Taboo Data of Note

Last year, we decided to highlight noteworthy taboo themes. These were the categories specifically targeted by aggregators in the recent content restrictions. This year, Lot’s Cave would like to expand the way you look at taboo themes. For authors writing the taboo content readers want, there’s very little information out there. How do you predict what your customers will realistically want? Is there a way to best market your story regardless? These questions do indeed have answers, answers that are surprisingly simple. The best place to currently look for data regarding the taboo is… Pornhub.

10 Noteworthy Trends From Pornhub’s Year In Review

1. Top Categories Are Clear For Taboo Authors

If you take a look at the Pornhub survey, the top categories, overall, are quite clear. These consist of Lesbian, MILF, Ebony, Hentai, Japanese, Anal, Mature, Big Tits, Threesome,  and Big Dick. What do these top ten categories tell us? Well, quite a bit actually. If you’re writing taboo themes, your best bet is a Mother pairing of some sort. This is where it gets less clear. Who should your Mature Older Woman MILF be pairing with? The best options according to just these categories seem to be a daughter/younger woman, son/younger man, or a combination of the two! Also, take note, the more well-endowed or curvy your characters are… the better!

2. Sub-Categories Are Less Clear But Manageable

Added to the main categories are, of course, sub-categories. These turned out to be Cuckold, Japanese, Indian, Cosplay, Korean, Transgender, Creampie, Gangbang, French and Cartoon. Out of this odd assortment of options, we start to notice a few worthy kinks to work into the taboo content of our stories. Some of these sub-categories will depend on the overall category you choose, naturally. However, some kinks are also easily worked into an overall story idea. Consider the Cuckolding niche, again, with that main MILF/Mom category. How easy would it be to cuckold the husband or even son with the daughter or sister? This, when done correctly, can make your story appealing to multiple customer bases.

3. Consider Your Customer Base By Gender

Above all else, gender plays a large role in what kinks a person searches out. In terms of the data, women are more likely to search for Lesbian, Threesome, or Rough Sex categories. Men on the other hand are more likely to search for Mom, Sister, or Lesbian. Clearly the Lesbian kink is a crossover niche, but in terms of men, the numbers are vastly skewed. The number of men that enjoy the Lesbian kink are similar to the number of men that enjoy the Anal niche. This means that, if you’re writing Lesbian kinks, your audience is more than likely to be female. Prepare accordingly! Likewise, if your audience is male, consider Mother/Son/Daughter your ‘go-to’ niche.

4. Consider The Age Of Your Customer Base

While this may not seem as important, your catalog will thank you. When writing taboo themes for profit, authors often have to think long term. This means writing for the current market, while also investing in future niches. Age plays a role in these decisions. According to Pornhub’s survey, the kinks between age groups is quite startling. For example, those in their twenties are more interested in Double Penetration or Lesbian. Those in their forties are more interested in Anal or Transgender. Likewise, those in their sixties are more interested in Handjob or Mature kinks. Consider this when writing those sub-categories. You can make your book appealing to that growing audience, while still tapping into the vastly wider current market. The emphasis you place on the book will simply change over time.

5. Holiday Themes Aren’t Worth It

Lot’s Cave sees a lot of authors looking to maximize sales around certain holidays, mainly Christmas and Halloween. If the sales traffic matches that of porn traffic, well, then the investment simply isn’t worth it. According to Pornhub, its traffic dropped on Christmas, Thanksgiving, Easter, St. Patrick’s Day, and Halloween (Lot’s Cave confirms that holiday themed erotica does not sell well). Likewise, there were a few increases in traffic on Black Friday, Valentine’s Day, and Good Friday. These days are probably best explained by the ‘days off’ they fall on in anticipation of a holiday. But, there isn’t a connection to a sudden kink filled frenzy. The one holiday that might be recommended to embrace is Valentine’s Day… but for taboo content… that’s a difficult sell. Although, we might like to see if any author can pull this off!

