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infinitenexus
infinitenexus Dork
3/23/22 3:24 p.m.

Obviously the title is sarcastic, but I do write books and I thought it would be fun to track my progress. So, in October of 2021 I self-published my first book on Amazon, a dark fantasy novella that sold about $30. It was fun, and I showed myself that I not only could write, but that I wrote enjoyable stories and really liked writing. So I said to myself "self, I'd like to do this more and possibly make money from it." Now, writing books is easy. Making money from books is not. So as I perused all the tips and advice online, I came across the oldest business in existence, that being secks. The nice thing about the hanky panky, and we're talking porn here, is that it sells itself. No advertisement needed. So I studied the market for short erotica and created a pen name and wrote a few stories. I made a few bucks. I wrote a few more. So far I have about 30 stories out, and have made $700-something from my hobby.

I would like to emphasize that I started writing erotica for one reason and one reason only: to make money. And there is money there, it just takes time and effort. I don't have a ton of time, with me having a full-time job and a family, but I wake up early in the mornings, I write on my lunch break, and I write some after my wife and son go to bed. From what other erotica authors have told me, I'm about halfway to where I need to be before I start seeing a notable increase in cashflow--one of the most important things about being an author is having a large back catalog. The more books you have out, the more money you'll make.

So hey, if anyone is curious about reading what it's like trying to find some measure of success as a self-published author, feel free to read! I'll try to remember to pop in here and update once a week or so.

I wanted to add a little edit in here to emphasize that I'm putting most of my effort into writing my science fiction series, my "real" books. I only write erotica for cash, although the writing practice honestly helps.

Edit: As of April, I've stopped writing erotica. I just got tired of it.

GameboyRMH
GameboyRMH GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
3/23/22 3:28 p.m.

Look out Chuck Tingle, infinitenexus is coming for the crown! cheeky

Robbie (Forum Supporter)
Robbie (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
3/23/22 3:29 p.m.

Fifty shades of GRM

Stampie
Stampie GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
3/23/22 3:31 p.m.

So not a question I get to ask many friends, what kind of porn do you specialize in?

jgrewe
jgrewe HalfDork
3/23/22 3:37 p.m.

An old friend of mine's grandmother wrote some "romance novels" back in the 40's and early 50's and made enough money to open a Christian school here in town.  I've had other friends that send their kids there to get a wholesome education and I always have to tell them where the money came from to start the school.

RevRico
RevRico UltimaDork
3/23/22 3:38 p.m.

You know I've thought about doing the exact same thing. Despite there being plenty of free erotica out there, people will pay very very well for it.

AngryCorvair (Forum Supporter)
AngryCorvair (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
3/23/22 3:40 p.m.

from bitcoin to bootcoin, infinitenexus wants it all!

infinitenexus
infinitenexus Dork
3/23/22 3:47 p.m.

So, before anyone asks I'll just tell you, no I am not going to divulge my pen names for erotica. Don't even bother asking. 

 

The key to writing erotica shorts is that they're short stories--about 5-7 thousand words. Once you get the hang of it, they're very quick to write. If I have enough free time, I can churn one out in a day. I do the cover art myself from stock photos, and voila, I can self-publish something at no cost to me other than time. Yes, the stories get kinda tiring to write--you can only write about hootuses and bootuses so much before it gets a bit boring. But my sales are slowly but steadily climbing. By the end of the year I should have 40-50 stories out, and from what people have told me I should be making close to $1,000/month in sales from that as long as I keep releasing on a regular schedule. That's what I've been told, and that's what a lot of other people have seen, so we'll remember that and check things 9 months from now. 

So, I do that to make a few bucks and to help learn how to write quickly and cleanly. My real passion, however, is writing science fiction and fantasy stories. The downside of that is that it takes TONS of self-promotion and marketing and often a lot of money spent on ads to make money. On top of that, you need a pretty much perfect cover, blurb, and to be active on social media to get the word out. Well, I recently started a twitter (@armon_mikal if anyone wants to follow me) and I've been steadily growing my followers and trying to be interesting on there. A little over a month ago I published my first science fiction novel, entitled Like Shadows in the Night. I'm very proud of it and think it's a fantastic book--and so far, the reviews are agreeing with me. My original cover art sucked because I tried to do it myself, so I broke down and paid someone about $100 to make me something more professional-looking. If anyone wants to check this book out, here 'tis:

Link to book on amazon

 

I'm currently working on the sequel, and I'm about 20K words into my first draft. Things are going well, although I'm a bit behind on my schedule. About a month behind, to be exact. What can I say, some things are more important and sometimes life gets in the way!

