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Old 08-31-2011, 04:59 PM   #1
Piper Brooks
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Publishing Erotic Short Stories?

I am not sure if I should post this here or in another forum, but I figured you guys would be most familiar with this genre, so here goes.
I have a few erotic short stories that I have never really done much with. I considered putting them on Amazon, individually but under a common theme, right before Christmas. But I wonder if it would be better to find a publisher.
They are just short stories, around 7000 words, and I have no interest in turning them into novels. I do have a novel and a novella that I will be looking for homes for in the spring.
Any thoughts on the viability of self publishing 99 cent erotic short stories?
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Old 08-31-2011, 05:42 PM   #2
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I am not sure that self-publishing will be terribly profitable in a crowded market with some full erotic novels available at that price.

Have you considered magazine and anthology markets (e.g. duotrope.com)
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Old 08-31-2011, 06:21 PM   #3
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Ditto with veinglory. Try the magazine and/or anthology route first, there are tons out there and new ones opening all the time.

If that don't happen, you could think of putting them in a collection of short stories and self publish. I've seen tons of single short stories up at Smashwords but I don't think they would sell well separately at Amazon.
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Old 08-31-2011, 10:08 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by veinglory View Post
I am not sure that self-publishing will be terribly profitable in a crowded market with some full erotic novels available at that price.

Have you considered magazine and anthology markets (e.g. duotrope.com)
Agree.

Cruise the anthology Requests For Submissions until you find one that matches one or more of your stories. They're often looking for specific stories on a short time scale, perhaps to fill in the pages needed to make a proper book.

If you have a story in the catapult, ready to go, you're more likely to get an acceptance. That's how I was first published; it was 18 hours from submission to acceptance.

The anthology market often only wants short term rights, too, which means that after a couple of years, you can republish them as you please.
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Old 09-01-2011, 05:46 AM   #5
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Thanks for the suggestions! I'm headed off to check some out!
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Old 09-01-2011, 04:04 PM   #6
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7000 words might be a problem - anthologies I've seen want 4K-5K, and novelettes/shorts often start at 10K. At least for what I write. You might find more options. You might be able to rewrite for length. I cut about 70% from one story (a painful process!) and it was accepted. I'm going to use the cut parts in a second story.

Good luck.
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Old 09-01-2011, 04:54 PM   #7
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Or... once you finish your novel you can give your short stories away for free and use them as marketting. There's almost no money in short stories anyway.
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Old 09-14-2011, 11:39 PM   #8
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I disagree...

I've seen sales jump up in the two months I've been self-publishing erotic short stories as "Ally Mauser" on the Kindle, Nook, and Smashwords.

What I've seen? Most anthologies pay about 5 bucks. I've made about 20 per story doing it myself, even with my horrible, DiY covers over the last two months.

I release individual stories, mostly, for .99 cents, occasionally more if I think it's a better story.

After every four, I do a small short story "collection" of four stories for less than the four stories individually.

This post, right here, is the only thing I've really done, to date, to promote my work, and I'm not even really trying to promote it. I'm just trying to start learning about promotion.

I think self-publishing is the way to go with erotic shorts. I don't care how crowded the market is, because it's still leading to some pretty good sales figures compared to what I'd get in other places.
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Old 09-16-2011, 01:11 PM   #9
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The other thing you maybe could do is package them together and sell as a full-length collection... but short story collections don't tend to do that well unless you're already a known author. I'd try the magazine route first, though there seem to be less options there recently (or maybe I'm just not looking in the right places).

If you have full-length erotica published, you also could use them as free reads for promotional purposes.
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Old 09-16-2011, 05:11 PM   #10
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If by viability you mean profitability, there isn't much. You won't see a lot of action on .99 self-pub short stories. I have some out, I put them out not anticipating much in the way of sales, and in two quarters over four sale outlets, I've sold under 50 copies. I'm putting mine out as long-term sale items and am hoping to see if they can work together with my epub sales to push my market a little more.

If you do decide to put them out self-pub, All Romance Ebooks and Amazon are neck-and-neck for highest sales. The third venue I used, Smashwords, only sold three copies.

There are epub outlets for stories that short, however they are very limited. Off the top of my head, I can think of Ellora's Cave, whose Quickies start at 7K, and Sapphire Nights whose Dirty Bits start at 5K. SNP is a new publisher that seems to be doing well.

A short through a publisher's line dedicated to short erotic stories will have an advantage over independently published ones because there is an established customer base.
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Old 09-17-2011, 08:46 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alabastermouse View Post
What I've seen? Most anthologies pay about 5 bucks. I've made about 20 per story doing it myself, even with my horrible, DiY covers over the last two months.
Most anthology calls I've submitted to have paid $25-$50 plus a copy or two of the (e-)book.
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Old 09-19-2011, 03:38 AM   #12
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Quote:
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Most anthology calls I've submitted to have paid $25-$50 plus a copy or two of the (e-)book.
Still not tempted. 20 bucks a month, possibly more, for as long as there are places to upload and sell stories versus a flat fee, one time?

No, thanks. I'll stay off the query-go-round, thank you very much.
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Old 09-22-2011, 01:23 AM   #13
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I suppose it depends on what you are looking for. I doubt anyone will make a living selling short stories online without putting a lot of effort and marketing work into it and even then...

