Monday, April 14, 2008

The Twain--veinglory

In my experience most writers of erotic romance identify quite closely as writers of romance, with erotic romance as a sub-genre of that. I wonder how much this perspective limits our marketing opportunities rather than simply seeing erotica and romance as overlapping sets with erotic romance equally under both genres.

Looking at the last 300 keywords used to find this blog I see that 80% used the key word 'erotic', 25% used the key word romance, and 24% used both words. That suggests to me that Most of the people searching for romance were also looking for erotic forms. But most of the people searching for erotic stories were not specifically looking for romance.

It seems to me that erotic romance need not be marketed solely as a subset of romance, it could also be marketed as a subset of erotica, and this might be were the largest untapped market still resides? Is the issue that erotica readers are perceived as being averse to love--or is it erotic romance writers are averse to being seen as pornographers?


kirsten saell said...

I think it's both, and it vexes me no end. The estrangement reflects a certain snootiness on both sides of the fence. Ironically, I expect erotica writers consider themselves more "literary" and less "genre excrement" considering they don't have the strict genre constraints that romance has--especially in regard to the happy ending (and I'm not speaking of the euphemistic sort).

Erotic romance authors just don't want to be seen as dirty purveyors of filth. Personally, I'm all too pleased to announce that my books are unabashedly dirty. "Dirty" is the new black, a label that ought to be worn with pride and defiance--like "bitch".

I love reading both erotica and romance, and lovelovelove it when the two come together with a wonderful relationship, lots of hot sex and an HEA, or HFN, or even a WDE (world doesn't end). And I agree, if we opened ourselves to the wider market, erotic romance might enjoy even greater success.

But before we can do that, everyone just needs to get over themselves...

Diana Hunter said...

When I first started promoting my very first published novel, believe it or not, romance sites were NOT where I went. Since that book had strong BDSM themes...I went to the BDSM sites since I suspected they'd be far more interested in it than the romance readers (my mother still calls what I write "smut". Might as well make the shoe fit!). I had (and still have) many more visitors to my website from the BDSM sites than I do from readers groups dedicated to romance in any form.

Katrina Strauss said...

I personally don't understand the line drawn between erotica and romance. And while I do expect the trad camp to draw some lines between romance and erotic romance, I am wholly frustrated with erotic romance writers who want to draw lines in the sand between erotic romance and erotica. (Conveniently, certain erotic romance authors draw that line at THEIR work... translation: they don't want to see their status as "cutting edge" challenged, lest they be forced to redefine their niche).

Yet I also look forward to the day when I can say I write dark fiction with erotic romance elements. But for now yes, it's difficult to even explain what exactly some of us are writing, let alone label and market it in a way that attracts target readers.

veinglory said...

Interesting that erotic writer and romance writers seem to criticise *each other* as lacking literary merit. It does seem to be the lazy writers derogatory comment of choice, like teenage boys and gay or shallow girls and fat.