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I write erotica, it started out as an amusement to see how far I could go, but it became a real passion after three or four stories. I have even published a few online and those stories have become favorites of many.

A few friends have tried to convince me to get my work published but I don't have the slightest idea how one would go about it. I am also worried about the content, I consider most of my work 'transgressive erotic horror'. Can I even publish that?

As of note, I am in the US.

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You don't tell us where you want to publish it. That is, where in the physical world do you live? (No, we don't need a street address, a country or state would suffice.) –  Jürgen A. Erhard Feb 5 '11 at 12:16
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Ah, suppose that would be useful, united states. –  Evil Spork Feb 5 '11 at 12:32
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Yes, you can publish it. At least others can: lulu.com/product/paperback/pornocalypse/… –  John Smithers Feb 5 '11 at 14:57
    
Lol. Too far. Haha. The concept of too far is redefined pretty often. All it takes is an artist who can make his audience like his work, and there you go. Sure, a million million people will revile it, but if there's any sort of sizable audience whatsoever, it'll slowly creep into acceptance. Chuckles, look at KISS. –  Aerovistae Sep 5 '12 at 21:12

5 Answers 5

up vote 7 down vote accepted

Since your question has two parts, I'll address each separately. As far as how you can go about it, I would recommend that you self-publish as an e-book! You can use the web site below to get a free pdf version on how to get started. Someone made the following comment on a previous answer which has since been deleted:

A self-published erotic novel will most likely fail unless the author has the experience needed.

I would beg to differ on this opinion. I didn't have any previous experience, but I decided to self-publish a series of erotica e-books under a pen name, and I have done quite well with them. So far this month I have recorded over 7000 sales on Kindle alone. (Yes, that's one month!) There are a LOT of people who are buying erotica, and there is no time like the present to jump on the bandwagon. (One of the points I have seen concerning this is that the big advantages for readers is that nobody can see the cover of the e-book they are reading, so nobody can judge their selection of reading material.)

As far as the question of how far is too far, that would appear to be certain forms of incest and anything that mentions or includes under aged participants. Amazon in particular has been very strict about these two particular topics and has gone so far as to remove books by some authors for featuring either topic. Some forms of incest seem to be getting through (uncles are currently popular), but underaged participants is absolutely taboo.

You can try the options suggested in the other answers, but you'll spend a lot of time trying to promote yourself and trying to get someone to publish your book. I strongly recommend doing it yourself. I have done absolutely NO promotion on any of my erotica over the last three months, but it has taken off at an amazing clip. The real difference changer for me was to offer a single short story for free. People who downloaded that have gone on to buy my other titles, and I suspect many of them have bought more than one title. Over the past month I have had four different titles that have made it into the top 20 for erotica at Amazon, and the free short story made it into the top 150 of ALL free books on Amazon!

http://davidgaughran.wordpress.com/lets-get-digital/

(Disclaimer: The author of this book is in a writer's group that I am part of, but I do not know him personally. I have traded messages with him from time to time, but I have no vested interest in promoting his book. Besides, it's free!)

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Thank you very much for this post! I've been looking at Amazon for self publishing within the last few weeks, though right now I only have short stories and an unfinished novel. –  Evil Spork Jun 18 '12 at 20:11

There is a huge market for erotica. Sex sells, as they say. There are many respectable publication houses that will publish erotic literature, beyond self-publishers. As long as there's an actual plot to the story and it's not just two people having sex for 150 pages, it's definitely possible. My editing specialty is actually romance and erotica and I have erotic novels published.

Your best bet to finding a publisher is to read some erotica novels you enjoy and find out who their publisher is. If you write male/male erotica, I'd be more than happy to recommend a few good publishing houses. If you write male/female or female/female, I can't really help you there.

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Ah a pity, I mostly write female main characters. World building is the forefront in my writing with psychology sitting in a close second. Still, it is erotica. The problem I have, I don't read erotica... nor do many of my friends. –  Evil Spork Feb 5 '11 at 15:58
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Two publisher in the M/M world that I know of also publish M/F erotica - Total-e-Bound (total-e-bound.com/Default.asp) and Samhain Publishing (samhainpublishing.com) - and both are highly regarded in the genre. They have excellent editing standards, great (most of the time) cover artists, and pay great royalty rates. –  Ralph Gallagher Feb 5 '11 at 23:07
    
I already looked at both of those, and the specific story I want to publish right now doesn't fit their criteria. Thank you though! –  Evil Spork Feb 7 '11 at 3:32

Your best bet is to use a market listing.

Here are a couple free online guides to get you started:

  1. http://www.duotrope.com
  2. http://www.ralan.com/

You might also try WritersMarket.com, but it's fee based. You can get their annual book (Writer's Market) at the library, though. It's pretty much the authority.

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At least duotrope covers Erotica. I expect the others do as well. –  D-Day Feb 5 '11 at 18:35
    
I've looked over a dozen publishers with the help of both duotrope and ralan. Most of them wont accept any of my stories judging by their submission guidelines. A pity, but I think I may have found one to submit to. Thanks muchly D-Day –  Evil Spork Feb 5 '11 at 20:41

If your erotica is LGBT-related, these sites post calls for submissions:

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I'm in the same boat as you. I tried lulu and my erotic short stories based off my real experience as a submissive novel was published with amazon lulu all the big boys but only sold about 10 copies. I wrote in a women's point of view most of the stories are male/women some voyeurs. I then took a second look at my book and now I'm in rewrite since the original book I didn't edit my language lets just say I was very blunt but I had posted my short stories online and I have a huge following so I didn't have to worry about language. I'm not sure if I want to go down the same route with lulu once I clean it up since I didn't sell that many copies, and now with 50 Shades of Grey so popular I'm not sure if it's a good time to republish or bad time? I'm in florida but I just don't know. I use a pen name to keep my sexual life separate from my family life. I'm not good with self marketing I have a facebook page under my pen name but don t know how to get myself out there. I'm just not sure about the timing. Any advise would be helpful.

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Welcome to Writers! I'd like to suggest that you take some time to read our FAQ and familiarize yourself with how Stack Exchange sites work. They are not discussion forums, and a chatty, conversational answers such as this is not appropriate as it doesn't answer the question. Perhaps this can be edited into a more helpful, constructive answer? –  Neil Fein Sep 17 '12 at 19:34
    
Punctuation might be helpful. –  Carsten Schultz Jan 12 at 23:30

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