Let this be a time capsule of a blog post about what it’s like to make money as a writer in these “unique times.” Perhaps that could be a new brand of whiskey, Unique Times. There are only a few ways to earn a living as an author without any substantial fame…
#1: Content Factory Work
The search engine is our god, and we are its children. The only way you can discover a brand is when that brand appears on the first page of Google search, touting the thing you want. And the only way that brand can even appear on Google at all is by filling itself with thick gobs of gooey fake content. There are thinkpieces about thinkpieces and hairpieces and a constant stream of people who make a living comparing (insert generic politician here) to Hitler. Bloggers are paid at about $30ish per article to churn out a disgusting mess of nonsense, bulking up their website in order to be more appealing to Search Engine God.
The day we started using “content” as a means to advertise is they day writers transformed into a headless army, marching ever on, uploading words upon meaningless words into the Search Engine Void.
How else can you make money as a writer?
#2: Related Content Factory Tasks
These are jobs somewhat tied to content creation, more along the content marketing side. Social media posts, social media scheduling, and other tasks which involve a bit of writing but still fall under the broad umbrella of Content Factory.
Freelance work abounds: all of these tasks have been deemed brand necessary and thus, grunts are hired at 32k per year to work from 9-6 Tweeting “haha thanks for sharing” all day to a small group of 2,000 robot followers. Corporate writing wins, regular writing dies.
#3: Creative Stuff?
This is the most tempting and fun and risky place to be as a writer who walks the corporate tight rope all day and then wants to get down to “the craft” at night. Authors who make money in fiction are a rare bunch, same for nonfiction. There is not only the lottery of publication, but also the rarity of a book that takes off in a marketplace steered by beach reads and people who just don’t have the time to sit down with a book after graduating from school.
There are independently published titles on Amazon and otherwise that have blown up and done well sans publishers. Think of “50 Shades,” for example. The main example. And I believe that the thing these homegrown bestsellers share is simple: they indulge our vices and feel “naughty,” to whichever degree this occurs. Because of Kindles and the digital realm of lit, women don’t have to feel uncomfortable carrying around a book which features huge tiddies and Fabio. It means you can discreetly carry around millions of pages of your favorite guilty trash, and no one need know about it.
(Except for when you have the font on size 50 and everyone on the whole plane knows you’re reading about “a throbbing cock.” Here’s looking at you, woman on a plane to Nashville I was sitting across from.)
Conclusion: erotica is the final literary frontier (and best way to make money)
Unless you want to gamble with the literary lottery, erotica is just as challenging and also home to a huge community of active readers looking for fast ways to get off. It’s being consumed like candies every day on Amazon, fueled by do-it-yourselfers and the readers who love them. It also combines all of the artistry of regular fiction with the challenge of not just entertaining your readers, but also making them horny.
And people are very willing, very willing, to throw money at great erotica. It’s not hard to convince anyone with a $1.99 price point. I just can’t think of any other literary market where people would pay about 2 bucks for a heartfelt piece of experimental prose. I love it.
Now that I think about it, I’m not sure why I’m calling this blog “final literary frontier.” Erotica is just, at the moment, the Wild West. Anything goes. Terrible Photoshop covers go. Grammatical errors do too. If you can get someone off, you can sell it. And in this landscape of cowboy cock, there rides heroes who are doing really, really well and making a lot of money.
I don’t have anything to add except for YEE HAW!