When I started writing erotic stories five years ago, it was because of a desire to add a little spice to my own marriage and surprise my husband. Our youngest child had just gone off to school and I was working from home. I loved writing, in fact my lifelong dream has been to be an author, and I figured it would be fun to pen some saucy tales for him to enjoy. It was fun – a lot of fun.
It was easier to get started than I thought, I just came up with a situation, well, more of an inkling of an idea to start with, then I got myself into the head (and body!) of the character and the story pretty much wrote itself from there.
My first story was called The Beach and is about a lady who goes on holiday to get over a relationship break up. She’s sunbathing on a tropical beach, all hot and sweaty in the sweltering sun, when she notices a rather sexy man wandering up and down the beach selling coconuts and juices. She dubs him Coconut Man and it’s lust at first sight. She can’t stop thinking about him, which leads to the need to discreetly relieve her own tension right there on the beach. She’s so smitten that the next day she takes a lone bus ride across the island and returns to the beach just so she can see him again. She falls asleep in the sun and wakes up hours later to find the beach deserted and the sun setting. But she’s not completely alone. Yep, you probably guessed it – coconut man has been keeping an eye on her and saved her from certain sunstroke by shielding her with a parasol. You can imagine what happens next. On the beach. In a boat. In coconut man’s cute little beach hut. You get the picture. Now I didn’t say these stories had to be particularly clever, just raunchy.
It was so easy to write, once I got in the mood, if you know what I mean. I suppose you could say my stories have a fine balance between erotica and romance. I’ll be honest – I haven’t read much hard-core stuff – it’s not my thing. I have read some erotic books and I get quite put off when it’s all action and slamming and pumping with no build up, no foreplay, and not enough description, or feeling, or sensation. The balance has to be just right. I’m not talking about prissy romance, far from it; I’m talking about empowered sexuality – women who love sex, a detailed exploration of different fantasies and scenarios. But I’m talking about writing it in a way that both women and men will love to read it – in a way that builds up the desire in the reader and gets them all hot and horny, eager for more. I’m going to show you just how to do that in the next chapter, and at the end of the book you’ll find a full example of one of my stories.
Sharing the Love
My husband was surprised when I sent him that first book, to say the least. He was rather impressed too, and not just for the obvious reason. In fact he was so impressed that once I’d written another story, The Babysitter, we decided to share them anonymously on a blog (yes – THIS blog) to see if other people might enjoy them too. That’s when Roxy Hart was born. I mean, there’s no way I was going to use my real identity. I’m a mother of four boys, two of them teenagers – can you imagine? They would disown me! They actually know now that I write ‘fruity romance’ stories, and they’re cool with it as long as I never talk about it and nobody ever finds out! So I created the blog and put to the stories on there, simple. It really wasn’t anything clever, just a free WordPress blog with a basic template design. I’d never had any kind of a blog before so I didn’t know any special secrets or tricks, I just put the stories up there put in some keywords in the tags section and went ahead and published them.
This was back in 2013. Shortly after I’d published the stories online, I discovered I was pregnant (I know, right!), and suddenly writing erotic stories was the last thing on my mind. The next year passed in a blur of all things baby. It wasn’t until late 2014 that I even gave Roxy Hart another thought, and checked in on the blog. I was absolutely blown away by what I saw. WordPress give you a statistics page so you can see how many blog visitors you’ve had, and I couldn’t believe what I was seeing.
In 2013 the blog had received nearly half a million views:
And in the first half of 2014 it had well over a million views! Not only that, but when I checked in on the email account I used for the blog, it was chocka-block full of emails from readers who loved the stories, and the blog had many comments like the one below on The Beach:
“That was delightfully hot with an adorable and lovely ending and couple. Appeased both aspects of my personality. Thank you so much for the sensual and beautiful story.”
And this one:
“I must say Roxy, you have a special gift in writing. I could almost anticipate being Fabrice for a while. It was an absolute pleasure going through this story a few times, as I had with The Babysitter and all the rest of the stories, but after this one I had actually decided to thank you. You are truly amazing, and the best thing is you have support from your better half on this, WOW!”
We had also received emails like this:
Just read your story The Babysitter and absolutely Loved it. Enthralling. I’ve only just found interest in erotic literature and have read a few others but was not drawn into the desire as your story had gathered me. I loved the build up to the bedroom scene and was left needing more after the story ended with the almost ‘mysterious’ wife needing some attention too. Many thanks. Hope to read much more soon!”
There were hundreds of them, all just as full of praise.
I was so delighted and inspired, I immediately got to work penning some more stories and fully embraced being Roxy Hart. To take things to a new level, my husband and I would come up with ideas for the stories together. It was like our new hobby – beats golf or stamp collecting, hands down! In fact The Babysitter has been so popular, and was so fun to write, I decided to extend it into a novel, Secret Life, with each chapter being a short story that I could also share on the blog. It was really fun to write a full story with the main character, the babysitter from the short story, having numerous saucy encounters. Though I’ve since decided to focus solely on short stories – they are faster to write and less complex, and they sell just as well but can be written in a fraction of the time – but we’ll come to that in later chapters.
