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Thursday News: Someone discovers porn on Amazon and is surprised; Goodreads...

Wendell is less certain that fans of Fifty will enjoy other romance narratives, stating “I don’t think every 50 fan will find romance and think, ‘YES! This is what I wanted!’” Rather than mining the backlists of established authors, Wendell sees Fifty Shades changing the publishing industry and the types of stories that are published. She points to the sheer number of romance book covers that look eerily similar to the cover of Fifty Shades, the increasing use of deep first-person narratives and the popularity of a new genre, called “New Adult,” that features young 20-something female protagonists who are often unsure of themselves and enter into intense sexual and emotional relationships. Unsurprisingly, many (though certainly not all) New Adult titles began as Twilight fan fiction, too. Trout seems the same trends, but is less optimistic, writing “I think a lot of authors had that hope at the beginning of the craze. ‘Okay, this book has its problems, but now the readers will move on to other books in the erotic romance genre and they’ll realize what they were missing.’ Instead, what seems to be happening is this really horrible effect of even more anti-feminist, abusive and grossly misinformed kink fanfic flooding the market.” It’s an interesting piece that covers a lot of different ground. Infinite Earths

On Amazon you do not need to have an ISBN and in fact, it is almost encouraged by Amazon to simply use their own IDs for even Createspace (print) versions of the books. I think you actually have to pay more if you want to use your own ISBN purchased from Bowker. Given that Amazon represents a huge portion of self published digital books, Bowkers’ numbers are interesting but not terribly reliable. Publishers Weekly

Many users never even used the synch feature, preferring to simply use the export/import feature of the respective sites. This notice comes on the heels of emails Goodreads sent to some 21 users whose content had been deleted promising to return the content but that readers must never, ever repost it on Goodreads. I’m not sure what is going on over at Goodreads, but it sounds like a mess right now. BookLikes

Some of these authors have tried to repackage their porn in the form of barely legal New Adult work because they are hoping to both a) catch on the trend wave and b) avoid some of Amazon’s attempts to hide them. In other words, Amazon has no problem making money off of porn so long as no one knows about it. Amazon has put the ban hammer down on covers that are too explicit and titles like “my step-father wants to poke me in the bottom as punishment” have to be reworked into “my older neighbor metes out discipline.”

Amazon has strict guidelines for amateur authors who wish to self-publish with the Kindle Direct Publishing service. “We don’t accept pornography or offensive depictions of graphic sexual acts,” say the guidelines. “What we deem offensive is probably about what you would expect.” Jeremy Wilson – The Kernel

Jane Litte is the founder of Dear Author, a lawyer, and a lover of pencil skirts. She spends her downtime reading romances and writing about them. Her TBR pile is much larger than the one shown in the picture and not as pretty. You can reach Jane by email at jane @ dearauthor dot com

9 Comments

  1. Helen
    Oct 10, 2013 @ 06:29:00

    I wonder what David Gilmour thinks about the Nobel Prize winner?

  2. CG
    Oct 10, 2013 @ 07:06:04

    @Helen: Ha!

  3. Juliana Stone
    Oct 10, 2013 @ 07:31:48

    Interesting about the fifty shades. I agree with you Jane, based on what has happened with a lot of my friends. They ALL read fifty shades and since most of them weren’t everyday readers (or if they were they read women’s fiction or the book du jour), it was totally because ‘everyone else is reading it’ and it was the cool thing to do. BUT, I have to say that a large majority of those girls are now reading romance and we talk books all the time. I’ve directed a lot of them to this site and others so they can find new reads. I love it and as far as I’m concerned, it’s all because of FSOG.

  4. Lynnd
    Oct 10, 2013 @ 07:41:11

    @Helen: I am so happy that Alice Munroe won the Nobel for literature. Hopefully Gilmour will slither away into the obscurity he deserves.

  5. Estara Swanberg
    Oct 10, 2013 @ 07:47:23

    re: the Goodreads deletions – I thought this data comparison article about the actual authors and most of the reviewers involved and the kind of reviews they were was quite fascinating.

  6. Jackie Barbosa
    Oct 10, 2013 @ 09:42:24

    It’s not just Amazon that doesn’t require ISBNs; none of the major retailers do since Apple dropped the demand over a year ago. The only ebook retailer that still holds out for ISBNs is Sony, and since you can really only get through them to a third party distributor like Smashwords, many self-publishers don’t bother.

  7. Evangeline
    Oct 10, 2013 @ 13:27:35

    I don’t think the output of romance novels in this post-FSoG world are “worse.” What has happened is that neophyte romance readers (and writers) are still in the honeymoon stage of their consumption and output, and self-publishing has enabled them to immediately feed their starry-eyed infatuation with romance novels/romantic stories. Members of Romancelandia walk the existing path within the genre (e.g. joining RWA, being passed your mother’s Harlequins, congregating at All About Romance or veteran romance blogs, multiple books under the bed before finally getting The Call, relying upon brand name imprint to curate reading choices [Harlequin, Avon, Zebra], etc). The question to ponder is whether these paths will eventually converge, or if the genre will be pulled in two different directions, particularly as more and more Young Adult readers are entering the genre through New Adult or through an e-publisher like Entangled, whose demographics skew very young. Also, these Nouveau Romance novels are packaged by self-publishers and Big 5 publishers alike as “mainstream fiction”–the trend in book covers sparked by FSoG and New Adult romance might be shades (no pun intended) of things to come.

  8. Susan
    Oct 10, 2013 @ 16:23:19

    Really enjoyed Meredith Guthrie’s article. The people I know who read 50SOG were casual/indifferent readers before taking up the book, and that changed little afterwards. They didn’t start reading more books, romance or otherwise. Sadly.

    This is off the subject (as it often is with me), but the rise in self-pub has gotten me thinking recently that I wish Amazon would do for music what it’s done for books. I’d love for there to be a central, easily-accessible place to digitally access music from small indie artists–or bigger names who’ve been dropped by their labels. Maybe it’s not viable, but I’m just thinkin’. . .

  9. leslie
    Oct 10, 2013 @ 18:00:42

    @Helen: Too Funny! I immediately thought about Gilmour’s comment on Canadian women authors this morning when I saw that Munro had won the Nobel. Yeah Alice Munro!

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