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Ok, I'll cut to the chase: So, you have a novella that you thought had completely flopped but now you realize has a strong following -- what makes it different from the kind of thing you would write to market before? How is it similar? Outside of all the specific-to-the-genre bits, what makes this writing stick? And, I think more importantly, what makes it more interesting to write?


I thought it had flopped because it made less than shorts a quarter of the length in a different niche. The difference is that the shorts had a much larger audience. There aren't that many people looking specifically for the romance niche, but because there were a few really popular books that happened to be in the niche, I convinced myself it was bigger than it was. The new books are focused on the niche people actually looked for. What do you mean by "this writing?"


Sorry, 'this writing' means your novella in this case. Your post was great and super detailed, I was just interested - it's such a neat anomaly, the novella getting not amazing amount of reads but consistent reads.


I think the main things that I did to make it stick was to write from the POV of a character that's often overlooked as a romantic lead and to make the writing sound genuine. (That's a guess, but it's something the few reviews I've had mention.) While the characters are completely fictional and the setting is made up, every part of it is based, in some way, on something or a group that I personally know. As for why it's interesting to write, honestly, it's just because I like the subject matter.


That was very well thought out and written. I don't really have much to add, but you seem to want reader feedback and engagement. I wonder if you could build a fanbase and an author page where you can communicate with them? . . . maybe I should do the same!


Yeah, I will attempt to do that with my romance pen name.


It's very easy to make an entire website with feedback, emails, and tiers (ie subscribers, ARCs, book purchases), but knowledge will help. If you have the money to invest, hire someone who can help you avoid pitfalls (spam/ddos). They say you should spend the most money on a good cover for your books. But a good website, will help you sell more books. You can go shoestring budget, or go all out (I suggest in the middle).


Interesting, thank you. I have no money or experience, lol, so I've been avoiding the author webpage. As I get more books out, I guess I'll have to get one.


I'm sleepy, but I've written over 500K words of fanfic and I have no significant disagreement. WRT the long tail -- sometimes you just hit a niche that only a few people want, but those people really want it. This is my entire career. :p


Really? That's awesome.


I love the freedom of AO3. I developed a following there and there's one 100k fic of mine in particular that people have really latched onto. It's an AU (like you mentioned) and I've definitely toyed with the idea of filing the serial numbers off. I don't participate in the fandom at all (no promotion or networking with the "big names" - I'm virtually invisible except an open inbox). Still, several of my readers have come to me asking me to do it as an original, just so they can re-visit it in a new context. I was *never* really into the fandom the fic is based on, so I think I intuitively wrote it following the structure of an original story. Maybe that's what people have responded to? I'm very tempted to make the changes and put it out there. But my biggest problem is that I think it's too taboo for Smash (I'm not sure what the definition of "snuff" entails... but there might be elements of it? I genuinely don't know). I'm kind of looking at my options (thinking about selling directly through my own site, or something). But, yeah. I love the freedom of AO3, particularly because I don't have to worry about being too taboo and there's a built-in audience. It's a good place to play with ideas.


Things with content warnings tend to get more attention than things without content warnings, in my experience. I had no idea people would *ask* for a work to be adapted into an original.


Fanfiction is where I first got into erotica! I agree that it is a really good place to explore your writing and to connect with niche readers. Nice to see AO3 recognized here! Good luck with your future writing ❤️


Thanks. Very interesting. I'm definitely going to check out the Archive site.


I've been writing fanfic since USENET in 1996. I eventually decided I like money better than comments. :D


A wise decision. I could have written 3 novels with that word count. What's your opinion on lemons?


Niko's gonna make you the dollar bills! I look forward to reading your next dataporn once you've released your more targeted books. I think putting some money into having some aspects done professionally is very good idea if you're going to invest that much time into the books. Gotta give them the best chance to succeed.


I hope so!


What show? If you don’t mind me asking


Multiple shows, usually action/adventure ones.