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Enrico Furby
Jun 28, 2003

by Hand Knit


Excellent, thanks so much for the clarification guys, thought there might be a difference in word counts between the two. So there is not even a separate thread for literotica anywhere else on the forums? Seems uptight for the forums that brought us "your poison womb is making heaven too loving crowded" but I should never underestimate the prudishness of my fellow Americans. I miss the tight-knitness of the goon thread. Reddit is never as satisfying to participate in but I will certainly bookmark it for mining information. Although I will be more than happy to lurk with you folks as well, of course! I will stop hogging the thread now with my bullshit. <3

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Ed Zeddmore
Dec 12, 2011

:h:love will turn you around:h:


All Else Failed posted:

goonwrite.com - As premade covers, does that mean the point is to just pick a cover, buy it, and build a story around it? That sounds kinda fun, like beating challenges in a video game.

I had a pretty easy time finding one that would work for a romance I already had in mind, but you could definitely use them as prompts if you wanted to, and it's a pretty fun site to browse. Some of them should be written just as they are.

EngineerSean
Feb 9, 2004

by zen death robot


did my boss really mean it when he said I was the worst temp he'd ever worked with? :ohdear:

Hijinks Ensue
Jul 24, 2007


"Someone ate all the gluten-free donuts!" he sobbed.

Bobby Deluxe
May 9, 2004

this changes nothing, i am still dead inside

All Else Failed posted:

So there is not even a separate thread for literotica anywhere else on the forums? Seems uptight for the forums that brought us "your poison womb is making heaven too loving crowded" but I should never underestimate the prudishness of my fellow Americans.
It's not so much a matter of prudishness as drama. When the thread was around Amazon wasn't taking a hard line on incest, bestiality and rape stories, and the dinosaur porn was also getting pretty big. Because of this, the thread kind of became more about people trolling those authors (or even worse, defending those fetishes) and it started to spill out into other threads* so it got shut down to keep the drama out.

Most forums I've seen consist of people defending pseudo incest ("it's OK because he's her stepbrother/dad") or pseudo bestiality ("you guys he just shifted to wolf form during sex but he's really human") and I suspect the mods don't want to touch that clusterfuck with a bargepole. Even if a thread was started with a disclaimer saying 'normal porn only,' I suspect any erotica thread would quickly become infested with arguments from people defending why their banned fetish should be considered OK.

* As in authors posting in other threads were getting "yeah, well you write weird porn" in non related threads, and then that thread also became about weird porn, and so on.

Enrico Furby
Jun 28, 2003

by Hand Knit


More questions, apologies.

How does one sort which titles are by indie authors and which are simply electronic versions of print authors? Just by looking at the print price being crossed out under some titles?

I am finding it tough to gauge what exactly is crushing the bestsellers list right now, although I see there is surprisingly less competition in the young adult section. Is there a way to see how many copies have been sold that I'm missing? I wonder if I could just poo poo out some existential angst like the perpetual manchild I am and market it to some emo tweens. Goth has to make a comeback any day now, right?

I don't see why I wouldn't just go to erotica if the motive is making money, though. 5k words for higher prices and ostensibly less of a skill floor for profitable writing in what is basically a second cousin of the oldest profession on Earth. Not that I want to keep touching that dead horse inappropriately and self-publishing it all the way to the bank. I suppose it might be the least gratifying to write but even that is questionable when compared to a lot of the saccharine horseshit Jane Q. Public is likely to lap up.

Is there any reason to use Nook Press if D2D will handle Apple AND B&N? And with this new KU stuff, would a newbie like me benefit from just putting everything in KDP Select and eschewing B&N/Apple entirely or no?

I am still infinitely perplexed at the idea of how important a cover is, yet even paying like $25 a pop for average-ish covers (I'm assuming Fiverr jobs aren't even worth it if a title won't sell because of a lovely cover) if I can churn out 10 titles in a month that's a $250 investment on top of time spent, but trying to cobble together my own is going to hurt sales and take up even more time & annoyance hamfistedly learning an entirely new skill in Photoshop for a less than mediocre result and ultimately tanking my ROI from several angles. It's such an infuriating catch 22. I'm such a Sensitive Temp.

Enrico Furby fucked around with this message at 13:19 on Nov 4, 2014

ravenkult
Feb 3, 2011




All Else Failed posted:

More questions, apologies.

How does one sort which titles are by indie authors and which are simply electronic versions of print authors? Just by looking at the print price being crossed out under some titles?



Indie authors can be in print too. Check lower down on the page, where the wordcount is, what it says under ''Publisher.''

Enrico Furby
Jun 28, 2003

by Hand Knit


ravenkult posted:

Indie authors can be in print too. Check lower down on the page, where the wordcount is, what it says under ''Publisher.''

Excellent. Although I keep seeing page counts instead of word counts. :saddowns:

ravenkult
Feb 3, 2011




All Else Failed posted:

Excellent. Although I keep seeing page counts instead of word counts. :saddowns:

Yeah, I misspoke. Page count it is.

Szmitten
Apr 26, 2008


All Else Failed posted:

More questions, apologies

I know you're doing this for business and money, but have you actually written anything yet? Or know how to write? Because if you're doing all this research at the expense of any writing at all, any business plan you have will fall apart because your product will be garbage.

Sundae
Dec 1, 2005


Bobby Deluxe posted:

I suspect the mods don't want to touch that clusterfuck with a bargepole

This is correct, as is the drama aspect. I followed up with moderators before posting the thread, and the agreement was that :siren:talking about erotica isn't allowed.:siren:


Also, since I'm seeing a lot of newer posters in the thread, I want to reiterate a point from the OP:

The OP posted:

The first thing you need to do is read your genre. Read it enough to know it inside and out. Learn why certain tropes work in your genre. Know the reader expectations in your genre. Read related genres. Hell, read and learn from unrelated genres! Read bestsellers that you're biased to think are complete poo poo (if I made it through Twilight and Fifty Shades, you can survive them too). Read everything. Don't even think about marketing stuff yet. Just don't. If you don't know what you're writing or how writing it works, sit your butt down and keep reading. It's the same thing as with any other product-based field. If you don't know what your customers want, who they are, and what defines a good product, you're doomed from the start. Dust off that library card of yours and go to town on the new releases section. Read!

