Queen of Erotica Dee Palmer

When bestselling Erotica author Dee Palmer came to talk to us about her work a few weeks ago there was far more emphasis on algorithms than throbbing rhythms. If we’d hoped for tips on titillation we were disappointed as successful entrepreneur Dee was all business.
In 2014, Dee rose to a family challenge to do something new and wrote her first book Never A Choice, the steamy adventures of alpha male Daniel Stone. With an eye to her market, Dee did not publish it until she was ready to satisfy her potential fan base with two more novels which formed The Choices Trilogy.
Dee continued her canny approach to marketing by ‘grooming’ reviewers and bloggers working in her genre of contemporary adult fiction. “You can’t just ask people to review you,” says Dee, “You need to develop a relationship, share interests.” She spends about an hour a day on her Facebook page talking to fans who’ve joined her ‘readers’ group’ as well as cultivating new social media contacts. “Mariella Frostrup retweeted one of my tweets,” says Dee with some pride, “Who knows? That could be my amplifier.” We all look daunted by yet another technical term -– amplifier means a social media channel or influential individual who’s sharing of your brand could be a game changer and lead to a huge increase in word of mouth recommendations.
As Dee’s work gained popularity, she acquired teams of bloggers, tweeters and instagram-ers all over the world, her “street teams” as she calls them.  They promote the books but before new work gets to this stage Dee gets feedback from her ‘beta’ readers, fans who enjoy being part of the process.  They can be rigorous critics. “My readers expect a good story as well as the sexy bits. And they’ll feel short changed if I don’t deliver 300 plus pages and an original new idea. The beta readers are like my ideal customer and they keep me on my toes.” Dee also employs a professional editor to proofread.
Now Dee has acquired a Review Team who receive advance copies of new books. “Getting a good number of reviews on Amazon as soon as you publish helps you move up the page,” she says.
We are all a bit perturbed by how much work Dee puts in on top of crafting her books. Then there’s the nuts and bolts of uploading a Word doc to a Mobi File for Kindle, using Scrivener or a similar programme, as well as setting up A Pay to Print service on Amazon’s Create Space. “A price is recommended to you; normally I charge £2.99 for Kindle and £6.99 for printed books.” Dee keeps a number of print copies to sign for her fans.
The Chalk the Sun writers retire to the bar with Dee feeling shell-shocked by her industry and technical know-how. We are quite relieved to get a bottle of wine and start a discussion on whether there’s a good word for clitoris in the English language – ‘needy nub of nerves’ might work!
Ardella Jones