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no she didnt

Four years on, I wonder how many traditional romance authors still feel this way?

“I’m posting anonymously. I write traditional romances for a traditional press. My only deal with erotica is simple and market driven.

I do not want to sit by an erotica author or an erotic romance author at booksignings or attend events that publicize her books because WE DO NOT ATTRACT THE SAME READERSHIP *AND* (and after reading this thread I figure I can count on some people ignoring this second part and this is the most important part of my note so if you reply to this post please address the following aspect of my post)

MY READERS ARE LESS LIKELY TO ATTEND THE EVENT OR, IF AT A BOOSIGNING, LESS LIKELY TO APPROACH ME BECAUSE OF THE PRESENCE OF AN EROTICA/EROTIC ROMANCE AUTHOR THAN AN EROTICA/EROTIC ROMANCE AUTHOR’S READERS WOULD BE PUT OFF BY MY PRESENCE AT THE TABLE. Who loses? Me.”

Just try to tell me that isn’t so

That was a comment by an author on that old Elizabeth Bevarly hates erotic romance post that she wrote back in the summer of 2005. You guys remember it right?

If not feel free to click on the link, it makes for very interesting reading, hehe.

31 Comments »

  • Let’s hope more have learned to type with some modicum of skill…

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  • Mireya
    December 1
    11:46 am

    I bet they all are in the “closet” still … and most likely writing some, likely m/m, themselves. Also, I think that that “author” showed very little faith on her reader-base. When I like an author, and I spend hours in a line for a booksigning, I don’t give a damn as to who is sitting next to her. I am not asking the other author to sign anything for me. I am there for the author I like. Stupid comment then, stupid comment now… unless she is an inspirational author whose main audience comes from the Bible belt…

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  • Chantal
    December 1
    1:48 pm

    That anon author clearly does not know her readers AT ALL.
    There are equal amounts of erotica and traditional romance on my shelves.

    And I stopped reading Elizabeth Bevarly based on those comments.

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  • I remember those discussions from years ago, and I will chime in again. I write sweet and Christian romance and love to sit near by my vampire and romantica-writing friends at signings. It’s great to meet all types of readers at these events, and you never know who might try a copy of your book.

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  • maddie
    December 1
    5:23 pm

    Wow substitute some words with others and you get a not so enlighten author below is what she wrote:

    I do not want to sit by an erotica author or an erotic romance author at booksignings or attend events that publicize her books because WE DO NOT ATTRACT THE SAME READERSHIP

    Here is what I see :

    I do not want to sit by an (erotica author) (black or gay) or an (erotic romance author)(black or gay romance author) at booksignings or attend events that publicize her books because WE DO NOT ATTRACT THE SAME READERSHIP

    To me there really isn’t a difference is there this whole attitude of she is better than other authors because she write traditional romances…. and they write smut.

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  • maddie
    December 1
    5:32 pm

    I linked to the Elizabeth Beverly hates Erotic Romance this is from her article

    “A writer acquaintance of mine who writes for Ellora’s Cave fully admits that what she writes is pornography. Yes, that’s the word she uses. She doesn’t consider the books Romance any more than I do. She is as troubled by the shelving of the EC books in the romance section at Waldenbooks as I am.

    “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. 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.”

    I have to agree with her on this even though it’s written in 2005, I some times do the cover to cover thing when I’m walking around Borders because of the covers, some are just tacky if I do say so, reminds me of some of those raunchy paper back books from the 70’s.

    I also have to agree with some of them when you read them you have to ask yourself if this couple will make it in the long run because all they seem to have is a sexual connection.

    I’ve have given up on EC for this very reason the last time I bought ebooks from two of favorite authors it was just dripping with lots of sex and very little plot line.

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  • I remember that post, because some of the discussion about it name-checked me as an example of “if she thinks EC is too steamy…” Of course, that was in 2005, the year after Loose Id published The Syndicate and demonstrated that actually, yes, plenty of women *would* buy m/m romance if it was there to be bought. A lot of people were still failing to get their heads around the popularity of m/f erotic romance at the time, never mind GLBT and poly romances. 🙂

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  • willaful
    December 1
    10:47 pm

    Many of my romance-reading online friends read both traditional romance and erotic romance. There seems to be plenty of overlap. I remember someone at paperback swap being amused by sending me an EC Lora Leigh and an old Mary Balogh book in the same shipment, and there’s another person who loves both Leigh and Diana Palmer.

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  • Cindy
    December 2
    12:45 am

    I read erotica (with a story..not a string of sex scenes), traditional romance, mystery etc. As long as the story is good that’s all I care about. Oh and I have a few inspirational as well.

    And there have been several traditional romances that have taken me by surprise by some of the antics within the pages. And I’ve read a few eroticas where no sex happened until nearly the end.

