Homepreneurs had a rare opportunity to interview a professional erotic book author – Lexi Maxxwell. The adult erotica business is big – really big. According to a recent article in Family Safe Media[i], the pornography industry in the United States had sales of about $13 BILLION dollars in 2006. Of that, roughly ONE BILLION was for erotic print media, e.g. magazines and books!
Homepreneurs has not covered the adult industry before; today we present a home business success story: Lexi Maxxwell writes erotic books for a living and recently transitioned from part-time to full-time (erotic) writing. Lexi is a very popular writer in the adult industry and we’re happy to present this interview. Lexi has interesting opinions on marketing books and knows what works (Amazon) and surprisingly, what doesn’t (social media). Please read through this post – you will learn some marketing and sales ideas.
1) Why did you start your own business?
I started publishing to Kindle under the name Lexi Maxxwell last January, 2012.
2) When did you start writing for money and profit?
I’ve been writing for money and profit for many years, but only self-publishing for a bit. Before going the Indie (independent) route and wanting to do things myself as Lexi, I wrote for a large marketing firm. I write a lot of sales and marketing copy. That pays a lot better than publishing, at least while first getting started and before you build a large enough audience to sustain you.
3) You write adult content, what unique challenge does that create?
Well, the hardest part is marketing. Definitely. Ironically, that’s what I’m best at since it’s what I do it for a living. But Lexi is a pen name which means I am for the most part invisible. I can’t lean on any of my existing networks, and no one really knows what I do. So all the growth has to be 100% organic. This is doable, but difficult. I also run into roadblocks such as press releases that won’t cover much of the material I’m writing about, nor will mainstream publications. Fortunately it’s a giant market with a ton of readers, so if I’m patient and continue to put out AAA quality product like I am, I’m confident it’s only a matter time before enough readers will find me.
4) What are the greatest general challenges you face? (e.g. discipline to write, privacy, money)
I have no problem with discipline. I’ve been writing thousands of words a day for years. I also have no problems with privacy. I use a pen name so my privacy is entirely protected. My difficulties come from not being able to broadcast myself effectively, in other words too much privacy. My money issues exist only because I’m abandoning a job where I’m paid extremely well for the words I write and gambling it all on my belief that I can do something better on my own. So I must be careful about how I make this transition, gambling my reasonably well-earning present for the potential of a much better future.
5) What are advantages to self-employment? What are the drawbacks?
Well, it’s all risk. I make all the rules which is awesome, but there’s no guarantee how much I will make from month-to-month. Clearly I feel that the positives outweigh the negatives or I wouldn’t be doing this at all, but it is terribly risky and I don’t recommend it for everybody. If you don’t believe you have the work ethic to see things through to the end, a steady job is probably the best decision for you. I just know it’s not for me. 🙂
6) What tips and/or suggestions do you have for others interested in the industry?
Don’t do it unless you’re passionate about it. People who enter a market that they’re not truly passionate about are almost always destined to fail. I write erotica because I read a erotica. I’m a skilled craftswoman with words, but I choose this market because I understand it. If I didn’t, I would fall on my face. Whether you’re writing, or doing any other sort of creative work, it will always be difficult to find your ideal buyer if you aren’t one yourself.
7) Do you use social media at all (e.g. Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn)?
Barely. For the most part, I find it to be a grand waste of time. I’ve not moved books through social media. Because my time is scarce I would always prefer to use what scant minutes I have to create more work that I can then publish to Amazon and other e-book platforms.
8) Where do your customers come from? Word of mouth, networking, social media, advertising?
Right now, nearly 100% of my readers are found through Amazon’s recommendations engine.
9) If you could change one thing when you started, what would that be?
I would have paid more attention to self-publishing trends and been clearer on what types of books I should be writing. Mostly, this would mean steering clear from the short stories and starting to produce longer works earlier. That’s what I’m doing now, but I wouldn’t have waited so long to get there.
10) If you need information or help with something, where do you look? Why?
No doubt about it, the self-publishing podcast. This podcast is my religion. Every week it’s taught me more in less time than any other source. The three hosts are funny, consistent, and doing exactly the sort of thing I’m trying to do, just several steps ahead of me.
11) Would you us to publish a link to your business? If so, please provide an email address, Facebook, Blog or Website or anything else you’d like us to promote you.
You can find all my work on my Amazon Author’s Page: http://www.amazon.com/Lexi-Maxxwell/e/B006U5S6GO/
Or follow me on Twitter: @leximaxxwell
Homepreneurs interview by Dion D. Shaw
Dion Shaw is the founder and owner of Homepreneurs
Homepreneurs. New Day. New Opportunity.
Homepreneurs does not endorse nor have any relationships with any of the services listed. Homepreneurs receives no compensation or consideration for its suggestions. Homepreneurs strongly urges all interested parties to conduct research and accepts no responsibility for any losses incurred.
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