Sunday, October 24, 2010

Erotic Romance, Ebooks and the Readership Booty Call

A lot of people read erotic romance, and they tend to be voracious readers.  They tend to be readers who embrace digital formats.  That makes them a potential gold mine.

This is why I think it has been quite natural that epublishers like Samhain and Lyrical have come to focus on erotica and romance.  I also think it is only natural that erotica and epublishers (like Harlequin) have branched out into epublishing.

However when a print only, intensely literary press (like Salt) known to have some cashflow issues suddenly opens an erotica epublishing imprint and a romance epublishing imprint that starts to look like a... readership booty call.

And when Dorchester goes digital to save costs, while cutting staff, and keeps selling ebook that they no longer hold the rights to that is a... readership booty call.

Which is to say, they want your money but may not be willing to kiss the genre or format on the mouth.  And I have a suspicion that this tactic isn't going to have the profitable outcome they are hoping for.

See also:


Mary Winter said...

I think you're right on that. Dorchester may have had a better outcome -- if it hadn't had the negative press. And maybe they can still pull it off. There are pubs out there who have experienced substantially negative publicity and it seems not to have dimmed them any.

But Salt? If they are an intensely literary press, then will they really understand (or care) about the nuances of romance and why readers love it? It's like someone taking erotica (and I think we both can name a few presses here) and slapping a romance label on it. Sure, there may be nibbles, but among the hard core fans, it ain't going to fly.

Anyone coming into this market now needs to understand the ground laid by the publishers who have come before. And they need to seriously understand romance.

Good luck to them!

veinglory said...

By all accounts, Salt is good at what they do. But this is a whole new game for them and they have a *lot* of competition.