Friday, April 17, 2015

What Kind of Erotica Sells?

What sells?

I can tell you, first, that mythology erotica is not a top seller. I do sell about three to four ebooks a month with a handful more of Amazon Prime shares, but I do not make a good living writing what I love. I love it, though, which is why I still write it. If ever mythology erotica does take off, well then I will be the first to tell you all.

So, if it is not mythology erotica, what the genre or sub-genre is doing best?

This is not an official survey or some gleaned marketing research, all of these observations are my own from what I have seen and read, and ghostwrite.

Just recently, within the last few months, my ghostwriting gigs on Fiverr have really taken off. On average, I am collecting about $200 extra cash a month just from ghost-writing 500-1,000 word love scenes. Which is far more than I make through book sales. And all I can figure is that whatever it is I am writing must be selling and selling well. Otherwise, why would so many of my gig sales be repeat customers who are exceedingly thrilled with my stories. If I was writing bad sex scenes or those not selling, I don't think these folks would be so willing to drop $20 at a time to have me write more and more.

Sure, fools there be in the world from whom their money slowly disappears. But surely not so many I can earn so much extra cash continuously?

What, exactly, then do I get asked to write over and over?

Dominant-Submissive

This genre really seems to be taking off. If I had to guess why, my first guess would be Shades of Gray. The world at large, both erotica lovers and the general public have seen how famous this series has become. And it probably doesn't help that the author started off self-publishing. So all those would-be writers in the world see this self-publisher get so far and become so famous and believe it can and will happen to them. And if it does, well why not go the same route.

Recently, I have been asked to compose dominant-submissive scenes nearly 1 to 3. For every six new gigs I receive a week, at least 2 to 3 involve some form of this genre. Mostly, young professional women who meet a successful businessman and enter into a submissive relationship with them in which all manner of degradation, pain, and bondage exists and in which all these young women discover their true selves. I haven't read more than a cursory look at Shades of Gray, but this seems oddly familiar don't you think?

Erotic Couples

I have to say I am excited this is doing so well as a genre. These scenes are likely a couple, whose love blossoms over time, just flat out enjoying one another. They are sexy and romantic. However, what might set these scenes apart from the erotic couplings of most commonplace and old-timey (I'm talking the 70s and 80s here) bodice rippers is the variety of sexual positions and locations I have been asked to incorporate. Lots of doggy-style and weird places. Shower scenes are being common. Although, to anyone who has ever tried shower sex... it isn't nearly all that fun. A little bed-room missionary, but this location and position is definitely falling by the wayside.

And no longer do we have the virgin protagonist. All the ladies I write about nowadays are modern women who love sex and demand good sex from their partners.

My last comment on this genre is that billionaire lovers seem to be favorites. I don't know where all these billionaires are coming from--we are in a recession after all--and why they are all single and handsome, but can I just say I wish I'd found one before I married my husband. Life without the worry of rent and food? How absolutely wonderful!

BBW

A genre I struggle with when asked to write it, but nonetheless still comes across my sales pretty often. The women may be shy or confident, but they are big, beautiful women who rejoice in their plus-sized bodies. I must admit, however, that at first I thought BBW meant beautiful black woman. Hell, I think I would have been thrilled with writing this as the race is constantly ignored in mainstream erotica. In fact, I'd love to see more diversity in the erotica genre in general. A lot more.

Finally, I'd like to suggest Kink...

I haven't been asked to write much with this, but that which I have been asked to write covers a wide variety of various kinks and all, or so I've been told, are sadly under-served in the erotica community. So, if you got the balls to write this stuff, do it. You might just fill a niche and do exceedingly well there.

I'd love to hear from you all about what trends you see taking off and what seems to be drifting into the wilderness never to be heard from again.

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