Month: August 2017

What Is The Best Sales Day? When Should You Release Your Book?

When is the best day to release a book?  What is the best sales day?

There’s no definite answer to this question.  I have, however, noticed a few trends after self publishing for two years.

Sunday is usually the highest selling day.  Saturday is a close second.  Friday and Monday can do especially well.  Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday are usually the slowest sales days.  Thursday seems to be especially slow.

Of course, this all changes with holidays.  You may experience a drop off on a major holiday like Thanksgiving, but then see a huge spike in sales the following days because people are still on vacation.  You’ll usually see a nice spike in sales leading up to Christmas.

I’ve been publishing my books Thursday nights for a while now.  They usually go live Friday afternoon, just in time for the weekend spike.

I’ve found it’s useless to release your book midweek.  You should always publish books so they go live for the weekend.

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No Publish No Problem

I decided not to publish any stories in the month of August.  This doesn’t mean I have stopped writing.

I did this for a two reasons.

  1. August sales were getting off to a slow start
  2. I wanted a few books “in the chamber” for when I started publishing again in September.

By having a few books in the chamber I have the liberty to take a week off if necessary during the next couple of months.  It just made sense to hoard a few stories for the month of August since this is generally one of the worse selling months for self publishing author’s, and these books are better served being released during busy months.

The funny thing is, sales have gone up since I made this decision.  I haven’t released a single book, yet my sales are on track to beat July.  Of course by saying this I probably just jinxed myself, but oh well.  It’s still good to know I can leave the self publishing game alone at times and still bring in sales.

How To Constantly Come Up With New Erotica Stories

To be successful writing erotica you need to find the right niche & write original stories.

Generic stories about the plain jane capturing the heart of the alpha millionaire, biker, jock etc.  has been done to death.  They may still work for romance novels, but not erotica.

Erotica readers want specific sexual kinks and a half decent story that hasn’t been rehashed a thousands times over.

How does one continuously come up with original stories?

  1.  Take a walk through you’re city/town:  Stories are everywhere you just have to look for them.  Take notice of you’re environment.  Maybe the abandoned warehouse you pass on the street is meeting place for a sex cult.  Maybe the couple in the cafe are debating whether they should go to the swingers party they we’re invited to.  Let your imagination run wild.  You’ll never people watch the same way again.
  2. Mix Match List:  This is my personal go to when I’m having trouble coming up with a new story.  I take a sheet of paper and divide it into four columns – kink/sex act, setting, character, and emotion.  Underneath each column I write 10-15 words.  After I feel I have enough words under each column I mix and match the words so I have a total random combination of kink/sex act, setting, character, and emotion.  I use the combination of the four words and try to base a story around it.  This usually gives me some interesting results and plot lines I have never seen done before.  This exercise takes all of 5 minutes.

Just remember, erotica readers want something they haven’t read before.  Yes, erotica is first and foremost about the sex, but that doesn’t mean readers don’t want a little plot with their porn.

Most erotic authors fail because they try to copy a story that has gained popularity.  The problem with this is a number of others erotic authors are doing the same thing, trying to cash in on the flavor of the month.  By being original, you will stand out from the pack.

 

 

“200 Crappy Words A Day” (More Advice To Aspiring Erotic Authors)

“200 crappy words a day.”  I don’t who said it, but I’ve seen this quote floating around the interweb on a few occasions.

Why 200?

The idea is that if the person set a small easy goal like “200 crappy words a day” than it would build momentum.

Writing a 1000 words a day seems daunting.  So daunting, that the person may never even attempt to try.  But “200 crappy words” is more than manageable.  After all, they don’t even have to be good words.

When you first start writing resistance will hit you like a ton of bricks.  You have all these great ideas,  all these things you want to write about.  You can even imagine your bank account growing as people buy copy after copy of your short stories.

But now it comes time to actually write.  You sit down and all those great ideas fade away.  You try to type but words won’t flow.  You think to yourself how am I ever going to write my first short if I can’t even muster up one measly paragraph?

You become discouraged.  Distracted.  Maybe if I just do something else I’ll get a creative spark.  The cursor blinks on an empty page.  You haven’t written a thing.