However, I'm hoping to self-publish anthologies of my short stories, probably do a little marketing besides. I'm looking for beer money though. I do it for enjoyment and if I make a few buck, so be it.

Glad to hear its possible, amouse.
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Old 09-22-2011, 01:54 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alabastermouse View Post
What I've seen? Most anthologies pay about 5 bucks. I've made about 20 per story doing it myself, even with my horrible, DiY covers over the last two months.
I think the difference between 5 and 20 bucks is negligible. Nor can you know what you would have made lumping, splitting or pricing those exact stories differently.

So I guess we all just fall back on our personal experiences and prejudices.
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Old 09-22-2011, 06:43 AM   #15
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I'd look at anthology markets simply for the publishing credit.
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Old 09-23-2011, 03:42 AM   #16
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I think the difference between 5 and 20 bucks is negligible. Nor can you know what you would have made lumping, splitting or pricing those exact stories differently.

So I guess we all just fall back on our personal experiences and prejudices.
Either way money isn't my goal. Fun is my goal. I have more fun doing it myself. I also don't have to deal with all the bother of contracts. I read enough of those during my workday. I don't want to read them during my hobby time.
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Old 09-25-2011, 12:34 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alabastermouse View Post
I've seen sales jump up in the two months I've been self-publishing erotic short stories as "Ally Mauser" on the Kindle, Nook, and Smashwords.

What I've seen? Most anthologies pay about 5 bucks. I've made about 20 per story doing it myself, even with my horrible, DiY covers over the last two months.

I release individual stories, mostly, for .99 cents, occasionally more if I think it's a better story.

After every four, I do a small short story "collection" of four stories for less than the four stories individually.

This post, right here, is the only thing I've really done, to date, to promote my work, and I'm not even really trying to promote it. I'm just trying to start learning about promotion.

I think self-publishing is the way to go with erotic shorts. I don't care how crowded the market is, because it's still leading to some pretty good sales figures compared to what I'd get in other places.
This is really interesting to me. You're making the same self-publishing as the flat fee and still have an opportunity to make more after that. How long have the stories been out for? Did you sell that in the first month or is that the total sold since you published them with more sales daily now?
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Old 11-21-2011, 07:00 AM   #18
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Do a lot of the anthology magazine ask the author to give a fee for viewing their work? I've seen some on here that say you don't have to pay, and I think some you do. How exactly do you tell the difference? (I'm extremely knew to publishing.).
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Old 11-21-2011, 07:31 AM   #19
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Do a lot of the anthology magazine ask the author to give a fee for viewing their work? I've seen some on here that say you don't have to pay, and I think some you do. How exactly do you tell the difference? (I'm extremely knew to publishing.).
If anyone ever tells you that you have to pay them to submit your work, walk away.

Writers don't have to pay publishers for anything. Period. Ever.

That exception you're trying to come up with doesn't exist in legitimate publishing ventures.

Writers don't have to pay publishers for anything. Period. Ever.
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Old 11-21-2011, 09:18 AM   #20
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If anyone ever tells you that you have to pay them to submit your work, walk away.

Writers don't have to pay publishers for anything. Period. Ever.

That exception you're trying to come up with doesn't exist in legitimate publishing ventures.

Writers don't have to pay publishers for anything. Period. Ever.

Thanks. I learned something already. Haha.
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Old 12-28-2011, 12:31 PM   #21
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I also suggest looking at Dutrope. They do mention markets, and you will get information for anthology calls. It made not always be things you like, but they do tend to keep things listed. Also checking the "Paying Markets" section is helpful. That can help you also find some good publishers out there. However, one thing I do suggest is that you check the "Bewares/Background Checks" forum too, you know, just to be safe.
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Old 12-28-2011, 06:42 PM   #22
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And keep your eye on the bottom line. A lot of markets look great but do they sell copies and do they pay money (and how much)? These are things you need to have some idea about before submitting. For short stories, an up front payment is often better than a tiny royalty that never makes the payment threshold.
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Old 01-23-2012, 07:53 AM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alabastermouse View Post
I've seen sales jump up in the two months I've been self-publishing erotic short stories as "Ally Mauser" on the Kindle, Nook, and Smashwords.

I release individual stories, mostly, for .99 cents, occasionally more if I think it's a better story.

After every four, I do a small short story "collection" of four stories for less than the four stories individually.
That is the approach I'm using. I just uploaded my first two erotic shorts as Marie H. Douglas, only at Amazon so far. Have to check into Smashwords and their formatting requirements.

I know I need some reviews but I'm afraid to pass out free copies for fear they'll just get passed around. Have you had any luck getting reviews?
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Old 01-23-2012, 03:36 PM   #24
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The advantage of anthologies over self-pubbing, to my mind, is exposure to new readers. You may not be making much off the anthology sale (well, you're almost certainly not making much off it) but you're putting your work in front of people who will go looking for your other work. Self-pubbing the same stories would not give you nearly the same number of readers, unless things go atypically.

I think of anthologies as being advertisements. They're not about money, they're about exposure. Of course, if you don't have something on the market for people to buy, there's not much point in advertising...
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Old 01-23-2012, 07:26 PM   #25
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Quote:
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Any thoughts on the viability of self publishing 99 cent erotic short stories?
A lot of people are doing it, and some are doing very well at it.

Consider anthology markets, too, which sometimes pay well.
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