Read Part One: The Pornographer Rises
Read Part Two: The Fall of the Pornographer
The TL;DR version of that is that back in 2012, I, on a whim, posted an erotica short story on Kindle under another name and suddenly found myself deluged with sales. In 2013, however, Amazon began aggressively seeking out and blocking the kinds of "taboo" porn I was writing, and I found my sales never really recovered.
I visited a lot of cool places since I left my last job in July: Vietnam, Turkey, Peru and Ecuador. The fucking Golopogas Islands, man! Czech Republic and Hungary, too.
When I wasn't with my girlfriend, you know what I was doing in the evenings, usually?
Writing enema porn.
Not that I find anything at all erotic about enemas, I should say, it was just a thing that clicked with readers and my largest selling titles all had enemas in them.
So I wrote enema porn.
In addition, you know, to cuckolding porn, gangbang porn, BDSM, etc.
I swam with hammerhead sharks at Kicker Rock, I traversed fabulous jungles in the Amazon basin of Peru, I surfed in Montanita. I bathed in the mineral waters at Karlovy Vary and in Budapest.
And I wrote enema porn.
ONE OF THE LONELIEST JOBS THERE IS
I didn't work nearly as hard at it, as I might have.
I did it, but I no longer enjoyed it.
It began to feel not really dirty or disgusting, but just ... tedious. Sad. Pathetic, even.
For inspiration, I immersed myself in exploration of 70s exploitation. I watched tons of old "sexploitation" films on YouTube to get ideas. I listened to lots of documentaries and podcasts about 70s and 80s porn, including the highly-recommended The Rialto Report podcast, which has a lot of funny and poignant tales of porn stars and directors of that era.
You can look at my Google Plus page to see a comprehensive look at the YouTube exploitation films I've watched recently, or at least commented on, but here's a really weird sleazy offensive demeaning one, just as an example:
DON'T GET ME WRONG
I always liked sleaze, don't get me wrong. I used to collect old men's adventure paperbacks when I was a teen, which usually leaned more towards tawdry violence than tawdry sexuality, but there was plenty of both. (People ask me which blogs I read - that's about the only one I follow loyally.)
But I can't say that I have recently felt like some awesome independent-location writer, surviving by my wits. Or even some sort of live-by-your-own rules bohemian.
I felt like a sad fucking middle-aged man doing what is probably one of the most solitary and perhaps one of the loneliest jobs there is.
I mean, all the stuff about how watching porn fucks up your amygdala -- imagine how much WRITING it fucks up your amygdala.
WE MAY TERMINATE YOUR ACCOUNT
As mentioned, Amazon has opaque and ever-changing standards of what is unacceptable. Towards the end of 2014, Amazon sent me an e-mail saying that if I submitted anything else that was blocked, my whole account would be banned:
During our review process, we found that this content is in violation of our content guidelines. As a result, we cannot offer this book for sale. If we identify additional submissions with similar content that violates our guidelines, we may terminate your account or you may lose access to optional KDP services.
So I had to back off, as I post the ETX books and the porn books from the same account, and I didn't want to get that blocked and lose ALL my income.
So I worked on building my brand, with an author's website, based around some of my more thriller-based erotica stuff -- five sex scenes and a fight scene, versus six fight scenes and a sex scene as in the men's adventure pulps -- but I haven't had any more success than usual yet. (I really kind of hate all that SEO and keyword stuff and I'm not good at it.)
Not posting much of anything in December or January, sales plummeted. In fact my 2014 total book sales were down about 20 percent from my 2013 sales, according to my tax records.
Porn sales seems to have really short half-life now; things will sell hundreds of copies for a month or two, if you're lucky, but then they seem to fall off quickly to nothing. I have one title that sold thousands of copies in 2012 and maybe like a few dozen copies total in 2014. One recent addition to my porn canon sold 100-something copies in October when it was released, with a similar number of Kindle Unlimited "rentals"; this month it has sold 5, with 4 rentals.
REALLY FOUL STUFF
The latest aspect of the erotica e-book scam is to put hardcore erotica in the "romance" and "short story" sections of Kindle, rather than "erotica" -- there's all kinds of really foul stuff there now.
But I'm guessing that within the next three to six months, possibly sooner, Amazon will go on another tear and start blocking and banning, like they did with erotica in 2013.
But there's still a few bucks to be made. One guy made more than $7000 in a month writing gay cuckold porn. (Maybe if I made that much I'd feel better about this. Maybe.)
Even the positive, wholesome young Robert at 30 Days to X seems to have switched from self-help to porn slinging, after becoming disillusioned with affiliate links and blogging.
So I don't know what to tell you, kids. Sure, there's money to be made there, surely more money than most English teaching positions, but ... I mean, shit you can probably make tons of money sucking cock down at the bus stop, too. Or cheating old ladies out of their pensions with promises of marriage.
Is this really all we aspire too, though?
Sigh. Anyway, back to my latest enema porn adventure.