Two Geeks, a Chicken and Bigfoot if you’re confused).
The book I was just reading is Cum For Bigfoot by Virginia Wade. This was originally released in instalments as self-published ebooks, and the author reportedly earns $30,000 per month from the series. That was the reason (the only reason, honestly) why I bought the book – I wanted to see if I could work out what her secret is. All my self-published ebooks added together struggle to make $3 per month, and some of them haven’t sold a single copy.
If Ms. Wade does have a secret, then I reckon it’s KISS. I don’t mean “kiss” as in lovey-dovey romance (of which the book has mercifully little), but the too-often-ignored principle of “Keep It Simple, Stupid”. If you keep things simple, you don’t make mistakes... and mistakes are what readers notice. Who wants complexity in a porn novel, anyway? By avoiding complexity, and avoiding mistakes, Cum for Bigfoot comes pretty close to perfection (I only spotted 4 typos in 217 pages). Of course it’s a very simplistic, unambitious perfection – but I guess that’s what readers want, and it explains why the series has become such a bestseller.
There are a lot of things you might expect to see in a book of this length which simply aren’t there. The plot is completely linear and uncomplicated – there’s no foreshadowing, no twists, no forks, no flashbacks. There is no technobabble – you might expect a know-it-all character to act as the author’s mouthpiece, recounting little-known facts about Bigfoot at every opportunity... but there isn’t anyone like that. There aren’t any eccentric characters at all – no goths or emos or punks or hippies, or half-crazed Bigfoot hunters, or money-grabbing sideshow entrepreneurs. No-one turns out to be anything other than what they appear to be on first appearance.
That last paragraph may sound negative, but it isn’t really. Those are the kind of things I’d try to squeeze into the story... but I wouldn’t do them very well, so the book would just sit there not getting bought. Even if a really good writer tackled the book that way, then I bet most of the people who’ve been buying Cum for Bigfoot wouldn’t like the result. All those things force the reader to slow down and think – which isn’t what someone who buys this sort of book wants.
I’ve repeatedly described the book as “porn”, not erotica, because that’s what it is. The sex scenes are long and detailed, while the linking narrative is simple and easy-to-follow. The characters are pretty generic, so most female readers (who I guess are the book’s target audience) will be able to identify with them. The description of Bigfoot society, and how they manage to remain undetected, is credible but minimalistic, with no gratuitous detail or attempts at pseudo-erudition.
So why is the book such a success? As far as I can see, it all comes down to the fact that Ms. Wade knows her audience... and knows how to give them exactly what they want.