How I didn't get rich selling cook books, dirty socks, and Bigfoot porn.

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We've all done things we aren't proud of for money. Here are a few of my proudest moments.

It had been about fifteen years since I stopped working at the porn store and I thought my days of peddling smut was over. I never thought it would be my brother and my love of writing that would pull me back in. I was living in Houston, working as a massage therapist while my brother, @thewisesloth, was living in New Zealand with his cold and unloving wife that we all referred to as “The Fun Sucker” because she could suck the fun out of any room. He wound up leaving her and went on a Kerouac-esque journey across New Zealand, picking grapes and apples, which eventually landed him managing a hostel for migrant travelers. He did the starving artist thing for a year or so until he realized he was doing more starving than artist. I told him to come to Houston and we would work on that book we’d been putting off for twenty years. He left the land of sheep and kiwis for the land of hurricanes and mosquitos. I wanted to write the next Stuart Little, but my brother had other plans.

Sloth: “Ok, man. I know what we are going to write.”

Goat: “I was thinking something along the lines of magical tales of adventure that will capture the imaginations of children for generations.”

Sloth- “Fuck that. We’re writing smut.”

Goat: “You out yo Goddamn mind.”

Sloth: “I’ve been reading interviews with shitty authors that are making a killing self-publishing crotch novels on Amazon.” Goat: “Not only no, but hell no.”

Sloth: “Read this.”

Goat: “… Hmm…”

Goat: “I’m in.”

We spent the next six months cranking out half-assed novelettes. We tried downloading a bunch of romance novels to research but we could never get more than six or seven pages in before our brains started bleeding from clichés and bad writing. In hindsight we should have done our research. It didn’t help that at the time we didn’t know the first thing about basic plot structure, our idea of romance was telling a girl she can pick out a Redbox movie and order whatever she wants off the dollar menu, and we had no concept of advertising other than spamming links on Reddit.

We spent a few weeks trying to think of a pen name and decided on Carrie Nations; the band from the 1970 cinema classic “Beyond the Valley of the Dolls,” who got their name from Carry Nation; the famous Christian Temperance advocate in the early 1900’s. Then we realized that name wasn’t very sexy. During my research I learned Carry’s whole name was Carry Amelia Moore Nation. We asked one of our lady friends if we could borrow her face for a bio and Amelia Moore was born.

We wound up with about twenty titles and of those twenty, only two of them made any money. We tried several different niches to see what people responded to. @thewisesloth wrote a choose your own adventure smut story that we were sure would be a hit. Nobody bought it. We tried firemen, astronauts, massage therapists, handymen. Nobody bought it. I did a modern interracial cuckold retelling of D.H. Lawrence’s classic “Lady Chatterley’s Lover.”

Nobody bought it

I got discouraged and said, “Fuck it, lesbian vampires.”

I churned out a turd in three days and it wound up being our best seller. It appeared that supernatural smut was our ticket so I wrote a story about a mermaid fucking a pirate. Nobody bought it. I read an article about some chick making a fortune writing Bigfoot porn so I figured I’d give it a shot. I churned out a turd in three days.

Lots of people bought it.

Someone actually left a bad review because I didn't do more to explore Bigfoot's motivation. We made a few hundred bucks a month for three or four months, but we quickly broke under the corniness of what we were doing and gave up. If you don’t keep putting out content, sales dry up immediately, which they did. It’s been several years but I can still usually count on enough royalties every month to buy a six pack of Heineken.

I decided that creating content was too much work so I started buying dead old lady’s recipes from estate sales and self-publishing cook books. Who’s going to sue me? I have the original copies and the author is dead! (Twirls mustache mischievously) Unfortunately, healthy eating is in right now and every old lady salad recipe has Jell-O as the main ingredient. I can usually count on a few hundred bucks around Thanksgiving and Christmas. I’m still on the lookout for a dead vegan grandma but those bitches won’t die.

During this time I ran across an article about a guy selling his dirty socks on eBay. It wasn’t too far of a stretch from what I was already doing so I figured, fuck it. I had two pairs of dress socks I didn’t mind getting rid of so I wore them for a few days to get them really smelly and put them up for auction. They sold for $25 each. I mailed the first pair, but I lost one of the socks from the other pair and was too lazy to clean my room to look for it so eBay refunded the guy his money and he left a bad review. I got a lot of strange messages from guys saying shit like, “Oh, yeah I bet those feet stink so good.” I’m not one to judge people’s fetishes, especially when they are giving me $25, but I had no idea what the correct response to that was supposed to be, so all things considered, I quit selling dirty socks on the internet.

Not my actual ad

Sources: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5,