Tuesday, October 22, 2013

When is SEX Too Much Sex? ...and the need for support

There’s a recent article in the LA Times, Self-published e-books rife with illicit erotica survey finds by Hector Tobar, which claims “erotica is 25 times more prevalent in self-publishing than in traditional publishing”. Apparently this statistic is causing the larger online retail book outlets to reconsider the inclusion of these books on their sites. The article also cites a lack of content oversight of self-pubbed books  and low (zero?) reviews and ratings as a reason for booksellers to be wary.
I am not an erotic author, but I sure do enjoy a good HOT sex scene and have even employed several in my own novels. I write about Passion and Suspense,  my novels are published through a traditional small press publisher (a fantastic one by the way, Vanilla Heart Publishing), as an Indie author, my books have been consistently lumped in with self-published books. My personal opinion, this is NOT a bad comparison.
For years authors (and publishers) of self-published, small press and e-books have had to fight the stigma that our books are not quality, not entertaining, not worthy of big name publishers. Brick and mortar bookstores have rarely, if at all, dedicated shelf space to us; online retailers, IF they carry our books, don’t make it easy for readers to find our books while browsing; and several influential book critics refuse to include our books in their set of reviews. Yet, we’ve still managed to infiltrate the marketplace without conventional means of support. We are here and strong.
Another article, less recent, Sticks& Stones: The Changing Politics of the Self-Publishing Stigma by Terri Giuliano Long seems to be as much in support of self-pubbed and Indie authors as Tobar’s is in questioning our true value.  Long’s article says, “Naomi Blackburn, founder of the Sisterhood of the Traveling Book, a 400-member Goodreads book club, believes self-publishing has opened the door for new voices and given readers a far greater selection.” Long suggests that there are those in conglomerate(a.k.a. Big Six) publishing who are trying to cast blame on Indie/self-published competition for ups and downs in the industry.
There are several well-known, successful authors who have self-published at some point including: T.S. Elliot, Ernest Hemingway, Upton Sinclair, Henry David Thoreau, Edgar Allen Poe, Stephen King, Anais Nin, George Bernard Shaw, Margaret Atwood,  and many more. A few of the now very successful and respected books that were not originally deemed suitable for publication by major press were Carrie by Stephen King, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J.K. Rowling, Animal Farm by George Orwell, and A Time to Kill by John Grisham. Amazing industry hype brought enormous success to Fifty Shades of Grey by E.L. James. And well known Jackie Collins re-released an updated version of The Bitch AND self-published it as well, the book received amazing reviews and references such as “Another Trashy Novel by the Queen of Trash”.
While there are of course a FEW authors who do not thoroughly edit their work before publication, and erotic authors are trying to break into a (formerly) prudish conventional industry, these excuses for the lack of support for the talent of Indie authors seem to be a cover-up. Perhaps to minimize the competition?
Indie authors need to support each other to help pave way to a greater acceptance, better sales, and pride. If a book is entertaining and reasonably priced, most e-books certainly are, then it will be bought by readers IF IT IS KNOWN. Just like our readers and fans, not everyone is going to enjoy every genre, but if we read a good book, hear good reviews by others, and know of a new author’s sincerity and talent, then we owe it to ourselves and our own success to help promote our fellow Indie authors by word of mouth, social networking, guest blogs, and posting our own good reviews.
Let’s create our own hype, raise our voices and begin our own Indie Authors Movement.

(If you agree, please share this article and start the noise)

Courage of the Heart
by Chelle Cordero

 He trailed kisses down her neck while he let his hands explore the recesses of her body. Davie shuddered when he found the warmth between her thighs with his fingers.
"Am I hurting you?" He was concerned. Even though he had made it a habit not to get involved with any of his partners, she had made him pause. There was something special about this girl; there was something about her that had stayed in his mind ever since their first meeting.
"No…oh, Adam, that feels so good." Davie kissed him back as she felt her response spiraling toward the unknown. "Adam…Adam…" Her breath caught.
"What Sweetheart?" It was easy to see how excited she had become and it felt good to know that he had that effect on her.
"Adam…" She felt very timid. "I've never felt like this before."
"I'm glad." He thought of how good it was going to feel when he entered her. "I'm so very glad."
"Adam…teach me…"
He mated their lips and wrestled his tongue with hers. "What do you want me to teach you?" He smiled against her neck.
"Teach me how to…ooh…" She arched her back and pressed herself into his palm. "How to make it good for you."
Oh lord, so sweet, he thought as he took a delicate nub into his mouth. "How could it not be good for me? You are so beautiful…"
Davie felt another shudder run through her. "But, I don't know…Adam, I," She inhaled sharply as she felt his fingers probing inside her. "Adam…I've never…"
For the first time, Adam remained motionless. "Never…what?"
"I've…never been with a man before." She sensed his withdrawal before he actually pulled away.
Adam's brow was furrowed, "What are you saying, Davie?"
The icy chill that Davie felt left her feeling embarrassed to be lying naked in bed with this man. She pulled the bedsheet over her exposed breasts. "I've never been with a man…before"
He sat upright in bed seemingly unaware that he was just as naked as she was. "Are you telling me that you're a virgin?"
Davie sat up clutching the bed linens tightly to her body. "Yes."
"Damnation!" Adam got up from the bed angrily. "You couldn't have told me that before?"
Her eyes welled with tears. "I didn't know we were going to wind up in your bed…"
They had gone out to dinner, again, and a walk in the park. His kisses turned into an invitation back to his apartment. She wasn't na├»ve, she knew that they might…get closer, but she was so spellbound by him…
"Dammit Davie! I have never taken a virgin before and I certainly don't intend to start with you!"
She watched incredulously as he pulled a pair of jeans on. "I'm sorry…I…" Suddenly Davie felt angry. " If you thought that I thought it was going to be some kind of commitment, you don't need to worry. I got carried away…don't worry, it won't happen again." She stood taking the bed-sheet with her to cover herself. "If you don't mind giving me some privacy, I'll get dressed."
Her anger made him feel contrite and he responded in much gentler tones. "I'll take you home as soon as you're ready."
"Don't bother! I'll manage on my own." She stared at the bedroom door pointedly, but he didn't budge. "Fine!" Davie dropped the linen to the floor and picked up her clothing.
Earlier, Adam's body had felt as cold as if he had been blasted with icy water, but as he got another glimpse of her astonishingly beautiful naked body again, he was happy he had donned his pants to hide his reaction.
"I…I'm sorry", he turned his back to her. "I…I just can't be…the first…"
            "I'm sorry…" He left the room. 

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