Writing erotica is the fastest and easiest way to make money online. If you put out three or four short stories a month you could easily earn $800 to $1,000. More serious authors who are releasing 10 or so stories a month are pulling anywhere from $7,000 to $10,000.
To put it mildly: There are more erotica authors making $100,000+ a year than there are bloggers, get-rich-quick hucksters, or “lifehackers” who earn a similar amount.
If you’re a college student or just someone looking to make a few extra bucks, I’d highly recommend writing erotica. It takes very little effort (I can finish a story in under three hours) and you can build up a nice little passive income.
Best of all, it requires no special skills or major investment.
You don’t have to spend five months building a blog, or buy a book about SEO, or watch endless YouTube videos on optimized content.
Writing erotica is pretty much a fire-and-forget industry. You pump out books, throw them online, and then collect a royalty check at the end of every month.
How to become a mildly successful erotica author
I am not some wildly successful erotica author. I’ve never had a number one selling book or made $10,000 in a month from my work. But I’ve also never put a whole lot of effort into this venture.
As of right now I haven’t published a single new story in almost a month. Yet I’ve still got 21 different titles selling on a daily basis, churning out a decent side income. Is it enough for me to retire on? Of course not. But an extra $500 or $1,000 isn’t anything to laugh at either. It allows me to focus on other businesses and gives me a little extra capital to fund new projects.
One of the nice things about erotica stories is the fact that they sell themselves. A good cover and title will move books for you without any extra effort. I’ve never built a blog for my pen-name, started an email list, or even opened up a social media account. While all these things can definitely help boost sales, they aren’t essential. Unlike most other ventures, the learning curve is amazingly low.
So low, in fact, that I learned everything I know about the industry from one brief book. The Six-Figure Erotica Author by Jade K. Scott (Amazon). This is a concise how-to guide from one of Amazon’s most successful authors. Scott is so popular that she hasn’t published anything in months and is still ranked as the 58th highest grossing erotica author on all of Amazon. With 146 books, averaging around 30 sales a day per title, I figured Scott had some industry secrets worth sharing.
What The Six-Figure Erotica Author did for me
I purchased my copy The Six-Figure Erotica Author towards the tail end of December, 2014. I followed all the advice, wrote a handful of books, and watched my earnings increase modestly. Before buying the book I’d made a measly $100 in total royalties. After reading the book and following its advice for one month (and that included directly copying the sample story outline) I made over $230 in worldwide sales.
The following month I stuck to the book’s advice, turned out more stories, and earned roughly $500 in royalties. And then I doubled my profits again in March.
(U.S. royalties were about $175 in January)
$230 isn’t a lot of money, but it didn’t take much time to make either. It took nine hours for me to write all my books, averaging out to around $25 an hour. If I were a broke college student or underemployed graduate making minimum wage, I’d invest a few hours a night into erotica writing. The average monthly student loan is $242. You could write a few erotic short stories to pay your bills.
If you sat down and wrote two stories every Saturday afternoon, you’d end with about $1,500 in passive income.That’s almost as much as some people earn from a full 160 hour month of work. Summer is coming up and I know that a lot of college students will have plenty of free time. Why not do some writing to help with tuition next year?
Get paid to learn a new skill
For several months I’ve been working on a novel about killer goats. I enjoy pulp horror titles like Night of the Crabs (good review here) and The Rats. But, as anyone who has ever attempted fiction quickly discovers, writing a novel is hard work. Penning dialogue, pacing a story, adding descriptive imagery. All that stuff is immensely difficult.
Even writing something as pulpy as a flesh-eating goat story can become immensely complex and difficult.
This leaves you with two options: Spend thousands of dollars on fiction writing workshops overseen by some stodgy academic (who hasn’t published a bestseller either), or write every day while getting incrementally better.
Authoring and publishing erotica is a great way to make money while learning how to write. You get to practice your storytelling skills, hone your editing abilities, become an expert on keywords, and master the art of eBook formatting. All while getting paid.
If you’re really ambitious you can take these same skills you learn and use them to start a consultation business. I have several recurring clients who hire me to explain things like sales rank, keywords, and cover design.
You’re paid to learn and paid to teach.
How my “dud” book outsold Chris Kluwe’s memoir
During early March I released a really stupid book that was based around a nonsensical joke. My title peaked with a sales ranking under 30,000. This means that I was selling about seven books a day.
Eventually my sales rank fell to the 40,000 range. I was now selling three or four books a day.
(Rankings from beginning of March)
While this might not sound like much, my title was outselling hundreds of thousands of other books on Amazon. Including Beautifully Unique Sparkleponies by former NFL player Chris Kluwe. In fact, this one 3,000 word erotic story was selling about four times as many copies as Kluwe’s memoir was. Kluwe is a man with national fame and almost 200,000 Twitter followers. But my self-published book managed to sell circles around him, and without any sort of marketing or promotion.
This is actually a fairly common phenomenon. A self-published erotica novel once debuted on the same day as a new Stephen King book, and almost beat King out for the Number #1 spot on all of Amazon.
That’s because erotica is a multi-billion dollar industry. And one of the only big-money fields that’s easy to get into and profit from. Even as I write this, two of the top five Amazon bestsellers are erotica stories.
Create a sell-publishing empire today
The Six-Figure Erotica Author (Amazon) is one of the few books that’s had a direct impact on my earnings. This isn’t some theory title where you get 10 ideas to implement into your own business. You get actual, actionable information that can be used today. I got so much value from this short guide, that I even revoked my “no book reviews” policy to tell you about it.
If you’re looking for an easy way to make some extra money, erotica writing is a fantastic venture. You could easily churn out five or six stories a month and quickly create a four-figure recurring income.
What could you do with an extra $12,000 a year?
P.S. Need help formatting your eBooks? Check out this article on using Scrivener for self-publishing.