Avatar on a Pay Site?


I was originally going to respond to this in the comments, but decided to make a post instead.

Anyway, I really do appreciate the sentiment. But I’ll tell you, I put far more work into Avatar than I do my pay writing. Why? For many reasons.

I was recently told, for instance, by someone I sent one of my manuscripts to, to “get rid of all that conversation and get to the real sex.” (that’s a paraphrase) Sound obnoxious? Well, it kinda was, but not really.

People do not buy books from adult pay sites to read plot. They want to read about torture, or hot, hard sex, or women (or men) being forced to submit. Loving relationship? Naaa… that’s that crappy romance stuff. They don’t want it.

How do I know? Well, of the three books I have out, Curt’s Slaves sold the best, and it’s mostly hard core sex. Training Jenny has sold almost NOTHING on this new site. Like, maybe two copies. It is long, but it has two other things going against it.

1)Apparently men (who, lets face it, are the vast bulk of the clientele) don’t want to read about lesbian dominatrix sex (although they love to watch it)– they want to read about Real Men bringing a woman to her knees and dominating her.
2)There’s a plot.

I have books in the works that are a combination of some really cool SciFi/Paranormal and LOTS of BDSM sex. But they’ll probably never see the light of day because there doesn’t seem to be a market for them. And I’ll tell you, the fucking things are hard to write. Because, like Avatar, they’re not just a bunch of sex scenes strung together. They have plot, and I wanna make you like the characters, not just fuck them.

Also, I might have gotten maybe one email from someone who’s read my pay stuff (not counting Office Games, although I still get email from people who find the free version). One, single email saying “Hey, that was good!”

Every time I put out a chapter of Avatar, I get as many as twenty or more emails. For every chapter. That’s why I put the time into Avatar. I’m not doing it for money, I’m doing it because it’s a creative outlet for me and I get awesome feed back from people which lets me know I’ve succeeded. I’ve succeeded in doing something creative that people love and while I love money, and it buys me cool toys when there’s enough of it, I don’t connect with money. I connect with people.

I guess that’s why one of my ultimate goals is to write mainstream. I’d like to get paid and know people love what I’ve done. In the last few weeks I’ve been sitting in my cube in Hell (which, honestly, is probably more fun than where I really am) thinking about my trip out to San Fran and how it was to connect with Kink.com, if only briefly. It wasn’t the sex aspect of the business, it was the fact that they are doing something creative. Something they love. And it sure does show.

From the gray walls of my cube, that seems like a distant dream.


About Dark Pen

I am Dark Pen. I write BDSM stories, almost always with plot and consider myself a Soldier in the battle against America's war on sex.
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14 Responses to Avatar on a Pay Site?

  1. Anonymous says:

    Thanks 🙂
    I adore avatar, which you already know (I’ve been out of town or I’d have read the last chapter already, anyway…). Just thought I’d let you know I appreciate it being free. Though one of these days I think I’ll go buy Training Jenny 🙂 Because of the reasons you listed up there (well, I like my stories having plot) and because then I’d feel I’d pay you a little bit for avatar.
    Thank you again for the new chapter
    *runs off to read it*

    • Dark Pen says:

      Re: Thanks 🙂
      Glad that you are having fun with Avatar. Training Jenny has some pretty hard core BDSM, but yes, it also has a plot. Not as deep a plot as Avatar but hey, it’s only 70-something-k words 🙂

  2. Anonymous says:

    ummmm….lesbian dominatrix sex? Darn! Now I want to read Training Jenny too. I knew I would regret my vow not to pay for adult stories on the internet!!
    I am very glad to hear that you won’t be moving Avatar to a pay site… I was REALLY worried.
    I cringe when I see suggestions from readers about making great free stories into pay-per-read stories. Even though I admit that Darkpen has the talent and the story to make it work, it hasnt seemed to work in the past.
    The best example of this is a story I read in the 90’s called “The Lottery.” It is a story about a man that who wins the lottery and decides to take on some slave-girls. He puts out ads in papers and stuff and starts bringing them into his new mansion.
    The story was very well written and the characters real. I took off from work to read the whole story (much as I did with Avatar… although that took 2 days).
    Wolf got about 35 chapters completed when the discussion came up that he should get it published. He started talking to publishers and wrote about 10-15 more chapters… not really close to finishing. I am confident that it will get published, it was very well done. But that was 10 years or so ago and I was right in the middle of the story… *sigh*
    I woke up to a nightmare of trying to remove DRM from one of Darkpen’s stories…. the scream still echoes…..