Now that you're a wonderfully well-read individual who knows what actual readers read, as opposed to what your old english lit teacher made you read while surreptitiously pouring whiskey into his coffee, you can start thinking about writing!

If you're new to writing a genre, no matter what it is, you need to read the genre. I had someone recently send me a PM / e-mails discussing the book he wrote, and he couldn't actually tell me what other books were similar to his, because he didn't actually read.

That sort of mentality seriously stunts both your development as a writer and limits your ability to market your work. You don't learn by experiencing good/bad writing, you don't see new ways of doing things, and you don't see what your genre is up to / how it really works (or falls flat) unless you read other things in it. This is especially important when you're new to a genre or are just starting writing.

On the marketing side, if you don't know what your work is similar to, how are you supposed to figure out what your readers are looking for? How are you going to figure out what your covers should look like, or your blurbs? How are you going to figure out what your readers are searching for in the store? How are you going to figure out whether or not your work has completely missed the mark with its readers? (Silly example: An unhappy ending in a standard romance novel. Want to get killed by readers? That's one of the best ways to do it.)

When you do "research" for starting a writing career, reading other books is one of the most important things you can do. Seriously.


Edit: Speaking of reading for research, I read the first half of "Tears for Tess" last night and would kind of like to kill everyone and everything today. God, I hate the dark romance genre so much.

Sundae fucked around with this message at 18:39 on Nov 4, 2014

Enrico Furby
Jun 28, 2003

by Hand Knit


Szmitten posted:

I know you're doing this for business and money, but have you actually written anything yet? Or know how to write? Because if you're doing all this research at the expense of any writing at all, any business plan you have will fall apart because your product will be garbage.

I don't think it's useless to reacquaint myself with the marketplace and attempt to get an idea of where to focus my efforts and to amass a bunch of useful tips from the thread and PMs and to collect a bunch of bookmarks and to read a couple samples on the first day. I consider that expending the amount of effort it takes doing this again means that I should be able to correctly follow a simple template for garbage romance titles. Simply sitting down and writing a bunch of sexy poo poo blindly instead of creating a a mental outline of what I'm in for and what is needed wouldn't net me much either. A little pre-pro never hurt anyone.

As for knowing how to write, yes and no. I am an innately gifted writer who has largely ignored the craft out of self-loathing. Part of the goal of doing this is to establish the fictional storytelling fundamentals I always hated, because I recognize that I am wasting my talents. When I was a young man, it was my first artistic love. I am hoping through this to make some money, learn some discipline, and allow myself to learn the rules before ignoring/breaking them/surprising-myself-and-obeying-them. Nonetheless, I could write in the romance genre with one eye closed, a hand behind my back, and sober and match up to the poo poo that's doing good, let alone with some practice under my belt. It is the marketing, volume, and math that worries me much more than the quality of the writing.

Sundae posted:

This is correct, as is the drama aspect. I followed up with moderators before posting the thread, and the agreement was that :siren:talking about erotica isn't allowed.:siren:


Also, since I'm seeing a lot of newer posters in the thread, I want to reiterate a point from the OP:


If you're new to writing a genre, no matter what it is, you need to read the genre. I had someone recently send me a PM / e-mails discussing the book he wrote, and he couldn't actually tell me what other books were similar to his, because he didn't actually read.

That sort of mentality seriously stunts both your development as a writer and limits your ability to market your work. You don't learn by experiencing good/bad writing, you don't see new ways of doing things, and you don't see what your genre is up to / how it really works (or falls flat) unless you read other things in it. This is especially important when you're new to a genre or are just starting writing. The jumping off point has very little to do with writing as far I'm concerned, or I'd have done this two and a half years ago when I first discovered it while I was still in school/working and not in the stupid E/N bullshit situation I am in right now.

On the marketing side, if you don't know what your work is similar to, how are you supposed to figure out what your readers are looking for? How are you going to figure out what your covers should look like, or your blurbs? How are you going to figure out what your readers are searching for in the store? How are you going to figure out whether or not your work has completely missed the mark with its readers? (Silly example: An unhappy ending in a standard romance novel. Want to get killed by readers? That's one of the best ways to do it.)

When you do "research" for starting a writing career, reading other books is one of the most important things you can do. Seriously.


Edit: Speaking of reading for research

I read a full sample of a successful title and just laughed at the garbage tropes and thesaurus linedance. I can follow the guides and resources from those before me in my sleep and create cookie cutter bullshit that the people will pay me for. IF and when I can segue into some kind of project that actually involves me emotionally putting something on the line or writing 65k words, then I will heed your words on devouring the genre much more closely. Again, I am much more worried about turning a profit with no Photoshop skills at this point.

Enrico Furby fucked around with this message at 20:21 on Nov 4, 2014

asylum years
Feb 27, 2009

you knew i was a rattlesnake when you picked me up


All Else Failed posted:

I read a full sample of a successful title and just laughed at the garbage tropes and thesaurus linedance. I can follow the guides and resources from those before me in my sleep and create cookie cutter bullshit that the people will pay me for. IF and when I can segue into some kind of project that actually involves me emotionally putting something on the line or writing 65k words, then I will heed your words on devouring the genre much more closely. Again, I am much more worried about turning a profit with no Photoshop skills at this point.

