“But surely for everything you have to love you have to pay some price.”
~ Agatha Christie
Debate rages, it’s what debate does. People like nothing more than debating stuff. Debate leads to all kinds of silliness and the only thing I feel we can be sure about is that there is always evidence for both sides of any argument.
Self-Publishing vs. Traditional Publishing is a well-known example in writing circles. Everyone who publishes does so with the desire to make so much money they can write full time and sell millions of copies.
- Quality of story isn’t the answer.
- Quantity of published work isn’t the answer.
- Writing ability helps, but is no barrier to success.
Self-publishing prophets will evangelise about the freedom they get in owning their own work and the gazillions of dollars they receive in royalties from Amazon each month. Some of the loudest (like JA Konrath) conveniently ignore the fact that they spent decades building a brand through traditional publishing contracts and simply used that leverage to grab a greater share of the income by going “indie.”
This distorts the truth about publishing – regardless of the model you use.
Making money from writing (in units of SL – Shitloads) is like winning the lottery. You have to have that right combination of timing, luck and a ticket.
Of the millions of readers in the world, they all have different tastes and preferences. Porn Erotica sells really well. Most of the books I see promoted on Facebook groups have a standard image: A stock photograph of two muscular men with their shirts off crawling over one woman in lingerie. The title is irrelevant but usually includes the word ‘desire’ and it’s the story of a woman making a hard choice about which of these two Adonis’s she truly ‘loves.’ In the meantime she sleeps with both of them, usually at the same time, while working through her relationship angst.
Of course it is fantasy. It’s fantasy with a ready market for women who like a bit of respectability to their porn. No websites of streaming professional shagging for them. They want relationship details. They want the fantasy of being hammered by two guys at once while wondering which one of them truly loves you.
In reality, the two guys probably end up together.
Men, being wired differently, don’t care about what the woman is thinking, we just want to get to the physical stuff. There’s erotica porn for that too.
So there really isn’t a magical formula for selling books. There isn’t a right way to be published. There isn’t a genre you should be writing in to get famous (though romance, mystery and erotica sell best). The really savvy publishers (or writer-publishers) will be writing erotic versions of Agatha Christie type murder mysteries.
The mental image of Miss Marple being pawed by two Chip’n’dales strippers while wearing nothing but her lacy smalls is going to appeal to someone.