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TingleMedia – the start of something delicious

Scarlett James

This is a story about a woman and her quest to help other women maintain passionate relationships and secure sense of their own sensuality. The woman with the quest is me – Scarlett James, and my method is tinglemedia.com.

TingleMedia began with a couple of simple observations – women today find it difficult to keep sensuality on equal footing with other daily pressures and entertainment is increasingly snack size and portable. As women, we take on so many roles and give to so many others that it can be difficult to find time to nurture our sensual being. We know we miss it but we are not sure how to bring it into balance with all of the other demands of our lives. To set your mind to this task can seem like yet another project. My goal with TingleMedia is to take away the specter of a project and integrate sensual thoughts into each day.

the flirting begins

Imagine how delicious it would be to read something just a little (or maybe a lot!) naughty in the line at the grocery store or while attending yet another project status meeting. Maybe you don’t read your little erotic tidbit right at that moment it arrives, but you know it’s there waiting for you. You think about it as you are completing other tasks. Wondering and planning when you can stop in at the café to savor it between picking up the dry cleaning and picking up the kids. You might even find that once you arrive at the café you can’t stop at just one and you read 3 or 4 delectable tidbits over that iced latte. Smoldering with sensuality beneath a calm exterior, you resume the remaining daytime tasks while yearning for the evening hours and the open promise of tantalizing possibilities.

I think that we are at the beginning of a new sensual revolution where women explore their sensuality as part of a full life with new vigor. Using a bit of technology and leveraging social networking, TingleMedia can be a key instigator.

Those initial observations I mentioned earlier were nearly 2 years ago. In my spare time, I started working on the concept with some research into the existing genre of romantic fiction, understanding how women think about sensuality, a rich profile of my future customers, and research into how women find content they are interested in. This led to some of my first unique insights.

choosing an evening snack

I spent many hours hanging out in bookstores of all sizes watching women shop for romance and erotica books. The typical genre was a starting point and the title or maybe the cover image would draw attention, but it wasn’t what made the decision. It was the descriptive summary on the back cover. Why? Because the erotic romance reader needs to identify with the main female character at some level for the story to work. As a result, I designed categories for characters with fun and pithy descriptions such as “bad because she wants to be” and “looking for the one who wears the glass slipper. I’ve made it much easier to find just what you are hungry for.

I also embraced the knowledge that each woman is unique and so are the things that she finds tantalizing. Even the concept of reading romance and erotica turned out to be an oddly polarizing topic. I’ve worked hard to find a range of authors and a wide range of stories so that there is something for everyone. The stories range from playful and innocent to steamy erotica. And I’ve given readers a helpful set of features in TingleMedia to both satisfy and explore – features like seeing how “spicy” a story is.

getting down to business

Designing and building it has been more challenging than I imagined it would be. Some of the technology challenges have been surprising. The first site didn’t meet the requirements for speed and quality. The search functionality was not rich enough and didn’t consistently return the expected results. After spending money and time building the site, it became clear that the base code could not be repaired. A crucial decision, and a first pivot, was imminent – launch with a poor quality site or scrap it and start over. I’m sure you can guess that the choice was the latter – start over.

sweet treats

Most e-book publishers pay for content up front and provide royalties on book purchases. Bootstrapping this company forced me to be creative about acquiring content. I realized that publishers who pay up-front are less likely to take risks on new authors or new types of stories. Just as there are a wide range of reader tastes, there are a wide range of authors whose stories don’t always get a chance to find an audience. Getting started in a writing career or changing your genre can be difficult. I decided to provide a new more open publishing platform where writers can try out their skills in a new genre. Submissions are curated and vetted for quality, but not solicited based on what I think will sell. TingleMedia encourages all writers of any experience level to participate in this unique new use of written content. Rather than a small purchase fee, contributing writers retain full rights to their content and earn a larger than industry standard commission based on the number of readers of their stories. My hope is that this is a way for new writers to get a start and find an audience.

goodnight kiss

TingleMedia officially launched November 22, 2010. It is just getting started. I have many plans for new delivery methods and places for readers and authors to connect. I believe that what I’m trying to accomplish is important. Take a chance on a something a little different and come along on the journey.

passionately yours,

Scarlett James
TingleMedia, Inc
www.tinglemedia.com
@thatscarlett

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