Publishing Erotica Part 3 – What to Write
Click here for Publishing Erotica Part 2 – What You Need
So, you have your software and you’ve decided your ready to jump into the world of hot, messy, kinky erotica. So you need something to write. There are a lot of kinks out there from the vanilla to the truly taboo. Erotica could, in broad terms, be divided into four major categories: Male/Female (bisexual women and bisexual men can slip in here), Gay, Lesbian, and Transgender (futas, gender swap, and traditional transgender). Each of these broad categories has myriad subkinks, some that can be adapted to any of the categories, while others are firmly entrenched in their respected areas.
So when writing, select one of these broad categories for the story, then choose several kinks to be explored and fantasized in it. Kinks range from BDSM, Pseudo-Incest, Cheating, Swinging, Voyeurism, Exhibitionism, ABDL, Work Sex, College, Older Man/Younger Woman, Age Play, Virgins, A2M, Pregnancy, Risky Sex, Breeding, and more. See what’s popular on Pornhub or visit Literotica.com and browse what they offer.
The truly daring can try ASSTR.org, though be warned anything is allowed to be published here, including the most extreme of kinks.
You can write a vanilla story about a guy and girl that meet, flirt, and have sex. But it won’t sell as well unless you mix in something a little naughtier. What if she’s cheating on her husband? What if her husband is watching? What if he’s a BDSM Dom and introduces her to the world of submission? What if she whips out the strap-on and decides to do the fucking? What if she’s lactating and he gets a creamy treat? There are so many kinks and subgenres to dive into. Mixing, matching, and exploring new delights are all what makes erotica great.
So where are the lines? What can get you into trouble or outright banned by one of the ebook online stores? They vary from store to store, but there is one line that none of them will allow you to cross. All characters having sex must be over the age of eighteen in erotica.
In America, it is perfectly legal to write about underage sex in graphic terms. It varies in other countries (Canada is 14+), but no ebook store will let you publish it. Once, Amazon did, and then people realized it was on there and that made Amazon look bad. They don’t like to look bad.
If you want to write that stuff, there are several free story websites that have no restriction on content (such as ASSTR.org). Post there.
If you want to make money at selling erotica, make your characters eighteen or older.
You can still write your naughty babysitter erotica—she’s just eighteen. Your cheerleaders are in college, not high school. Nubile coeds seduce their college professors, and your horny cougars are leading eighteen-year-old guys into their beds to give them an education.
Now, let’s talk about the other kinks that will get you banned from the major online stores. I’ll go over them by all the places I’m aware of that sell erotica.
Amazon: Incest is a big no-no on Amazon. You can publish Pseudo-Incest (step-daughter/step-father, etc.) but you have to be careful on how you market it or you’ll get banned. No rape or other non-consensual sex. Dubious consent is a gray area, be careful how you market your story. No blatant mind-control. No bestiality unless the creature is extinct (dinosaurs are A-OK) or mythical (your character can’t fuck a horse, but a unicorn is just fine). With werewolves and other shifters, they need to be fully human to do the nasty. No scat or watersports (watersports may be a gray area). No snuff. You can have characters die, but not for sexual gratification. Also, Amazon has another pitfall—the adult dungeon. This will be a blog post in its own right coming later.
Barnes & Noble: No underage. Barnes & Noble will allow anything else, including Incest, Bestiality, and Rape stories.
Smashword: No underage. Smashword will let anything else be published.
Apple: They are actually more prudish than Amazon. See above, but add Pseudo-Incest, and if your cover is too racy, they’ll ban that too.
Google Play: No Pseudo-Incest.
Kobo: Not really sure. They have a very small market share.
Excitica: No underage or bestiality. This is famed erotica author Selene Kitt’s ebook store. She created as a place free from Amazon and other stores censorship. I believe her caveats are because of credit card companies (they really don’t like erotica to begin with).
All Romance Ebook: No underage, bestiality, or incest. This site specializes in romance over erotica, but they will let you publish erotica on their website.
There are probably a few other extreme kinks that are not allowed to be published, but they are for such a niche market not many authors write it. The big ones are underage, incest, rape, and bestiality. If you want to write these kinks, you’re limited in where and even if you can publish them. The main things to pay attention to are Amazon’s restrictions.
Amazon controls the market. They are where the money is to be made, so you want to stay on their good side. If you get too many books banned, they will suspend your KDP account. And they only ever allow you to have a single KDP account tied to a tax ID number (like your social security number).
But even if you stay in Amazon’s coloring lines, there are plenty of naughty kinks for you to write and explore. So have fun, get out there and “fantasize,” come up with your kinky tales, and let the passion burn across the screen. Remember if it makes you hard or wet, it’s sure to make someone else!
Next post, I’ll discuss creating your online avatar and pen name
Click here for Publishing Erotica Part 4 – Your Pen Name