Promo by controversy. We’ve seen it before, and we’ll see it again. “Hey, I need some attention over here!” Everybody loves snark. And everybody’s a rubbernecker when it comes to a train wreck.
Guess what? You can take that too far. It’s very easy to cross that line from using controversy to generate a little traffic to being rude, insulting and obnoxious. Today’s example:
I suppose in a way, it worked. I’d never heard of her. Now I have. Am I tempted now to buy her book? Yes? So I can set it on fire in my driveway.
I’m starting to think erotica is the unsightly boil on the cheek of romance, and define “cheek” as you will. I’ve sampled from the erotic romance works of some quite successful new writers, and even though it’s taboo to criticize your fellow authors, I’m sorry–I just found most of them terrible. However, from the reviews posted, I’m the only one who has. Readers and reviewers alike rave of about these awful books. And they do sell.
So maybe it’s just me?
Well, if the reviewers and the readers are loving them, then yes. It’s just you.
Although I certainly could, I’m not talking about writing style (the stilted dialogue, trite phraseology, bad grammar), or about plot (clichÃ©s around every corner), or about characters (one-dimensional and uninspiring if not just plain revolting).
I’m sure your ability to transcend the erotic romance that the reviewers and readers enjoy so much is why I’ve never heard of you.
Couples get together because they turn each other on.
OMG! The horror!
Oh, and my favorite:
These sorts of books say, “You chose an erotica book, so obviously you don’t care about beautiful language, engaging characters, or absorbing plots. Just as long as you find dirty words at regular enough intervals, you won’t notice that nothing in this book is fresh or edifying.”
So its the same old hackneyed vampire, lycan, sex club, weekend orgy, sex slave, slave bride, alien/robotic sex toy thang. The names are changed but you will find the same C-words employed liberally if not creatively. To me this stuff is just verbal crack: if you have a fetish for the stuff it will turn you on, but there’s nothing nourishing to the mind, heart or soul to be found in it.
Maybe this is just me, but if I was trying to sell an e-pubbed erotic romance on-line, I don’t think I’d piss off the thousands of Ellora’s Cave fans who have made the company a publishing force to be reckoned with. You know, because those thousands have been known to buy a book or two.
I’m also upset because of guilt by association: I wonder how many readers have avoided investigating my stuff because I refer to it as “erotic romance.” I can certainly see, based on these books I’ve sampled, why a person would shun the entire genre. And on the flip side, I wonder how many times people have read excerpts from my books, and not finding the requisite C-words and other sordid conventions of erotica, abandoned my website in disappointment.
That’s called…a clue. Catch it!
Insulting one’s fellow writers is something that happens a lot, unfortunately. But being so colossally stupid as to grievously insult thousands of readers is probably never a wise decision.
Yes, people have heard of you now. And I know from the flurry of emails and posts flying around, it did more harm than good.
Oh, and be a woman. Take your comments publicly.