Is the “E” Hurting E Publishing?
Last week, we posted a super positive guest review for Bettie Sharpe’s Like a Thief in the Night, a novella from Samhain. Sharpe had the benefit of a solid audience from the serial that ran on Dionne Galace’s blog. I watched the My Bookstore and More top ten ratings and never once saw Like a Thief break the top 10. While Sharpe’s book featured plenty of steam, it didn’t have a menage. It wasn’t focused on the erotic aspects despite being very sensuous.
Of the books listed as bestsellers at Samhain, 2 of the top 3 feature threesomes or more. At All Romance eBooks, 7 of the top 10 also feature some form of multiple partner sex.
I admit that while there are many e-publishers out there, I mainly identify epublishing with erotic romance. Maybe it’s because of Ellora’s Cave’s success and public prominence. Maybe it’s because it seems like the most successful launch of careers from epublishing to NY publishing are the erotic romance authors (discounting MaryJanice Davidson).
In the past week, I’ve had a few conversations with readers and they, too, have this connection in their head. In some ways, this connection both helps and hurts. Want a steamy read at 11:00 pm? It’s easy to go straight online to an epublishing house bookstore (open 24 hours) and buy something to fit your interests. Interested in a urban fantasy book? I’m heading for Fictionwise to peruse the EOS (Kim Harrison), ACE/ROC (Ilona Andrews, Patricia Briggs), or SPECTRA (Kelley Armstrong) offerings.
Because I have this preconceived idea that epublishers specialize in erotic romance, I think I tend to believe that the other genres are second thoughts and therefore not worth my money. If Samhain advertised a book that they compared to those of Ilona Andrews, I think I would be skeptical. I know that they do erotic romance well, but urban fantasy?
It really doesn’t make objective sense, obviously. If the editors at Samhain can put out good erotic romance, why not good urban fantasy? Why not good straight contemporary? Or good romantic suspense?
As New York starts making inroads into the epublishing’s hold on the erotic romance sub genre, epublishing has to change and adapt, but if readers don’t start looking at the other offerings, the less common offerings, then what will happen to the epublishing industry?
Jayne is very good about finding ebook gems – ebooks featuring different settings and unusual periods. Me, though, I am in a rut. I guess the only way to get out of that rut, to break my preconceived notions, is to start buying and reading epublished books in categories other than erotic romance.
I’m curious, though, if other readers out there are making the same connection and have the same bias toward epublishing as it relates to romance fiction outside the erotic sub genre.