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According to Holly Lisle, at least.

I can’t really disagree with her because we did see the likes of Trisk and Mardi Gras go tits-up last year, along with badly run, Venus Press, Chippewa Publishing and a fair few others.

Lisle’s post was actually about an e-publishing business model that she’d come up with, but to be fair, she’d lost me by the second paragraph. Being me, the only interesting part of the long-arsed post was this bit:

It’s still selling fiction on the internet, albeit with printed novels taken from each issue eventually available, and I’ve seen that, at least with current models (unless you’re doing porn, which is out of the question), selling fiction on the Internet is about as effective and fun as nailing your hand to a wall.

I was most amused at the porn bit. In fact, I actually laughed out loud.

I could be wrong, but she seemed to have off-handedly insulted a whole host of e-pubbed authors in one fell swoop. Dammit, I thought I was the only person who could do that. Heh.

I guess the debate on whether erotic romance is actually porn, continues.*g*

Thanks to a cyber pal for the linkage.


  • Yes, well…

    That’s Holly for you. Trust me, it’s not the first time she’s said something remarkably offensive to a lot of people.


  • Barbara B.
    February 2
    8:52 pm

    I’ve been reading porn since I was 8 or 9. I started reading romance at 13. I suppose that for a person who reads neither erotic romance nor porn the two could appear to be the same.

    Anyway, as a lover of mainstream romance, erotic romance, erotica, and hardcore porn, what Lilse said doesn’t offend me. I just think she doesn’t know what she’s talking about. Nothing new there.


  • Let’s see if I get this straight…big no-no’s on the Erotic Romance and Porn (and I’m sure this includes Erotica, too), but pimping media services under the guise of collecting writer opinion is hunky dorey? Maybe, in the spirit of community we should start a collection for that street sign she can lean against?

    I understand what she’s saying perfectly…cough, cough, cough…


  • Rosemary Laurey
    February 2
    11:47 pm

    The thing that makes me want to shake my head and laugh is the people who sneer most at porn (or erotica or romance for that matter0 tend to be people utterly unread in the genre.

    Seems they consider that ngnorance entitles them to have an opinion.


  • kis
    February 3
    12:03 am

    Meh, I just think she’s not fond of the graphic sex, and isn’t afraid to say it. It’s her mag (if she decides to do it) and she’s entitled to not want a lot of explicit material in it, just like in those Forward Motion writer’s workshops. I didn’t take it as sneering, so much as a statement of preference.

    And she raises a valid point. Sexual writing in all its forms (from Susie Superslut’s adventures with Fido to the tenderest erotic romance) does well on the internet. Other genres, not so much, although SFF probably does better than, say, mystery.

    It may raise hackles that she lumped it all in under the “porn” label, but it was just an offhand statement. She may not have any clue as to the variety of erotic material available on the net. It might be that when she says “porn” she really does mean “porn”. It does comprise a huge percentage of what’s floating around out here. Is she even aware of erotic romance as a genre?


  • I don’t have a problem with “porn”, but it is hard to see “which is out of the question” as a neutral phrase.


  • kis
    February 3
    9:48 am

    Again, I don’t have a problem if she finds porn icky. I don’t even care if she finds erotic romance icky. That’s her prerogative, isn’t it?

    “but it is hard to see “which is out of the question” as a neutral phrase.”

    I’m pretty sure she doesn’t think of porn as neutral, either. Whatever. All in all, I’d rather have someone say what I write grosses them out, than deem it genre garbage that isn’t worth their time. I think with Lisle, it’s the former, not the latter.


  • *shrugs* This is new? Oh the lovely “Erotic/Porn” debate. Believe me, my ex-husband was obsessed with Hustler. I know the difference.
    But I suppose if you’ve only seen the COVERS of Playboy or Hustler, you might not know what Porn REALLY reads like.
    Like Nonny said, not the first time.


  • I wasn’t sneering at porn. I was noting that porn is the one kind of fiction that actually makes money on the internet. It doesn’t interest me, and I’m not interested in publishing it on my site, which I suspect still has a bunch of underage readers—but I’d be an idiot not to recognize that the folks who are making money at this are hitting the sex angle very, very hard.

    Thanks for misunderstanding me, though.


  • azteclady
    February 4
    3:46 pm

    Obviously not Karen, but since I read it exactly the same way…

    You are very welcome.


  • Karen Scott
    February 4
    6:55 pm

    Thanks for misunderstanding me, though.

    Hey Holly, anytime.


  • […] in a statement about epublishing. This was republished on Karen Scott’s blog and Ms. Lisle defended herself on the basis of being misunderstood (this inability to communicate her message clearly […]

  • Holly, not sure if you’re going to see this or not, but I’m too lazy to register on your blog to post a comment about this there.

    (Also feel the need to say I loved your book I See You ~ shared it with my kids’ sitter and she refused to look at her mirror for a few days after reading it)

    I think the reason why you’re getting flack over this is because the derogatory term, porn. Very, very… very few erotic romance writers consider what they write as porn. Most of us don’t even consider it erotica.

    It’s erotic romance and to us, and to readers, there’s a huge difference.

    Porn is all about sex~ any ‘romantic’ leanings thrown in are window dressing.

    Erotica is all about a sexual journey/exploration. It might have romantic elements, depends on the book, but from what I understand whatever conflicts there are in erotica are usually within the main character, not between the two main characters and a HEA or HFN isn’t required, or even cared about all that much.

    Erotic romance/romantica is at the heart of it, a romance. It’s about two (okay, or more) people finding each other, falling in love, some huge obstacle that must be overcome, a conflict, a dark moment, a resolution and a happy ever after~ or happy for now with that promise of HEA. The sex, by all means, is there and it’s hotter, it’s more explicit, it’s more in prevalent than in mainstream romances.

    But a good erotic romance isn’t about the sex and it shouldn’t revolve around the sex. The sex should add to the storyline, otherwise it’s gratuitous when that happens, yes, it certainly comes off as porn when I’m reading it.

    But I can say the same about mainstream romances I’ve read, where the sex was put into the book as ‘filler’ or because the author seemed to think there just needed to be a love scene here, even if it wasn’t really the place for it.

    I write erotic romance and more mainstream contemporary, I haven’t ever written YA, but if I chose to, yes, I can see the issue with having erotic romance displayed at a site where young readers are likely going to be. I have three kids in my house and one is already a very avid reader and I’d freak if she was on a website that should have been age appropriate and then there’s something… NOT. So I can totally get that line of thinking.

    But lumping erotic romance in with porn is an insult to erotic romance writers and to readers.

    If you think that erotic romance is nothing but porn, you’re entitled, you wouldn’t be the first or the last… but it’s not an opinion that going to be well received by those who love the genre.


  • Shiloh: excellent definitions.


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