I love romance. I'm a sucker for it. I love it so much. It's pathetic. Drew Barrymore
I'm with Drew on this one. I love romance. Yes, I write about zombies and stuff (things and stuff--quote from The Walking Dead), but EVEN The Zombie West Series is more romance than zombies. Every chance I get to write a romance scene I will. I love the relationship that humans have with one another--the sensuality, the love, the exuberance. I love that human connection. But in saying that, I don't write detailed sex scenes (boo, boo--That's what you're thinking, isn't it, you naughty girls and boys?)
If I were to attempt to write erotica (which I won't), it would be more comedic than anything. You wouldn't get hot and bothered, but you'd sure have a nice chuckle. Erotica is NOT my thing, but apparently it is for A LOT of people. It seems that more and more authors I know who started out as Young Adult writers or writers in other genres, have decided that erotica is where the $$$ is, so they've crossed over into writing it, adding to the plethora of an already saturated market. Their erotica books sit side-by-side their children's books, and in fact, kick the butts of those children's books when it comes to selling copies. Thanks to Fifty Shades of Grey, everyone and their mother (and their mother's mother) is writing erotica books.
I'd LOVE to write romance. I'd love to toss my hat in that ring, but is there a place for me there? Books that are highly romantic, but not overly sexual? Does ANYONE read clean, sweet romance anymore, or is it all about the sex? (I already think I know this answer).
I've looked at a few erotica titles and there are MANY with horrible, horrible reviews bashing the author for having "no plot", "stupid characters", "typical ditsy female character", "domineering male character", "amateur writing", "less than average sex scenes", and YET their Amazon seller status numbers are doing extremely well. Like, out of this world well. Because of that, I can see why a lot of authors would want to give it a go. It's depressing (as I can attest to) to write books that receive great reviews and have won awards, but don't sell NEAR the amount of copies as a poorly written erotica book does. It makes you think, for sure.
So I get it. I understand it. I just can't do it. There's simply far too many words that make me giggle. But, I'd love to write romance. I love watching romantic movies and reading truly romantic love stories.
I love romance, but should I delve into that arena, writing sweet romance, would anyone buy it? Would people be like, "What? They kissed...that's it? Bluck. This sucks."
What say you? Is there a market for sweet romance, or is it a big ol' waste of time? Is it all about the sex? If not, then why are poorly written erotica books flying off the shelf? Help me understand. Let's discuss. :)
5/23/2013 02:58:05 am
Your frustrations are my frustrations!
5/23/2013 07:55:50 am
Good to hear there is a market for sweet romance. Let's not seel out together :) I'm right with you on the religious romance as well--I don't write that either. I also like writing for readers who enjoy a good plot and interesting characters...I always will.
Yes, there is a market for sweet romance. I write it, G-rated only and yes, it's only "they kissed? That's all? Blah."
5/23/2013 07:58:32 am
It is a shame. A real shame, but I guess that old adage is true: sex sells. Keep to your principles--sometimes that's all we have. And thanks for giving me hope that there is a place for sweet romance amid the spicy romance:)
5/23/2013 03:45:27 am
I saw your blog through the sharing of it by a friend on FB.
5/23/2013 08:01:00 am
That's awesome, Gail. Thanks for letting me know how you found me. I appreciate that. What publishing house? I'd love to check it out. And yes, it is WAY hard to find the sweet among all the spice out there.
5/23/2013 05:11:45 am
I do think there is a market for sweet romance. They might not make the top 100, but I've found several under 10k. And that's good for a self published novel. Some are even between 2K and 5k. So yes, many still want that and read that. Myself included.
5/23/2013 08:02:31 am
Hey, to be up in the 5k range is great. That's good to know, real good. There's hope for us non-sex writers after all :)
5/25/2013 02:25:14 am
5/27/2013 01:52:16 am
You know, that is an interesting way to look at erotica. It will also be interesting to see where it goes--will it grow larger or fade away. And I agree with you--true romance never dies.
Thanks for a lovely article. I stumbled upon it on Google search when I typed in: "why sweet romance doesn't sell." It is frustrating as a writer. I write sweet romance and I've even tried to write erotic romance but it would also make you chuckle. I prefer to read sweet romance too. Why read about sex when you would rather do it yourself, lol? And I think the sex scenes are very unrealistic. But people like them because it's a form of fantasy. I'm hoping that sweet romance will come back into fashion. A great publisher that only publishes sweet romance is Astraea Press: www.astraeapress.com
5/27/2013 01:54:48 am
The sex scenes are TOTALLY unrealistic and perhaps that's why people read them...to imagine something different. I don't know. I'm hoping sweet romance comes back as well :) Here's to hoping.
5/27/2013 02:24:54 am
I'm a firm believer in writing what you love instead of writing for the trends. Maybe that's easier to believe because I'm writing in a huge trend right now. But that won't always be the case. Trends come and go, but my passion for writing remains. My WIP is a paranormal romance, and according the everything I've heard, PNR is dead. Or undead? Anyway, write what you love. The market will come around eventually.
7/2/2013 02:36:40 am
It's probably considered a nitch market, but I find it interesting that Harlequin and another (the one Cassie Mae is publishing with) is coming up with a sweet line. I'm glad for it because I want a choice. My book isn't a "sweet" romance because there are pirates and people die, but it is a clean romance.
8/2/2013 03:03:06 pm
There is definitely a market for it! Astraea Press is nothing but sweet. We consider ourselves the Disney of the publishing world!
10/19/2013 03:57:51 pm
I totally agree that there is a place for sweet romance. I write sweet and much prefer to read sweet. So it may not sell as well but I write what I enjoy, otherwise what's the point. I am just not interested in where he puts his tongue or fingers or 'manhood'. Blerk, please! I want a good story, something that pulls me in and leaves me feeling good, not feeling uncomfortable. Unfortunately, you don't always know what you are getting when you buy a romance novel (unless it is clearly erotica and you can purposely stay clear). But there is a difference between romance and sex - give me romance any day!
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