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My journey to $500 a day writing erotica on Amazon

Discussion in 'My Journey Discussions' started by xxxent, Sep 23, 2015.

  1. xxxent

    xxxent Junior Member

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    I'm going to start documenting this journey here as a way to keep myself motivated and accountable. I'm not starting from scratch, I have over 100 titles out there already. I was earning $150-$200 per day until KU2 kicked off on July 1. These days my average day is $50-$60, I have a long way to go to hit $500.


    I have several pen names that I use and I write in a few different niches. Typically a pen name will cover a specific niche or kink. I do my own editing and I outsource my covers. Since it's erotica there really isn't a need for marketing.


    I mentioned KU2 and before I go any farther I probably should explain what that is and why it was bad for me. For those of you who don't know, Amazon has a program called Kindle Unlimited where customers pay $10 a month to read unlimited books that are enrolled in the program. Kinda like Netflix with books. Amazon would pay authors a flat fee for every book borrowed, it wasn't as much as the royalties from a sale but borrows were easy to rack up. I was on track to being at $500 a day right now. Then they announced KU2. Kindle Unlimited version 2 pays authors roughly a half a cent per page read! If you were writing short stories (as most erotica is) that was a huge cut in pay. Amazon announced this in mid-June and I went into a funk. I was depressed and demoralized. I quit writing and coasted until this week when I decided I needed to get my act together. Until KU2 started on July 1, I never had days where I didn't make at least a hundred bucks. Since July 1, I haven't hit a hundred dollars in a day even once!


    Now a big part of the problem is that I quit writing. Without producing new material your sales and borrows are always going to fall off. That's on me and I'm pissed at myself for it. I can make a million excuses, and some are even justified, but in the end it comes down to that I got mad then I got lazy and my lack of production cost me money.


    This journey is about taking my writing career serious again. Writing more short stories, producing more bundles (several shorts bundled together) and working on a few romance novels. It's harder to make money with shorts than it was under KU1 but it's still doable. With hard work, I don't think I will fail to get to $500 a day by the end of the year.


    My plan is to write a minimum of four new short stories per week (6,000-12,000 words). I have an extensive library to bundle and I'll do that daily. I also want to write four romance novels (60,000 words) by the end of the year. I'm confident that I can get to $200-$300 a day just on shorts and bundles. I need the novels to kick that up to $500.

    I plan on tracking my daily production and earnings here so I have no choice but to hold myself accountable. I'll also continue ghost writing, although that cuts into my other writing time. I don't have much of a choice since Amazon pays two months after the fact so my checks in Oct, Nov and Dec are going to be a lot lower than I would like. Ghost writing will bring in money that I need today. I also think ghost writing is good since it often gets me to think outside the box. Clients request kinks and storylines that I probably wouldn't have done on my own and that makes me a better writer in the long run.


    I also plan on using things I've learned here like buying fake reviews to hopefully boost my sales. My books have always gotten really good reviews on their own, adding fake reviews into the mix can only benefit me. Once I get my first novel done I think fake reviews will be key to getting a successful launch. Every romance novelist I know says the most important thing is ARC reviews (advance reader copy) right off the bat. Buying fake reviews will give my novels that same boost.


    Currently my mailing list has a little less than 50 subscribers. I want to build my list higher through Facebook ads. I do a weekly mailing and it never fails to get sales, if I can increase my list to a couple hundred subscribers then it will pay off big time.


    My journey begins today and won't end until I'm making over $500 a day. Hopefully my journey may inspire a few of you to try your hand at writing for Kindle. There is a lot of money out there if you are willing to do the work.
     
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  2. HammerDownTom

    HammerDownTom Registered Member

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    You seem to have yourself and plan pretty well figured out. So long as you see it through I think you can definitely make it happen, good luck bud!

    Off the wall question, how did you get into writing erotica? I've always thought it'd be an....interesting scene to start writing for. I know there's some really off the wall fetish stuff out there. Chuck Tingle has written some really bizarre books that apparently sell well. His book covers have given me hilarious ideas for works but I doubt I'd be able to take it seriously.
     
  3. xxxent

    xxxent Junior Member

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    Thanks!

    I've always been a writer and a few years ago I read a magazine article about people making money writing erotica. I decided to give it a try and published a few stories. They were pretty vanilla but I saw some sales. I didn't really get serious about it until late last year. There are a lot of tricks to learn and I put the time in learning everything I could about the business and was seeing a lot of success until I slacked off at the end of June.

