For several years, I have been writing for magazines, newspapers, websites, etc. – pretty much anyone I could get an assignment (and check) from. While writing for such places has been my bread and butter, and the way that I feed my kids, I never really liked it. I hated constantly having to send out query letters, dealing with rude sources, and writing about things I didn’t know anything about. I’ve always been more of a creative writer and I loved writing romance books in my spare time. That’s why, when a friend of mine introduced me to self-publishing, I knew that I had to at least try it out!
I published the six novels that I had written in my spare time over the years to see if this was going to be something that I wanted to pursue. The day after the books were published, I had made 19 sales! Since then, I’ve been hooked.
For the next couple of months, I continued to write and publish my romance novels as quickly as I could until I decided to try something new. The same friend who introduced me to self-publishing also publishes erotic short stories and she tells me all the time about how the earning potential is higher for erotic shorts for two main reasons.
1. There is such a huge market for erotic short stories on Amazon and erotica is the best performing genre on the site.
2. Short stories don’t take as much time to write as novels but can still be priced fairly high.
So, I decided to give it a go. I wrote an erotic short story based on one of the main characters of one of my novels, and published it as an ebook only on Amazon. The story was only about 3,000 words but I priced it at 2.99, as my friend told me to. Sure enough, a week went by and my story had been performing really, really well! That’s when I decided that I wanted to focus mainly on writing erotic short stories.
So, I decided to do something even crazier – my goal was to publish 100 erotic short stories in 12 months. I began to write my butt off, writing 5 to 10 of these stories a month, while continuing to write for trade magazines and websites. It definitely took hard work and determination, but I did it.
A couple of days ago I published my 100th story and, this month, I received my biggest check yet – for a little over $10,000! Here are some things to consider if you want to self-publish erotic fiction:
Price and Length:
Although most of the content I write is short stories, I do occasionally publish novels. Here is how I price all of my work:
EBOOK PRICING SUGGESTIONS
$0.99 > Short Shorts: Under 3K
$2.99 > Stories: 3-15K
$3.99 > Stories: 15-35K
$4.99 > Stories: 35-50K
$5.99 > Novels: 50-70K
$6.99 > Novels: 70-90K
$7.99> Novels: 90-110K
$8.99> Novels: 110-130K
$9.99> Novels: 130-150K
Fortunately, the famous saying “sex sells” is extremely true, meaning that promotion for short stories is very simple. I barely do any promotion for my short stories. I have a website that I post links to my stories on, and I also have a newsletter that I set up for free. Every time I publish a new story I let my newsletter subscribers know, and I occasionally give new subscribers a free story.
By Anonymous – “I use several pen names when I write. Hey, a girl’s got to have some secrets ;).”
For additional advice on online book promotion, see: 90+ DAYS OF PROMOTING YOUR BOOK ONLINE: Your Book’s Daily Marketing Plan
Erotica 101 and Erotica 102
“After many years as a professional erotica writer, I like to think I’ve learned a few things, most all of them the hard way…”