Friday, August 10, 2012

Frequently Asked Questions

Some questions tend to repeat. Check here before you ask them.

Disclaimer: This guide is not affiliated with any of the sites discussed and does not represent their opinions. Information may be outdated, inaccurate or just plain wrong.

Last updated:

1. General
2. Amazon / Kindle Direct Publishing
3. Barnes & Noble
4. Smashwords
5. Kobo
6. AllRomanceEbooks
7. Rainbow eBooks


Q: Is this some sort of get-rich-quick scheme?
A: No. It's a job. It happens to be something you can do from home or in your spare time, but like any kind of writing, writing erotica is work. I can't promise you'll get rich doing this, but right now it's easy to break into self-publishing erotica.

Q: Wait, so I can just knock out 3,000 words of sex as fast as possible and make enough money to roll around in?
A: Well, yes and no. If those are 3,000 words of sex that are well-written and the story makes sense for whatever subgenre of erotica you're writing for, you'll make some money. Maybe not "enough to roll around in", but some money. Don't just write crap, though, it'll come back to bite you in the long run.

Q: I've new to this, how do I...?
A: Try the first time guide, or the index if what you're looking for isn't there.

Amazon / Kindle Direct Publishing

Q: I'm selling a story at Amazon's 70% royalty rate, but when I check my six-week or monthly sales, some of them show up at 35%! What the heck?
A: This is explained on KDP's pricing page, but it's easy to forget. The 70% royalty rate only applies to a limited number of sales territories. If someone outside these territories purchases something you've published, the 35% rate will apply.

Q: Where can I find my sales for, .de, etc.?
A: On the KDP My Reports page, there's a small "View report for:" drop-down box. Select the appropriate site to check your sales there. The default is

Q: I'm trying to add tags to my story on Amazon, but they're not appearing for anyone but me. What's wrong?
A: Your tags will only be visible for other people if you've purchased something with that account. There's no apparent lower limit on price. People have reported mixed results with downloading Kindle freebies but for the most part this doesn't appear to count as a real purchase.

Q: Is there an easy way to see my total KDP sales for the month?
A: Short of waiting until the 15th of the next month, if it's getting too unwieldy to add up normally you can use
this bookmarklet to tally up your sales.

Barnes & Noble

Q: I'm outside the US, how do I publish to Barnes & Noble?
A: You'll have to distribute to them via Smashwords.

Q: How do I read the sales reports from B&N? The numbers don't seem to match up.
A: B&N splits sales for the current month into three views: the sales for the current day, the sales for yesterday, and sales for the rest of the month. The total you see on the My Sales page is effectively two days behind.


Q: Help, one of the stores Smashwords distributed to has my e-book listed with a missing cover/description!
A: This happens sometimes. The error can be on either end, contact Smashwords support to see if they can get it fixed.


Q: I uploaded my story to Kobo as a .doc file, and the preview has really weird formatting - did I do something wrong?
A: Just upload your story as a .epub file instead and it should be fine.


Q: Does ARE accept erotica?
A: See the post on publishing on ARE for greater detail. Short answer: yes, with some caveats.

Q: I uploaded something to ARE and I just found the cover/description/tags/file missing!
A: Their publishing back-end is a little finicky. If something goes wrong at all during uploading you may have to re-enter certain details. Be sure to check your listing once you've uploaded. (This is a good idea regardless of the site.)

Rainbow eBooks

Q: How do I get accepted to publish on Rainbow eBooks as an independent self-publisher?
A: Short answer: you'll need to contact them directly to get your account set up. Long answer: see the guide to publishing on Rainbow.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Self-Publishing Erotica: An Introduction

If you're reading this, you may already have heard about how easy it is to self-publish e-books. In particular you may have heard about the huge market for erotic ebooks. If you have, feel free to skip this intro and get to the good stuff!

For the rest of you...
With the advent of e-book readers, self-publishing has become easier than ever before. It's now possible to publish your work through a number of online retailers and potentially take in a greater cut of the profits than any traditional publisher could afford to offer.
There have been a number of success stories in self-publishing erotica. Some of them, like Selena Kitt, are fairly well-known for their great success - but there are other, smaller success stories. Writing and publishing erotica is a job like any other, and if you work hard, it can bring in as much (or more) money than more traditional employment might. If you're determined and keep working at it, it's very possible to bring in $3000 a month or more.

 Even so, writing erotica isn't for everyone. If you're intrigued, let's go over some general questions.
Why would you do this?
  • If you enjoy writing, and would like to make money doing something you love.
  • If you'd like to pay for a coffee a month. Or lunch. Or your electric bill. Or your student loan payments. (I can't promise anything, but if you can't earn enough for a coffee a month I'd be very, very surprised.)
  • If you've been writing erotica anyway! Do you have something out there for free? It's pretty likely that your work will sell.

What do you need?
  • The ability to write erotica. Erotica, like romance, isn't quite the same as genre fiction with sex or a romantic relationship thrown in: it's a specific genre in its own right.
  • The ability to keep going in the face of discouragement. There will be bad days, bad weeks, and bad months. If you can't get through them, you can't get to the good times.
  • A touch of shamelessness - if not with others, then with yourself!
How can you succeed?
  • Treat it as a real job, because that's what this is. This isn't a get-rich-quick guide. It's a collection of information, tips, and suggestions to help you succeed.
  • Be willing to adapt as the market changes.
  • Do the best work that you can. If you put out poor-quality work, you're only hurting yourself.
If you think you'd like to try writing and self-publishing erotica, great!

Head back to the index to continue.