Thursday, January 13, 2011

Erotic books dominating the epub industry

With my internet going crazy, I decided to go to the library to check my books. The lady behind me said, "Nice book covers, huh?" I said thank you. She looked so surprised to know that I wrote the books. LOL We got to talking and showed her my publisher eXtasy Books, Red Rose Publishing, and Cobblestone Press. Her comment was, "Wow, lots of erotic books." I told her there are different genres available in those publishers and not only erotic books. Again, her comment was, "Yes, different genres, but looks like erotic books are the big seller."

Is she right? Are epubs selling more erotic books than a traditional romance books? Is this the reason why there are so many new epubs popping nowadays? Everyday, I get emails from different yahoo groups I belong to and most posts are about hot m/f, f/f, threesome, bdsm, m/f but steamy hot with an open door sex. So could the lady be right? Can you say that epubs are surviving because of the erotic books? Are there epubs out there that are selling more sensual contemporary or mainstream?

What do you think?

Tierney O'Malley


Author Mary C said...

I'd have to say that erotic books are the big sellers. The fact that they can be bought with discretion and kept on a laptop or kindle is an attractive seller.

A reader can enjoy erotic romances in private, allowing them to explore more risque topics.

I personally love it!


Anonymous said...

I would agree that sales for erotic books would probably be or become higher electronically than off the shelf. People can be reluctant to pick up particular types of books (m/m, ménage, BDSM, etc.) in a bookstore when they have such sexy and suggestive covers. They may not want to be seen looking at it for fear of what others may assume about them. Historically, women have been the romance readers, but who knows, now that there's electronic books, men may be buying and reading more in this genre as well. Which would be great for all of us writers, including myself, who enjoy writing erotic stories.

By the way, just discovered this site today (heard about this blog topic on the SavvyAuthors Yahoo group) and I love the layout and appearance of the site.

Kelly Borgen

Anonymous said...

Oops, I actually heard about a different blog topic here through the SavvyAuthors yahoo group about the epub industry and then after I read that blog post, I found this one because I couldn't stop browsing the site! :)

Kelly Borgen

Tierney O'Malley said...

Hi Mary,

Thank you for stopping by. I write erotic romance books and love it. True. With the kindle and Ipad and all the gadgets out there, people can check out hot books in the privacy of their homes.

By the way, I told the lady that my books are hot. Perhaps not her cup of tea. And I joked that erotic books could help improve couples dull sex routines. I blushed. She blushed and left. LOL

Tierney O'Malley said...

Hi Kelly,

I heard that more men are buying erotic books now. Perhaps it has to do with the what Mary C said. People can buy hot books now with an equally hot covers using computers and nobody would know about it.

I'll check out SavvyAuthors yahoo group.

Thank you for stopping by.

She said...

There are a lot of erotic romances out in e-form. I think it's more because brick and mortar stores do not carry many of these books because they have to cater to many tastes, not just the tastes of readers of specific genres. They often have children and teens in the stores and do not want to have problems with children and teens looking at books that are not for them. Too many people will complain about the books and community standards. Unfortunately too many people will censor what others read.

Tierney O'Malley said...

Hi She,

Well said. i have young girls and I wouldn't want them browsing through erotic books at the bookstores, which I think would really happen if the said books are available. However, I've seen paranormal books (this genre dominates the shelves by the door for everyone to see.) at the library that I know are erotic. Since the covers are not suggestive and the books fell under the paranormal category they are available for the patrons to check out.

BrennaLyons said...

If you track the sales figures on the sites that let you over time, you'll find that ebooks are fairly well split between erotic romance and other genres, including fantasy, science fiction, mystery, romance, horror, mainstream...

Now, talking to people that write both straight genre work and cross-genre erotic romance work, it seems that erom sells a lot right after release and then diminishing returns, until the next book comes out and causes a new spike. Straight genre SF/F/H work sells at a lower level but more consistently, over a longer period of time and still spikes with the release of a new book.

Looking at sales numbers, and harkening back to ARe's/OmniLit's year in review...remember that ARe sells almost exclusively romance and erotic romance...but OmniLit side sells a wide range of other genres of fiction and nonfiction.

97% of sales come from books that are 3 flames or higher...erom range for romance but also violent/language/content range of adult for non-romance books. BUT there is a decided shift of sales from 5 flames down to 4 flames. Does that happen because less books have been loaded for sale at 5...or because more people are purchasing the 4s? I don't have an answer to that.

Directly from the report...

"In terms of which romance sub-genres owned the biggest piece of the pie in 2010, the top 10 are Erotica, Gay Fiction, Vampires/Werewolves, Paranormal, Contemporary, Shapeshifter, Sci-fi/Fantasy, BDSM, Multiple Partners, and Interracial.

"The most popular non-romance categories include General Fiction, Family and Relationships, Fantasy, Mystery, Sci-Fi & Fantasy, Thriller, Young Adult, Sci-Fi, Historical, and Non-Fiction.

"NOTE: We realize that many books cross multiple sub-genres. We base our statistics on the category the reader selected prior to the purchase point. If it’s a M/M, Contemporary, Paranormal and they clicked on Contemporary prior to the purchase, then the sale goes to Contemporary."

Personally, I write a full range. I can tell you that my erom (even the vanilla 2-3 flame stuff) sells better than my PG-13 safe romance. I can tell you that my erom sells better than my straight genre work, but my romance work sells about even with my straight genre. I can also tell you that my vampires, aliens, and ESPECIALLY my single gay title sell best of all. Personal experience here.


Barbara Elsborg said...

The real irony is, that although the erotic books have the racier covers, the content of the so called straight romances - are in many cases just as sexy! They might not have as much sex as the erotic books but what they have is written in the same graphic detail.
In the UK, there are very few bookstores that stock erotic romances in any number - compared to the US. The UK shop I'm thinking of has the erotic ones high up so kids theoretically can't see them. But what can you see on a spine anyway? I don't see that as the problem. It's attitude of the bookshops coupled with low demand for erotic romance in print.

Tierney O said...

Hi Brenna,

Thank you for stopping by and for the wonderful information. I truly enjoyed reading it. So cool!

Tierney O'Malley said...

I was typing my last name when the screen turned black. When it came back the comment was sent. Weird.

Thanks again Brenna. Great to know sales experience from another author's perspective.

MK Mancos/Kathleen Scott/Kate Davison said...

My highest seller to date was a book that is listed as erotic, but actually wasn't. It's more as if you're watching the two small love scenes from the corner of your eye rather than full on. It's also a fun and quirky love story. Perhaps I do fun and quirky better. Hahhaha... It's interesting to go to forums like Amazon and read comments from posters on romance related topics to get a feel for the spectrum of readers out there.

I think erotic(a) might sell better in ebooks, but I think it's only a matter of time before the other genres and sub-genres catch up. As more people switch to ereaders (regardless of the model) they'll begin to purchase their books in eformat rather than paper or hardback. - At least that's my prediction.

Jang said...

I think covers and e-readers hiding those covers is a huge part of it, but I also think there's something about a physical copy... when you buy an erotic books for e-readers, it's just 1's and 0's, but if you buy the book itself, you have to have a place for it, and there's only so much room in the drawer next to the bed I think porn is like this too... plenty of men had porn before the internet, but it exploded to the point where it accounts for 1 in 5 clicks once it was made digital.

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