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  • SamG
    December 2
    2:29 am

    Oh man, I used to pick up her books. I liked a few of the early ones. I haven’t been as into the more recent ones, so I guess I won’t miss her 🙂

    Goodness, if I buy a book and wait in line, I don’t care if the author is surrounded by ugly naked men, I’m going to get that signature.

    Sam

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  • Shelby Reed
    December 2
    3:02 am

    Oh, this bugs the hell out of me to even think about it. I sat next to an inspirational romance author, Terri Reed, at the RWA National Convention booksigning a few years ago, and she was lovely. If my status as an Ellora’s Cave author disturbed her, she never showed it. I bought her book since I’d never read inspirational romance before, and I enjoyed it. I was fascinated by how she managed to create sexual tension between her hero and heroine in such a subtle way. Bottom line is, as romance writers, we’re all doing the same thing–writing about love in all its forms. As long as there’s love, love and more love in the story’s relationship, I’m happy, and I’ve found that my fellow authors at EC strive for a balance between sensuality and romance.

    This sort of intolerance on the part of another romance writer makes me sad. As a child of the early 90’s, I still remmeber standing in front of the TV and crying as Rodney King, shaking in his shoes amidst the LA riots, uttered that universal question: Can’t we all just get along?

    Jesus.

    And I mean that.

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  • Can you imagine this same kind of attitude going on in other literary circles? Headlines: Stephen King throws grammatically incorrect rant in defense of refusing to sit next to Nora Roberts! Click here to read testy King of Terror’s tediously tall-CAPPED tirade!

    Just not likely to happen with true professionals.

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  • Um, I don’t think, no matter what you write, that you can guarantee a reader is a fan of you and the person sitting next to you. Damn, when I was 12 and discovering Harlequins, back when there was a lot less humping and bumping, and the formula was even more, er, formulaic I still had author preferences.

    Most readers also cross genres so, even if we want to pretend romance and erotic romance are vastly different creatures, it’s still irrelevant. As silly as a romance writer not wanting a mystery writer on her left and someone who pens westerns on her right. Well, okay, someone very well might agree with that too. 🙂

    Readers make choices all the time. To act like they’re offended by the mere presence of another choice is just really idiotic. Presuming someone really is still making this argument.

    The last two books I read were a sweet Christian romance and a YA with teen sex and many, er, colorful words. My small female brain seemed to manage just fine. For the record, the YA was much better.

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  • Yeah, if I’m in line to see a PG movie, and there’s an R rated movie playing next door, I always storm out. Trailing popcorn and indignation.

    Seriously, I wonder why a writer would think readers wouldn’t approach if there was an erotic romance author at the next table. Nobody’s going to get up and perform the sex scenes or rip off their shirt to show off nipple clamps.

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  • senetra
    December 2
    5:21 pm

    I do find it extremely ironic that people get pretty het up about the explicit sex, but don’t blink an eye at all at the rampant inter-species sex and sex with animated corpses in paranormal romances.

    and later….

    It’s interesting that nobody blinks an eye at including books with rapist heroes who frequently abuse the heroine (physically, verbally and emotionally) as romance. We’d have to toss out a large part of the romance canon if we did. Woodiwiss, Rogers, Busbee, early Lindsey novels and early Robards novels, to name just a few, would be right out.

    Rock on SB Candy!

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  • What? Why would you object to SITTING NEXT to someone just because you don’t read the sort of books they write? Odds are, they don’t read yours, either.

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  • @Alisha
    “Nobody’s going to get up and perform the sex scenes or rip off their shirt to show off nipple clamps.”
    You clearly have not attended one of my signings. 8)

    Seriously, we erotic romance writers, even the queer ones, look just like anyone else. We dress nicely, we try to be discreet about our book covers and we chat pleasantly with whoever we’re signing next to. We don’t show up with horns and fangs and batwings and a bright scarlet cleavage dress. Not for the signing at any rate (we save it for late-night party-time).

    The average reader doesn’t know me from Lilith. Why would they CARE that I’m sitting next to Ms. Beverly? (unless of course, they pick up my book with the Egyptian tomb painting of snogging men)

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  • Anonymous
    December 3
    7:54 am

    Not being an author, I can’t say one way or the other about “sitting” next to an erotica writer. But I will say as a reader, I agree with her.

    The romance genre has fought for many years to be accepted as a legitimate genre of fiction, not “chick porn”. Erotica has eroded that effort.

    I can accept that there are people out there that like it and want to read it, I have no problem with that. But don’t market it as “romance”. It isn’t.

    I’m also tired of the marketing departments trying to pass off erotica as a straight romance. Or in reverse, trying to pass off a straight romance as erotica.

    They are two very distinct and different genres.

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  • “They are two very distinct and different genres.”

    Erotica and romance are. Erotic romance, however, is another romance subgenre. Frankly, it gets pretty annoying to hear people constantly assume that all erotic romance must be erotica because it has explicit sex scenes.

