Sex sells, especially in case of books.
Well, this isn't really the case for new erotica authors. Maybe it was 20 years earlier, but things changed. Today publishing an erotic novel is a matter of days, which means the competition became huge in the last five years. Marketing and promotion have much stronger impact lately and erotica without promotion may fall quickly into unknownness. No matter how good it is.
I'm speaking about digital marketing. Magazines are like dinosaurs now, hence several of them had really quality content. But times are changing.
In the following article we would like to talk about promoting erotic books. You will find practical tips and takeaways and no bullshit as in other articles we reviewed before writing our list.
Promoting erotica differs from traditional book marketing! Let me show you some key differences:
- Amazon KDP hasn't any problem with erotic books, you can publish them, the first difference appear when you select the book's category! Amazon (as webstore) handles erotica differently. Amazon literally “hides” erotica and makes searching these books much harder for readers.
- You can't promote erotica in Amazon Advertising program! No paid promotion for erotica on Amazon. After you book is marked (based on category, or by a simple support flag) as erotica, there is no turning back. A lot of author tries to avoid being marked as erotica, but if the story is around kinky sex, I think there is no point fighting against reality.
- A lot of social media platforms don't tolerate erotica or explicit sex writing. Instagram and Facebook is one of them, you can't post any nude or sexual photos on these sites (it would cause almost instant suspension). Written content is slightly different, but not much. The best alternative to find groups who are discussing books and authors
- Google keywords and SEO. Erotica has almost 3000 connecting keywords to erotica which are very popular in the search engine.
Now let's start at the beginning:
The “good” news that Goodreads – one of the biggest book community site – is ok with erotica. They have a lot of Listopia lists on the site. With a proper tagging you can slowly climb the erotica category. You can get also reviews here which are almost as important as Amazon reviews itself.
Reddit is an open-minded closed community, with spaces like Erotica authors, you may have the opportunity to speak to similar minded people. You may request honest opinions. The problem is promotion, since you couldn't just “post” your new book here, it would cause instant shadow bann. Try to be gentle and be more like part of the community, after a certain point of time people will check your profile and this is the space where you can freely share your writings.
Since erotica is a 18+ (21+ in certain countries) category also in case of sites, site owners are mainly focusing directly on adult contents. If you want to promote try to promote always on exclusive erotic book sites (avoid movies and tube sites, they are most likely not readers).
Our shortlist is the following:
- Bookbub (see below)
- Hidden Gems
- Erotic Book Review
- Under the Covers
- Excite Spice
- (find further websites on Kindlepreneur that accept erotica)
We need to also add sites that aren't primary for promotion but has a big impact within the erotica niche:
- Literotica (free stories)
(Note: if you are a site or blog owner we are open to consider including your book in the above list, please write us)
4. Email marketing
Honestly it's a great way to promote also erotica, but the shortfall of it how to build your own email list of readers. There is is no simple way:
- You need a compelling author website
- Email signup form
- Tons of time, most likely 3-5 years
If you are writing more than just one erotic fiction, you may want to build your platform for followers, and gently requesting to subscribe is a way of getting engaged followers of your writing.
If we are talking about good websites, well a lot of people don't know but Bookbub has a big erotic romance audience.
How does it work?
- You “Submit a Featured Deal” in Bookbub's partner center (use flexible dates and free or .99c price for promotion)
- After it has been accepted by Bookbub, you set a price in KDP to the promotion price or schedule a countdown deal
The downside is that your book has to be well reviewed and should be professional from listing and cover point of view. Only 20% of submitted books accepted for promotion. This pre checking process also takes several days (1 week appox.) from Bookbub side. The promotion fee is high, it cost somewhere between $100-500 (depends on the category and the promo price you select). On the other side the outcome of the promotion is typically very good, we recommend to use for erotica authors.
6. KDP promotion
As already mentioned it, it's one of the strongest way to promote your erotic book on Amazon.
Why is it working giving away your book for free?
- You are looking for rank on Amazon, giving away 100-200 copies for free isn't really a big fee in exchange for much higher Amazon Best Seller Rank (ABSR)
- Amazon puts your book in dedicated Free promotion spaces on it's site, which also means, your other book may sale higher during the time of the promotion
- Marketing is a blind giant, if you are doing a good campaign, the result will be felt month after the promotion
These were the most important erotic book marketing tips for authors. We hope we could give some valuable tips and adult marketing ideas.