Self Publishing Authors

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.

 

 

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

Advice To Aspiring Erotic Author

You should view your first 20 books as an experiment.

Don’t worry about choosing the perfect pen name.  Don’t bother setting up an author’s profile, a twitter account, blog etc.  You should focus on writing and writing only.  And don’t just write the stories you want to write either.  You should write in as many genres as possible.

Find Your Niche

Making money as an erotic author is a balance between writing original stories but also finding a niche that works for you.

If your thinking about starting a career writing erotica I suggest you go to Amazon’s Erotica’s Best Seller’s List, especially the URBAN section.  Take a look and see what some of the popular niches are.  Start writing in those niches.  Write a cuckolding, BDSM, or shifter story.  Explore some of the more obscures niches like femdom.  Combine different niches to together.

Eventually, you will find a niche that works for you.  This may take you 5 stories it may take you 30.  You’ll know you found it when your sales  increase dramatically.

Once you find it run with it.  Now you can set up a main pen name, author’s page, and mailing list if you wish. You can use your main pen name to publish stories in your niche and use your first pen name to test of stories until you find another profitable niche.

Be Original

Being original.  I can’t stress that enough.  Don’t be the hack that rewrites a popular story in your own words.  The story of the sadistic dominant millionaire who takes interest in the shy mousy girl has been done to death.  After E.L. James’ success with 50 Shades Of Gray, hundreds of erotic authors wrote the same story in their own words.  It may have worked for some, but eventually the market becomes saturated with millionaire stories.

Don’t jump on the bandwagon.  When you try to recreate the success of another author you will always be a few steps behind.  Not only will you be competing with original author for sales, but hundreds of other bandwagon authors.

Conclusion

When starting out in erotica don’t worry about sales.  Just write.  Write in as many different genres as possible.  Try new things.  Eventually you will find things that work.

The formula for success in erotica is:  right niche + original story = lots of sales.

P.S.  If you would like to learn more about writing erotica that sells I suggest grabbing a copy of Confessions Of An Erotic Author: How To Write Smut That Sells.

I wrote this guide a few months back under the pen name Adriana Dogood.

 

 

The Only Marketing Erotic Authors Need

Erotica is like a drug.  And like all drugs it sells itself.  As long as you hit the right niche, have a sexy cover, and can write half way decent you’re going to do well.

Is marketing completely necessary if you’re an erotica writer?  Not really.  You should be spending most of you’re time focused on writing.

When I first started writing erotica I spent a lot of time marketing.  I  joined hundreds of book promotion pages and tried to build a presence on social media.  These all seemed to do very little for me, and I ended spending so much time marketing that I was getting away from what truly mattered – writing.

There is however, one marketing tactic that all erotica authors, authors in general, should use, and it’s a MAILING LIST.

You’re looking for true fans.  If someone takes time to sign up for you’re mailing list that means their a true fan.

Just think about,  how many mailing lists do you sign up for?  If you’re like me, it’s not many.  I don’t need the spam mail.  If I sign up for mailing list it means I really, really like the author, product, company etc.  If they have something new out I want to know about it.  That’s a true fan.

True fans will pay your bills.  A mailing list is way of marketing where you focus on the true fans (80/20 principle), instead of wasting time marketing to people who aren’t interested in your writing.

How Do I Start A Mailing List? 

Starting a mailing list is easy.  I’m not going to walk you through it step by step.  It’s 2017.  There are hundreds of videos out there that will so how to set up a mailing list.

The main players when it comes to mailing lists are: mailchimp.com or aweber.com.  I use mailchimp.  It’s clean, free, and easy to use.

Once you have an account set up you can create a sign up form.  Copy the url from the sign up form and start placing it in the front and back matter of all your books.  You can also place  it into your author’s page or other social media platforms if you have them.

Every time you release new books you can send out a simple newsletter to inform your fans.  I usually publish my books Friday morning.  They go live in the evening, and then I send out newsletter midday Saturday.

Conclusion

I saw a significant boost in sales once I started a mailing list.  It’s so simple that I was kicking myself for not starting it sooner.  If you’re erotica author, author in general, and don’t have a mailing list I highly suggest looking into it.

How To Give Up Short Term Sales To Get Long Term Sales (Self Publishing Authors)

Everyone loves free stuff.  An Amazon customer may not be willing to buy work from author they don’t know, but they will take a chance on an author if their work is free.   That’s why it’s important to give freebies away every now and then.

This may sound counterintuitive, but hear me out.

Giving freebies can increase sales because it hooks in new readers.  Even if you give away 100 books in one day and you gain one true fan it’s a success.  Now you have a fan who will not only buy your older titles but buy anything you produce in the future.

Amazon let’s you  promote your book for FREE for up to 5 days during the 90 day cycle it’s in KDP.  You can promote it for free 5 days in a row, or you can set it up for a couple days one month, and a couple days the next month.  Maybe you only promote it for the weekend.

When you give away something for free do it strategically.  Never give new releases out for free.  I usually give away older titles that have slid down the sales ranking.  I always notice that the sales ranking spikes up significantly after giving the book away for free, which means more eyeballs on your book thus more sales & borrows.

If you have an older series I recommend giving away the first book of the series.  If the customer loved the first book their sure to buy the rest of the series.

You should also make sure to update the front & back matter of your book before you make it free, especially if it’s an older title.  This will help direct potential fans to your most recent work.

My summer sales have been pretty slow.  Two weekends ago I decided to give away one of my older titles for free.  I promoted it for 5 days.  During those 5 days I gave away over 300 free units.  The following week my sales & borrows increased significantly.  In fact, I’ve been having my best stretch of sales all summer.

Not only have I increased sales, but the book I gave away for free has increased it sales ranking. An otherwise dead book is now revived.

If you have a big catalog in Amazon consider giving away an older title for free.  Try promoting over the weekend.  Update the front & back matter to your most recent work.  You may be surprised to see an uptick in sales.

Summer = Slow Sales

Summer is the worst time to be a self published erotic author, or any self published author for that matter.

My sales have dropped off significantly since May.  I guess I shouldn’t be surprised the same thing happened to me last summer too.

For anyone new to the self publishing game don’t stress it too much.  Yes, the summer months are slow, and it can be discouraging at times but remember things will pick up once September rolls around.  November through February is the real sweet spot.

Use the summer time to relax.  Don’t try to push out more stories to match previous month’s sales totals (I did this last summer).  You will burnout and your writing will suffer.

Save that energy and creativity for the Fall & Winter months when you’re stuck inside because of the cold.  You don’t have to totally abandon writing for the summer but you may want to lessen the workload a bit.