Well, yes, you bring up a fair point—garbage can and does sell, unfortunately, but what some of the others are getting at is beyond that. Like they're saying, publishing (of any flavor) isn't exactly a gold rush for 99% of people doing it, and I hate to break it to anyone who's in love with Hugh Howey—who, to be fair, has been really successful—but authorearnings.com is sort of an industry-wide joke for a variety of reasons. The quality of your cover isn't going to make or break you in and of itself. The bigger question is, if you make a relatively tiny amount of money putting hours and hours into something you couldn't give less of a poo poo about, how much of your own time have you just wasted?

Enrico Furby
Jun 28, 2003

by Hand Knit


asylum years posted:

Well, yes, you bring up a fair point—garbage can and does sell, unfortunately, but what some of the others are getting at is beyond that. Like they're saying, publishing (of any flavor) isn't exactly a gold rush for 99% of people doing it, and I hate to break it to anyone who's in love with Hugh Howey—who, to be fair, has been really successful—but authorearnings.com is sort of an industry-wide joke for a variety of reasons. The quality of your cover isn't going to make or break you in and of itself. The bigger question is, if you make a relatively tiny amount of money putting hours and hours into something you couldn't give less of a poo poo about, how much of your own time have you just wasted?

You overvalue my time, trust me. And again, this is the jumping off point. These are the training wheels that could lead to an actual career in writing if I am willing to put the time in. As a habitually self-absorbed prick I am trying not to make this an E/N clusterfuck and stay on the topic of factual business information, help me help the thread in that regard. :) I will just say that if I can manage to repress my crippling self-doubt enough to actually get started at some point, it is not necessarily -EV to stall a bit due to the fact that I have $0 to my name right now but will have a little cash shortly which will help me in procuring the alcohol and cover art I will need to do this properly. I have to think that you're underplaying the importance of a cover from the research I've done, both now and 2.5 years ago, and my as-of-yet limited foray into the genre I am entering.

Enrico Furby fucked around with this message at 20:34 on Nov 4, 2014

Bobby Deluxe
May 9, 2004

this changes nothing, i am still dead inside

All Else Failed posted:

I am an innately gifted writer who has largely ignored the craft out of self-loathing. Part of the goal of doing this is to establish the fictional storytelling fundamentals I always hated, because I recognize that I am wasting my talents.
I don't mean to sound like I'm having a go, but on what authority do you declare your genius? I mean, who else has confirmed it? Every writer thinks their stuff is genius, and as your next quote shows, the reader does not always agree. Maybe I've just been in a lot of writing threads lately but "I'm great" as a sentiment sets off all kinds of alarm bells. "I sell loads" or "I won these awards" is fine, but I'm not so sure when it comes to self declaring.

Again, not having a go, just curious about what your background is that makes you such a match for self publishing.

All Else Failed posted:

I read a full sample of a successful title and just laughed at the garbage tropes and thesaurus linedance.
Bear in mind that what you see as garbage is good enough to sell by the bucket load, so don't sell it short.

Enrico Furby
Jun 28, 2003

by Hand Knit


Bobby Deluxe posted:

I don't mean to sound like I'm having a go, but on what authority do you declare your genius? I mean, who else has confirmed it? Every writer thinks their stuff is genius, and as your next quote shows, the reader does not always agree. Maybe I've just been in a lot of writing threads lately but "I'm great" as a sentiment sets off all kinds of alarm bells. "I sell loads" or "I won these awards" is fine, but I'm not so sure when it comes to self declaring.

Again, not having a go, just curious about what your background is that makes you such a match for self publishing.

Bear in mind that what you see as garbage is good enough to sell by the bucket load, so don't sell it short.

"I am great" is usually the number one indicator that someone sucks, and this is most true when it comes to writing because stringing words together is something everyone does. I in no way, shape, or form have an interest in proving to you that I have an innate talent for the written word and a vast amount of unlocked potential as a writer.

I know you don't know me, but it is vastly out of character for me to sound the way I do in this thread w/r/t an emphasis on business over creativity, so I am indeed keen on acknowledging what is working for authors that are selling -- my entire aim in the beginning is to exploit that. Deep down, though, I am of the opinion that the average mass media consumer is a loving moron with bad taste. This will work in my advantage for once since I have chosen to accept and exploit it.

Enrico Furby fucked around with this message at 20:45 on Nov 4, 2014

ravenkult
Feb 3, 2011




Are we still talking about erotica? Making money writing erotica is ''easy'' in my book (depends on how much money you're looking to make) and I can see a complete noob starting to make money immediately (in the tune of like, 50$ a month) until they get their feet under them and learn more about the industry and the craft.

If we're talking anything else, whether romance or horror or fantasy or whatever, there's absolutely no way you'll sell a single copy going in blind. You need to know your genre, you need to know the competition, you need to read and yeah, most importantly, you gotta write. But I mean, either you're well read already in your genre and all that's left to do is poo poo your rear end down and writer, or you have a long, long way ahead of you.

Enrico Furby
Jun 28, 2003

by Hand Knit


ravenkult posted:

Are we still talking about erotica? Making money writing erotica is ''easy'' in my book (depends on how much money you're looking to make) and I can see a complete noob starting to make money immediately (in the tune of like, 50$ a month) until they get their feet under them and learn more about the industry and the craft.

If we're talking anything else, whether romance or horror or fantasy or whatever, there's absolutely no way you'll sell a single copy going in blind. You need to know your genre, you need to know the competition, you need to read and yeah, most importantly, you gotta write. But I mean, either you're well read already in your genre and all that's left to do is poo poo your rear end down and writer, or you have a long, long way ahead of you.

