Wow… two blog posts on two consecutive days! That must be some kind of record for me. I was scrolling though Facebook today (surprise, surprise!) and I noticed that a publisher had put up a link to an excerpt of a book that I personally find a little questionable. Yes, I write erotic romance and my stuff is pretty darn racy, but I like to think I manage to maintain some class with what I write. Given what I know of this publisher, they’re pretty well known and in my opinion, have always been a class act. That’s why I really had a difficult time with this particular book that they’re putting out. The book in question (and keep in mind that I have not read this book and probably won’t) seems to advocate some unsavory behaviors. Trust me when I tell you that I have a pretty narrow definition of “unsavory.” Mind you, the book isn’t rape fantasy or daddy-daughter porn or anything like that. But I do feel that it paints a pretty yucky picture of women, which in this new age of degradation (i.e.– Supreme Court regulating birth control, rape jokes and Justin Beiber) is pretty unsavory. The publisher in question has always been about empowering women. But, how is it empowering to show women– particularly young women– that it’s okay to have promiscuous sex and sell it to get what you want? Their other titles feature heroines that are smart and sexually liberated, however that doesn’t mean that they’re sexually irresponsible or opportunistic. Again, let me remind you that I have NOT read this book, only that I’ve heard a bit about the plot.
So my next question is, why would a publishing house that has made such great strides in bringing erotic romance to the forefront suddenly decide that trash fiction is their next big thing? I can only conclude that they’re trying to drive sales. With so many other publishing houses producing steamier romance in the wake of Fifty Shades of Gray, sales on specialty houses have dipped. In other words, they used to be the only game in town and now they have competition. So they’re responding by using sensationalism and “celebrity” to sell books. I use the word “celebrity” very loosely. After all, we live in an age where “you tube personality” is a job title. I wish I were kidding. The publisher thinks that by slapping a “celebrity” name on the book that it will be a feather in their cap that will drive up their sales. Here’s the catch: anyone buying this particular type of book is not going to buy the book. They’re going to steal the book (illegal downloads, etc). And they aren’t going to steal it to say “oh what a great book,” they’re going to steal it to say “you will not believe this shit!” I fear that this publisher, who has had a good name in the publishing industry and with a base of rabid readers, is about to be very unpleasantly surprised.
The other thing that peeves me about this is the way in which it’s being promoted. This link on Facebook was to an article on cosmopolitan.com. Cosmo-fucking-politan. I also heard about this book on a nationally syndicated radio broadcast. Have any of this publisher’s other authors been featured in Cosmo or on the radio? Have any of this publisher’s other authors been offered the level of promotion that this author has been? Most likely, no. I would imagine that the other authors are being treated as second class citizens in comparison. The other authors that have devoted so much time and energy producing quality work for this publisher are now being shoved aside for a flash in the pan who, by all reports, can barely string a sentence together. I predict that these authors will be looking for a new home soon. Is it a coincidence that Samhain has just announced that they’re revamping and expanding their press?
The universe is rarely so lazy.