Right now, over on Adventurotica, we are posting our 14th story. It's been almost five years since we started with the original Pride & Prostitutes, wayyy back when it was posted here on Livejournal. At the time, I was running another business, trying to make a living, and this stuff was working much better than that was, so I closed my buisness and we started doing AE full time.
Originally, we were going for a subscription model, but once we had a real sub system in place, we found our income dropped way off. We kept at it, hoping out audience would grow over time, but that didn't happen, and it looked like we'd have to close up.
Instead we took a gamble and tried crowdfunding, and that worked much better. We got a rhythm going, and it seemed like we had a viable model to work from. But now it is apparent that there are several reasons this can't keep going on.
One: fulfillment of the funding perks. Initially we had a division of labor going on: I did most of the writing (I hope this does not disillusion anyone) and later on I have been doing all of it. Naamah handled the editing, formatting, and the artwork. The problem is, she has a mental illness, so she can't be consistent, and it has caused the production of books and other perks to lag behind. It stresses her out, it stresses me out, and it's not fair to our supporters.
Two: Our audience has not grown. We have added new supporters, lost some old ones, but the amount of funding we get has remained about the same. We're scraping by, but I had hoped we might be able to increase our income over time. That's not happening, and I don't see it suddenly starting to happen. To be honest, I think that's the Porn Ghetto in action. We write smut, and some of you may not understand how that has limited us in ability to publicize, restricted what companies we can work through to get perks made, and so forth. I have been wondering if the porn factor is not holding us back.
Three: I am getting burned out on writing porn. I mean, I enjoy the work we have done here, and I am not ashamed of it - in fact some of our books, like The Golden Mask and Imperial Blood, I am very proud of. Some of the books are better than others, like with any body of work. But I like them all.
But the original idea was that we would collaborate, and aside from a few pieces, we have not done that. It's just that I can produce work on a schedule, and Naamah cannot. I wanted to write the plots and action, and let her write the sex, since she is much better at it than me. Instead I have been writing the sex myself, and I am just not gifted with that like she is.
Also, I am just tired. I find myself not enjoying writing the sex scenes as much, not looking forward to them. It varies, of course. Some I enjoy more than others, but I don't like having to do them.
So what does all this mean? Well, it means that I am thinking about options. And I am wondering what you, our readers, think about this. I am thinking of running the next campaign for a non-porn novel. It would not post on Adventurotica, but the idea is it would be done and ready to go as soon as the campaign ended. I would do the formatting, the editing, the artwork - all of it. The books and whatever other perks would go out very fast - over a few months at most. There would not be any waiting.
Now, we still have a backlog of AE stuff to finish and put out for people, and that would all absolutely get done. The goal here is to avoid piling more work on Naamah that she can't cope with, and give her time to get the AE stuff caught up. Would the AE website go away? No. Does this mean I would never write another AE book? Also no. There are several I really want to write, but I need a break, or my work is going to start to suffer.
I need to take the weight off of Naamah as much as I possibly can. I just need to know if anyone who has been following us as Adventurotica would be on board with this idea?