Tuesday, September 24, 2013

The more things change the more they stay the same


If I had to sum up my feelings about being a published author ‘d say—satisfying, enjoyable and…frustrating. The obstacles never seem to stop multiplying.
I have to say the world of publishing has changed drastically since I first put pen to paper to try to write. Yes, I did say “pen to Paper.” Long before computers made their debut there were many of us who, if we didn’t have typewriters, used notebooks and wrote our stories in longhand. (No wonder my handwriting is so bad now!) In those long ago days there were far fewer authors competing for every publishing slot and for the attention of readers.
Fast forward to today and you have an entirely different world, though just as frustrating. Maybe even more so. Today we have the exploding digital world that has created more opportunities than any of us in those bygone years ever thought possible. But sometimes I’, not sure if it’s made publishing easier or more difficult.
Writing a book is a labor of love, however long it takes you. You put so much into it emotionally and intellectually and when you write “The End” you feel a sense of accomplishment. But folks, that’s just the beginning. The really frustrating part of the journey is just beginning.
Submit to a publisher or self-pub? Which publisher? How long does it take to get an answer? And just as choosing a book to read is a subjective thing, for an editor accepting a manuscript is also subjective, so a big part of the search is finding the right editor to sub to.
And even then your journey is just beginning, and I’m not even thinking about edits and scheduling. The marketplace has expanded so much, there are so many more options for books to buy and so many more methods to buy them that finding your place in the sun can be very difficult.
One of my cohorts on this blog mentioned the frustration of a good book not selling. I think we all feel that, for ourselves and for others. Especially when you throw into the mix the genre that all of us on this blog write-erotica and erotic romance. For many many many years erotic books were whispered about behind closed doors and delivered in plain brown wrappers. Now, although erotica has become an established genre and there are many authors writing it, succeeding is still a challenge.
Why? Because although erotica is more widely accepted there are still people who won’t take the chance and dip their toes in the waters as readers. Then there is the problem with the elephant in the room, Amazon, who has taken it upon itself to censor book covers. And without even any guidelines. One book cover is salacious and another, almost identical, is acceptable.
Fanny Hill and The Story of O have been accepted as literature but today’s erotica is not. And why not? Sometimes I just want to grind my teeth or scream out loud. We—erotic authors—write really great stories about well-developed and appealing characters and their relationships yet it’s still a battle for acceptance.
I think the advent of ereaders has greatly expanded the market for erotica. More buys, more opportunities. But we’re still fighting for our share of the marketplace out there.
So if you’re reading this, take a minute to browse the digital book stores, check out the erotica category and find a book that interests you. You’d be surprised what treasures are out there just waiting for you.
And despite the ever increasing challenges, I wouldn't give up being an author storyteller—for anything

5 comments:

  1. So it's not just me who gets frustrated trying to get material out there in an effective fashion. If Desiree, perhaps the most experienced of us all is still learning this steep curve, what chance do the rest of us have? Just keep on keepin' on, I guess. The writing is so rewarding, but then the BS begins.

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  2. It is so frustrating, Des. I'm tired of being told I write porn. It's some much more than sex. There's real life issues, angst, self-discovery, loss, grief...and of course sex. lol

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  3. I'm afraid that many potential readers can't tell where to dip their toes in the rising tide of erotica, so they go first with freebies, and unless they've luckily chanced upon the good erotica sources like the ones where Jeremy and DaddyX offer their work, they find nothing but sludge on their feet and decide the whole pond is like that.

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  4. Nicely-put metaphor, Sacchi. I've learned to smile instead of getting defensive when people find out I write erotic romance and act like they've stepped in something smelly. They quickly say, "Who reads THAT stuff?" I tell them a whole lotta folks, because it's the biggest selling genre in eBooks. My MIL is always lecturing me about how I should write something she can read...like a history novel. I tell her she needs to expand her reading tastes...she might like it! I write what my mind dreams up, and my mind spends an inordinate amount of time dreaming up sex scenes. Always has.

    I read a lot of non-fiction, my current hot-button is cultural anthropology. I study human behavior. I know a lot of that makes it into my novels. So yes, there's naughty bits, but there's also interactions between people on the deepest level. It's not porn. And if Norman Mailer can be considered a literature writer (gag) then so can I.

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  5. such a heartfelt post, Desiree. personally i always say i'm a pornographer. i love telling people i write smut. i love the awkward silences etc. i like what Daddy X said, "the writing is so rewarding but then the BS begins." hell yeah. although personally i find writing a pain in the ass. if i didn't have to do it (personal need), i wouldn't. thanks for posting & sharing frustrations that we all feel too, Desiree. i think you've summed it up very well for the rest of us.

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