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  • Two years ago, a well known author of steamy romances complained about how erotica authors’ fans mucked up her experience at RT because she overheard inappropriate comments by readers. It’s still, sadly, something SOME authors think and say.

    I mainly do conference type signings, where there are hundreds of authors in a room of all types and I can’t say I really think about whether any of their presence would mean less sales for me. Usually I’m starstruck and overwhelmed by the level of noise and the sheer number of people to even think about what someone across from me writes or how many sex scenes they have in their book.

    I think the author of the sweeter romances is underestimating reader intelligence. When I, as a reader, see a room full of authors, I go to the ones I like and I don’t really think much about what everyone else writes. It’s just not a concern.

    I’m also tired of people telling me what I write isn’t romance because it’s erotic. Because that’s simply their perception and they’re welcome to it, as their personal taste. But hundreds of thousands of readers feel differently and to continue to assert that erotic romance isn’t romance just insults them.

    Also, jeebus people, why are we all so obsessed about what people who will never like romance think? I don’t care that some dude at MSNBC thinks I write porn for women. Who is he to me? Pffft.

    Anyhoodle, if someone is truly worried about sitting next to me at a signing or anyone else who writes something they can’t handle, they can ask the organizers to be moved, quietly and with some manners. I think blaming the presence of authors who write differently than we do on low sales is a cop out and it misses the point, but whatever.

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  • Anon76
    December 3
    8:49 pm

    Hmmm, I wonder what a very well-known author would have thought if she’d an inkling that I was totally commando under the elegant dress I wore for a conference signing while sitting next to her.

    I don’t write erotic, but it was my first signing, I was scared out of my mind, and it was the only thing I could think of to take some charge over a situation I had no charge over. LOL

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  • AnonYmouse
    December 3
    9:32 pm

    Anon76 – Uh, not to overstate the obvious, but everyone is totally commando under their clothes. Just sayin.

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  • Lauren, I’ll sit next to you, lol

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  • Candice – I’m very lucky with who I sit next to, I have to say. I’ve only had one negative experience, at least to my face.

    But I’d love to have you sit next to me any old time!

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  • Well, Lauren, maybe someday we will get to sit together. 🙂

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  • maddie
    December 4
    4:22 pm

    @Lauren Dane (Can’t wait for your Jan 2010 release) but I have to ask how did you deal with the negative experience?

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  • Anon76
    December 4
    4:43 pm

    Heh heh. I get what you’re saying Anonymouse. Let me restate to say I had nothing on but the dress and a pair of shoes. And the dress had buttons all down the front, no zippers. One good yank and, whoopsie. The term “debut author” would have taken on a whole new meaning.

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  • Two years ago, a well known author of steamy romances complained about how erotica authors’ fans mucked up her experience at RT because she overheard inappropriate comments by readers.

    This just kills me.

    With all the money and effort of a convention like RT, you’d think someone would go in determined to have a good time and not let anything spoil it, barring a tac-nuke or rampant food-poisoning.

    She’d never make it at the cons I go to.

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  • Maddie – (thanks!)I’m afraid it was terribly undramatic. There were readers within earshot so I couldn’t say much more than a barely civil reply and I ignored her the rest of the conference. I haven’t seen her in the years since so maybe she removed herself from conferences where she might come into contact with dirty filthy erotic romance authors.

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  • Jennifer
    December 6
    12:46 am

    I hope Bevarly has educated herself since this posting. Personally, I cannot understand a writer refusing to sit next to an author who writes different content. Is this puritanical or the idea of “you write porn, no talent hack”. Why does she think Harlequin started the Blaze line?

    EC covers everything. There is some erotic, erotica, and romance. I’ve read some EC books that don’t even come close to the heat in Blaze. And, I’ve read some Blaze that didn’t move me romantically like the EC stories. Do we discount a publisher for lack of romance?

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  • You know, what I haven’t seen anyone mention is actual porn in the written (as opposed to video) form. Way back when I was wee and looking for a tingle in my private areas, I sought out porn. REAL porn. We’d get names, someone knocked on a door, and then thoroughly disgusting things were happening. Things that brought a smile to my face.

    I’d read romance too – but it would give me a tingle in my emotions, not in my private bits. It satisfied an entirely different need.

    Then there’s erotica. In erotica there’s a real story amongst the titillation. But erotica tends to have characters that are more universal in their characterization and specific in their kink / need. The story (usually short) is in finding satisfaction in the sex they seek.

    I think anyone who calls erotica “porn” should educate themselves in what porn really is. And, traditionally, erotica is not what you find in the “romantica” that EC publishes.

    Having read all of these types of fiction, widely, I think the “romantica” description really does fit EC’s publications. They strive for the HEA, and they welcome the sex that comes with it. Romantica needs to grow to find its balancing point. But calling it porn? *laughs* That just exposes ignorance.

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