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So, these past couple of weeks there has been the customary to-do about who-saw-what-done-where-and-to-whom during the last RT in Pittsburg, and who-is-reporting-what-someone-else-says-that-a-third-party-told- them-happened-there.

Here at Karen’s the discussion devolved into “old vs young” rather soon, and then it became “prudes vs sluts”. Pretty soon after there was the whole “look what trash you are letting into the romance genre!” vs “stop pretending you are all so pure, sex sells!” over at Dear Author (otherwise known as “is this what we want the professional image of the romance genre as an industry to be?”).

There have been first hand accounts of some minor and some oh-my-God-not-minor-at-all incidents where the line between appropriate and inappropriate behaviour was carelessly crossed. I’m beyond furious about the abuse Kim was subjected to, and both Lori Foster and Shiloh Walker have shared some unpleasant experiences of their own.

Of course such things can, and sadly do, happen everywhere, not just at a romance readers’ convention, as Anya Bast points out in the discussion over at Dear Author. But that is not the point, really. The point (which GrowlyCub, and Jane and Robin and a few others, made quite eloquently over there) is that some environments are more likely to beget certain behaviours than others.

So far I had felt no overwhelming reason to comment, because people with different points of view and different agendas will have different opinions and perspectives, and they are all valid (duly noted exception for criminal behaviour, of course)

Then Emmy offers this:

Hate it when people make sweeping generalizations. What is romance? Does porn have to be two strangers oofing in a one night stand? Can’t two people in a monogamous relationship who love each other deeply have hot monkey sex too? Why can’t that be romantic?

And this:

Sex, as the cliche goes, sells. If people didnt wanna see or read about smexing, there wouldnt be this whole industry out there. The only way to get the romance industry more respect is to take the romance- and any overt/covert sexual references- out of it.

And Erastes adds,

Romance is not necessarily porn. But erotica can be and is, in a lot of cases. Romance is not heterosexual monogamous marriage, either, by the way.

Huh? Color me confused here. (more…)

I see that some of the Literotica authors over at Phaze have decided to start up their own e-publishing company.

This is what it says on the badly designed Excessica website:

We publish the stuff other publishers won’t—not because these stories and books aren’t good enough, but because other publishers won’t take on certain fantasies they’re afraid might not “sell” in the mainstream.

We like to take things to excess, what can we say? Pushing erotic fiction to the edge, pressing the boundaries of propriety and political correctness, is something we relish. The good news is, this makes for very interesting stories—and hot, exciting reads for you!

Most mainstream e-publishers market their erotic offerings as “romance.” We don’t require that our authors write romance—and we don’t require a “happily ever after” either. Our erotica is always hot, fresh, and often forbidden.

Often forbidden eh? In another words, incest, D/D play, rape stories, and most of the other taboo plots that can be found at Literotica I guess. Nice.

Well, we know there’s a market for these things out there. *Shudder*

This is what it says on their submissions page:

Just because we like to push the boundaries doesn’t mean we don’t want an actual story with our erotica. Excessive sex is great (we like excess!) so sex in every chapter is fine—but sex without any semblance of a plot is not. We are looking for fully developed characters, plots and settings.

eXcessica is not a vanity publisher, so we will not charge you to publish with us. However, because we are a partnership rather than a standard publisher (who have editors and cover artists on staff) we require that you have your own manuscript edited and provide your own cover art. This means that manuscripts sent to us as submissions are expected to be free of all mechanical errors in punctuation, grammar and spelling.

With eXcessica there are no contracts, and we keep none of your royalties. All sales are yours. You will be asked to sign a general electronic release form that says the work is yours and you give the partnership the right to sell it—and that’s all. All rights are non-exclusive—the work is yours to do with as you wish, and you can pull it from our “shelves” at any time.

So, is this just another form of Literotica, except they actually sell the stories?

Thanks to you-know-who for the link.