Before I began this amazing writing and self-publishing venture into the world of erotica or adult romance, I read many courses or blogs written by copywriters and creative writers in regards to how to launch yourself in the industry. It became very clear very quick when doing my own research (and you should too), that some of that advice was the best way to kill your budding romance writing career.
Why do I say it’s terrible advice? Because from a reader’s standpoint that very advice is a massive turn off. And ladies and gents, turn offs don’t get you off. I saw very little in my research addressing the average demographic that indulges in smut reading. And trust me, they’re not overt perverts or depraved individuals. They’re usually your bored housewife, or the women who wish their sex lives weren’t so vanilla (aka those who don’t identify with the women of Sex and the City, but who in fact wished they were).
What do I mean by vanilla? Well we’re talking missionary most nights with some doggy style thrown in occasionally, and maybe some short heavy petting as a prelude. Sounds okay, nice, but in no way is passionate, hot sex. Is there something wrong with vanilla sex? NO. However, those who buy adult romance usually want a bit more than what reality has to offer.
You are selling a fantasy, an idea, an unresolved desire, a need that is not being met any other way. And the most important thing of all, it’s being satisfied anonymously. So your readers have the added excitement of doing something in secret, almost taboo.
A very big tip to any aspiring writer in any genre. Read reviews. More specifically, read the 1 star reviews. While the vast majority may be 4 to 5 star, you want to see the 1 star. You can learn a lot from these.
- You don’t have to be a good writer to write erotica. Wrong. If anything you are held to the same level as any other genre. Grammatical errors, formatting errors, sentence construction, spelling errors. These all make for a cringe-worthy experience rather than a pleasurable one. Especially if these mistakes are repeated throughout the text.
- You can make money with any erotica. Yes and no. Adult romance is a rather large umbrella term. It covers many different types of erotica. From softcore to hardcore. From just romance with no second base, to a full home run with a whole gang. People have preferences, much like they do when ordering pizza.
- You can make the big bucks like anyone else. Like any creative endeavor, some will fare better than others. You need an imagination. You need to be able to put yourself in the place of your characters. You need personal experience with what you write about. I’m not going to write about driving a rig if I’ve never been in one. Don’t write about anal if you’ve never done at least some anal play.
- Look at everyone else and do the same. Another yes and no. Yes there are things a reader looks for or is attracted to, but it doesn’t mean they won’t veer from the norm every now and then. However, always make your cover look like an erotic novel.
- Pick the popular niche. Again, the popular niche is often saturated. Meaning as a first time publisher, you have some serious competition. Using a software or browser extension such as KDSpy or KeywordXP will help you find out what is popular for the current month on Kindle and other platforms through keyword searches. It could even give you title ideas.
These are only a few of the issues I have encountered when reading about advice in regards to romance novel writing. It is good to show individuality, but do not be so different that no one reads your books. The opposite is true also. If you are simply a copycat of the more seasoned authors, then you may find that people are picking up on the fact they’re reading the same story from a different author. This could get you in hot water with plagiarism. Don’t plagiarize. It never ends well, especially that Kindle will ban your account if they find out.
If you need help with proofreading, editing, formatting or simply need some advice or support as a small creative business, please feel free to contact me through my sister site Obscura Editing