Erotica is the stepping stone. I require very little money to survive and be "happy". I agree with your assessments on all points. Music is my ambitious, artistic pursuit. Writing is something I can do to pay the bills and if it leads to a real life third act of my boyhood dream (of being a successful, unique, artistic writer) waking up from its coma and no longer needing life support because I have finally managed to put in the work for once in my life, then great. I do not believe that will ever happen. I will settle for a meager living with the possibility of becoming rich so I can unplug permanently from this poverty-stricken capitalist nightmare and focus on enjoying my life.

Enrico Furby fucked around with this message at 21:04 on Nov 4, 2014

ravenkult
Feb 3, 2011




Get to the erotica subreddit, read up, start writing yesterday (I don't actually know if the subreddit is any good, but hey, it's a place to start).

Enrico Furby
Jun 28, 2003

by Hand Knit


ravenkult posted:

Get to the erotica subreddit, read up, start writing yesterday (I don't actually know if the subreddit is any good, but hey, it's a place to start).

I am there. It seems to be a very good template to follow. The OP is seemingly as helpful as a goon OP would be, so I am going to wager it is a good place to start. It is the community that I ultimately find lacking. When it's time to get feedback on my first blurb/cover, don't be surprised if one of you gets a PM from me graciously asking for your input :)

Enrico Furby fucked around with this message at 21:26 on Nov 4, 2014

Grizzled Patriarch
Mar 27, 2014

These dentures won't stop me from tearing out jugulars in Thunderdome.





All Else Failed posted:

"I am great" is usually the number one indicator that someone sucks, and this is most true when it comes to writing because stringing words together is something everyone does. I in no way, shape, or form have an interest in proving to you that I have an innate talent for the written word and a vast amount of unlocked potential as a writer.

I know you don't know me, but it is vastly out of character for me to sound the way I do in this thread w/r/t an emphasis on business over creativity, so I am indeed keen on acknowledging what is working for authors that are selling -- my entire aim in the beginning is to exploit that. Deep down, though, I am of the opinion that the average mass media consumer is a loving moron with bad taste. This will work in my advantage for once since I have chosen to accept and exploit it.

Just my own .02 here, but the attitude of "my customers are morons with no taste" is probably not going to serve you well going forward. I imagine erotica is more forgiving than most genres in terms of what readers expect / are willing to put up with, but you still need to realize that these are human beings that are (hopefully) willing to pay money out of their pockets for something you wrote. Putting in a bit of effort is always going to pay off in terms of sales / reputation / marketing.

Some other things to consider:

It kind of sounds like you don't even enjoy writing. Regardless of how good you are or how much potential you may have, if you hate writing, you are going to burn out. Self-pubbing for a paycheck still requires you to sit your rear end down in a chair and write for hours a day, just like any other job. Some people see being your own boss, not having a set schedule, etc. as a perk, and it is. On the other hand, if you have any issues whatsoever with personal accountability and work ethic, it's probably not going to be pretty. I've know a good number of people that I think are pretty good writers, but they can't force themselves to stick to a consistent schedule and actually put words down. They get distracted or start doing chores around the house or say "let me just watch one more episode of this show first" and pretty soon they've got nothing done for a whole day.

What I'm getting at is that if you don't enjoy writing, it's going to be even harder.

Also, I didn't see it mentioned yet, but as far as I know, you probably aren't going to see a paycheck for the first two months, and when you do, it's probably going to be like $20. Places like Amazon and Barnes & Noble, etc. pay you a month after each month of sales (i.e. you get paid for the stories you sold in July at the end of August / beginning of September) and those sites usually have a minimum threshold you have to meet. Usually it's like $10 or something so it's not really an issue, but just something to consider. If you are trying to jump into self-pubbing to make some quick money, you are going to be disappointed.

I don't write it so I can't really comment with authority, but I'm willing to bet that the vast majority of people self-pubbing in erotica and romance still have day jobs. I wouldn't be surprised if most of them were making in the $300-500 a month ballpark after a whole year of writing, based on anecdotes I've seen tossed around here. If that's enough for you to live comfortably on and you have the time to get to that point without being tossed out on the street, then go for it.

SurreptitiousMuffin
Mar 21, 2010


All Else Failed posted:

As for knowing how to write, yes and no. I am an innately gifted writer who has largely ignored the craft out of self-loathing. Part of the goal of doing this is to establish the fictional storytelling fundamentals I always hated, because I recognize that I am wasting my talents. When I was a young man, it was my first artistic love. I am hoping through this to make some money, learn some discipline, and allow myself to learn the rules before ignoring/breaking them/surprising-myself-and-obeying-them. Nonetheless, I could write in the romance genre with one eye closed, a hand behind my back, and sober and match up to the poo poo that's doing good, let alone with some practice under my belt. It is the marketing, volume, and math that worries me much more than the quality of the writing.
Ahahaha.


Hahahahaha.









Haha wow.

Seriously, that's the most stereotypical "bad writer who doesn't know they're bad" line ever. There is no such thing as an "innately gifted writer", there's writers who have practiced and writers who haven't. Maybe you got good marks in high school Creative Writing, but who didn't? Throw a few polysyllabic words and a tortured metaphor in there and it's an instant A+.

You become good at writing by writing, not by having a *** SPECIAL SOUL ***.

EngineerSean
Feb 9, 2004

by zen death robot


All Else Failed posted:

will have a little cash shortly which will help me in procuring the alcohol and cover art I will need to do this properly

I think if you have to drink in order to do this job, you're not going to get very far. Hemingway said "write drunk, edit sober" but it probably wasn't because he hated what he was writing and needed to drink his way through it.

Grizzled Patriarch posted:

I've know a good number of people that I think are pretty good writers, but they can't force themselves to stick to a consistent schedule and actually put words down. They get distracted or start doing chores around the house or say "let me just watch one more episode of this show first" and pretty soon they've got nothing done for a whole day.

