I’m probably not the only one confused by the term ‘erotic romance’ anymore. When I first started writing, I didn’t actually write erotic romance. Oh, I wrote pretty hot, but nothing compared to when I sold to Ellora’s Cave. Back then, it was pretty easy to distinguish between regular romance and erotic romance. These days, not so much. Let’s face it, New York publishing has been releasing hot material for over eight years now–thanks to the early ebook revolution. The ‘stigma’ is gone. But along with the stigma, what has also disappeared is a clear line between regular romance and erotic romance. You can go to just about any bookstore, pick up a random paperback, and there is no way of telling what the heat level will be.
As a writer, I’m finding it harder and harder to designate what my books are these days. I have books in the same series that wouldn’t necessarily go into the same category, if you were looking at ‘hotness’ alone. Which is why I’m truly curious what you all think. What in your minds constitutes an erotic romance book? Is it the graphicness of the love scene? Is it the language used? Is it the frequency of love scenes?
I remember after I wrote RED and it was released that I received a review where the reader was upset that the book only had one love scene. At the time that I wrote the book, I honestly couldn’t see fitting another one in that would make sense for the story. Shortly thereafter, I received a review where the reader was upset that I’d put a love scene in RED. They believed I should’ve waited until the very end of the series to do so. I know you cannot make everyone happy, but it’s tough when you’re getting polar opposite opinions.
Which brings me to the point of this post. I worry that I’m disappointing readers by accident or worse, that I’m missing my readership because I’ve mislabeled my books. Some books are easy to label (ie The Dark King). Others are far more difficult. Does it even matter if books are labeled any other way than by genre? (ie historical, paranormal, contemporary, etc.) I’m honestly confused about what I should do. How do you judge a book?