The erotica community is sort of like this nasty, sex-crazed octopus with tentacles all over the place. When I try to find answers about formatting, recommendations on length, and to read about what marketing strategies work for other authors, I hear two different opinions every time. A lot of these “answers” are tucked within forum threads from 2013, and as we know, erotica times they are a changing.
One of my recent sleuth searches has been about the ideal erotica length.
Thus: are people buying more shorts, or do they prefer longer pieces?
I’ve read a passionate post about how authors should avoid shorts, and no one buys them. One minute later, I read a passionate post about how shorts made this author’s career, and they’ve busted out millions of them.
What is the truth?
I can’t speak to roaring sales, and I still don’t have my own hot tub. Whenever I’ve bought an erotica, they most often fall in the “novella” category, at about 40-ish pages of writing to describe a few encounters with the same cast of characters. Unless there is a series with a rotating cast that I love, the “condom” nature of these stories appeal to me. I dive in, I get some detail, I read the filthy thing, and then I’m so horny that even my hairbrush sounds like an ideal partner.
When I read shorts, I do so in a bundle/collection. “More cluck for your buck,” as they say.
My current theory, and this is yet to be proven, is that I will keep putting out shorts at about 5k words a piece until the end of the year. That way, my page and other work can be found through people searching tags on Amazon for erotica. It’s casting a wide net, for which I will catch numerous fishes. I have ten shorts right now, and then one bundle of all those ten shorts. I’m starting up on my next batch of ten shorts, totaling twenty for the year and two short collections.
Next year, my plan is to write novellas at about twenty-thousand words, and just see how many of those I can pop out of my noodle.
More cluck for more buck?
My only marketing strategy is to imagine what other readers are looking for by having an out-of-body experience and examining the way that I buy and read erotica. What do you search for? What do you end up buying, and why? When you use tags and flip through author pages, what gives you that “ah! I have found a hot looking erotica!” sensation. These are the kind of questions that I, Sherlock Mintie, am trying to figure out for myself.
If you have any insight into this dilemma, talk to me in the comments! I see all of them and rub my chin thoughtfully as I read them. Then I try to figure out how to reply on WordPress? I’m learning.