  3. Anonymous says:

    I appear to have touched a nerve here, sorry. I have always believed that artists deserve to be paid for their work, that it is my responsibility to support (financially, among other ways) writers/musicians/etc. whose work speaks to me. It is, of course, much preferable to do so without supporting Random House/News-Corp/etc.
    Anyway. I disagree about lack of market for BDSM – themed fantasy at least (don’t recall any BDSM-themed science fiction that did particularly well off hand) – sales for Jacqueline Carey’s Kushiel series, Laurel Hamilton’s Merry Gentry series (yes, you do write better sex scenes), and much of Anne Rice’s work (new parlor game – deciding which of her books fit the label) would seem to back me up here. Avatar does also contain an interesting, reasoned (and explicit) discussion of such hysteria producing topics as ‘what is sexual adulthood, where does it start, and what humane and moral methods exist for transitioning to that state. This, alas, guarantees that Avatar will not be published by DAW or Tor in the forseeable future – not even Heinlein got away with that, though rumor has it he tried. And that’s why I suggested an adult pay site (a topic on which I clearly know bupkus) as a venue. Oops. Wrong answer. Error message 4 through 10,000 inclusive. <>

    • Anonymous says:

      Re: GREAT NEWS!!
      Naa, no worries mate. I have no plans to move it… currently 🙂
      Yeah, I’d wondered where that Lottery story went. Wasn’t my favorite, but it was pretty good.
      Yeah, DRM in my stuff would sorta piss me off, but I’ll never say never — as much as I’d like to. I mean, if I get a sweet publishing deal, and that’s the only way they’ll publish it well… until I become a powerful force in the writing world (don’t hold your breath), I won’t have too much choice, ya know?

    • Dark Pen says:

      If you’re afraid you pissed me off or something with your suggestion, you have no worries. I get people all the time telling me that they want to buy Avatar. Hell, I think someone has actually found a way to get it printed for him somewhere. As long as he’s not selling it, I don’t care. I would start to care if someone else was making money off my work and I wasn’t — that’s piracy 🙂
      As for main stream stuff, yes… the books you mention do have BDSM elements in them. However, I don’t think I have the skill to write something like the Kushiel’s series, which was just amazing. Even the Laurel K. stuff, for all that I think most of the sex scenes are weak, has good plot and movement — when she chooses to actually write plot. And remember, while they were slightly edgy in the beginning, they didn’t delve into sex until the series was well established. Yes, they had sex in them, but the main character was fighting against having sex all the time. She was fighting the pull, and that’s what the hypocrites in this here United States wants to see.
      Ann Rice wrote the Beauty series, but it didn’t get much play until people discovered that Ann Rice, famous for the Vampire series, wrote them. And even then, they didn’t get much play.
      We won’t even talk about ‘underaged’ sex — which in our puritanical little country here, is anything under 18.
      So yes, while it is possible, it ain’t easy. It isn’t easy to write a novel that doesn’t have sex as the main theme (for me, anyway), and if you do, it’s still not easy to get published. Add the sex in — which is what I’m best at (not the best — I’m just comfortable writing sex), and it’s a hard sell. I’m probably much worse at writing non sex is than LK Hamilton is at writing sex.

  4. stryal says:

    Thank you
    I adore Avatar, and have since gotten several others interested in your stories. If I had the funds, I would read the others as well. ~hugs~ I love someone who can write well, especially when there’s a plot AND sex!
    With Avatar, throw in BDSM … ooooo … Heavenly!

  5. Anonymous says:

    Your Stories
    Thank you for your stories.I in joy them and they are stories, not just sex.So thank you working so hard on them

  6. Anonymous says:

    Sci-fi/paranormal w/ lots of BDSM…
    If Laurell can do it w/ her Merry Gentry series, YOU certainly can!! Go for it!! BTW, thanks for the Avatar update! 😉 :-*

  7. Anonymous says:

    You are a true artist. I really admire anyone that deliberately turns away from being paid for their art. Sometimes people think it’s silly or naive, but I think it’s a sign of a true artist to make something for it’s own sake and not expect any monetary gains for it. The fact that your work is well written and strikes a nice balance between sex and plot is Amazing!

  8. Anonymous says:

    cafe press?
    I was introduced to Avatar via a friend of mine and have been hooked ever since. While I highly appreciate that it is not on a pay site, I would love to own a paper copy (I know… i know… call me old fashion). Have you ever thought about publishing your work as hard copy through something simple like cafe press?

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