    Chuck Tingle is hysterical but if you look at his sales ranking, his books really don't do that well. I think people might buy one as a joke but I doubt he gets returning readers.
     
  4. antichrist

    antichrist Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

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    Sounds like you got this! I recently decided to try this out. Only put a single book up, have a badass cover, but only a single sale in a week haha. Do you just throw your books up and move on or what are your promotion techniques?
     
  5. HammerDownTom

    HammerDownTom Registered Member

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    That's how its done man nice work.


    So with the updated Kindle Unlimited, is writing longer books going to be a favored strategy to make more money now? Or is longer books vs more books not really going to make a difference. Seems like a serious cut in pay.
     
  6. Accelerator

    Accelerator Registered Member

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    Looks interesting, good luck buddy. How long does it usually take you to write 6 - 12 thousand words (in hours?). Seems like a lot of content.
     
  7. hekke

    hekke Senior Member

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    This is something I look into doing one day. I will follow to see how it goes for you!

    Best of luck!
     
  8. rolanduc

    rolanduc Junior Member

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    It will be an interesting journey to follow. You have some experience, You have a plan, so it is almost sure You will succeed.

    Looks like this kindle thing is also a good way to make good money.

    Suscribed!
     
  9. Thenub

    Thenub Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

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    Great plan, you seem to know your stuff already so should be no trouble for you, just keep working at it, goodluck on journey!
     
  10. xxxent

    xxxent Junior Member

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    Move on to the next book. Don't expect to see a lot of results for your first few books. Make sure you are enrolled in Kindle Select to take advantage of the borrows, a half cent per page is bullshit but it does add up. Plus every time someone borrows your book it counts like a sale for your sales rank.

    Make sure you start a mailing list now using Mailchimp. Collect emails from day one, that list is valuable!
     
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  11. xxxent

    xxxent Junior Member

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    Longer books is definitely the way to go. Novels is where the big money is but they are also a hell of a lot harder to write. What you can do with shorts is bundle them together into a longer collection. So if you have six shorts that are 10,000 words each you toss them in a bundle and that's equal in pages to one novel.

    Thanks. It really depends what I'm writing and where the story is in my head. I've pumped out 3,000 words in a hour before but that is rare. On a good day I would say 1,500 to 2,000 words a hour is doable for me.
     
  12. xxxent

    xxxent Junior Member

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    Thanks! Give it a try and make some money!

    I have a plan but I have to stay on it, that's always the hardest thing for me. This journey is going to force me to not get lazy or sidetracked.

    Thank you!
     
  13. xxxent

    xxxent Junior Member

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    Today's update

    Yesterday was a shitty day, only made $48.

    Today I published two bundles, updated an older short story I had published and did a ghost writing gig for a client. The ghost writing story was short but what he wanted was a little out there and it took me some time to do.
     
  14. SocialCreativeOnline

    SocialCreativeOnline Newbie

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    dang you make sales from a list of 50? that's crazy, I know quality over quantity but that's pretty epic, wish you the best with your goal
     
  15. Reaver

    Reaver Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

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    OP you're my hero.

    I'm way too shy to do something like erotica, although I know that and romance novels are a billion dollar industry. :| I feel like I'll run out of ideas. I have to have plot with my porn; I can't just throw stuff out there. I'm jealous bc I'll probably never be able to produce anything like this. But a girl can dream.

    Subbing.
     
  16. BlackhatBigfoot

    BlackhatBigfoot Regular Member

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    So how did your books do with straight royalties? or did you go that route at all?
     
  17. patricoverde

    patricoverde Newbie

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    good luck bro, a lot of respect for you
     
  18. aranger

    aranger Registered Member

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    I wrote some Kindle eBooks 1-2 years ago saw it rise to $800 for the best month, its now down to around $150 a month. Been focusing on blogging for the last year with much better success.

    I need to get back into kindle books for the diversity of income. Relying on one source for income online is slightly dangerous.

    Will be following.
     
  19. xxxent

    xxxent Junior Member

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    You're not going to get massive sales off of 50 obviously but you'll get some for every mailing. These people are all previous buyers of my books who opted into the mailing list after reading. When I start building the list with FB ads the quality of subscriber will go down but larger numbers will make up for it I hope.
     
  20. xxxent

    xxxent Junior Member

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    Thanks! You can never run out of ideas, any situation you can come up with can be turned into a story. Mine all have plot, obviously with a short you are limited in how detailed the plot will be but as I increase the length of stories plots become a lot more important.