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Erotic Romance Bias When It Comes To Awards…

Saturday, February 11, 2006
Posted in: Uncategorized

So I got an interesting e-mail from an ER author, that got me thinking…

Her beef was that awards were totally biased when it came to ballots that included erotic romance as a category, e.g. “the best erotic romance of 2005” for instance. Her general point was, why couldn’t they include other categories such as best erotic paranormal romance, best, best erotic romance novella, etc.

Well, I pretty much agreed with her, this was my response:

“Erotic romance is the poor relation to traditional romance, much as romance is the poor relation to every other genre there is.

I truly believe that this status quo will change, but in order for it to do so, readers and authors alike need to make more noise instead of just accepting it.

When I filled out the AAR readers poll, it occurred to me that erotic romance wasn’t even mentioned, never mind broken down into categories, so of course I littered the whole damn form with ER writers and books.

As for your assertion that there are hotter books from some NY publishers than the ones marked ‘Sensuous’ at EC, I totally agree, a good example being Shelby Reed’s books. I’d say Lori Foster’s books are hotter than hers, yet she’s not likely to suffer the same kind of prejudices, as Shelby would, just because she happens to write for a house that publishes erotic romance.

I also think that you’re correct when you talk about people seeing the label ‘erotic romance’, and automatically assuming that the graphic sexual content means that it will inevitably be lacking in both characterisation and plot. Unfortunately, unless the naysayers (who are usually the ones who decide on the categories for awards) take the time to objectively read erotic romance books, then unfortunately, the issue of widening the categories (awards-wise) within ER will remain as is.

I ‘m in just the mood to write to Emerald at The Golden Rose to let her know my thoughts on this.”

Anyway, I did write to Emerald, as it happens:

“Can I ask why, in the Golden Rose nomination ballot, erotic romance hasn’t been broken down into categories, such as “Best Erotic Romance Novella” or even “Best Erotic Romance Full length novel?

You do realise that there are different genres within ER, much as there is within traditional romance, right?

By only asking readers to vote for the best erotic romance period, you’re inevitably restricting them to choosing just one book, from all of the categories, such as, paranormal erotic romance, erotic romantic suspense, erotic historical romance, etc. etc.

Just thought I’d highlight this point.

Your thoughts on this would be appreciated.”

Who says I can’t do diplomacy?

I don’t know if she’ll reply, but it would be nice if she did *g*

I think that until the RWA (bless their cotton socks) leads by example when it comes to choosing RITA categories, progress on this somewhat controversial issue, will be as quick as taking a slowboat to China.

OK, back into hiding I go…