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 Information may be outdated, inaccurate or just plain wrong.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.

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