There's a number of really successful authors (myself included) who are pretty much like that, constantly kicking themselves for how little they get done.

quote:

Also, I didn't see it mentioned yet, but as far as I know, you probably aren't going to see a paycheck for the first two months, and when you do, it's probably going to be like $20. Places like Amazon and Barnes & Noble, etc. pay you a month after each month of sales (i.e. you get paid for the stories you sold in July at the end of August / beginning of September) and those sites usually have a minimum threshold you have to meet. Usually it's like $10 or something so it's not really an issue, but just something to consider. If you are trying to jump into self-pubbing to make some quick money, you are going to be disappointed.

It's even worse than that, it's two months after, which means that the stories you sold in July will get paid out at the end of September.

quote:

I'm willing to bet that the vast majority of people self-pubbing in erotica and romance still have day jobs.

This is largely true, yes.

Enrico Furby
Jun 28, 2003

by Hand Knit


Grizzled Patriarch posted:

Just my own .02 here, but the attitude of "my customers are morons with no taste" is probably not going to serve you well going forward. I imagine erotica is more forgiving than most genres in terms of what readers expect / are willing to put up with, but you still need to realize that these are human beings that are (hopefully) willing to pay money out of their pockets for something you wrote. Putting in a bit of effort is always going to pay off in terms of sales / reputation / marketing.

Some other things to consider:

It kind of sounds like you don't even enjoy writing. Regardless of how good you are or how much potential you may have, if you hate writing, you are going to burn out. Self-pubbing for a paycheck still requires you to sit your rear end down in a chair and write for hours a day, just like any other job. Some people see being your own boss, not having a set schedule, etc. as a perk, and it is. On the other hand, if you have any issues whatsoever with personal accountability and work ethic, it's probably not going to be pretty. I've know a good number of people that I think are pretty good writers, but they can't force themselves to stick to a consistent schedule and actually put words down. They get distracted or start doing chores around the house or say "let me just watch one more episode of this show first" and pretty soon they've got nothing done for a whole day.

What I'm getting at is that if you don't enjoy writing, it's going to be even harder.

Also, I didn't see it mentioned yet, but as far as I know, you probably aren't going to see a paycheck for the first two months, and when you do, it's probably going to be like $20. Places like Amazon and Barnes & Noble, etc. pay you a month after each month of sales (i.e. you get paid for the stories you sold in July at the end of August / beginning of September) and those sites usually have a minimum threshold you have to meet. Usually it's like $10 or something so it's not really an issue, but just something to consider. If you are trying to jump into self-pubbing to make some quick money, you are going to be disappointed.

I don't write it so I can't really comment with authority, but I'm willing to bet that the vast majority of people self-pubbing in erotica and romance still have day jobs. I wouldn't be surprised if most of them were making in the $300-500 a month ballpark after a whole year of writing, based on anecdotes I've seen tossed around here. If that's enough for you to live comfortably on and you have the time to get to that point without being tossed out on the street, then go for it.

I believe that I will fail at this like I have failed at everything in my life. It doesn't matter. I have nothing left to lose. I am not going for short term cash here. I am going for long term. This is why I am preoccupied with spending a lot of money on covers, because I know I won't recoup the costs and I will need every penny I will have available to save myself.

If I can branch out of erotica, it will be under the guise that I am willing to put in the effort to make a compelling pop story using the fundamentals of fictional storytelling. I may even enjoy it. It may even lead to an unlocking of a great work that I can be proud of in my soul one day. It doesn't matter. That is in the far future and contingent on many variables.

I don't hate writing. I hate myself. This is a long-shot exercise in giving myself the opportunity to hate myself less.

I won't know what it will net me in what timeframe until I try. $300-$500 a month would be tough but I am also willing to move west and live in a tent and write in a coffeeshop if that's what it takes to make my life bearable.

I appreciate the realistic advice from everyone. I understand that you want me to understand what I am in for. I do not think this is an easy endeavor. I do not think being passive will allow for success in it. I do not think I will succeed at it. This is simply one of the only things I have ever come across in my life where I felt strongly that "Wow, I could possibly make a living doing this with my skillset and not feel like a listless drone every day, and maybe even leverage it into something fulfilling." I thought these threads disappeared. I regretted deeply not trying this 2.5 years ago. My life has only gotten worse since then. More failure isn't a deterrent to me, here, at the end of my rope.

ravenkult
Feb 3, 2011




SurreptitiousMuffin posted:



Seriously, that's the most stereotypical "bad writer who doesn't know they're bad" line ever. There is no such thing as an "innately gifted writer", there's writers who have practiced and writers who haven't. Maybe you got good marks in high school Creative Writing, but who didn't? Throw a few polysyllabic words and a tortured metaphor in there and it's an instant A+.

You become good at writing by writing, not by having a *** SPECIAL SOUL ***.

Writing makes you better, but talent is a thing. I mean I've only probably written like 20 stories in my life, but I sold 7 of them and it's not because I've written 500 000 words or something (No, I'm not saying I have innate talent or whatever, just that some ''get'' writing faster than others).

EngineerSean
Feb 9, 2004

by zen death robot


I feel you on the "regretted hitting this as hard as I could right away" thing. I first saw the erotica thread at the end of 2011, wrote my first story in February 2012 and it bombed, so I didn't go back to it until July and I saw a bunch of people making thousands. In August 2012 I really threw myself at it, and now I'm a rock star. If you commit to this and also pray to the lord Jesus Christ every day, there's no limit to how high this will take you (seriously, I really am at the point where I think there is no limit).

ravenkult
Feb 3, 2011




EngineerSean posted:

I feel you on the "regretted hitting this as hard as I could right away" thing. I first saw the erotica thread at the end of 2011, wrote my first story in February 2012 and it bombed, so I didn't go back to it until July and I saw a bunch of people making thousands. In August I really threw myself at it, and now I'm a rock star. If you commit to this and also pray to the lord Jesus Christ every day, there's no limit to how high this will take you (seriously, I really am at the point where I think there is no limit).

