Friday, August 31, 2012


Whoopee! On page 11 of a recent Newsweek,-I read this:

“With more than 20 million copies sold in four months in the U.S., the erotic Fifty Shades trilogy seems to be giving mouth-to-mouth, to the barely breathing book industry–and slipping in some tongue for good measure. A self published book was picked up by Berkley Books, marketed as a Fifty Shades clone, with a similar book jacket -- a pair of cufflinks on the jacket with 'He possessed me and obsessed me.'"

Yowie! The article goes on to reveal how this is happening throughout the book industry – big-name publishers are grabbing up books – romances with sexy, erotic plots that suggest Shades of Grey like themes – they’re buying, re-packaging and marketing them.

Wow! My six e-books, six “romances” -- “There’s HOPE!” – that’s what I was mile-a-minute thinking while weighing my success/failure potential -- they’re not prurient, hot erotica, but there’s great sex in my books -- my leading ladies are heroines whom readers can love and emulate and ... and ...

And putting down the magazine, hope grew, grew, grew -- hey with six sexy books on Amazon -- in all the stores, sites, places that sell ebooks -- some publisher’s going to see them, read them, grab them!

Chanting my titles – Rose, Karen, Heart City, Splintered -- certain they could be touted and marketed, I celebrated publishers are buying again! If you’re writer, that your book could be chosen transformed into a best seller, gets you tra-la-dancing, tripping the light fantastic.

Hey, Shades of Grey -- the scenes, the characters -- every page I read was ... gee ... not grabby -- on and on it went, evoking nothing except my writer’s mind saying gee ... this is sort of dumb.

While writer Em is singing and dancing, her mind -- my face facts mind -- kaboom -- wakes up.

My books have sex scenes, but they don’t do what Shades of Grey does. In Three miles East of Rose, my hero and heroine fall in love thinking about sex, wanting it, needing it, but on the verge of doing it, don't get together because morality and family commitments make it a wrong thing to do -- it’s a suspenseful, sexy story that gets you turning the pages, but EL James’ book has you, the heroine, being seduced, mounted, pounded and churned sexually -- very specifically -- very wetly, hotly..

Realty hits. Facts like bricks pile up -- umpteen agents tried to sell my books -- umpteen agent got umpteen rejections -- how to get Rose, Heart, Splintered, Karen, Ivy, Cordelia to the eager publishers -- all were sent out umpteen years ago -- not grabbed.

I have to say what I’ve said before. to comfort myself. “There’s a tide in the affairs of men. Which, taken at the flood, leads on to fortune. Omitted, all the voyage of their life, Is bound in shallows and in miseries.”

I find myself repeating Emily Dickinson’s poem ....
"Hope" is the thing with feathers—
That perches in the soul—
And sings the tune without the words—
And never stops—at all—"

I quote Aristotle. “Hope is a waking dream.”

Waked, brick wall in front of me, I pick up a feather. And with it, as my pen, I scrawl H O P E, and having writ it, blink, close my eyes, open my eyes.

I see a new horizon. I feel okay. I feel what Cicero said. “While there's life, there's hope.”


Carola said...

Have you ever looked into the "Kindle Daily Deal"? It is a free subscription service that offers by email a special deal on a Kindle book (e.g. $1.99). I subscribe to it. The customer decides whether or not to buy, but it's prominent marketing. Although occasionally they feature best-selling authors, I haven't heard of most of the authors. I have no idea how Amazon decides whom to feature.

Anonymous said...

wONDERFUL AND HOPEFUL BLOG! I love your cartoon drawing Em. Yes, sounds like there is
hope again for your books to get published. And maybe mine someday too. Interesting how the boook business changes each year because of a hot book that gets published from someone who is not known. hang in there and yours will become known too. I love your books and their stories! kam

Jess S-C said...

Awesome! What a fantastic post and it hits the nail right on the head! No double meaning intended there by the way! If it helps in any way at all, the kind of encounters you talk of in your own books are the kind that do it for me. I like build up, suspense and I like to be kept waiting. I found the sex in Fifty Shades to be repetitive, clinical and not particularly hot, if I'm honest!

So, what do we do? I've considered this question quite a bit recently and wondered; do I hot up the scenes in my work, manipulate it to take into account of this new opening in the market? Do I create something new just for this purpose? Or, do I let it pass and stay out of it? I know I won't change my current work but I am working on something that might get me noticed for all the wrong reasons in the hope that it might then get me noticed for all the right reasons! Ha ha, who knows. I may just chicken out! I probably will chicken out!

Thanks for sharing this lovely post. I really enjoyed reading it and I shall be passing it on, as I am sure many others will too.

All the very best,


Unknown said...

Your writing is fantastic, even in blog form. I can't believe I read a whole blog without getting bored. TY!

Anonymous said...

I agree with your HOPE, I agree with after reading books and the first one was fifty shades of nay. You made a point. I thought the book was no better then all of those books I read from friends on twitter or books on amazon of people I never knew. Yes there is still HOPE and I appreciate the hope and life I still have and I have for all of us. HOPE/ LIFE keep on going and never give up on HOPE>

Anonymous said...

There'll probably be a rash of books coming up with prurient sex. I read Fanny Hill when I was young, and that was pretty heady.
So dripping hot erotica is now popular?
Why then, are so many erotic authors on twitter saying they can't get published?
There was a problem with paypal a few months ago. The good people there decided it was their moral obligation to not allow the sale of erotic books to go through their facility. It prevented a lot of sales beforr they backed down.
So is this recent feeding frenzy over Shades of Gray a backlash against sexual morality?
I don't know.
Are people more interested in reading about sex than actually participting?
There does seem to be a problem with people finding acceptable mates these days.
In any event, I imagine Fifty Shades of Gray is a fad, a flash in the pan, what they call 'bottled lightning' these days.
By the time everybody gets their clone written, the next new miracle book will have changed the game.
You can't time the market.
Enjoy your life.

Louise Sorensen
louise3anne twitter

Anonymous said...

Hi EveryOne.
I just wanted to clarify that my comments, you can't time the market, and enjoy your life was a generalization, not meant for Em, alone.
Em comes up with the questions everyone is thinking about. That's why the discussions are so lively.
A lot of writers are perplexed by the success of Shades of Gray and others of that ilk, so that is where my comments were aimed.
: )
Louise Sorensen
louise3anne twitter

Gus Write said...

There's hope for you yet Em: Alla, 'Shades of Rose Tinted Sex'; 'Shades of Heart(felt) Sex'. Ah, you get the point Em dearie, 'SEX' sells. :)!

Maureen Jacobs said...

Ms. Em, your writing is perfectly mixed with a hint of erotica without being blatant. It exudes passion without being obscene. It also gives the reader, at least this reader, a smile, a giggle, and most of all an enjoyable movie playing in my head.

Perhaps I will eventually jump on the 50 shades bandwagon, but for now, I will stick to my traditional story of life and love with no handcuffs or whips.