So, this is it, the grand experiment: writing smut for money.
Contrary to popular belief, there's nothing wrong with erotica in just about any form, so long as it conforms to the laws, of course. There's just a thing about trying to be a writer... you want to be known for your "real" work, whether it's historical fiction, horror, how-to manuals, whatever. How many people out there really want to be known that they write erotica? In my experience... not many.
At the same time, though, erotica's probably the most profitable market, unless you happen to be John Grisham or Stephen King. Unless you make it big, there's no way you can really make a living off of it. Sure, you can supplement your income while being creative, but it takes a special sort or a lucky break to make real money off of writing. There's a reason why starving artists are starving. It's not that they suck... it's a tough market, in any form.
Erotica, on the other hand, always sells. Sex sells, period. Even in a depression, porn is the only industry that actually makes more money. Year after year, more money. Why is that? I've read somewhere that it's because erotica is disposable, and that makes a certain amount of sense to me. You read or watch it or look at it, get off, and then you're done. You could read, watch, or look at it again, but it just won't be the same. The excitement of discovery is gone, the arousal caused by finding out what happens, even if it's only slightly different than a scenario you had seen before, is new. Hence, porn is disposable.
With the advent of self-publishing through PubIt and Kindle Direct Publishing, among other services, people now have a whole new range of literature available to them that they never had before. In addition to that, writers have the opportunity to put their stuff out there and grow an audience without having to audition with literary agents or publishing companies. Great deal, right? Well, the downside is that the writer has to do everything, and unless they invest a lot of time into promoting their stuff, odds are they still won't get noticed. Don't get me wrong--there are some real success stories out there. For the most part, though, some really good authors get unnoticed, and it's a shame. (Support indie authors, yo!)
Again, there's one market that grows: erotica. I know of a lot of good writers who just churn out vapid story after vapid story describing sex, and they get a fair wage for it. If they can build an audience, they can make a lot of money with little effort. People always want sex. So, here's an experiment. I am going to put in the minimal effort of promotion--minimal as in... not much. Maybe a facebook page, this blog (which is actually just a place for me to write thoughts about sex and whatnot without having my friends and family go 'oh, she's into that??', but it works for promotion!), an email address, and a twitter account, I do believe. I'll just write whatever story, have my husband make a cover, publish it, and see how it goes.
The thing is... what I'm finding is stupidly popular is monster and shifter erotica. Stuff like, "Billionaire Dinosaur Forced Me Gay". That's... just sort of horrifying, but upon further thought... who cares? It's a fantasy, right? It doesn't hurt anyone, and if people like it, why not? Fantasy sells. Sex sells. Let's remember that. However, I just can't write smut. I just can't do it. So, to make this experiment fun for me, I decided to write in a story and throw some facts in it that interest it. To this end, the husband and I came up with "The Janus Key Chronicles", which I'll delve more into later. The facts, well, who doesn't love science?
So, even though I'm going to be writing erotica, there's things in there that I love. It's a craft, and while I'm using a nom de plume, I'm not really embarrassed to say that I write this stuff. It's a market, a need, a desire, and people are going to fill it... even if it's with ass rampaging raptors.