By the end of 2014 I was stunned to discover that I’d had nearly 3 million views on the blog, www.roxyharterotica.com.
On top of those mind-blowing statistics, I’d received even more emails like this:
“Dear Roxy Hart,
I just wanted to let u know that this book of yours is Fuckin’ amazing!
I love it… and I love u for making me altogether go to a different world while reading your book.
Keep it up!”
And comments like this:
“This was an absolutely lovely story, I was expecting a steamy story (and it totally delivered!) But the romantic side was unexpected and I must say I loved it! I ended up with both wet knickers and a warm fuzzy feeling haha. Thanks foxy for this excellent tale!”
Though we did get comments from men, we seemed to have gathered a mostly female fan base – women ready and eager for some well written, female-friendly porn; women who like their erotica hot, steamy, and detailed. These empowered women are out there in drones and ready to read more.
I realised at this point that with such a huge fan base it was time to start monetising this hobby.
To start with I didn’t have a clue what I was doing. After much research and a fair bit of trial and error, I decided to sell via the KDP (for Kindle) and Smashwords (for many other eBook sellers) platforms. I got the accounts set up and added my short stories as eBooks.
Since in the ‘real’ world I’m a designer as well as an artist, and have also helped numerous clients to publish their books, it was pretty easy for me to get things set up. I could make covers for my own stories and turn them into eBooks for the various platforms fairly easily – don’t worry – I’ll give you all my best tips and advice on how to set it up for yourself in later chapters.
I also discovered that it was super easy to team up with voice artists via the Amazon ACX program and easily turn my books into audio books, which Amazon would then sell via this simple program – so as well as eBooks, I had all my books available as audiobooks too. I’ll walk you through this too; it’s simple, honestly.
Then I sat back and waited. Well, that’s not true; I didn’t wait – I wrote, wrote, and wrote some more (all around my business, and the kids of course!).
And my books started to sell.
I made some adjustments on the blog too, so that I could harness some of those eager readers and turn them into buyers – I changed the stories so that some of each story was available to read for free as a taster, with a link to buy the eBook and read the full story. I’ll walk you through the process for all of this in later chapters.
It worked! My blog readers started turning into book buyers. The growth in blog visitors dropped slightly as a result – but that was to be expected and I didn’t mind – after all, I’d rather they were clicking away from the site to buy the book than clicking around the site reading all the stories for free. However, I still clocked up nearly 3 million visitors in 2015 and nearly 4 million in 2016!
But what you really want to know about is the money, right? Well, here’s what I’ll tell you – I have written and published 15 short stories. That’s not many when you consider that they can be as short as around 3,000 words, which can be written in a day. Between those 15 stories I make an average of 3 books sales a day. It’s a bit complicated as the book is sold across various countries and in a number of different currencies – but as an example, I sell each book at $2.99 USD in the Amazon US store, and receive 70% of the sale after Amazon’s cut – so that’s just over $2 profit per book sold. That’s pure profit, no overheads at all.
Each month from those 15 books I make anywhere between $100-$200 USD.
Now I know that these figures aren’t staggering and aren’t going to pay the mortgage, but I’ve done all this with no marketing know how and I receive that money just by sitting back and doing nothing. No promotion, apart from the blog, which just sits there getting found by people using search engines, and a very occasional post on Twitter. No paid ads. Just 15 short stories.
Every month the postman delivers a cheque right through my front door just like that, thank you very much! I can’t even tell you the pride and joy I feel every time I open that envelope and see that cheque. That makes me a published author, getting paid for my writing. That is a childhood dream fulfilled. Okay, so in childhood the dream didn’t involve erotica – that would be weird – but hey, I grew up. On a side note, I’m now also writing books in other genres too, my plan being to become a full time writer in the very near future.
I told you I would be completely open and honest about my book earnings so far, and I will. So here it is, my totally royalties received from Amazon across all currencies to date:
That’s nearly three thousand pounds that I wouldn’t have if I hadn’t written those short stories.
And that’s not even counting the sales from the audio books – they don’t sell as many, maybe one or two a week or so – but they still pay. In fact, at the time of writing this book Amazon pay a bonus $25 royalty if somebody buying one of my books is a first time ACX customer – one month I had 8 first time customer buy one of my books – that was an extra $200 just like that. Completely passive income.
Now, do the math, see the possibilities. If that can be achieved with just 15 short stories and no active promotion, written while working a full time job, running a business, and looking after a household and four children, imagine what could be possible if I doubled that amount, tripled it, quadrupled it. Imagine what could be possible for you too – the more books you have available on Amazon, the more visible you become – as buyers will see your name come up in the ‘Also bought by’ section etc., which means more book sales, which means your book income can grow exponentially!
I’ve put it all down in my new book, 5 Steps to Becoming a Successful Erotica Author, so that others can follow my steps and become successful too. I’ve had so many people contacting me saying they would love to become an erotica author, and asking my advice, so I thought I’d put it all down in one place completely open and candid about my journey, my experiences, and how to walk through the whole process from planning, to penning, to preparing, to publishing, to promoting your first erotica book. I cover everything!
Are you ready to become a successful erotica author? Let’s do it!