So…people ask, how did you end up making your living as an Author of Erotica? And d’you know…it was accidental.
Not becoming a writer, you understand. That was anything but accidental. I knew by the time I was eight, that one day I would earn my crust by writing. But specifically, an author of Erotica? I never saw that coming.
It’s a Writer’s Life…
In fact, I was no kind of writer in any professional sense until a couple of years ago. ‘Real Life’ got in the way right through most of my years. I did write; stories, poetry…all sorts, but I never tried to do anything serious with it until I left the UK.
I’m English you see, and like most of the English, I pursued the dream of owning my own house. I went to university, got a ‘proper job’, mortgage, got married…all of that stuff. Later, I ran my own business, pet-friendly holiday cottages, and that was fun for a while.
And then, 2007 struck. Suddenly, everything stopped being fun and I found that, instead of being a home-owning, self-employed worker, I was a mortgage slave. I literally could not work hard enough to pay for it all. And when you start paying mortgages using your credit card, there’s something wrong.
How did we solve it? Easy. We left the UK.
So, now I live in Spain. The climate is brilliant, the people are great, and property is a fraction of the price it is in England. So, it’s easy to live well on not-a-lot.
The long and short of it all is that I was free to start writing, and I did. With the specific aim of becoming a professional (for which read, ‘paid for my work’) author, I started writing books about the thing I knew I could write about best: dogs, specifically, rescue dogs.
It was great fun, but I earned very little. At the time, I knew almost nothing about how the Amazon system works, or internet marketing, or any of that kind of thing. And I knew nothing about how to connect up with my audience; how to find my readers. So, I wrote my books, published them and then listened to the crickets.
People bought a few of my books, read my work, said how much they enjoyed it, and then moved on.
I now lived full time in Spain, but my partner was still hopping backwards and forwards to the UK, sometimes for weeks at a time. And he was complaining of being ‘lonely’ (if you get my drift…).
So, one night, I sat down and wrote him a little story, to ‘keep him company’. It was called ‘Charlotte Chastised’, and the title tells you most of what you want to know about the plot.
He loved it, and asked for more. So, I wrote more.
And, in a spirit of adventure, I designed a book cover, picked a pen name, put my story up on Amazon Kindle for 99 cents and…it disappeared into a black hole. It never sold a copy. Not one.
By now, I was beginning to realise that I was missing something; that there was some expertise I needed. So, I signed up for lots of free courses on marketing, how to work with Amazon, how to make a living using the internet, and finally, issuing the Yorkshire war-cry of ‘How Much?!?‘, I signed up for a paid course on ‘How It’s Done’.
It cost me five hundred bucks, but it’s been the best money I ever spent and I’ve never regretted one cent of it.
Only a few weeks later, I took ‘Charlotte Chastised’ down from Amazon, rewrote it with new character names, book cover, title, and a fresh pen-name, but apart from that, using exactly the same story, and applying what I had learned, put it up on Kindle for free.
This story is now up on my back-list as ‘The Master’s Maid’, the first instalment of the ‘Bought by the Billionaire’ series.
I wanted to see if anyone would download it.
Lo and behold, it downloaded by the hundreds. I was so thrilled.
Then, I wrote a follow-up: ‘The Master’s Contract‘. Again, I put it up for free. Would people who had read my first story, go on to read the sequel?
Yes, they would. And they did…
The final step: I wrote the next in the sequence, ‘The Master’s Courtesan’, and this time I put a price on it. And Hallelujah! It sold. Not, of course, by the hundreds, the way the freebies did, but in respectable enough numbers that I could call myself a paid author.
And that, Ladies and Gents, is how I became an Erotic Author…
And if you would like to read the above-mentioned stories for free, I suggest that you download ‘Bought by the Billionaire’ Box Set One where you can learn all about how ‘Charlotte’s Chastisement’ turned into Elizabeth and Richard’s erotic romance.
And yes, of course, I used ‘Charlotte’ again. Somehow, I thought the name would work for me…
Simone Leigh is a writer of intelligent, romantic erotic fiction. Her recent erotic thriller, ‘Target’, won the Reader Voted #BestBook Award in the ‘Inks and Scratches’ Summer Splash Book Awards.
Although English, Simone has lived in Spain for the last few years. Here, she divides her time between working on her tan, decorating her beautiful villa, writing hot romance and thrillers, and swimming naked in her swimming pool.