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How to Make Money Writing Erotica

By Edited Sep 16, 2015 1 1

Know Your Erotica

From Your Lips

Erotica 101

Sales of Erotica are booming and online sales have surpassed print. It's a trend that is expected to continue as more and more people own e-readers like Kindle, Nook and Kobo. Most of the readers are women and it's no surprise. E-readers offer privacy. No one needs to know what you are reading and there's no embarassing trips to the adult bookstore.

To write erotica you must read erotica. Google Amazon Erotica and you will see pages of stories available to download on to your Kindle.  Many are free. Read them critically with an eye for tone, pacing and character development.

Check out different publishers and their requirements. (more on that coming up), There are a lot of  mainstream erotica publishers and many that deal with niche erotica. If you are uncomfortable reading it you will probably be uncomfortable writing it. If not, you may find you're unleashing your writing "passion" and making money at the same time.

Understand the Niche Market

Google up the Erotica Readers and Writers Association. They have a page of links that describe the types of e-books, novellas and short stories publishers are looking for. Most have their submission guidelines.  Some want only RTF files, other may want the work in doc form. Formatting for e-books takes a little time to learn.

Some publishers only accept submissions once or twice a year, others accept them on an on-going basis. Some do not allow duplicate submissions (submitting work to more than one publisher).

Publishers want sex or sexual tension but the also have a list of taboos. They may include:

1. No sexual acts by people under the age of 18.

2. No incest.

3. No beastiality.

4. No rape or sexual acts that cause harm.

5. No sexual acts that involve urine or feces.

Publishers aren't looking for a string a sexual acts strung together by a thin lifeless plot. They don't want plagarism and they don't want a cookie cutter plot. Publishers want color, imagination, larger than life characters and above all, a compelling story.

Pay attention to detail. Your story should be historically factual, well written and free of typos.

If you are not sure if erotica is right for you don't jump into writing a major novel. Start with short stories. You will find out quickly if erotica is a genre you're comfortable with.

When you are pitching to a publisher be prepared to work with line editors, cover artists and marketing experts. Mainstream online editors are like mainstream book publishers. and many work in both mediums. If your work is approved be prepared to sign a contract which will outline your rights, royalties and in some cases, an upfront advance.

The More You Write, the Bigger the Rewards.

Write, Write, Write

Familiarity Breed Cash

Erotica readers know their authors. The more you have published, the bigger your fan base will be. If a reader likes your work she'll look for other stories you've written.

Consider publishing your work in a series. Create larger than life characters that readers want more of and keep bringing them back into your work. You'll have readers anxiously awaiting your next story.

Publishers help authors promote their work, but they will expect your help as well. Be prepared to promote your work on your website or blog. Attend erotica writing workshops and conferences.

There are some good guide books on the market to help you get started.

Good luck and good writing!

Passionate Ink: A Guide to Writing Erotic Romance
Amazon Price: $15.99 $14.88 Buy Now
(price as of Sep 16, 2015)
A good guide book to get you started
Writing Erotic Fiction: How to write a successful erotic novel
Amazon Price: $13.99 Buy Now
(price as of Sep 16, 2015)
Easy to read with some good tips


Nov 15, 2012 6:59am
Excellent article Derby! You might do another one detailing how to write erotic e-books as the whole set up is a little difference, as you self publish e-books. You certainly know your stuff on this issue xxx
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