Titty Sprinkles . . . or How to write Erotica 101

I’ve recently ventured into the wild world of writing erotica short fiction . . . and so can you!

I never expected to write erotica in any capacity, but it turns out I have a natural flair for it. I discovered this quite by accident, sexting with several lady friends now and again over the years and earning praises for it every time, so the last time I fondled my keyboard while she fondled something else, something clicked in my brain and I thought: Hmm, why not try to write and sell this stuff?

I write under a pen name, and I can’t reveal it because that would defeat the entire purpose of using a pseudonym, so you’ll just have to take everything I say from here on in on faith . . . though hopefully my track record of being an award-winning and bestselling fantasy author under my real name will help convince you that I’m not lying for the heck of it.

Once I set my mind to it, I dedicated hours every day for months reading, studying and researching anything and everything erotica. I spent well over $200 buying erotica novels and short story collections and how-to write erotica books.

While perusing online erotica forums I chanced across some information about the ‘Dirty 30’ from successful erotica writers that advised not to expect any good or recurring amounts of money from your writing until you’ve published at least 30 erotica short stories.

I took that information and decided not to publish a single one until I had a bank of at least 30 erotica stories.

So that’s what I did, and got to work, writing one erotica short story each and every day. After which I edited and polished five of them then published all five at once, knowing because they’re short stories with a common theme that if someone enjoys one then they’ll probably immediately want to read another.

I was right.

So what determines an erotica short story’s length?

I came up with this little formula on my own and have discovered it works fantastically, based upon two facts:

1. The average person reads 300 words per minute.

2. The average person also reads for 10 to 20 minutes per day.

I took these two factoids and applied them to my erotica shorts to ensure the best total word count possible:

300 words per minute for 10 minutes equals 3,000 words.

Double that to 20 minutes and you get 6,000 words.

Now I had the minimum and maximum word count range for my erotica shorts of 3,000 to 6,000 words at 10 to 20 minutes of reading.

Perfect!

My theory proved true when within less than one hour after publishing my first five stories, my erotica shorts, with zero advertising or any promotion whatsoever involved, started selling on Amazon. People also read them for free with KU (Kindle Unlimited), earning me even more money while word of mouth continued to spread.

And they’ve sold while making me money every day since.

Which is nice because the average price for an erotica short story is $2.99 digital, of which you profit $2 plus a couple of pennies depending on the size of your file.

You see, erotica readers are willing to pay more for less because they aren’t just buying your story or characters, they are buying their particular fetish that gets them off mentally and often also physically.

One thing I also noticed about the erotica genre is that you don’t have to be a great writer to write great erotica. I discovered this enlightening fact after buying lots of erotica paperbacks from Amazon with raving reviews and high star ratings then reading them like crazy, and much to my surprise almost all of them read as if written by a ninth grader with a learning disability — the technical writing itself, anyways.

In every one of those books I noted multiple spelling or grammar or formatting errors . . . the latter which annoys me because a lot of erotica writers try to stretch out their stories’ lengths with little tricks such as adding spacing between each and every paragraph or using extra-large fonts or big margins and the like to increase their paperback page count.

I don’t use these tricks because I’d feel like I’m ripping off my readers or lying to them . . . since that’s exactly how I feel after buying such a book.

Treat your readers well, because you owe them everything, and they will return for more.

Considering my years of writing experience, I started with a leg up on the competition. And I’ve actually had to tame down my writing because erotica readers aren’t expecting Shakespeare or Hemingway, nor do they want to have to pause and look up the definition to ten-syllable words amid long and flowery flows of purple prose. It’s best to keep it rather basic while peppering in that flowery description.

As well remember not to get too descriptive when it comes to your main character. Erotica readers enjoy most putting themselves into the place of one of the characters, typically the main, and if you describe yours in excruciating detail then you risk your readers having trouble dislocating themselves into the role of the main character they may resemble nothing of.

This can apply to your other characters as well, because erotica readers often enjoy replacing them with people they know in real life to enhance while tailoring the carnal fantasies and imagining them together in that particular situation of your story.

But that is only a suggestion, mind, so I leave the depth of your character descriptions up to you.

This does not, however, apply to all description. Always remember the five senses when it comes to describing your scenes: touch, hearing, sight, smell, taste. But don’t overload every one of your scenes with all five senses all of the time or you will overwhelm your reader. Instead, feather them in here and there throughout your story.