I dropped about $100 on a few ads and promotions on this book, but as I later learned your first book often doesn't sell much. No one knows who you are and your name isn't "out there." The saying is "The best promotion you can do for your first book is writing the next one." so that's what I'm doing.

What are my goals? Well, I'd love to be a successful science fiction/fantasy author, but I'm staying realistic. I have a ton of awesome story ideas in my head, and I'm learning how to put them to paper, so to speak. I figure I'll keep churning out erotica stories for another year, maybe two, to see if the money keeps growing. I know several people that make 6 figure incomes from writing short erotica, so it's possible (although I don't expect that at all). I figure if I make enough money to pay for a vacation, I'll be happy.  During that time, I'll keep working on my science fiction books and try to make a bit of a name for myself.

The best part is, even if they don't sell, I still created something awesome so that's something to be proud of. 

 

Sorry for the rambling, I'm getting ready to head home now so my thoughts are a bit here and there.

Just to keep a running total, my total sales to date are: $748.56

slefain
slefain PowerDork
3/23/22 3:48 p.m.

An acquaintance of mine writes that stuff. Never read their work (and don't want to) but it apparently pays a few bills.

infinitenexus
infinitenexus Dork
3/23/22 3:48 p.m.
AngryCorvair (Forum Supporter) said:

from bitcoin to bootcoin, infinitenexus wants it all!

Once all my miners paid themselves off I kinda got out of mining. If I had gotten into it even 4 months earlier I would have made good money, but I got into it at the tail end of profitability. Now I just have one rig mining away, making about $200/month I think, and I'm eventually just going to sell my graphics cards.

But yes I love having hobbies, and if it's one that can make money then I find that fascinating. Probably because I grew up poor.

RevRico
RevRico UltimaDork
3/23/22 3:53 p.m.

In reply to infinitenexus :

For the sci-fi fantasy stuff have you looked at kindle unlimited as distribution?

I didn't get tat deep into researching when I was planning a cookbook, but I have been finding a lot of good sci-fi stuff on unlimited. Just going by the summary at least. What has gotten annoying is getting to book 6-8 of a series and needing to wait for the next one. 

But I follow that author, see more of their work, recommend them to people. 

I can't imagine the pay is very good until your getting bunches of reads a month, but if it doesn't restrict your other sales avenues it might be a good way to get your name out there. 

infinitenexus
infinitenexus Dork
3/23/22 3:58 p.m.
Stampie said:

So not a question I get to ask many friends, what kind of porn do you specialize in?

I'll probably touch on this in a later post so I can go into more detail, but I have two erotica pen names. Since this is specifically for money, I studied the market and looked for niches that sold decently well but weren't oversaturated. The whole billionaire thing sells incredibly well (if you can write for female readership, which I'm not very good at) but a ton of people are doing it so it's very cutthroat. Gay erotica also sells well, although there's many different niches within that--prison stories, bear, the whole step brother thing, etc. I spent a few days just trying to analyze what would be the best market. Which niche had room for another active author.

I wound up writing transgender erotica under my first pen name. I'll go over the details of exactly what sells best at a later post--it's kinda fascinating. At the same time, I started another pen name to write age gap stories--sort of the stereotypical 18 year old virgin that seduces her 40 year old neighbor. Since these two niches are pretty far apart, I've been able to get more mileage out of my stories; I write one for one pen name, then just basically change the genitalia and rewrite it (which I'm very fast at) and publish it under the other name. That doesn't work with every story.

I believe having two erotica pen names and being able to use many of my stories twice is going to help me big time. Most erotica authors say you need at least 30 stories out before you start seeing any real income. Well, if I have not one but two pen names out with that many stories, I should make even more! At least, that's my thought process.

