I have always wanted to get in on writing erotica, and when an invite showed up in my email to attend a free webinar on the topic, I jumped at the chance. Of course, you know if it’s a “free” webinar, then you’re going to get a little useful information, along with a sales pitch for some product or other.
The webinar was called Everything You Wanted To Know About Erotica But Were Scared To Ask. I’ll be honest, the webinar was fantastic. There was a TON of useful information in it about writing erotica. I’m so glad I was able to attend, watch the replay, and then receive the transcript.
The product for sale with the webinar is a web-based application called Erotica Plot Producer. The basic version of this program costs $197, and the tricked out version costs $297. I think these are supposed to be sale prices, so your mileage may vary with pricing.
The program itself is ok. You log in and you can click around and the system will supply you with a loose plot based around two main characters. You can choose from several categories including Western, BDSM, Paranormal, even Romantic.
Choose your category and then read the plot the system provides. It includes two random main character names, and both the character name and the sex of the character can be changed. Changing the character names and sexes doesn’t change the plot, but each name and character has their own back story that may help provide direction for the plot.
There are, in the basic version, allegedly, 200 plots to choose from (the expanded version adds several more each month for a year). Once you’ve selected the names and the plot you want, you save the plot and write your story, publish it and move on to the next one.
The plots themselves are fairly basic, and I didn’t read every single one, so I can’t confirm that there are a minimum of 200 individual plots. I think there is some overlap between genres.
There is definitely overlap in character development. I chose “Romantic” as a genre and the plot producer gave me a romantic plot, but when I changed character sexes or names I sometimes got vampires or other non-traditional characters as part of my romantic genre.
Each product option comes with “bonus” features that include places to market your completed work, how to work with the Kindle Publishing program, places to have cover artwork designed. Much of this information is readily available on the web if you know where to look, and most certainly isn’t worth the inflated “bonus value” listed on the sale sheet.
By far the most valuable part of the program is the Facebook group. Group members are both eager and willing to help and market their own work, providing tidbits of information about sales, blog posts, etc that they find in their own research. THAT is worth paying for.
My take? I think that the program is overpriced even for the basic level. The plots are written in a clunky style (they make use of “they” and “their” as pronouns for ease of use when switching character sexes) with misspellings and grammatical errors. While I’m not a perfect writer, I’m not asking anyone to spend a minimum of $200 for what I’m selling.
When I tried to find reviews of this program I was unable to find any, but stumbled on a user forum where others were asking about it because they didn’t want to spend such a large sum on an untested program. I would hope that the creator takes this into consideration and adjusts pricing levels accordingly. At best, this program is good for someone who can write but is unable or unwilling to produce their own characters and plots. It’s a good starter program and should be priced as such.