica website, would you care to comment on the current state of the field?

We’re going through a lot of nonsense at the moment, with sites telling us that we can’t use certain words and others deleting our stories. It’s all very frustrating. My own site (carlsadultbooks.com) was set up to counter some of these things, but even though I’ve put into place a lot of tools for the authors to use, such as a newsletter, a coupon system (in order for them to offer deals to their fans) and their own personal blog, the authors are not taking advantage of any of it. It’s almost like they want to be dictated to by the powers that be.

In an ideal world, how do you think the big online booksellers should handle erotica, from the soft vanilla end of the spectrum right through to the extremes?

If the big online booksellers had isolated these stories from the very beginning, none of this would be happening now. All they had to do was create an adult page, where mature responsible people could decide whether it was something they wanted or not. They didn’t do any of this, so now they’re all scrambling to fix the problems that have caught them flatfooted.

I even wrote to Amazon recently offering them a solution to erotica dominating their pages, but as yet they haven’t gotten in touch with me. I offered to partner up with them in order to take the erotic tales off the Kindle. Here’s how it would work: When an author clicks on the author tab as their chosen genre they would automatically be sent to my site where the book was being uploaded. Amazon would have to create an App for my site, where readers could download the stories directly. Amazon would also have to create a payment system in partnership with the very capable guys over at Bluetonemedia.com. They were the ones who built my site. This would take away all erotica from the Kindle App and anyone downloading the new adult App couldn’t say that it was a mistake as it would be made clear as to what the App is and what it holds. To be honest, I didn’t expect them to go for it, but it does prove that there are solutions to every problem.

How did Carl’s Adult Books come about, and where is it heading? Where do you see it fitting into the market in six months or a year’s time?

It came about because of the need to stop these big booksellers from censoring and dictating what we can and can’t write. I must make something clear at this point. I do not allow nudity on my site, or the following categories: Incest, Bestiality, underage sex or forced rape. Some might say that this is censorship as well, but places like Amazon don’t allow these sorts of stories anyway and because I have payment companies to worry about, I can’t afford to worry them about something they might object to at a later date.

Never one to stand still, you’ve been very active recently in compiling box-sets, both of your own stories and working with other authors. What’s behind this, and what can readers expect to find?

This is an exciting area for me at the moment. I have some incredible deals going on, although you wouldn’t know it if you saw my Amazon sales for these deals. A lot of people out there would snap these deals up if they saw them, but in most cases they can’t see them on Amazon unless they show up in the also-boughts below a story that they’ve just purchased. I’m going to share some links with you for these books, in the hope that more readers will look into it.

Most of these box sets are just $0.99 and should be selling like crazy as they are in the Apple store, but they’re not because of Amazon’s system. I’m also excited about a collaboration with other authors concerning bundles of their work alongside my own. The following is one such bundle, which once again is only $0.99:

We’re trying to give the readers some good deals and we’re only just starting to get noticed. It’s always a pleasure to work with other authors as I respect them for all the hard work they do.

Alongside all this, you are, of course, an extremely popular author in your own right. When I checked just now you were at number 25 on Amazon’s list of most popular erotica authors. What have you been working on recently, and what can we expect to see soon?

I’m working with other authors on the next bundle in the series at the moment and we have big plans for single tales. Despite what’s going on in the erotic world, we’re all excited about the future. We’re also excited about the possibility of Microsoft creating a book store. We’re hoping that they learn from the mistakes of other book sellers and keep erotic stories away from the mainstream.

With all this activity, what’s next for you?

I’m not sure what’s next for me. I’ve wanted to write a follow up to “Hell’s Gate” for some time now but other things keep getting in the way. I’m still writing though and that’s something that won’t change anytime soon.

More from Carl East:

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