Advice on publishing e-books and what to expect

Hey Guys!

I’m starting to think about putting some of my stories as e-books to get some income from them, but I have no idea what’s the best way to go about it and if it’s even worth all the extra work. There are some people here who do publish, could you tell me about your experience and what to expect in terms of revenue? You can also DM me.

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I seem to remember that @MonsterMash62 wrote up a really detailed Tumblr post a while ago about this experiences with trying out the e-book market. Unless I’m remembering wrong… I can’t seem to find it.

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I did write something on this!
Think it covers most of what you’re asking: Tumblr

Since then, Patreon has become more of a thing and I know authors are posting stuff on Patreon and making some money off that, then collecting their posts into an ebook and could be making money that way. I’m not sure if they are or how much work it is or if having posted over 9 books changed anything for them. The name that springs to mind for that is Screaming Moist. Not sure if he’s on here, but I’d definitely recommend chatting with him if you can find him.

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… Tumblr still sucks and might block that link. If it does, let me know and I’ll cut and paste the info here later.

You need to be logged on to see the text… It’s flagged as inappropriate for us kids :slight_smile:

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Link works fine. Good info!

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Thanks so much, I’ll be checking it out!

Please cut and paste the information here. I couldn’t find any posts for hughmichelsenwritingonwriting, even after being logged in.

Thank you for posting this here! Your advice is really useful. Given your description of the profit-sharing model, I imagine subscription services like Patreon just make more sense for this particular market.

I’ve been wondering if hosting an independent ebook store is a possibility, but given the margins you describe it probably isn’t viable. I was thinking that it might work because virality and algorithmic recommendation aren’t really a factor for this kind of erotica (most of the people who like it are already using sites like GSS) so promotion would be simple. But an independent store would probably only work for an established writer who can expect to make hundreds of sales a month to keep the lights on. Either that or a whole bunch of writers aggregating into a single store.

Also, off topic, but your Fish is one of my favourite tf stories of all time. Thanks for all your hard work!

I’m glad you liked Fish. I’m fairly proud of that one :slight_smile:

I’ve thought about making an independent store, but there’s already Smashwords which is basically that. Personally, I have most of my stuff on Kindle already and that’s easiest for me to buy from and easiest for me to remember where it is. So even buying from smashwords is a hassle. It’s all about convenience.

The only thing going for something like porn/erotica would be for hiding it. I don’t necessarily like other people to see my Kindle library. I also don’t love Amazon but am pretty all in on their ecosystem.

Besides all that, I worked at Amazon for many years, including on one of the Kindle sub teams. It’s way more complicated than you’d think it should be.

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Hi, Mafisto!
I want to add some of my thoughts about your post.
First off, the process can be a bit overwhelming at the start, but take it one step at a time. I used platforms like Kindle direct publishing for a hassle free experience. Don’t stress about perfection. Just get your stories out there. My Game of Thrones inspired tales gained traction slowly, but the key is persistence. It’s not an overnight success, so set realistic expectations.

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I am curious about people’s experience with Kindle. My understanding was that you had to keep smut a bit toned down for self publishing on Amazon. But then again I have read some pretty explicit stuff from there. For instance, the His Master and His Helper series by Bink Cummings I really enjoy, and they include some pretty explicit sexual encounters. I guess the line might be at explicit mind control stuff, since it’s not “consensual”?

I had a brief moment during 2020/1 where I tried having a Sponsus - I thought I would surely get taken down by Patreon but I thought Sponsus would be a safe alternative. I ended up getting blocked by Stripe anyway, not entirely sure why. Didn’t “hide” my stuff adequately enough? I’m not sure.

I am curious about this too, how explicit can you get on Amazon?

How much money do you want to make?

If it’s too explicit (meaning an approver at Amazon read your story and flagged it for violating something, possibly just because the reviewer didn’t like your story) it gets thrown in the dungeon. That means it won’t show up in searches and won’t get advertised to users in the Similar stories carousel.

Amazon’s guidelines for what they’ll allow aren’t explicit enough, for reasons. So you never know for sure if your story will be sent to the dungeon or not and it often comes down to the approver, who you never directly interact with.

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Thanks!