Publishers Weekly quotes Borders spokesperson Ann Binkley as saying the chain does not put restrictions on covers and shelves the books according to content. Erotic romance is shelved with the rest of the romance titles, while "erotic literature" (such as The Almond), goes in the "Sex & Intimacy" section.
But when I looked up "Dream and Desires", an anthology in which all the stories are romance and only 2/19 are erotic, I found it under: Psychology > Sex/Recovery > Erotica. This does not thrill me as I am willing to bet far fewer customers will find a predominantly sweet romance anthology on the erotica shelf in the non-fiction psychology section. Novels by many of the contributing authors are to be found in romance, but the anthology seems to have been deemed, for some reason, not romance.
This got me thinking. Now I do not see all labelling as bad. If being on the erotica shelf will actually increase sales. I will be all for it. But honestly, even with a group like us--how many of you know there is an erotica section in Borders non-fiction area, and if you do do you check it as often as the romance area?
The same thing applies to their shelving of gay fiction and African-American fiction. If books get doubled shelved in both places, great. If they get shelved in the non-fiction area and sell more books there, great. But is this true? If it is not, is Borders institutionally saying somethings about what is and isn't romance--or at the very least it is saying: if you are not in a certain group, this book is not for you.
And I would not be so skeptical of Borders' competence in sectioning their stock if I was not already buying most of my magazines from a section called "Mens Interest".
Red Sage has recently opened their ebook imprint.
EPIC members are voting on the inclusion of authors and publishers of short works, and giving voting rights to publishers.
Author Michael Dibdin died on March 30th after a short illness. He was best known for the Aurelio Zen mysteries but my favorite Dibdin work was the fabulous parody "The Last Sherlock Holmes Story".