Fifty Shades of Nada

What I’ve noticed in my six months of working in a bookstore is that the buying trends at the store level essentially match the buying trends at the national level. The really popular books nationwide are also really popular at Half Price Books. There are a number of books that simply cannot be kept in stock because they’re consistently bought. But then there are other books that are consistently sold back to the store and not bought as much by the public. One of the series we see a lot of but that isn’t flying off the shelf happens to be written by EL James.

I see people buying Zane, Maya Banks, and other erotica authors; but not as much EL James as you might expect. I’m saying this knowing exactly how popular Grey was last year, but perhaps the series as a whole has lost just a little bit of steam. Perhaps.

Do you think the Fifty Shades is still as popular as it’s been before? I think it’s still popular, but maybe just a notch or two lower than before.

Another Trump Book

Ugh. Donald Trump isn’t fading in the most recent polls released. He’s actually widening the gap between himself and his GOP counterparts. So it isn’t surprising to see another book about Trump climbing up the bestseller charts on Amazon.

But this time it’s something we can laugh at. The book is written by a comedian. And it’s called Trump Temptation: The Billionaire and the Bell Boy. 😂 It’s already been rated 174 times on Amazon. And it’s ranked #365 in the Kindle store. I’m not sure it’ll be able to become a NYT bestseller, but it really doesn’t matter. If we’re forced to hear about Trump because of his standing in the polls, then I want more things like this.

Are you interested in some Trump erotica? I’m not. But it’s only $1.99 on Kindle. Ha!

YA Needs Threesomes. Wait, what?

I’ve just been reading about how authors and agents of YA are frequently including and asking for threesomes in their titles. I mean, I don’t write YA. I’m as near to certain as I can be that I never will. But, really?

My thing is that there’s this huge stigma associated with erotica, right? But then you put the same kind of thing in YA and it’s openly accepted. What, because kids are supposedly learning about their own sexuality during their teen years? I don’t understand. An article I just read had perspectives from authors and agents alike, and the responses were all quite similar. If the threesome works within the story, then include it.

I have no idea how detailed particular authors are in these scenes, but many aren’t leaving much to the imagination. Just the samples given were pretty in depth. Now I have no issue with sex in YA, or even with teens reading about sex in YA. But I think it’s a little hypocritical for so many to constantly bash erotica and then have those same people talking about adding threesomes into YA stories.

What do you think about this little trend? If it’s even reached that level.

 

Scribd’s Traditional Royalty System Proves Costly

Last week I wrote about how Amazon has changed the way royalties are paid out to authors when their books are borrowed from Kindle Unlimited or Kindle Owners’ Lending Library. They went from paying out a royalty when a reader read 10 percent of a particular book to paying out a royalty per page. I applauded the system because it’s more fair than the previous one. Now we’re given a prime example of what happens when you use a traditional royalty payment system for borrowed books.

Scribd does. They pay out a royalty for every book borrowed, regardless of how many pages are read. And it’s coming back to bite them in the you know what. They announced last week that they will be removing many romance and erotic titles basically because they can’t afford to keep paying the royalties. People are reading them too much and the $8.99 a month subscribers pay just isn’t going to cut it. So, titles are being removed from their catalog.

Now think about this. What if you subscribed to one of these services (Kindle Unlimited & Oyster being the other two) and your genre of preference is romance. And you’re reading along every month enjoying all these romance novels. And then the service decides to remove thousands of books that all happen to be in your favorite genre. Wouldn’t that be a little irritating? I think so. And it just goes to show that a traditional royalty system is not the answer to subscription based book services.

What do you think about Scribd having to remove romance titles because people are reading them too much?

Germany is Banning Books

Oh no, call the authorities!

This is something that sounds a little weird to me. Germany has just updated a law that makes it a crime to buy erotic-type eBooks during the day. Seriously.

So no Grey for you this week. I’m obviously not familiar with the law over there, but they might as well say that people can’t watch rated R movies during the day or (cover your eyes, little people) watch porn or anything they want. Who knows, maybe that’s already the case. I just think it’s a little ridiculous to force people to buy these types of eBooks between 10:00 at night and 6:00 in the morning. I haven’t seen anything about printed books, but maybe there’s some age restriction on these types of books over there? I have no idea. But I do know that anyone can walk into their local bookstore and buy any book they want to…in the US. Which is how it should be.

I’ve never read one of these books, but I think anyone who wants to should be able to. Without having to deal with this nonsense about buying them during the day.

What do you think about these sex-themed eBooks (I think that’s the official language used) only being sold at night? The next thing they’ll ban is sex during the day because your kid might walk in. *insert laughing emoji here*


On this day in 2014 I published The Wizarding World of Harry Potter.

 

Should Certain Books be Read by Certain Readers?

No. It’s a simple answer to a dumb question.

Imagine if Barnes and Noble (online) or Amazon asked you prior to checkout if you’re a man or woman. Or if you went to your local bookstore and they took one look at you and said the book you’re trying to buy is only to be bought by someone who looks different. It’s crazy talk. And you probably read this as if it’s somehow funny. It isn’t.

Remember that article (even though everyone knows it was clickbait) about adults reading YA? And the big fuss that arose from it? When someone says that any book should only be read by a specific reader, they are embracing the same stupidity present in that article. Imagine if Harry Potter could only be read by young boys. No girls. No men. No women. Or if The Hunger Games could only be read by teen girls. The list could go on and on.

Most genres have a target audience, but any popular book will transcend that audience and be read by just about any reader. So if a guy wants to read YA or erotica or any genre generally perceived as female, then who’s to tell him he shouldn’t? I’d make the same case for girls reading “male” genres, but I’m not sure which genres fall into that particular group.

What do you think?


On this day in 2014 I published A Literary Tattoo? I think Yes!.

 

Does Size REALLY Matter?

Hehe. Bet that title got your attention. But no, I’m not talking about sex. And I’m definitely not talking about male anatomy. I’ll leave that to the writers of erotica.

Anyway, I’m talking about books you filthy-minded people. We all have our own ways of deciding what to read next. I know I do. I have my TBR piggy that I’ve never once used. Which means that I usually just take a look at the last five books I’ve read, make sure I’m not reading the same author or series as any of those five, and pick a book. No special formula or anything.

BUT the length (size in the title of this post) does matter a little bit. The longest book I’ve ever read was 596 pages? I think. Which isn’t really too long. And I haven’t read any George R. R. Martin, even though I am somewhat interested in doing so. But his books are giant bricks, right? Eh. I just don’t feel like devoting such a long time to one book.

So yes, the length of the book matters to me. I like my books in the 300-450 page range. Not too long, not too short. What about you? Do you like your books longer? Average? Maybe a little on the short side? Ha. I really need to stop writing this now.


On this day in 2014 I published An Author’s Worst Enemy: Writer’s Block.