Do you post anywhere else? Blog? I'd like to learn more poo poo.

EngineerSean
Feb 9, 2004

by zen death robot


ravenkult posted:

Do you post anywhere else? Blog? I'd like to learn more poo poo.

Nah, but I follow Russell Blake, Konrath, and The Passive Voice daily. In addition if you read "Let's Get Visible" by David Gaughran and truly understand it, you'll basically be on the same level I am. Then it's just a question of following trends, following up on new opportunities (Kindle Unlimited has been huge for me), and writing in lucrative genres (romance and erotica are the top two). In addition, (lol self promotion but I was asked), I can plug a free 21 day series I consulted on called "How to Pub Yourself" at http://www.howtopubyourself.com but it's all pretty basic stuff. You're welcome to PM me specific questions as well but many of the questions I get are like "how can I do everything better?" and I can't really take a huge chunk out of my day to answer a question like that.

edit: in addition I do post occasionally on the erotica specific board that moana mentioned earlier

Enrico Furby
Jun 28, 2003

by Hand Knit


ravenkult posted:

Do you post anywhere else? Blog? I'd like to learn more poo poo.

I also wanted to ask you (EngineerSean) what your favorite resource/community is that isn't the pay-forum Moana suggested last night, but I figured I had already bothered you enough with my PMs. But now there are two of us openly wondering. :) I firmly believe you that the sky is the limit with this opportunity, given that I can work hard at it and **~~harness the power of The Secret through Jeezo-in-his-name-I-pray~~** (read: a little luck).

edit: Noted those resources in my little notepad. Thank you.

Enrico Furby fucked around with this message at 22:10 on Nov 4, 2014

Szmitten
Apr 26, 2008


SurreptitiousMuffin posted:

Seriously, that's the most stereotypical "bad writer who doesn't know they're bad" line ever. There is no such thing as an "innately gifted writer", there's writers who have practiced and writers who haven't. Maybe you got good marks in high school Creative Writing, but who didn't? Throw a few polysyllabic words and a tortured metaphor in there and it's an instant A+.

You become good at writing by writing, not by having a *** SPECIAL SOUL ***.

ravenkult posted:

Writing makes you better, but talent is a thing. I mean I've only probably written like 20 stories in my life, but I sold 7 of them and it's not because I've written 500 000 words or something (No, I'm not saying I have innate talent or whatever, just that some ''get'' writing faster than others).

For pretty much all my life I've been told that I'm really good at writing and am naturally gifted and it's innate and I do it really well and I'm articulate and yadda yadda yadda; but even so, I've spent the last half-decade reading more and relearning everything from the ground up because, unsurprisingly, an echochamber of "Wow you're such a gifted writer!" doesn't do a good job of helping identify whether what I'm doing is right or wrong.

You're both right, but I reckon a high degree of self-awareness and being able to have fun with writing (or at least tolerate it really loving well) could pull you through both scenarios.

This is more Fiction Advice thread stuff though which is kinda where I think All Else Failed should be heading before they burn out focusing on the stuff that isn't the actual writing part.

PoshAlligator
Jan 9, 2012

When SEO just isn't enough.


Szmitten posted:

For pretty much all my life I've been told that I'm really good at writing and am naturally gifted and it's innate and I do it really well and I'm articulate and yadda yadda yadda; but even so, I've spent the last half-decade reading more and relearning everything from the ground up because, unsurprisingly, an echochamber of "Wow you're such a gifted writer!" doesn't do a good job of helping identify whether what I'm doing is right or wrong.

You're both right, but I reckon a high degree of self-awareness and being able to have fun with writing (or at least tolerate it really loving well) could pull you through both scenarios.

This is more Fiction Advice thread stuff though which is kinda where I think All Else Failed should be heading before they burn out focusing on the stuff that isn't the actual writing part.

People have told me this too but I am mostly bad.

psychopomp
Jan 27, 2011


Being told that I was talented as a kid was all the justification I needed to spend my late teens and early 20s not applying myself. As a result I'm having to learn basic adult productivity skills in my 30s.

Thanks a lot, early supportive network.

Enrico Furby
Jun 28, 2003

by Hand Knit


Szmitten posted:

For pretty much all my life I've been told that I'm really good at writing and am naturally gifted and it's innate and I do it really well and I'm articulate and yadda yadda yadda; but even so, I've spent the last half-decade reading more and relearning everything from the ground up because, unsurprisingly, an echochamber of "Wow you're such a gifted writer!" doesn't do a good job of helping identify whether what I'm doing is right or wrong.

You're both right, but I reckon a high degree of self-awareness and being able to have fun with writing (or at least tolerate it really loving well) could pull you through both scenarios.

This is more Fiction Advice thread stuff though which is kinda where I think All Else Failed should be heading before they burn out focusing on the stuff that isn't the actual writing part.


PoshAlligator posted:

People have told me this too but I am mostly bad.

Same. These people probably know me and who doesn't like their friend's art a little more because they are your friend? It's a matter of perspective. Or they are the aforementioned people with bad taste. But in the same token, those people buy books. In a purely capitalistic sense, who gives a flying gently caress what you think of your own writing if it is successful in the marketplace? I don't personally subscribe to that notion because I believe in stupid poo poo like artistic integrity and the value of injecting meaning into a cold, uncaring universe but unfortunately this is 'Merica and it's sink or swim whether I like it or not.

Would you care to elaborate on why I should be in the Fiction Advice thread Szmitten? I don't quite get your reasoning. I am not worried as much about the writing because I have confidence in my current ability and my ability to improve, true, but I don't see why I should be when I have a bunch of bullshit like tanking my ROI with covers and boring poo poo like formatting and forcing myself to read lovely e-books for emulation purposes to worry about. Like I said before, if it was just about writing I'd have started 2.5 years ago.

psychopomp posted:

Being told that I was talented as a kid was all the justification I needed to spend my late teens and early 20s not applying myself. As a result I'm having to learn basic adult productivity skills in my 30s.

