How to Make Money: Fiction Writing

fiction writing as a way to make money

I’m not going to tell you or anyone else how to write fiction. As a some-time erotic writer, I know we all have our own methods and styles. A lot of people can write, but not a lot of people can make money at it. In our ongoing series on how to make money, let’s talk about fiction writing in all its forms.

On Your Blog

The sexy smut on your blog can, eventually, earn money. Like any other kind of blogging, it takes time and effort to build an audience. Once you do, you can leverage that audience into sponsored posts, ads on your website, or as proof that you know how to write for other outlets.

The other option is to turn a series of posts or even one post into it’s own published work. Two of my self-published books came from the pages of my blog. Write the smutty fiction you love, and it can serve multiple purposes as a money maker.

Short Story Anthologies

Not every fiction writer pumps out erotic novellas or novels – or wants to. But if you want to be a published author, look for anthology submission options. They pay, usually, anywhere from $10 per story up to at least $100, plus you usually receive a copy or two of the published book. Erotica Readers and Writers Association has a page of submission opportunities to give you a starting point.

And yes, even if the only erotic fiction you’ve written appears on your blog, you should considering submitting. Follow the instructions and deadlines to the letter when you submit. You’ll likely have a lot of competition, but keep trying. When you get a story accepted, it’s extra income from your writing as well as a good ego boost.

Magazine Submissions

Believe it or not (and I had no clue until a few years ago), plenty of magazines accept fiction writing. Many literary magazines are strictly vanilla, but magazines like Math Magazine and The Amorist want good erotic stories to publish. Like short story anthologies, you’ll be one of dozens or hundreds submitting, but it’s a great way to build a resume, name recognition, and a modest income.

Published Author

This one is so obvious I almost didn’t include it. But there are a few key points you should know so that you have a realistic idea of how you can make money.

  • The more books you write and publish, the higher your income will be. I don’t mean you’ll become rich with a big catalog but your income will increase.
  • Spamming people on social media doesn’t get you book sales. Nor does only blogging about your current book. You have to give people a reason to buy your book.
  • Don’t buy reviews. I don’t care if other people do it. Unethical behavior always gets found out eventually.
  • Don’t read your reviews – especially on Amazon or Goodreads. Not everyone will like your work, and that’s okay. But if you read too many, you’ll discourage yourself from writing in the future.

Ghostwriting

Believe it or not, I had a gig for a few months where I wrote erotic fiction for a sex toy company as their ghostwriter. They weren’t publishing “useful information” for their blog. Instead, they wanted smut. I was happy to provide it because they were willing to pay for it. You may also come across ghostwriting opportunities for erotic novellas. Personally, I always thought if I was going to spend that much time writing, I should get to put my name on it. If the price is right, though, it’s a legitimate way to make money.

For the blogger who “dabbles” in erotica or the author who wants other places to publish, you have more opportunities than you realize. I don’t know of anyone who is able to make their sole income from fiction writing, but that doesn’t mean it can’t happen. Like every other kind of sex writing, it takes patience, creativity, and persistence. If you’ve spent the past months or years toiling away at erotic fiction, you’ve already got that – now it’s time to make it work for you.

Did I miss a good option for making money with fiction writing? Feel free to share in the comments below!

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About The Author

Kayla Lords

I’m a freelance writer, sex blogger, podcaster, and speaker with a focus on BDSM and D/s relationships.

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