Sunday is typically the day I spend sorting files on my computer and ensuring everything is backed up. This is when I often discover some gem I’ve forgotten about in my cornucopia of stuff on my computer.
I hate advertising, which is basically begging for money from my fans, but it’s somewhat necessary. My goal in writing smut stories has never been to get rich but to talk about stuff we’ve seen and/or done in our travels. A lot of the sales are turned around and pushed back out to advertisers that hawk my wares. I guess we are all pimps in one fashion or another, but that’s what makes the world go around.
One of the things I get a hoot out of is creating ads, such as this one. I ran across it yesterday, and it’s one of my favorites.
Or, this one:
As a photographer, I appreciate images for their artistic value as well as how sexy they are. This girl below, with big hair, could be my wife; I love her look. Most of the cover images I use, along with the book characters, are typically a variation of Foxy. She has a dress that is almost identical to the one the model is wearing.
And those legs are to die for!
Creating cover and advertising artwork can be challenging, and it takes more than opposable thumbs to create images. We are starting to see some reasonably decent software that is free or low-cost to use. For example, InkScape is a decent replacement for Corel Draw. Canva is another Quark alternative. Scribus is not bad for replacing QuarkXPress. GIMP gives PhotoShop a run for its money also.
These programs are what is known as open source (free) and are developed by a group of volunteers working in their basements or garages around the world. Amazingly, a lot of open source programs are surprisingly good. Most of these are on my computer, but I usually use the original version, not the clone.
I’ve been in computers a long time and have already forked over the big bucks for the original software and now just keep upgrading as the cost is not that exorbitant. However, most of the programs are $500 -$1,000 for the license and a tough nut to swallow, especially when you need several packages.
GIMP does a great job at replacing PhotoShop, but since I’m into photography, I have to subscribe to Adobe’s Lightroom package to edit my pictures. Photoshop comes with the package, so I will typically use it.
Paying someone else to create your book covers is nice but expensive. The bottom line is likely $50 for a basic cover but can go up to hundreds of dollars. The typical smut story sells for $3-$4/copy, and of that, you receive about 70% profit. So for a four-dollar story, you are receiving around three dollars. We’d all like to think of ourselves as James Patterson and sell millions of copies, but the awful truth is more painful.
I’ve published about thirty-five books and consider myself reasonably popular. I sell roughly 100 – 150 stories/month, and my gross profit is $300-$500/month. Of course, out of that have to come all of the expenses such as advertising, computers, Kleenex, etc.
Considering that a single book will sell between 50 – 200 copies over its lifetime. Assuming three bucks profit, the total return is $300 – $600 maximum. Of course, when you kick a story out into the cold, cruel world, that’s not much in return if you have to shell out money for cover design, not to mention editors. I’m sure the readers assume that we sell thousands of copies per month, but I don’t think so.
The primary reason I do as much as possible in-house is to maximize my meager profits. Unfortunately, writing smut stories is a labor of love for most of us, not something we’ll ever get rich at. My new Range Rover is currently parked at the dealer’s showroom.
I’m Larry Archer, a simple writer of smut stories in both print and electronic format. Foxy and I are swingers in real life, and I write about the things we do and see. While the Lifestyle is not for everyone, it’s been fun for us. My smut is explicit and hardcore but with a somewhat plot. My porn stories are generally positive and fun as this reflects how enjoyable swinging has been to us. If you’re interested in checking out my stories, I publish at all the typical outlets.