6. Lesbian Sex Is For Younger Women

Okay, this is kind of specific, but it is important. According to a Pornhub’s Women Searching for Women, the rate in which women are interested in Lesbian Sex goes down with age. Why is this important to you as an author? Well, it means your characters should fit certain criteria. Stories told from a younger woman perspective might speak better to a customer than stories featuring an older woman. Likewise, female readers might specifically relate more to college settings, new town settling in themes, or even returning home to their family for a little taboo twist. While this data doesn’t seem so important, it can, in fact, have a big impact on your sales in the long term.

7. Gay Themes Have Their Own Market

What we mean by this is well, look at this article. Gay porn has so much data to navigate that we could almost write a whole list just for this topic. If you’re a taboo author looking to write Gay themes exclusively, take time to invest in market research. While it might surprise many, 37% of Pornhub’s traffic for Gay porn was… women! This means there are vastly different kinks and customer bases within this category, making it more a distinct market in its own right. Likewise, Gay porn viewers can’t seem to agree on which kinks they enjoy best… at least by age. This makes it even more important to consider things like gender audience, age of customers, and corresponding kinks and sub-categories. Yes, the difference really is that vast!

8. Experimentation Seems To Increase With Age

This isn’t a data point we can show stated anywhere, but we couldn’t help but notice it. At least right now, the older you are… the more you like to experiment. However, this does seem to be a trend in men more than women. When writing a taboo themed story, especially one where experimentation is key, age really does matter. Stories that feature older characters should probably have them initiating the experimentation. Younger characters can wonder about it, watch porn about it, but are probably less likely to go out and try it. This probably has more to do with confidence with age, but who really knows. As an author, you can excuse it any way you like! Again though, watch out for that Lesbian and Gay market… this rule may not always ring true.

9. The Younger Generation Has Strange Interests

Yes, we’re calling the kettle black on this one, but hear us out. According to Pornhub’s survey, those in the 18-24 range tend to look up some odd porn. What does this mean for authors? Well, we’re not really sure. The younger generation seems intrigued by mixes of porn with popular trends. What do we mean? Well, one of the stranger categories watched by 18-24 year olds was fidget spinner porn. Could an author find a way to incorporate some of these odd trends in their books? Probably. The question is if it would pay off in the long run. It probably wouldn’t, but if you have that strange kink… you might try it if you have an audience that’s well… into fidget spinner porn. We’re intrigued, so let us know if this actually works for you!

10. Country Specific Niches Are A Thing

Alright, this one is last because it’s interesting but full of cautions. At times, certain countries seem to like their own country best. If you’re writing a book about Japanese women, you might consider highlighting it in the title. This doesn’t work for every country, and you will have to do your research, but it might be worth it for certain authors. Keep in mind, kinks do vary by country… as what is taboo varies by country. You may want to consider this before writing your book as there are plenty of smaller niche categories to highlight. Who knew the Japanese had such a fetish for piss play? Well, I guess if you read the survey…

To Conclude

Lot’s Cave likes to go through data, and we suspect some of you do as well. We recognize however that not every author likes to write ‘according to the data’. This is alright. There’s nothing wrong with writing for the enjoyment of writing. But, if you’re interested in boosting your book that little extra bit, why not try some of these options?

 

 

Short Stories With Lot’s Cave

Lot’s Cave would like to take a moment to personally thank Lily Weidner for participating in another of our studies. We’d like to direct readers of this post to also check out her personal experience and perspective of this experiment in her latest post titled: Elusive Money & Indie Publishers


 

Is the short story market dead? If you haven’t done so already, consider reading our last publishing experiment focusing on Amazon’s short story market. The experience proved so beneficial, we decided to try another! This time, Lot’s Cave wanted to test the viability of publishing short stories outside the Amazon system on all other possible publishing platforms. What we found was quite surprising, and many of our authors will find the confirmation they’ve been looking for.

