Red String Productions writes and publishes queer erotica, targeted to women readers. With the growing accessibility of self-publishing, writers in almost any niche can connect to small pockets of devoted fans, anywhere in the world. And, with the rise of e-readers, female-focused erotica is an increasing market. Red String’s self-pubbed books and ebooks are right at the intersections of these trends, so I talked to Red String’s C. L. Carlisle about publishing her (and her colleagues’) works.
Why did you decide to self-publish? Did you consider working with a traditional editor?
We decided to self-publish when we decided to first start selling at conventions. For the kinds of books we wanted to write, we decided that self-publishing would be better. Since it’s an incredibly niche market, we knew it would be difficult to get an editor and publisher to work with us; also, we write so many novels that we didn’t want to go through a lengthy editorial and publishing wait time with each and every book. Knowing how often books get killed in production, we wanted to maintain more control over our volume. We wrote 10 novels in one summer, and it’s difficult to get publishers to go faster than one per year, even if you have an agent.
Ten novels in one summer is really impressive! Here are some tips to reach that level of creative output. Which of Red String’s books did you write?
I wrote “Watch Them Dance,” “Arise,” “Shield,” “As Above, So Below,” and “Fury & Freeze.” I’m also a collaborator on two books called “Ineluctable” and “Lodestar.”
What are the benefits of self-publishing? Do you plan to release your next work through a traditional or independent publisher?
Our next works are definitely going to also be published through self-publishing. We like the way the process works with us, and don’t feel the need to access as many channels as writers of more traditional novels.
What’s next for Red String Productions?
Next for Red String, I strongly believe, is turning our small fiction collective into an independent press, dedicated to finding great aspiring authors in our genre who want to see their novels produced. It’s such a small niche, gay erotica novels targeted towards women, that I think there’s a significant market available.
What advice would you give to aspiring niche fiction authors?
The best advice I can give is to FINISH NOVELS. No agent, editor, or press will be interested in any book, no matter how niche, unless it is finished. Once you’ve been over your own book a few times, get to the point where you feel confident about it. If you have a finished novel that you feel confident about, nothing will stop you from getting published. Whether it’s by a small press or by a self-publishing company or a major publisher, you’ll eventually find what’s right if you know what you have and where you want to go with it.
Great advice for writers in any niche. Thanks so much for your time!