Thanks a lot, early supportive network.

A-loving-men to that. Being a gifted child not only hosed me, but it currently allows me to point the blame to everyone else in my life beside myself as I am so fond of doing. What a fun, tangled web of neuroses that is to (continually fail to) climb out of.

Enrico Furby fucked around with this message at 22:55 on Nov 4, 2014

EngineerSean
Feb 9, 2004

by zen death robot


I guess I'm lucky not too many people thought I was gifted in life (maybe a little at numbers).

Grizzled Patriarch
Mar 27, 2014

These dentures won't stop me from tearing out jugulars in Thunderdome.





You just have to accept that you need to buckle down and do some of the basic research / marketing / practice required for whatever you want to make a living at. I know everyone thinks they can be a self-pub superstar just because they are native English speaker, but there's a hell of a lot more to it than that.

If you hate the idea of writing erotica / romance, then yep, it's going to suck to sit down and research those markets and read examples to see what people are buying, but it's the smart thing to do. Even if you could make some sales without doing all that, you are going to make more sales if you do. I mean, even if you get a job at McDonalds, you have to learn how to operate the deep fryer. I can't think of a single job that doesn't require you to learn at least a few basic skills, so why would writing be any different?

Keep in mind that making a living from self-pubbed writing means you are, as far as the government is concerned, an independent contractor. Not only is Amazon et. al going to be taking a slice of your sales pie, but you are going to be paying higher taxes on your income, too. You also don't get employee health insurance options,employer 401k matching, all those things people in a normal dayjob never really have to think too much about. I don't know if you have another job or what your situation is, but these are all important factors, especially early on when you are probably going to be barely making enough for beer money each month unless you are insanely prolific and / or lucky.

Szmitten
Apr 26, 2008


All Else Failed posted:

Would you care to elaborate on why I should be in the Fiction Advice thread Szmitten? I don't quite get your reasoning. I am not worried as much about the writing because I have confidence in my current ability and my ability to improve, true, but I don't see why I should be when I have a bunch of bullshit like tanking my ROI with covers and boring poo poo like formatting and forcing myself to read lovely e-books for emulation purposes to worry about. Like I said before, if it was just about writing I'd have started 2.5 years ago.

Because you want to write fiction.

Seriously though, I was gonna say something else here but I'm actually being really presumptuous or I might be missing something in an earlier post but could I just ask:

-Have you posted anything here; like a short story or something in Thunderdome?
-Have you written anything recently, and has anyone else read it? (What did they think?)
-Do you actually know about story structure and in addition to other basic technical junk like adverbs, passive voice, third limited/omniscient, etc?

If you can answer yes to two or more of the above then sorry for giving you a hard time, ignore me. If not, maybe consider giving a look or an attempt before dedicating yourself to what you're doing?

Jalumibnkrayal
Apr 16, 2008



Ramrod XTreme

Kindle Unlimited launched in Spain and Italy. I've made a grand total of 2.21 Euros out of those marketplaces in the past 90 days, so yay?

psychopomp
Jan 27, 2011


Grizzled Patriarch posted:

Keep in mind that making a living from self-pubbed writing means you are, as far as the government is concerned, an independent contractor. Not only is Amazon et. al going to be taking a slice of your sales pie, but you are going to be paying higher taxes on your income, too. You also don't get employee health insurance options,employer 401k matching, all those things people in a normal dayjob never really have to think too much about. I don't know if you have another job or what your situation is, but these are all important factors, especially early on when you are probably going to be barely making enough for beer money each month unless you are insanely prolific and / or lucky.

Seriously. I made way more money than I expected to my first year and didn't save enough for taxes. Cue me scrambling to find enough money to pay off the massive state and federal taxes I owed at the last minute.

Don't let stuff like this slip past you. Keep really good records.

Bobby Deluxe
May 9, 2004

this changes nothing, i am still dead inside

Grizzled Patriarch posted:

I don't write it so I can't really comment with authority, but I'm willing to bet that the vast majority of people self-pubbing in erotica and romance still have day jobs. I wouldn't be surprised if most of them were making in the $300-500 a month ballpark after a whole year of writing, based on anecdotes I've seen tossed around here. If that's enough for you to live comfortably on and you have the time to get to that point without being tossed out on the street, then go for it.
The figure commonly tossed round the subreddit is people tend to pull in a reasonably steady $500 a month once they have 30 titles out there. Generally takes people about 4-6 months to get to that point.

It's hardly a living, but as I've observed elsewhere, it's better than welfare.

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Enrico Furby
Jun 28, 2003

by Hand Knit


Grizzled Patriarch posted:

You just have to accept that you need to buckle down and do some of the basic research / marketing / practice required for whatever you want to make a living at. I know everyone thinks they can be a self-pub superstar just because they are native English speaker, but there's a hell of a lot more to it than that.

If you hate the idea of writing erotica / romance, then yep, it's going to suck to sit down and research those markets and read examples to see what people are buying, but it's the smart thing to do. Even if you could make some sales without doing all that, you are going to make more sales if you do. I mean, even if you get a job at McDonalds, you have to learn how to operate the deep fryer. I can't think of a single job that doesn't require you to learn at least a few basic skills, so why would writing be any different?

Keep in mind that making a living from self-pubbed writing means you are, as far as the government is concerned, an independent contractor. Not only is Amazon et. al going to be taking a slice of your sales pie, but you are going to be paying higher taxes on your income, too. You also don't get employee health insurance options,employer 401k matching, all those things people in a normal dayjob never really have to think too much about. I don't know if you have another job or what your situation is, but these are all important factors, especially early on when you are probably going to be barely making enough for beer money each month unless you are insanely prolific and / or lucky.

