A NEW OPPORTUNITY
In 2011, I compiled many of my English Teacher X blog entries and stories into e-book format and self-published them using Amazon's Kindle Direct Publishing platform, as well as Smashwords, and Createspace. (I also eventually used Barnes and Noble and Kobo.)
Almost immediately, they sold more than I'd imagined; in the vicinity of 25 - 50 copies a month for the first few months and then as I added two more, in the neighborhood of 75 - 100 copies a month, on a few occasions closer to 200.
I was very pleased, of course.
I've always been a bit hesitant with English Teacher X as a product, though; I worried that if it sold too many copies, there would be some kind of blowback on my "real" English teacher identity. (I worried about this not just for my own life, but the lives of my friends and girlfriends as well.)
I considered what else the market might bear, and what else I'd written that I liked; I began posting the paranormal adventure satire short stories that I mentioned in the last post, and considered whether I had it in me to write a thriller or a horror novel.
A FATEFUL DISCOVERY
One day in spring of 2012, shortly before I left my first posting in the Kingdom, I was surfing Amazon. I don't remember what I was looking for or why, but I ended up being directed to a Kindle short story of "erotica."
Its crude and amateurish cover and title struck me; I used the "look inside" feature and read the first few paragraphs, which were amazingly bad, with mangled grammar and spelling and a stupid, banal, cliched description of an older guy picking up a hot female hitch-hiker and banging her with an amazing lack of synonyms for cock and pussy.
The thing that really struck me though, was its sales ranking: it was something like 8500.
(And I'm talking on the normal Amazon rankings, not just the erotica rankings.)
The highest ranking any of the English Teacher X books has ever achieved is about 40,000.
This crude piece of shit was outselling me ... by orders of magnitude.
A FEVERED DECISION
Now since relations with women in the Kingdom are pretty much impossible, I had been having a lot of chatroom sex. I used Skype with girls I know, of course, but I'm also talking old school; mIRC. Internet Relay Chat, serving your perverse text-only cybersex needs since the mid-90s.
I had had many such chats, in a variety of scenarios, so I took the log of one that I particularly liked and turned it into an "erotica" story. I made a cool cover and formatted it; it was about 5000 words and I put it up for availability on Kindle for 99 cents.
Almost immediately, it was selling hundreds of copies, and then ... THOUSANDS of copies. (At that price, Amazon gives the author 33 cents per sale.)
It reached the top 50 in Amazon erotica and was in the top 1000 of Kindle sales in general.
I was making hundreds of dollars a month off something it took me maybe 4 or 5 hours to write up, format, and post.
I have no fucking idea! There was a big demand for porn at that time in the wake of the success of FIFTY SHADES OF GRAY, and people were discovering you could read porn on your Kindle even in public without embarrassing yourself with a tacky smutty cover. But at the same time, there's plenty of free written porn available online, so I have no idea why people were buying so much.
And why did they buy this story?
I don't know the answer to that, either. I suppose somebody must have linked it somewhere, but I never saw where.
It sold thousands of copies every month; I immediately wrote sequels to it, which sold hundreds of copies. Then I wrote other stories, trying to gauge what kind of fetishes an stories were popular.
They sold. Almost everything sold dozens or hundreds of copies a month.
My $500-a-month e-book empire became, in summer of 2012, a $1000 + a month ebook empire, with 20+ erotica stories for sale.
A SECRET LIFE OF TORRID LUST
What are the titles?
Well, that, I'm not gonna tell. For various reasons. They ran a gamut of smut but tended, unsurprisingly to feature older men and younger women, teachers and barely-legal students, and of course bondage and spanking.
Actually, I'll go ahead and share one with you:
This was my attempt at super-hero / dominatrix porn; I think it's a pretty good story, but it didn't really sell. BUY IT HERE ON AMAZON FOR 99 CENTS.
BUY IT HERE ON BARNES AND NOBLE FOR 99 CENTS
I threw myself into it with my customary intense obsessive zeal, and after I left my first job in the Kingdom, I devoted myself to ebooks full time.
So, fuck yeah, I became a smut merchant. Living large on the beaches of Costa Rica and the Dominican Republic (oh, okay, and my mother's attic sometimes) selling the hot wet stuff that dreams are made of.
Until it all came crashing down this year.
STAY TUNED FOR:
THE ACCIDENTAL PORNOGRAPHER PART TWO: THE FALL OF THE PORNOGRAPHER