I started with what I call the Excusable Taboo genre of erotica fiction by writing stepparent and stepchild stories then branching out. Reason being that the majority of people in the world at some point in life have some type of step family member so the subject is highly relatable. I call this particular sexual fetish the Excusable Taboo because it’s taboo in that, “We can’t do this because we’re legally related” and yet it’s excusable in that, “But we can do this because we’re not blood related.”

Amazon KDP offers the author two erotica categories, the first is just Erotica in the fiction list, and for the second you have to click on Romance and then click on Erotica as its subgenre. I suggest choosing these two categories (don’t worry, just because you choose the Erotica category for your book does not condemn it to Amazon’s Adult Dungeon; more on this in a minute) and not trying to pass your disguised erotica off in other categories because Amazon will eventually find out and change its category for you, and plus you’ll piss off a lot of people and possibly earn negative reviews if you sneak your hardcore erotica into pure Romance without the extra erotica tag as those readers will feel lied to and tricked.

There are also forbidden fetishes to steer clear of such as rape, real incest or sex with minors (just to be sure of the latter, I also include a little sentence on the copyright page of every one of my stories stating that all characters involved in anything sexual are considered at least 18 years of age and consenting adults). If you try to sneak any of this in on Amazon, they will eventually find out, ban your book and probably block your account, preventing you from ever publishing through them again.

As to your pen name, this is easy. Instead of typing your real name as you normally would when creating your book using Amazon KDP, instead you just type your pen name. Amazon knows it’s you because it’s still your account, and they’ll still pay you.

And don’t pick something complicated or stupid or funny as your pen name, like Tzinorina Chamtopolouse or Titty Sprinkles or Amanda Hugnkiss. Choose a pen name that is simple to pronounce, spell and easy to remember. Something like Blair Smith or Georgia Jones or Sasha Gray.

Also, choose a male pen name with caution because unless it’s man on man gay erotica that you’re writing, most male readers want to believe what they’re reading was written by a woman who also found it sexually arousing and not written by some other dude. Women also prefer erotica written by other women for same reasons. Go figure.

Just make sure to check the name on Amazon first so you don’t accidentally pick one by an already successful author of the same or other genre because this can cause you all sorts of little problems like their angry readers buying something from you by mistake, or your books getting lost in the shuffle because the name also belongs to an author who has published 100+ books about fishing.

I read it on multiple forums that you should publish your erotica fiction during the week because on weekends Amazon KDP’s algorithms and their book reviewers supposedly work overtime and tend to more often condemn the harder erotica to Amazon’s Adult Dungeon: which means people have to turn off Amazon’s adult filter and look for your book otherwise it won’t show up, and your books also aren’t recommended on Amazon because of it. This will cut into your sales dramatically, obviously.

I haven’t tested this theory with any of my erotica, not wishing to risk it while losing a story to the Adult Dungeon where it will probably forever stay, but I can say that it is true from other experience. I’ve published lots of other stuff under my real name (over seventy books both fiction and nonfiction, paperback and digital, novellas, stories, courses . . . et cetera), and every single time I’ve ever had a problem I needed to deal with during publishing because of a rejected review it was always sometime during the weekend. So my advice: don’t bother risking it and just publish your erotica during the week.

Understand when writing that erotica is all about the hesitation and anticipation. Sure there’s the necessary payoff of the climax where they have sex, but you need to lure and entice your readers along the way. Think of it like having lots of foreplay before the sex with a new partner you’re trying to impress.

Your stories should be a series of naughty and/or forbidden lines being crossed, then some manner of hesitation from at least one of the parties involved before crossed again, now a little easier because once you cross a line it becomes easier and easier to cross the next time and the time after that and so on.

Erotica short stories do not follow the typical Joseph Campbell Hero’s Journey or Blake Snyder’s Save the Cat! beat sheet or any of my previous blog posts on plot, because it’s a unique genre unto itself. Yes there is a protagonist (always their desire is pursuing sex or being pursued for it, depending upon the particular fetish involved) and yes a variety of plot points exist, but no one is buying and reading your erotica shorts for the rich tapestry of backstory or the exquisite building of your world or the deep development of the characters involved . . . they’re reading it to get sexually aroused, plain and simple.

