Thursday, July 14, 2005

I write romance, you don't

There's an interesting post by Elizabeth Bevarly over at Squawk Radio about EC. She says, "Erotica doesn’t belong in RWA, and RWA never should have approved Ellora’s Cave as an RWA-recognized publisher. The reason? Ellora’s Cave doesn’t publish Romance any more than Playboy Books publishes Romance. "

Well, it depends. I've read EC books that didn't strike me as romance (I confess that I'm basically a conservative at heart). But I've read others that were definitively romance, at least in my humble opinion. With all due respect to Ms. Bevarly, it seems just a bit self-serving for a Blaze author to say, "Blaze, I think, is as erotic as RWA needs to get." Why draw the line precisely there? The Kensington line I'm targeting, Brava, is generally considered hotter than Blaze... shall we kick Kensington out of the RWA, too?

She adds, "It also bothers me that now someone from the media can pluck an EC novel from the Romance section and say, "See? I told you all these books are only about sex." As opposed to a Blaze??? Uh... yeah, I'm sure someone from the media who already thinks the books are all about sex is going to pick up a Blaze and be impressed by the wonderful character-building and the excellently constructed plot. They probably won't even notice the sex. *coughing*

She also says, "I don’t take my eleven-year-old into the section where my books are shelved these days, because I’m afraid of what he’ll pick up to flip through. That used to not be a concern for me. " To which I reply, huh?? Clear back in the eighties, when I started reading romances, there were extremely explicit sex scenes I wouldn't want my child to read. Bertrice Small and Rosemary Rogers were just two of the authors back then that were pretty darn explicit. I keep all my romances out of the reach of my kids, because virtually ALL of them have explicit sex (some more explicit than others, to be sure). Unless you read only inspirationals and sweet romances, the romances on your shelf probably aren't fit for your eleven-year-old to read.

There's also some confusion in the comments about the term "romantica." Some people seem to be under the impression that "romantica" means "erotica" rather than "erotic romance." No, guys, it's a (trademarked) term combining the words "romance" and "erotica." Ergo, "romantica" means "erotic romance."

And a comment from anonymous: "I think a lot of the RWA flap is a tempest in a teapot. They went through the same thing a few years ago when the e-book authors tried to take over the organization. E-books did NOT turn out to be the marketing bonanza they promised and except for a few notable exceptions, most of those authors continue to make $25-50/book and have failed to sell to major New York publishers."

Well, actually, no. Most e-pubbed authors are making substantially more than $50 per book, and quite a few are making enough to live on. (See my earlier post about NCP.) Certainly, "most" e-pubbed authors haven't sold to major NY publishers. There are hundreds of e-pubbed authors out there, and not nearly enough slots in New York for all of us, even if we all wrote as well as Jane Austen. But the number of e-pubbed authors selling to New York continues to grow, and the number of e-pubbed authors making loads of money without selling to New York continues to grow, too.

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