If I ever find the time (HA!) I want to try to write some romantic erotica stories geared toward female readers. That's where the real money is. I know several women that write steamy romance novels, just short ones, and release one book per month and make well into the 6 figures doing so. But that's a specific skillset that I'll have to learn, so for now I'm just churning out these stories while putting all my effort into some awesome scifi.

infinitenexus
infinitenexus Dork
3/23/22 4:01 p.m.
RevRico said:

In reply to infinitenexus :

For the sci-fi fantasy stuff have you looked at kindle unlimited as distribution?

I didn't get tat deep into researching when I was planning a cookbook, but I have been finding a lot of good sci-fi stuff on unlimited. Just going by the summary at least. What has gotten annoying is getting to book 6-8 of a series and needing to wait for the next one. 

But I follow that author, see more of their work, recommend them to people. 

I can't imagine the pay is very good until your getting bunches of reads a month, but if it doesn't restrict your other sales avenues it might be a good way to get your name out there. 

I use kindle unlimited for all of my books. It's pretty much a requirement--not everyone wants to pay for an entire book. Once your page reads get high enough, there's good money there. Right now it's about half a cent per page read.

infinitenexus
infinitenexus Dork
3/23/22 4:02 p.m.
RevRico said:

You know I've thought about doing the exact same thing. Despite there being plenty of free erotica out there, people will pay very very well for it.

They really do! And there's other sites out there (I'm only on Amazon at the moment) geared specifically towards smut. I've considered putting some stories on there to see how they do as well. Probably in the future.

RevRico
RevRico UltimaDork
3/23/22 4:03 p.m.

In reply to infinitenexus :

Oooh. Don't forget places like fiverr. There are subcategories for custom erotica. With a handful of stories to start with, you could change name or description at will and sell unlimited stories that way. 

infinitenexus
infinitenexus Dork
3/23/22 4:04 p.m.

Also, in case it wasn't clear in my above rambling, I am not writing the erotica that I enjoy (I don't personally read or enjoy written erotica) I'm just writing what sells and what I feel I can do best.

 

Gary
Gary UltraDork
3/23/22 4:14 p.m.

In reply to infinitenexus :

Are any of your female characters named "Amy"? (If you're curious about my asking that question, it's because there was an almost porn-type thread here a few years ago that involved an "Amy." We all breathlessly awaited the next post from the OP. Alas, it eventually disappeared from the forum. sad)

Captdownshift even changed his avatar in honor of Amy.

Patrick
Patrick GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
3/23/22 4:18 p.m.

i think this is neat.  also love your openness to talking about it.  sex and sex related businesses are so stigmatized by prude americans that nobody talks about it openly. 

AngryCorvair (Forum Supporter)
AngryCorvair (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
3/23/22 4:23 p.m.

is there a wheelchair genre?

RX Reven'
RX Reven' GRM+ Memberand UltraDork
3/23/22 4:28 p.m.
AngryCorvair (Forum Supporter) said:

is there a wheelchair genre?

I'm pretty there is...I know fresh accident victims is a thing.

"The only thing that doesn't turn someone on is the sound of a crying baby and even that can be debated"

DjGreggieP
DjGreggieP HalfDork
3/23/22 4:44 p.m.

Non erotica related.

Followed on Twitter, and put your book on my amazon wishlist. I am waiting until I am back in the house before ordering any books so I don't have to box them up and risk losing anything.

 

Javelin
Javelin GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
3/23/22 4:46 p.m.
infinitenexus said:

So, before anyone asks I'll just tell you, no I am not going to divulge my pen names for erotica. Don't even bother asking. 

It's Infinite Nexus, isn't it?

1988RedT2
1988RedT2 MegaDork
3/23/22 4:55 p.m.

Writing porn is a little like prostitution, but instead of getting paid for letting someone Berkeley you, you're getting paid to let someone imagine they're Berkeleying some character you invented in your brain, using another character's hootus.

Captdownshift (Forum Supporter)
Captdownshift (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
3/23/22 5:07 p.m.

Create a publishing method where sections of pages ship stuck together. People will think it's really good and they'll purchase a second copy to have access to the pages that were already stuck together. 

Steve_Jones
Steve_Jones Dork
3/23/22 5:15 p.m.

From Bit Coin to Tit Coin, what's next?

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