Featured, Working From Home Erotic Fiction, Fiction, Making Money, Passive Income, Writing

Throwback to the Time Mia Thought She Could Be An Erotic Author

Around a year ago, Mia began talking to an old friend who had started writing erotic fiction.  It appeared to be a good way to make a passive side income, and if you could write already, and had access to a computer and writing software, you pretty much had all the tools you needed to get started.  Already writing non-fiction for a living, and with a bit of encouragement from her friend, Mia decided to delve in.  She created a pen name and a whole new sexy identity and without researching what readers of erotic fiction wanted from their stories, she wrote a batshit insane story about a space cadet who sneaked onto yachts on random planets purely to relieve her sexual tension.  It was stupid, oh so stupid, and one year later has made an amazing £4.67.  Two people (yes two!) thought it was worthy of a purchase, while she also had around 20 people download and read it through the Kindle Unlimited program.

Undeterred by her lack of instant success, Mia decided to do some actual research.  She was pointed in the direction of a subreddit for erotic authors and spent a good week reading through all the advice on there.  Unbeknown to her naive mind, there were tons of sub genres in erotic fiction that you could branch into.  The overwhelming advice on the site seemed to be “choose one of these that you can write well and publish a few stories to make a name for yourself“.  The problem?  Mia isn’t kinky in the slightest and no-one wants to read about a man and wife doing it in the missionary position once a week.

So Mia did even more research.  She got herself a Kindle Unlimited subscription and downloaded some short erotic fiction to have a read.  Most of it blew her mind – aside from the pile of absolute crap on Amazon (if you don’t believe her, check for yourself!), the stories that were good were clearly written by sexual goddesses with some kind of degree in the Karma Sutra – or so Mia thought.  Why couldn’t she write an erotic thriller?  Or an erotic pirate story?  Ignoring all the advice on the best selling niches, and thinking she was tapping into an under-served genre (who hasn’t lusted over Captain Jack Sparrow?) Mia made a second attempt, this time writing not one, but three thrilling erotic pirate stories.

These three books were, in Mia’s opinion, much better written.  The sex was hot, and not stupid, and she’d created an interesting story for each of them.  Plus, when they were complete, she could release them as a themed bundle.  That, according to the subreddit veterans, was where you made your money.  How did they fare?  No better than the crazy space cadet story – the most popular making a massive £4.46 and the least enticing not even making 20 pence.

But was Mia undeterred?  No, of course she wasn’t.  Her friend, who had been writing erotic fiction for three months longer than her, claimed to be making a killing in passive income and told her that “it’s not that the stories are bad, it’s that you haven’t released enough!  You need to release around 30 and that’s when your income will increase and you’ll start to make a name for yourself.”

A challenge?  Mia was in!

Whenever her freelance work was quiet, Mia jumped into the world of erotica.  While she did commit a few more faux pas (she was unable to stop writing really stupid stuff thinking it was an under-served niche), she did begin to notice a difference.  The more she wrote, the more money she began to make.  Finally, what her friend had told her would happen was happening.  She had dreams of becoming the next Sylvia Day, and of people turning to her for advice with their sexual issues.  She was going to be a superstar in the genre and people would eagerly await her newest story, desperate to read the filth that lie between the pages, never knowing she was really a bored 30 year old who wrote in her pyjamas surrounded by cats.

But of course none of that really happened.  After writing 30 stories, she was bored of writing sex scenes, fed up of dealing with Amazon’s constant publishing glitches, overwhelmed by the writing community on Twitter, and probably most important of all, she got sick of the daily churn it takes to continue to make a passive income – it’s not passive if you have to work on it daily.  Around the time of this realisation, she found out she was pregnant and used the exhaustion that came with it as a good excuse to quit while she was ahead (and by ahead, she hadn’t even made £100 a month at this point).

Mia left the majority of her books on Amazon.  They did take her months to complete, and even the stupid ones get a sale every now and again.  Between March 2018 and January 2019, she made a massive £814.93.  Not bad until you consider the cost of cover photos, the fiction writing software she just had to have, and her time.  She doesn’t know exactly how long she spent writing each story, but she was probably working at around £2 an hour by the end of it.  Least they’ve paid for a few packs of nappies though eh?

Mia’s friend, on the other hand, did continue with writing fiction and from what she’s told her, she’s making a good income from it now – enough to quit writing blog posts for a living anyway.  Mia would rather stick to the latter.

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