Friday, February 17, 2012

Guest Post: Selling Erotic Books By M.K. Elliott

Everyone knows sex sells and with the eBook revolution has come a sluice of writers all hopping onto the erotica market.

I hate to admit that in September 2010, I was one of those writers. Before the head of our team and publisher, C.J. Ellisson came up with the idea for Everything Erotic, I hadn’t written much erotica other than regular sex scenes in my novels. Learning how to write erotic fiction was a new path for me. 

However, it’s one I embraced whole-heartedly and no one was more surprised than me to learn I actually had a talent for it!

Together with the Everything Erotic eBooks, I also began to release my own collections, novels and novellas. I was amazed when my first collection hit the #1 spot for erotica on Barnes & Noble.

So in this new publishing world, free of gate keepers and quality control, how can we make our erotic eBooks stand out in the ever-growing crowd?

1.     The Cover.

Anyone in the publishing industry (and readers alike) know the old adage ‘you can’t judge a book by its cover’ is rubbish. A cover is the very first thing your book will be judged on. If your cover isn’t eye-catching—particularly as a thumbnail—then the reader will by-pass it without a second glance. And in the case of erotic fiction, the cover needs to be sexy!

2.     The Price.
If you check the top twenty kindle bestsellers for erotica at the moment (correct at the time of writing this) you’ll find 12 of those books are priced at $0.99. Only three books are priced over $4.99 (the top three sellers!) and the remaining five are between $1.99 and $4.99. Though the $0.99 price tag has caused controversy, if you’re looking to increase your reader base, it is the price readers seem to be lapping up.
3.     The Blurb.
So your cover has enticed the reader in and the price tag has them thinking they might just take a chance on an unknown author. Now they’ll move on to check out the book itself. The first thing they’re going to read is the pitch. You want to sell your book to that reader. Make it concise and exciting, and particularly for erotic fiction, make sure the reader knows what they’re going to get. Sexual tastes are a very intimate thing; what may put one reader off may be another’s fetish. I always end my blurbs with ‘contains scenes of bondage, ménage, anal, etc...’ (Obviously pertain this to your own book).

4.     Formatting
Most likely the next thing a reader will do is check out the ‘look inside this book’ option Amazon offers. Make sure your book looks like it’s been put together by a professional. Include a proper title page. Check your formatting hasn’t gone screwy during the conversion process, leaving gaps and different font sizes where they shouldn’t be. Smashwords has a good guide on formatting which is free to download.

5.     Write Another Book!
One of the great things about the erotic market is that plenty of readers want something they can get their rocks off to in a short sitting.  A collection of short stories at a low price is a great way to introduce readers to your style. Not only that, it doesn’t cost a fortune to have a short collection edited and doesn’t take the best part of a year to write. Short stories will increase your virtual shelf-space and make you more noticeable to the reader.

I hope these five tips have helped if you’re thinking of getting into the erotic fiction market or if you’ve got a book which hasn’t made many sales. In the meantime, if you want to check out some books with great covers, great formatting, and which contain enough variety to satisfy most tastes, I hope you’ll check out Everything Erotic!

About The Authors: 

About the Authors:
Everything Erotic is a group of twelve authors doing the unthinkable—posting original erotic fiction and non-fiction for free on a blog.

The blog launched September 1st, 2010. Since their debut, they’ve built a following of close to a thousand readers via Amazon's Kindle Blogs and over 2000 followers on Facebook. Due to overwhelming interest, they started to compile their short stories, serials, and articles into eBooks.

The group currently has five eBooks available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Apple and Smashwords. The heat level of their writing varies from erotic romance to pure five alarm erotica at its best—there’s something for every reader to enjoy.

The EE Team of Authors: Alice Gaines, Boone Brux, C.J. Ellisson, Danielle Gavan, Delilah Devlin, Greta Goddard, Melissa Ecker, M.K. Elliott, Nickie Asher, Roxanne Rhoads, Scarlett Jameson and Whitley Gray.

The ladies from Everything Erotic can be found at the following locations on the web:


  1. Well said, Marissa!

    Thanks for having us on the blog today, LizzieBeth.

  2. Yes, thanks for hosting us, LizzieBeth! Hope the post comes in useful for some people!

  3. Welcome always. It's a pleasure always.