If you hold the lucky ticket, you can now consider me your new bestest pal in the whole wide world, so, yeah for sure, give me a call!
And hey, don’t worry: I won’t ask for a loan.
I won’t turn down a weekly stipend, either. I mean, what are friends for?
Another kind of lottery took place this week, and no, I didn’t win that one, either. E.L. James, author of the best-selling originally self-published erotica book, 50 Shades of Grey, just signed a multi-million-dollar film deal for the book franchise (the series will be a trilogy) after being wooed by ten movie studios.
I tip my hat to the author on her successes, which also include a seven-figure book deal with Vintage.
I’m glad to hear (from Karin Tabke, one of the severest critics I know) that the book merits its raves, so I’ll take her word for it. (If not, I’d be afraid that she’d take a cat-o-nine-tails to me. I swear, ’cause that gal knows what hurts–on the page, anyway.)
In the profession of writing, where authors encounter many valleys and a just a few peaks, I’d say Ms. James has reached quite a pinnacle. Like J.K. Rowling, Jackie Collins, Stephen King, Danielle Steel, John Le Carre, Ken Follett, Nora Roberts, Lisa Gardner, and Kristin Hannah (to name few), she will soon be among the 1% of novelists who not only have made the New York Times Bestsellers list, but have also seen their works translated into film.
Indubitably you’ll find great sex in Ms. Collins’ steamy glam lit, as well as Ms. Steel’s socialites-behaving-badly tomes and Ms. Roberts’ unforgettable romances. But none of these can be classified as “erotica,” let alone “erotic romance.” So kudos to Ms. James for moving the genre of erotica out of bedroom and into the boardroom.
I use the term “boardroom” because I’ve no doubt that erotica be the new publishing gold rush–and that’s okay by me. Hey, anything that takes any and all women’s fiction out of publishing’s pink ghetto of small advances/throw-it-on-the-shelf/get it no bookseller co-op or promotion is fine by me.
In a survey of 1,371 romance readers released this year by the Romance Writers of America–the trade organization which nurtures the profession of romance writing–erotic romance was a popular choice of 20% of all romance readers. If RWA does the same survey in two years, my guess is that this subgenre’s popularity among respondents will have doubled.
Today, if you put in the term “erotic romance” in Amazon.com’s search bar, you’ll see that the site is selling 4,963 paperback books under that genre, another 337 in hard cover, and a whopping 10,964 as- digital eBooks.
As for the search term “erotica,” 19,081 paperbacks pop up (pardon my pun), along with 2,216 hard cover books, and almost 50,000 hot and spicy digital eBooks.
Sounds like a helluva lot of hanky-panky, doesn’t it?
I’m guessing these numbers will grow by double digits as well.
I have many friends who write erotica. This isn’t just a high-five for E.L. James, but a thumbs-up for them as well. Why? Because in the eyes of readers and booksellers, the publicity surrounding the book will reignite this subgenre of romance.
The published books they’ve written may now get a second look from readers who were turned on (literally) by Ms. James’ book. And no doubt they and their agents will be fielding calls from editors who never before acquired erotica (let alone erotic romance) but have fallen in love with their backlist, and want to publish their next hot-and-bothered books.
And yes, I’d be the first to applaud them, if that happens. As a professional writer, I can’t afford to be jealous of others’ successes. It’s a waste of my time and energy–which is better spent writing my own stories.
Besides, it’s just bad karma —
Which, in this case, is doe-eyed heroine: naked, submissive, and wearing four-inch stilettos.
Color me blush pink,
Hey, and since it turns out that K-Tab didn’t win the Mega Millions either, if you do comment I’ll enter you for a chance to win a copy of my dollface gal pal Karin Tabke’s soon-to-be-released novel, BLOODRIGHT, Book #2 of the BLOOD MOON Trilogy! (I’ve linked to her red hot excerpt, so enjoy!)
5 BONUS POINTS for reading this excerpt from my novel, THE HOUSEWIFE ASSASSIN’S HANDBOOK, and emailing me at MailFromJosie@gmail.com, with the answer to this question:
What does the skinhead take as a trophy?