WRITING FICTION FOR MONEY: 5 ROMANCE NOVELLA TIPS

Books

You’re writing, writing, writing… and enjoying it less. You think you may be burning out. You need a change. You need to write for fun. You can’t go wrong when you have fun with your writing, because fun and passion enhance your creativity. Some of my writing students are writing fiction for money – short fiction – because not only is fiction FUN, it’s also profitable.

Kindle fiction SELLS, especially romance fiction. H.M. Ward reports:

A book in the top ten sells around 5–10K copies per day. Let’s take the average and give the book some wiggle room and say it’s selling 7K copies a day @ $2.99. In 7 days you’ll have made (net, not gross) over $100,000.

A romance novel can take a couple of months to write however, so write shorter material: novellas.

Romance novellas sell, and you can write them quickly. Your romance novellas may never get into the top ten in any genre, but that doesn’t matter. You’ll nevertheless make money. A couple of my students who write erotica are making five figures a month, and are looking to make more, once they start selling bundles.

So, want to write romance novellas? Let’s look at some tips.

1. NOVELLAS ARE SHORT: WRITE FAST, PUBLISH FAST.

Remember that all fiction is entertainment. In romance fiction, readers want to fall in love. So, you need something in your romance which turns your readers on. Build up to a big scene which completely involves your readers.

A “novella” is slightly longer than a short story, and shorter than a novel. Aim for between 10,000 and 25,000 words. You don’t have time to mess around.

2. FOCUS ON GENRE: CREATE A COUPLE, A SITUATION, AND HOT LOVE SCENES.

You’re writing romance fiction to make money. You’ll be streets ahead of other writers when you keep keywords and Amazon’s Search algorithms in mind. Focus on a hot-selling romance genre. Here’s Amazon’s Top 100 in Romance, Paid and Free.

And here’s Amazon’s Top 100 in Erotica, Paid and Free. Many readers discovered erotica thanks to Fifty Shades of Grey. Those readers read voraciously, and they’re happy to pay.

Don’t want your erotica connected with your own name? Use pen names. You can write your historical erotica under one name, and your BDSM erotica under another. Or use one pen name for everything.

Novellas are short, so neither the planning, nor the writing, take forever. You need: a hot couple (or more than a couple of you’re writing erotica), a situation, and at least one hot love scene.

3. CREATE A SERIES. CHOOSE A TOWN, A FAMILY, OR A MYSTERY.

Please take this tip to heart. Create a series – novellas which are related in some way, or which feature a theme. The relationship can be direct: you’re writing about the romances of three sisters, or brothers. Or all your novellas are set in a single small town, or a city. Or there’s a mystery which you set up in the first novella in the series, then resolve in the final one.

Why a series? Because each book in the series sells the others. And, once the series is complete, you can offer the series as a bundle. Readers LOVE bundles.

4. GET FEEDBACK FROM BETA READERS OR FRIENDS WHO ARE WRITERS.

Fiction is emotion. It’s hard to write and publish without feedback. Get a beta reader or two. Ask your readers for their emotional reaction. Did they connect with your point of view character? Did they fall in love?

You don’t need development advice from your betas, or line by line edits. You DO need to know their emotional reactions. Ask your betas to tell you what they loved, and what confused them.

5. GET AN EDIT, A COVER, AND PUBLISH. THEN DO IT AGAIN.

You need a line edit. Readers aren’t happy when your ebooks aren’t edited. Go to Elance. You can hire editors there at reasonable rates. Alternatively, swap editing duties with a friend.

Your ebook’s cover is important too. Do your best with it. For your series, aim to have covers which are similar in some way: you want readers to recognize your series. Do a Google search for “premade ecovers”; they’re reasonably priced and professional.

Big tip: write, and publish. Then do it again. And again. Remember to write in series.

 

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