It’s that time again – royalties

Gigolo Seduction by Fierce DolanIt’s royalty season, leaving me curious to see where my books sell, thus, where they don’t.  Statements of royalties are broken down (most of the time) so that authors can see through what outlets their work sells, leaving a bit of room to interpret what that info means.

It’s been a little over two years since I stretched my writing career into the smutty back alleys of erotica, and in that time I’ve noticed a few patterns.  Maybe these reflect general trends, maybe they’re only indicative of my work.  Still:

  • Gay erotica sells best on ARe.
  • Het but graphically kinky erotica sells best on general retail outlets.
  • None of it sells well directly from the publisher (consequently, where I have the highest royalty percentage).
  • It all sells best outside the US.
  • It all sells best on Amazon.

I think it’s good to note trends, but I also wonder what these patterns reflect in readers.  Specifically, what do they say about the direction of the erotica publishing industry:

  • Sites targeted to sell erotica are more likely to carry niche genres than retail outlets are publishers.
  • Publishers’ web efforts are perhaps best spent on promotion rather than distribution.
  • US readers purchase erotica in print more than as ebooks.
  • Most online distributors for erotica emphasis romance over harder edged erotica.
  • Amazon isn’t as picky about its product contents as authors fear it is.

It’s interesting to see erotica develop as an industry, and to see how epublishing unfolds as a powerful entity in a power-drunk arena.  Over the last three years we’ve seen some of the big publishers drop their erotica lines, though I’m putting my money on the creation of new ones.

Readers, where do you buy erotica?  What factors do you take into consideration before you buy from a site?  Authors, what trends do you notice in your sales?  How do those patterns affect your promotion?

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