I have accepted that and plan on becoming proficient at all aspects of it besides graphic design because I don't feel like taking up an entirely new technical skill. I understand I am paid through royalties as a taxable independent contractor. My situation is not good. I'm doing this regardless.

Szmitten posted:

Because you want to write fiction.

Seriously though, I was gonna say something else here but I'm actually being really presumptuous or I might be missing something in an earlier post but could I just ask:

-Have you posted anything here; like a short story or something in Thunderdome?
-Have you written anything recently, and has anyone else read it? (What did they think?)
-Do you actually know about story structure and in addition to other basic technical junk like adverbs, passive voice, third limited/omniscient, etc?

If you can answer yes to two or more of the above then sorry for giving you a hard time, ignore me. If not, maybe consider giving a look or an attempt before dedicating yourself to what you're doing?

I don't care one iota about other people's opinion on whether I have the writing chops to do this, positive or negative, so it's a moot point. I know as an unmitigated fact I have what it takes if I put my mind to it. That will be the true struggle.

I said earlier in the thread that my storytelling skills are absolute poo poo. I am, however, extremely good at identifying what makes a good story and what doesn't, what makes good writing and what doesn't. I am a ruthless critic with excellent taste because of this. It is organized conceptually in my head as a devourer of books, television, and movies (and music but it's different, more primal, which is what I love about it over the other three). Chances are I already know the main devices used conceptually without necessarily knowing their specialized lingo. Grammar and syntax have always come easily to me and bored the ever-living gently caress out of me. I have always cared much, much, much more about the visceral creativity and soul behind art. Part of this process, as I said previously, is going to be familiarizing myself with the boring structural details of vanilla storytelling. I never cared before, but I am finding myself wanting to care now if it will land me a career. It will be easy for me to grasp, it is simply a matter of having even the slightest bit of willpower to get it done.

:siren: This sounds like self-serving, cliché bullshit. I fully support anyone viewing it as such. I wouldn't believe me, either. Don't waste your breath pointing it out. It is irrelevant to the discussion and nobody, including me, has any interest in you positing what an untalented hack I must be. :siren:

If the Fiction Advice thread is indeed a good resource for that stuff, I really do appreciate the recommendation and will bookmark it and check it out. I think that reading a bunch of successful erotica and following, in particular, the editing guide over at the subreddit are the two most important things here at the beginning aside from just doing something to get started. I'd say my current thought process of my phase trajectory is something like this:

  • Research, Reduce, Reuse: The phase I've been in since yesterday and, technically speaking, 2.5 years ago. Trying to get in the mindset that this poo poo is about to go down for real this time.

  • Babby's First Steps: Getting 5k words on paper. Editing it a bit. Getting a cover. Writing a blurb. Annoying one of the beautiful, helpful people I've met thus far and getting advice on the cover and blurb. Fixing them. Publishing my first work that will do precisely jack poo poo for me.

  • I Fall Down Sometimes: Taking enough Babby Steps that I am familiar with the process and can begin to "feel my legs strengthen"; where I need improvement; where to hone flaws, what's working for me and what isn't.

  • A Brisk Walk: Continued, incremental improvement in a lot of areas. I have 20-30 titles by now. An old horny slut from Sheboygan, WI is on my Mailchimp list and for some reason I am proud of that. I know where I hosed up before and endlessly kick myself for not knowing better like I do now, but that's all part of the process isn't it? Plus I still don't know poo poo, really, do I?

:suspense: a brief intermission consisting of a concerted attempt to circumvent self-sabotage-disguised-as giving into the sweetly familiar and probably inevitable soul-crushing feeling of failure spurred by a lifelong identity crisis and feelings of inadequacy, hello darkness my old friend :suspense:



  • The Running Man: The a-ha moment where I actually feel like I wrote something good and think to myself, boy, look how far I've come with 50-60 titles and earning $200/$500/$1000 a month and knowing the fancy mechanical jargon I never gave a poo poo about so maybe now I can impress my way into fingerbanging that insecure nerdy girl at the writer's workshop I inevitably have to join now.

  • I Gotta Stay Fly-y-y-y: Holy poo poo. I am making enough money to pay my bills from this. I can't believe I've been doing this poo poo for a year/two years/five years. Where's my whiskey? I bet I could write something I would enjoy and get that to sell too. God knows I can build a story like a champion these days and I can focus on something other than my impending doom for once.

  • Pow! To The Moon: Um, I just wrote a book I am proud of in a genre I enjoy and it's selling well enough that I am officially a loving writer and I haven't felt this worry free ever in this psychotic life of mine, I can't believe at one point I was researching this and thinking I would fail, what is life, I am so proud of myself [but probably still hate myself because why not]. Or my music career took off. Or literally anything good happened while I wasn't homeless or stuck in a lovely situation because I decided to start doing this.

Or the comedy option:

  • Wormhole: What the gently caress? I was Falling Down Sometimes and for some stupid cosmic reason space-AIDS is trending in the Twittersphere and that novella I wrote in one sitting on mushrooms while eating an entire Yule log called Space-AIDS: An Erotic Musical has sold a million copies in a week and Sean Hannity invited me onto his show to tell me how I am destroying America, oh-god-isn't-this-country-grand, now I can just drink and write music and go to shows and travel and hang with my friends all day until I die like I've always wanted haaaaaaaallelujah big ups to our prophet Muhammed praise be unto him.

Roughly speaking. One step at a time, though, is the important thing to remember.

Now you see the level of procrastination and general psychosis I am working against. Hopefully someone reading this gets it and identifies a little bit.

Enrico Furby fucked around with this message at 00:56 on Nov 5, 2014

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