When Rita Mae Brown was snowed in one winter, with no electricity, and nothing that she really wanted to read in her home, this happened:
Still, I wanted something to read to escape my troubles […] Travel was impossible for a week during the worst storm. I couldn’t cruise into town and pick up a new novel. So I wrote one.”
Author’s Note to Riding Shotgun, Rita Mae Brown
This passage inspired me to start writing my own novels when I couldn’t find a tale I wanted to read, and had read those I owned for several times. I hope it inspires you, as well.
Now, in this world of self-publishing and most of all, self-marketing, we are told to find our target audience and write for them. Possibly write for the market, as it is.
And since some really weird stuff is out there (do I need to mention Dinosaur Porn?), it is possible to write stories that will sell because the genre is a voracious one. And yes, Erotica sells.
The question is, should you do it?
In my humble experience, the answer is: Write what YOU like.
I tried writing space erotica once. With slight BDSM, since, well, 50 Shades, but truer to the real stuff. I thought I would have something that could bring in money fast. So I created two characters I liked, and dove in.
The story twisted out from under my hands. The AI of their space ship turned into the villain. The female lead became a princess cheated out of her inheritance. The male lead a literary author tossed into a new world.
Then the story turned back to what I really enjoy writing: Adventure, true love, impossible challenges and a happy ending. I haven’t finished it yet, because another world took precedence. I just don’t have it in me to write BDSM, it seems. And not for lack of imagination, it’s just not how my stories go.
So yes, write what you like. Write what you LOVE.
You see, I believe that a story lives by the power you invest in it. By the heart and the emotions you pour into it. By the love you have for it. And of course, by writing cleaning and a good story.
The thing is: If you write smut for the sake of sales – you just won’t be happy in the long run. If you twist your writing around the latest hype – you won’t be happy. Oh, you can do it for a while, and you might be successful, but in the long run, you’ll burn out.
And that means you won’t be able to continue a series. You won’t be able to put out new books that boost the backlist. You may even have to start over with a new pen name if your writing spark has survived. And that is harder than to start out once and keep going strong.
But the market, I hear you cry.
Yes, it’s probably slower to gather fans and devoted readers when you write stories that are true to you. When you don’t have those titillating scenes in your stories.
But the truth is, there is always a market for well-written books that have heart, love, and true story telling behind them.
If you write what you love, you last.
And self-publishing is a long game. Your books can keep bringing in income until 70 years after your death.
Yes, you will need to market, of course.
But consider this: It’s much easier to market books you’re proud of, right?
So write what you love, enjoy the ride and go for it.
What’s the genre you love to write in? What makes your heart swell when you write it?
Image Source: F. Moebius
PS: If you feel your books are not doing well enough, and you have a hard time marketing them, let’s talk.
I can look at your books, your descriptions, your cover and your marketing, and help you tweak all of it to be more successful. And most of all – we can work on your mindset with EFT and shift it so you’re happier and more successful.
Want to talk? Click HERE and send me that email.