You may be thinking how do I know all this?

It’s because your problem is not unique.  It happens to every writer.  It happens to me.  It probably even happened to Ernest fucking Hemingway.

This is called resistance, and it’s something that every writer will continually have to conquer.

When you first start writing resistance is particularly strong.  I remember when I first started writing even penning “200 crappy words” was difficult.  However, if I was able to push on I would gain momentum.

Maybe the next writing session I was able to pen 500.  A week later I could write 1000.  A crappy 1000, but still 1000.

It took me three days to write my first erotic short and it was barely 3,000 words long, and it sucked.  Two months later I was finishing a 3k short in a day.  A year later I was cranking out 5-6 short stories a week with ease.

Then again there are still days when I write that I feel like an armless, legless person with a crayon in my mouth.

I push on.  I set small word count goals.  If I don’t feel like writing I’ll just trick myself into it.  Just sit down and write 200 words I tell myself.  Those 200 words usually turn into much more.  I gain momentum.

This is how you should approach writing when you’re first starting out or even if you’re a seasoned vet.  You need to trick yourself into it.  Just remember “200 crappy words.”  If that’s too daunting make it 100.  Hell, make it 50.  Just get your ass in the seat and start typing.   50 words may not seem like much but it adds up.  If you sat down and typed just 50 words each day you would have an 18,250 word novella by the end of year.

Start off small.  Build momentum.  Don’t make unattainable goals for yourself.  Don’t think you need to write 5-6 shorts per week.  This type of thinking will crush you in the beginning, resistance will get stronger and you’ll give up before you even start.

Always remember, “200 crappy words per day.”

 

Keep A Few Books In The Chamber

I was optimistic with the way August started.  The first two days sales were good.  Since that point sales have slowed to a crawl.

I guess I shouldn’t be surprised.  Last August was the same thing.  It was one of the my worst months in terms of sales even though it was one of my most productive months in terms of writing.

Note to self:  Let August be a month to coast a little.  For the rest of August I will not release another book or bundle.  I may promote a few of my older titles for free.  I will continue writing, but not as much.  My goals is to have a few books in the chamber for when I start writing full time again in September.

It’s always good to have a few books in the chamber if things get hectic one week.  This means you can still release books even if you weren’t able to get anything done that week.

Sales should pick up again in September, and it should only go up from there *knocks on wood.*  Maybe August is good time to ease back and let the creative mind rest before I start cranking out stories again in the fall & winter.  For the next couple months I won’t have the opportunity to take it easy so it’s best to slack off now when potential readers are enjoying the end of summer instead of short story smut.

6 Ways To Become A More Productive Erotic Author

When writing erotica you don’t want anything to hinder your volume. The key to success for a no name self published erotic author is VOLUME.

Remember you’re not writing the next great American novel.  You’re writing short stories to get people off.  Usually these stories will be in the 3,000-5,000 word range.

If your serious about making money with erotica you should treat it like a business.  This means setting aside time to write, whether you feel like it or not.  You should value this time.  It’s a time for writing and writing only.

Of course, this is easier said than done.  Distractions pop up.  Phone calls, twitter feeds, and noisy roommates can kill productivity.  It’s important that distractions like these are nipped in the bud.  Here are a few ways to eliminate distractions and become a more productive erotic author:

1. Pomodoro Technique:  Set your writing time into twenty five minute blocks with 5 minute rest periods. After you have completed 4 twenty five minute blocks take an extended break of fifteen minute, and repeat.

I like the Pomodoro Technique because it helps you get into a rhythm while preventing burnout.  The twenty five minute blocks help build momentum.  You may only be able to get 200 words during the first block, but by the forth block you will be writing 500 plus words easily.  The words will begin to flow.  The 5 minute breaks are a good time to stretch, and aren’t long enough for you to get distracted by something else.

Need a Pomodoro timer?  There are many apps for that.

2.  Outline:  You don’t have to write a detailed rough draft for erotica, but it does help to have some semblance of an outline.