You introduce your characters then present a situation from which they will eventually engage in sex — that is always the promise of your premise when it comes to erotica. Between the set-up and the climax you fill your story with a series of naughty/forbidden lines being crossed, each one a little more risky yet rewarding than the previous.

And you don’t rush into anything — this isn’t Letters to Penthouse with a 1,000 word limit.

Start with something simple like exchanged glances of a shared though forbidden attraction. Move your characters through lingering stares and vocal teasing to flirting that tests the iffy waters between them to brief physical touches, then kissing, then fondling, then foreplay and oral before the satisfying full-bore sex you promised, leaving your happy reader fulfilled though always craving more. After the climax, end your story with a short paragraph or two showing the change in the protagonist and/or their new situation then call it quits.

Again, erotica is read for the sex and its particular fetish involved, but most importantly the sensual anticipation leading up to it which should comprise the majority of your story.

And choose your titles wisely.

Calling yours ‘Daddy blasts his hot cum all over his virgin daughter’s teenage tittyballs!’ is a sure-fire way to get your book immediately into Amazon’s Adult Dungeon where it might not sell a single copy.

Apply this discretion to the book blurb and Amazon description as well.

For instance don’t use the word virgin, instead state that it’s a character’s first time losing their innocence.

Also don’t use naked people for your cover, otherwise it’s straight to the Dungeon. Amazon has rules for this, and I suggest you look them up, such as a woman showing too much cleavage or buttcheeks, or nipples, or a guy’s happy trail or the top of his pubes because his pants are riding extremely low.

Make your title and cover and blurb hint at the particular fetish and theme you wrote about and leave it there. People aren’t stupid, and most erotica readers are purposefully searching out their particular fetishes anyways.

What I do now for my erotica is stick to a schedule, I have a bank of stories and I publish one per week, maybe one every two weeks if life gets busy. On Monday I pick a story already written then edit and polish it perfect. On Tuesday I write a brand new steamy story then save it in the bank. On Wednesday or Thursday I take Monday’s polished story and publish it. Repeat.

Plus, and this is very important, PUT THIS ADDRESS LINK ON THE LAST PAGE OF YOUR EROTICA STORY:

https://www.amazon.com/review/create-review?&asin=

After the = sign just insert the particular ASIN of your erotica story with no spacing between it and the = sign. What this does is provide the reader with a clickable link that will take them directly to the review page for your story. This one little additional ditty will generate more reviews than anything else you will ever do.

But don’t get too excited since a lot of your readers won’t review your erotica because they are too embarrassed about having their Amazon account tied to their preferred sexual fetishes they enjoy indulging in . . . despite the irony of it already being linked because they bought your stories to begin with. Go figure again.

Your last page should be a simple Thank You note to your readers then the clickable address link asking for them to review it. Don’t beg and don’t demand, just thank them, provide the link and leave it at that.

Know that you’ll have to fill in your ASIN, copy and paste it into the address bar of your computer and go to the webpage yourself, then re-copy and paste the entire address from the address bar before copying and pasting it into your digital book to make it a clickable link, otherwise it’ll just be type the reader will have to copy and paste themselves, which the majority of them won’t bother with because people are inherently lazy.

The genres of erotica typically can be categorized as Soft, Harder, and Hardest. For example, Soft refers to a man’s penis as his Member, Harder is Penis, and Hardest is Cock. Personally I prefer to blend the three into one, starting my stories Soft, going Harder for the majority of the story then ending Hardest for the climax before the short wrap-up.

And where to get your ideas from?

Don’t be a shy prude.

Think about the last thing you imagined while masturbating then go from there, because I guarantee you’re not the only one with those same thoughts.

This is not everything you will ever need to know about writing erotica short fiction, but it’s plenty enough to get you started well on your path to becoming a successful erotica author.

Good luck!

Now go touch yourself then write about it.

ADRONJSMITLEY.BLOGSPOT.COM

STOMPING KITTENS: how to make plotting and writing your novel as easy as Stomping Kittens!!!
STEAL THIS STORY!: how to write great fiction with one stolen sentence.
OF BLOOD & LOVE 1: the first novella in the award-winning and bestselling fantasy series that’s a time-traveling love story with lots of magic and killing!!!

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Blog for writers on everything plot, character, and story structure architecture at: adronjsmitley.blogspot.com

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Adron J. Smitley

Blog for writers on everything plot, character, and story structure architecture at: adronjsmitley.blogspot.com