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With Amazon’s self published market becoming more popular through Kindle Unlimited, Lot’s Cave has found indie authors tending to shift away from indie publishers. Since we’re an indie publisher, this trend has been cause for concern. Many authors outside the Lot’s Cave family felt indie publishers provided no additional benefits to selling their eBooks. This sad opinion caused us to rethink how we advertise our eBook services directly to authors, not just readers. Putting our knowledge and experience at the forefront, we found there are in fact many benefits to publishing with indie publishers like Lot’s Cave.

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Before discussing the experiment in detail, it’s important to note the need for indie publishers. Lot’s Cave is one of very few e-publishers specializing in controversial subject matter. Our experiment then, focused on short stories with this controversial subject matter in mind. While Lot’s Cave is an e-publisher, we’re also a distributor. We fully believe the best way to maximize profits is not through publishing only with Lot’s Cave, but embracing as many publishers as possible. With that in mind, Amazon’s exclusion from the experiment remained rooted in their refusal to accept controversial subject matter and their requirements for publishing exclusivity.

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Our Publishing Objective

Much like our Amazon experiment, Lot’s Cave decided to do some prior research to accumulate as much data beforehand as possible. As a company, Lot’s Cave wanted to know what a new inexperienced author could expect by publishing and distributing short stories. Finding new authors writing in the 5,000 word range tend to make a monthly income of $20 a month on Amazon, we wanted to see what new authors rejecting Amazon’s exclusive high traffic website could make. To do so, we came up with the following criteria:

Rules for Lot’s Cave Short Story Experiment

  1. All stories are to be within the 5,000 to 6,000 word range including end matter
  2. eBooks must be distributed through Lot’s Cave to affiliates
  3. Stories must feature controversial subject matter
  4. The controversial subject matter chosen must remain consistent
  5. Prices will stay at $2.99 for single stories
  6. Bundles (three stories each) will be priced at $4.95
  7. The Collected Set (nine stories) will be sold for $9.95
  8. eBooks must feature a common cover design across all titles
  9. Author will focus solely on publishing short stories acting as a new author
  10. All eBooks should feature cover, front matter, formatting, and end matter standard for Lot’s Cave authors.

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Preparation

Before conducting the experiment, Lot’s Cave worked closely with our author to assure the overall objective remained consistent, and in line with their own goals. Letting the author choose the controversial subject matter, Lot’s Cave then designed covers with the same overall look. Our author already had an author page established, author biography, and avatar. With everything in place, we let our author write and prepared for the first week of the experiment.

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Week One

Publishing the first short story on the 27th of November, the first three shorts and volume one bundle sold a total of $51.30.

Week 1 Title Sales

Week 1 Books Sold

Week Two

After selling so well the first week, Lot’s Cave was happy to see week two sales total up to $69.93.

Week 2 Title Sales

 

 

Week 2 Books Sold

Week Three

After week three, we were starting to notice a steady trend in sales, as the total ended up coming to $56.32.

Week 3 Title Sales

Week 3 Books Sold

Week Four

To conclude the month’s sales, we published a complete set of all nine stories. Publishing only this one bundle set, sales still came to $55.13.

Week 4 Title Sales

Week 4 Books Sold

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Summary of Author’s Income

In total, the author’s nine shorts and four bundles made $232.68. This is a significant amount. Remember, many authors new to publishing shorts within the same range on Amazon make a potential $20, even in their exclusive Kindle Unlimited program. By publishing outside Amazon’s exclusive program, authors can potentially make $212 more. For authors unfamiliar with Lot’s Cave, or the distribution process, lets take a look at the added benefits of publishing through Lot’s Cave contributing to this difference in overall sales potential.

Total Title Sales

 

 

Total Books Sold

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Contributing Factors

Content: One of the biggest factors in the success of going through Lot’s Cave is the fact Lot’s Cave takes taboo subject matter. When publishing in a wide market beyond Amazon, Lot’s Cave has found this to be necessary step in attaining higher sales. Readers are not only demanding taboo erotica, but they’re willing to pay for it. This competitive pricing also brings us to our next advantage.