Write out the general plot, characters, setting, and any other research beforehand. Nothing breaks up the flow of writing like researching to make sure minor details are accurate.

3.  Edit Later:  I have to admit I don’t always follow this advice myself.  For some reason I feel the need to edit after every sentence.

When writing you’re aiming for uninterrupted streams of consciousness.  Some may call this flow state.  It’s where the magic happens.

Going back to look up the perfect word or correct grammatical errors will kill flow. When you write, just write.  Stop trying to be perfect.  You can edit it later.

4.  Block The Interweb: I don’t know about you, but I’m easily distracted and thrown off course.  I may tell myself I’m going to check my mail real quick, but two hours later I’m looking at Facebook pictures of someone I barely knew in high school.

If you’re like me, you shouldn’t even give yourself the option to get distracted.  Block the internet before it becomes a blackhole.  I use an extension called StayFocused.   This extension allows you to block “problem” websites for extended periods of time.

5.  Block Your Phone Too:  Don’t forget your phone too.  Put it on airplane mode.  Better yet, turn it off.

Phone calls and texts are another needless distraction.  Let’s face it, no one really needs to get in touch with you that bad.

6.  Work Space:  This isn’t necessary but it’s something to consider.  Your living space may be the perfect spot for you to work, but for some it’s just another distraction.  Noisy roommates, annoying partners, or little children can put a damper on writing time.

You may find it useful to rent a small studio space.  Usually you can find a decent spot for pretty cheap.  I was able to find a studio in a co working space for $105 a month.

Conclusion 

Being successful in erotica, or any genre, is about carving time out of each day to write, and defending that time against your own self sabotage.

P.S.  If you’re interested in becoming a more productive writer I suggest grabbing a copy of Steven Pressfield’s War of Art.  It’s the bible when it comes to breaking past creative hurdles and getting shit done.

If you’re interested in learning ways to succeed as an erotic author grab a copy of my book Confessions of an Erotic Author:  How to Write Smut That Sells

Niche Ideas For Erotic Authors

In my last post I urged aspiring erotic authors to write in as many different niches as possible.  It’s not so much what you like to write it’s about writing what the readers want.

Hopefully you can find a sweet spot of writing something you enjoy and also that sells well.

To help you find your niche I’ve decided to create a list.  Here are some of the common niches in erotica:

ABDL (adult baby diaper love):  adult that dresses/acts like baby.

BBW (big beautiful women):  Big curvy women and the men who can’t resist them.

Bimboification:  regular plain jane girls are turned into sex crazed bimbos.

Interracial:  Black men/ white women work the best, but white men/ black women can work too.  I don’t have much experience with other mixes.  

BDSM (Bondage Discipline Sadism Masochism):  Man is usually dom.  Woman is submissive and seeking it.  

Breeding:  May also go by the name of fertile or bareback.  Female is impregnated by human or monster.

Cuckolding:  Usually involves a man watching his wife having sex with another man.  Make  sure that you state that the man is seeking to watch instead of catching her cheating.  

Exhibitionism/Voyeurism:  These go hand in hand.  Either getting off on watching or being watched.

Monster:  Bigfoots, Aliens, Dinosaurs etc.  Mythological, Fantasy, or extinct creatures are acceptable only.  No animals!

Femdom:  Dominant women/ submissive men.  Men are humiliated.  

Historical:  Think Romans, Vikings, Westerns etc.

Lactation:  Women who lactate.  Also known as hucow.

Pseudoincest:  Stepfather – stepdaughter, stepsister – stepbrother etc.  Approach this niche at your own risk.  A lot of my books have been banned in this niche.

Medical:  exams that turn to sex.  Little experience in this niche.

Dubious Consent:  There’s a grey area here.  The “victim” is reluctant yet aroused at the same time.  Some call this rape-fantasy.  

Older man/younger woman or Older woman/younger man:  Silver foxes & virgins or MILFS & young studs

Shifter/Paranormal:  Think Twilight but with sex.  Werewolfs are popular here.

Lesbian/Gay

Spanking

There are many more, but this should be a good start.  Do some research on your own.  Look at a list of paraphilias.