Sorry about being a few days late with this blog. I will still write a blog to be released in 3-4 days, I just frankly lost track of time.
In past blogs and essays I’ve written about the choices to follow trends, make your sex writing very universal and appealing to primal desires, or make yourself niche. I think we all, myself included, have an idea of what being niche is like, but then you get into niche writing and unfortunately even if you’re successful at it, it can still be exhausting.
Niche writing definitely starts in the place you think it would start – lukewarm reception at best. One might think I can’t really speak on this subject since Being More Social, my first ever work, blew up not only once but once again (when I reposted it to a popular erotica site after it previously being taken down). Either I am awful at marketing myself (which is very possible) or this doesn’t really guarantee one to become successful with anything subsequent they’re created. How many of you reading this have read even a single Harry Potter book? Probably a fair number of you. How many of you have read The Casual Vacancy, same author? Probably very few. The book wasn’t a commercial flop but previous success doesn’t necessarily guarantee a writer success with every subsequent release. It helps create a cushion to help the subsequent stories reach more people without the spark of popularity, but it also doesn’t guarantee that spark like so many assume it does.
Breathe and Only If You Want were by far my least popular works. Even Panopticon and Amy’s Fantasy weren’t flops in the same way. It’s clear to see why – on websites saturated with stories where sex usually happens in the first three paragraphs, I submitted a story so dark many of said websites refused to post it, and a story that I think took around 3-4000 words before it got to the sex. Most of the stories posted there are shorter than the preamble I made before getting to the sex. That makes me niche. I take a long time to reach the sex. I don’t think it’s wrong I do that, I just think it’s an acquired taste. People don’t like it and move on. I get less views than other authors. This isn’t even an unfair situation. I have dedicated readers of my own, and plus, if I wanted more views, I could adopt a style other than my own and make a more sex-centric story. That isn’t necessarily the bad part about being niche.
There’s a less fortunate part of being niche – some people are straight-up angry I exist. As I’m now committed to posting one chapter of The Good, The Bad and the Molly a month, people on some websites are less-than-thrilled that my stories pop up on the front page of their favorite site. To them, it’s unthinkable – an author who has a style I don’t like is popular and has high ratings?! To some, the solution is easy – ignore it. To some, the solution is a tad childish but easy – don’t read it but downvote it and hope it’ll go away. But the exhausting part of being niche isn’t even dealing with the 99% of the demographic that doesn’t like my work, it’s the remaining 1% of that demographic that don’t like my work and take it upon themselves to do something about it.
So, just by having my own style and writing with it, I’ve made some enemies. Mainly in the website sexstories.com, which I’ve noted for its toxic community. I’ve talked before about the DMV, though I’m happy to note that person hasn’t been a nuisance lately. But in the past I’ve been sent messages by users there that tell me my work is no good, I should stop posting, I should kill myself (and hey, I tried, so you’re welcome), etc, etc. Recently, a recently-made account messaged me through the site to ask me if I noticed that whenever I upload a story, it automatically has 20 or so downvotes. I gingerly responded I had noticed. They let me know that they had a VPN and would do that with every upload I made, because my stories weren’t good and I didn’t ‘deserve’ to be on the site in the first place.
Childish motive aside, it’s a bummer but it’s not life-ending. I have enough of a following that my story ratings usually mellow out to about 80-90% there anyway. Unfortunately, the main place audiences find stories is in the ‘top rated last 30 days’ section, which means that if your story is either less than around 92% rated or 30+ years old, the newcomers to the site won’t find it. This person has successfully made sure newcomers won’t find my work, which sucks, but there’s really nothing I can do. This isn’t a call to action to anyone else either, this is just a reality of being niche – if your style isn’t for everyone and you attain a certain level of popularity, someone who doesn’t like your style will show up and take it upon themselves to ruin you so they don’t have to see your name again. Their goal in messaging me I think was to make sure I stop posting to the site, which I don’t plan on doing (that just means they win). Whether I stop or not, that site has unfortunately ceased to be a place where I can expand my audience, and number one, that’s to my knowledge the number one most popular free erotica site, and number two, I support myself off of Patreon, which relies on having a growing audience. That sucks. This person is financially hurting me because they don’t think my work deserves to be viewed. It’s hurtful but it’s a reality of working online, especially in this line of work.
Because of this, my online patronage never really grows, in fact it shrinks. A small group of extremely kind people have pledged to support me but sometimes they fall on tough financial times themselves and have to stop supporting me, which is totally understandable. I thought once or twice about making Patreon-exclusive stories but it just felt wrong. I don’t want to punish my readers just because a few vocal critics online wanted to make my job harder. I’d rather write free stories until I financially can’t anymore than write stories that need to be unlocked by a credit card. It seems wrong.
I hope you can believe me when I say I’m not normally the type to do this, but people have also pointed out that if I’m financially hurting I should advertise my Patreon more. So, here goes. If you enjoy my writing and want to help me with the continuous journey of supplying the internet with free stories, please consider supporting me. Even a dollar a month means the world, and yes, it does actually change things. Even just knowing more than 10 or so people like my stories and want me to succeed gives me the focus to keep at this. You also get cool perks like voting on stories I write and getting edited polished versions of my writing.
You can find my Patreon here: https://www.patreon.com/BashfulScribe
No matter what, thank you for supporting my stupid, niche, weird sex stories. Even even you’re not a patron, just by giving me your time you’re giving me a gift that I’m incredibly grateful for, and that’s why I continue to write for all of you. I’ll talk to you all… this week.