The Fine Line Of Classifying Your Book


I’m having a real problem with my books.

Here’s the deal. I write books that have to be classified as “erotic” because they contain descriptive sex. That’s the way publishing platforms work and I get that. You don’t want some twelve year old picking up a book with detailed sexual content (though they can find that in fanfic all over the net anytime they want…so go figure).

At the same time, the advent of indie publishing opened the doors for a whole lot of people who write hardcore erotica, and quite a bit of it is just porn scenes with a plot haphazardly slapped around it. There’s also a lot of “outside the mainstream m/f romance model” stuff involving same sex couples, group scenes, BDSM, fetishes….the list is endless. And when you mix in fantasy/paranormal, you don’t even have to be having sex with people anymore.

My books, for the most part (there’s one exception but it’s not even that far out of the lines) involve one guy and one girl, and they like to have sex. I don’t use “purple” prose if I can help it. My women don’t have “secret deltas” between their legs and my men don’t have “straining manhood” ready to plunder it. I’m also not somebody who uses clinical terms, either. Nobody’s going to “manipulate a clitoris” in one of my novels. I think I’ve found a good line of describing what’s going on without sounding like a trashy historical novel or a sex ed class.

But here’s the problem: my books are looped in with all the hardcore erotica, and I think people either get lost on the way – meaning they’re looking exactly for my kind of story but wouldn’t look for it alongside stories about women getting mounted by werewolves or six-way orgy parties, or I’ve got people looking for werewolves and orgies who get really disappointed when my heroes aren’t already banging within that first 10% preview (and to be fair, Eight Nights At Sea does that!).

So how do I counter that? List them as mainstream romance? I’m giving that a try, but I worry that somebody’s going to be expecting vanilla and getting my cinnamon-spice-cayenne and get offended. (How you can be offended by two healthy adults engaging in consensual, sensual sex is beyond me, but whatever…)

It’s just…irksome. I wish they’d invent a new category called “Steam” or something.  Until then, I’ll just keep plugging along. (Excuse the pun).

In the meantime….Eight Nights At Sea is still a Kindle Countdown Deal through Tuesday! And they bang in the first 10% of the book!!

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