Higher Price Points: Notice how well our author’s bundles sold, and the prices for each. Three story volumes were priced at $4.95, while the complete set sold for $9.95. Royalty rates really make a difference with these maximized price points. There’s no reason to sell quality work for less, and Lot’s Cave knows it. Even authors new to publishing short stories will discover their books sell better at the appropriate price point.

Publisher Quality:  Lot’s Cave sold $72.98 out of the total $232.68. This means that as an indie publisher, Lot’s Cave sold over 30% of the author’s overall books. However Lot’s Cave also acts as a distributor, which yields our authors a unique advantage. Our books sell by author, but also by subject matter. Readers looking for taboo themed books can browse our whole catalog, increasing the likelihood of new authors selling their books. In fact, we question if such performance would have even been possible without Lot’s Cave’s prior commitment to quality.

Established Reputation: Along with publishing quality comes a benefit unique to indie publishers. Not only do authors receive a top quality book, they have access to an established customer base. Right from the start, new authors are able to present their work just as, if not better than, established authors. This goes deeper than the eBook itself, but to the company itself. Lot’s Cave has worked hard to attain the reputation as the premier publisher of controversial subject matter, and our authors see a direct benefit in their sales because of it.

Distribution Time: One of the interesting advantages Lot’s Cave learned happened to be in the time necessary for distribution. Since Lot’s Cave handles the formatting and distribution uploading, our author was free to spend the time writing. For authors this is another distinct advantage, as we’ve found many authors complain about complicated upload processes or the time investment involved. When distributing through Lot’s Cave, authors can rest assured we handle those hassles for them.

Cover Cost: Every eBook needs a cover, and Lot’s Cave recognizes the investments covers potentially pose to authors. Many authors today purchase their own photo stock, often at a minimum $40 a month. Other authors can pay an average of $25 for a quality cover. In either case, this investment comes directly out of the author’s income. Lot’s Cave has no such charge for our quality covers, making it easy for authors to not only produce their next book, but make a profit for doing so.

Quality Covers: Not only is cover cost an issue, but knowing the right design can be a challenging new step for authors. When publish to many different websites, it’s difficult to find a cover that stands out across multiple platforms. Luckily Lot’s Cave has experience in this area, and we offer all of our authors this quality cover design. As a company, we see an author’s success as part of our own success as well for new or established authors alike.

Conclusions

Starting out, Lot’s Cave wanted to see what new authors could expect in Amazon’s exclusive program, as well as what they could expect outside. We had our own ideas, but we lacked the numbers to prove it. After two months publishing on Amazon and elsewhere, we can back up our analysis with some figures. The process has been a long one, but the results have been well worth it. What we’ve found is still quite a new idea.

Lot’s Cave can only conclude any author wishing to make money is better off encompassing as many e-publishers as possible. Instead of investing in this process by themselves, authors stand to gain a huge advantage maximizing the potential of distribution sites like Lot’s Cave. What makes a distribution site stand out above the rest remains for individual authors to decide, but we’ve learned transparency and experience top the list of qualities.

As Amazon’s authors continue to compete in an exclusive market shying away from short stories, Lot’s Cave has found readers still desire the same lengths as before. The profit hasn’t disappeared, at least not elsewhere. Quality is key in today’s market, and we’re proud to show our authors produce the best story possible. While it might be difficult to believe, the numbers simply don’t lie. Our eBook market is shifting, and we’re here to help authors shift with it every step of the way.

While paying an indie publisher to distribute books may seem like a senseless waste of money, our results tend to direct our conclusion otherwise. What many authors lack in today’s market is experience, and time. These two factors contribute to sales greater than splitting the royalty fees involved. Often, these fees are minuscule in comparison to the profit authors make. At the end of it all, not all publishers are created equal, and indie publishers can still be a valuable asset to self-publishing authors of both short stories and longer works.

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