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[ePub] Lot's Cave

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M.N Thorne

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Has anyone ever worked with Lot's Cave? Their website claims to be the World's number one Incest romance publisher. It seems like they will published erotica that no one will touch.


Here is their website:

http://www.lotscave.com/index.html
 

shelleyo

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Eh, I don't mind touching the thread. It's just fiction. Here's a pretty in-depth breakdown of the problems I see with the site:

It's more just a place to sell your stuff than a publisher. I see no mention of editing anything. They'll give you a cover and convert it to ebook for free, but that's all that's mentioned. And if you're an experienced author, you can send them the file with a cover of your own for them to put on sale if they wish. So it's more a retailer than a publisher.

I'm bothered by the fact that they go through Smashwords to publish to Barnes & Noble. That makes NO sense for a company in the United States, and their address is in New Jersey. They're leaving money on the table for themselves and the writers that way, making it difficult to change prices quickly, risking lower sales because the keywords and categories often don't translate well, and risking messed up descriptions and other formatting. Bad decision. I started out that way in 2011, because I didn't know any better. Within a few months, I went direct with B&N instead, and my sales tripled. It wasn't incest, but it was fairly erotic material. Why would a publisher not do something with the potential to increase sales and profits? I don't know. Unless they don't know how or that they should, which would be unfortunate.

Also, they mentioned distributing to Amazon and Barnes & Noble--that's disingenuous. Not only has incest fiction been banned at Amazon for several years, Lot's Cave doesn't have a single book at Amazon in any other category--not one.

Smashwords and Barnes & Noble are the only two publishers I know of off-hand that readily accept incest fiction where you might actually sell some copies (right now--this could change tomorrow). Publishing to both is smart, but using Smash to get to B&N cuts into profits needlessly.

Their covers aren't very good for the most part (though we should bear in mind that they probably don't make them all). They don't have to be--people looking for these stories aren't going to care if the covers look amateurish. But why not make them a little better anyway? Their blurbs and descriptions aren't exactly well-done, either. Sometimes it's just dialogue from the book. They key to selling in any niche erotic topic like this is to make it clear what the book covers, get the keywords in there in a natural way, so people searching for it can find it. That's the hardest part, given the way retailers work today, hiding erotic away as much as possible. I don't see how their books are being found in many cases, just looking through their titles.

I also can't find a mailing list sign-up. How do they announce new releases to people who visit the site? Why isn't there an obvious link somewhere for this? Money on the table.

Another niggling thing--they're here to sell books. So why have two new releases, covers on display, advertised on every page and not make them clickable? I want to click that new release to buy it, not have to search for it when it's right there in front of me. You make it easier for customers to buy, not harder.

According to SEMRush, the site gets virtually no traffic from search engine results. It also doesn't appear to have been updated since 2012 (though I noticed new releases at B&N from this year, so they're probably still publishing regularly). If that's the case, and there's no mailing list, how do people find the site and the new releases to buy anything?

Also, this would be a sticking point for me, YMMV, but some of their ebooks contain photographs, which I'm guessing are fairly explicit. That flips it into something more than fiction for me, when they're claiming they're actual pictures of incest occurring. Yeah, totally not comfortable with that, and wouldn't want my fiction associated with it, even under a pen name, even if it was the raunchiest thing I'd ever written. That's a personal choice. I think that's something that could also be problematic for them in the future (even if the pictures aren't relatives, which they're probably not), given the political climate and growing acceptance of the idea of censoring things you don't like and find offensive. So, something to consider.

In my opinion, you'd be better off going with a site that does promote, does update and has a mailing list, as well as at least a little organic search traffic every day (Excessica, for instance). Or you could make a cover on your own and publish to both Smashwords and B&N, and probably do all right.
 
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Old Hack

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Also, they mentioned distributing to Amazon and Barnes & Noble--that's disingenuous. Not only has incest fiction been banned at Amazon for several years, Lot's Cave doesn't have a single book at Amazon in any other category--not one.

It's not disingenuous, it's actively misleading. Which is, I'd guess, illegal.

Also, this would be a sticking point for me, YMMV, but some of their ebooks contain photographs, which I'm guessing are fairly explicit. That flips it into something more than fiction for me, when they're claiming they're actual pictures of incest occurring. Yeah, totally not comfortable with that, and wouldn't want my fiction associated with it, even under a pen name, even if it was the raunchiest thing I'd ever written. That's a personal choice. I think that's something that could also be problematic for them in the future (even if the pictures aren't relatives, which they're probably not), given the political climate and growing acceptance of the idea of censoring things you don't like and find offensive. So, something to consider.

I suspect there are legal aspects to be considered here too.
 

Filigree

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These were points I noticed in my quick foray through the site. Frankly, they're nowhere near the professionalism of eXcessica - and even the latter has had its problems.

Lot's use of photos would be enough to make me look elsewhere.
 

JulieB

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Is it wrong that I read SEMRush as SMERSH?

Back to my morning coffee as I return you to the topic at hand...
 

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