Contest: Erotic or Just Hot?

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Hey, all you Great Scotts readers! I’m struggling with a question in my current MS (manuscript, for the non-publishing world), and could use your help. From all the comments on this post, I’ll choose one random person who’ll win a $15 gift certificate to either Amazon or Borders, winner’s choice.

So, what are the rules, you ask? I just need your opinion! I’m going back and forth with my MS as to whether to keep it erotic or lower the explicitness to hot. There are many, many reasons I’m having this conundrum, but regardless of the reasons, I’d like to see your opinion on the two.

1. What is the percentage of books from NY (I only stipulate this because that’s what I’m targeting) you buy that are erotic? Hot romances? Sweet romances?

2. I hear that some readers are embarrassed to buy an erotic romance from the store. Do the covers of erotic romances turn you away (again, not talking Changeling here, think NY), or do you just love the sexy bodies on many of the covers?

3. Do you, after reading erotic romances, find yourself bored with general romance?

4. Do you flip back and forth between erotic and general romances without a problem?

5. Have you NEVER read an erotic romance and never plan to? Any reason why?

6. Any other thoughts about the two that I haven’t asked?

So, for your chance to win a $15 GC to either Amazon or Borders, post your opinions! Winner will be chosen next Friday, September 28.

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10 Responses to “Contest: Erotic or Just Hot?”

  1. Sarah McCarty Says:

    No need to put me in the contest. I’ll chat for free. *G* FWIW, I actually, never state a heat factor when submitting. I simply present the story line and state the book’s word count but add the caveat the editor will have to add 30K if the editor wants it erotic. The heat level is immaterial to the story, but to make it erotic, I will have to add word count so I do fee that is important to mention. Of course, if your book is opening with a sex scene and is not erotic you might want to mention that as it could lead to a false assumption. By the same caveat, if you intend for the book to fall into one of the erotica lines and there is no love scene in the first three chapters you might want to mention it is erotic. Or not. I never have any love scenes until the characters and the story line are developed, so maybe that’s not necessary

    I am, however, all for letting the editor decide where they need the book and then adjusting the heat accordingly.

    Sarah

  2. catslady Says:

    To be honest I’m not into the erotica line. I’m not against sex scenes but prefer it not to be the main reason for the book which is what I’ve gotten from the few that I’ve read. I like the sexy hunks on covers but not so much the more explicit couples on the cover. I do like the cover to be suggestive of what the book entails so at least I know what to buy or not buy. Hope this helps.

  3. Lori Says:

    1. What is the percentage of books from NY (I only stipulate this because that’s what I’m targeting) you buy that are erotic? Hot romances? Sweet romances?

    I buy everything – it’s all about the storyline for me, so if it’s erotic, cool. If it’s not – cool, as long as the storyline and writing are good, it doesn’t matter to me.

    2. I hear that some readers are embarrassed to buy an erotic romance from the store. Do the covers of erotic romances turn you away (again, not talking Changeling here, think NY), or do you just love the sexy bodies on many of the covers?

    Frankly, I prefer it if there aren’t sexy bodies all over the covers, simply because of the kid factor in my home. I hate having to hide my books, and the less sexy my books look, the less likely Jeff is to want to pick it up…

    3. Do you, after reading erotic romances, find yourself bored with general romance?

    Nope, as long as the storyline is excellent and the characters are well developed and well written, and there are no glaring holes. See? I don’t ask for much *g*

    4. Do you flip back and forth between erotic and general romances without a problem?

    Yup.

    5. Have you NEVER read an erotic romance and never plan to? Any reason why?

    Uh… hello?! LOL.

    BTW, it looks like my sked is gonna be really tight when I get to Boston and I’ll be working nights too, dammit. I knew that would happen – it was looking too good to be true. So if you can come out to meet me for din din, it may be easier than me getting all the way out to your place. Sorry ’bout that. 🙂

  4. Devonna Wick Says:

    1. What is the percentage of books from NY (I only stipulate this because that’s what I’m targeting) you buy that are erotic? Hot romances? Sweet romances?

    Well, I’m not from NY, but I’ll answer anyway. I buy everything, but I’d say erotic are my least favorite. For me, it’s all about the story first. If the sex enhances the story, I’m all for it ~~ but if it becomes the main focus of the story, the book would more than likely become a wallbanger for me.

    2. I hear that some readers are embarrassed to buy an erotic romance from the store. Do the covers of erotic romances turn you away (again, not talking Changeling here, think NY), or do you just love the sexy bodies on many of the covers?

    I guess there’s really no preference. I live alone so no one can stumble onto my books. But in looking at my books, I don’t really see anything with bad covers.

    3. Do you, after reading erotic romances, find yourself bored with general romance?

    No.

    4. Do you flip back and forth between erotic and general romances without a problem?

    Yes.

    5. Have you NEVER read an erotic romance and never plan to? Any reason why?

    I’ve read a few. Like I said, not my favorite genre, but if the story is good, I’ll be hooked.

  5. Amie Stuart Says:

    FWIW I think a book needs to be as hot as it needs to be 😀 The book my agent is shopping now has sex at the beginning but it’s not erotica (and yes you find out really quickly why).

    1. What is the percentage of books from NY you buy that are erotic? Hot romances? Sweet romances?

    You know…I don’t pay a lot of attention. I don’t read ‘sweet’ romances per se but I do read a lot of books that don’t have sex or have a semi-closed door etc (women’s fic, YA, urban fantasy, suspense). I read very little erotica–because I write it but I read a mix of many genres.

    2. If I want a book I’m going to buy it regardless of what’s on the cover. And I dare any cashier to make fun of me for it 😉

    3. Do you, after reading erotic romances, find yourself bored with general romance?

    No….but I read very little contemporary romance. It’s usually romance mixed with something else (IE Paranormal) or no romance at all. SAdly I can’t tell you the last time I read a straight contemporary romance 😦

    4. Do you flip back and forth between erotic and general romances without a problem?

    Yes

    And don’t enter me in the contest. I’m just here to serve.

  6. Marissa Says:

    No need to enter me into the contest, sister. 🙂 I just feel like answering. Tee hee

    1. What is the percentage of books from NY (I only stipulate this because that’s what I’m targeting) you buy that are erotic? Hot romances? Sweet romances?

    Ummm… from NY I honestly don’t buy a whole lot that are erotic. Mainly just SPICE books, one so far from Berkley Heat, and some that are hot that I don’t expect to be erotic. I mainly buy a book for the story… hot or sexy, it doesn’t really matter as long as the story is good. I do HATE a story that reads awkwardly because sex was just thrown into the mix or a story that is NOTHING but sex. That annoys me to no end.

    2. I hear that some readers are embarrassed to buy an erotic romance from the store. Do the covers of erotic romances turn you away (again, not talking Changeling here, think NY), or do you just love the sexy bodies on many of the covers?

    The covers don’t turn me away per se, but I do admit that if there is a book that I want to purchase, see that the cover is “revealing”, then I will purchase the book via Amazon or in ebook. Plus with the risque covers, I can’t take the book with me to a doctor or dentist appointment, can you imagine! GASP! LOL

    3. Do you, after reading erotic romances, find yourself bored with general romance?

    No. I like them both. I do prefer that there is sex in the story, but whether it is graphic or subtle, it makes no difference to me. It’s the storyline that I buy the book for.

    4. Do you flip back and forth between erotic and general romances without a problem?

    Yep. Again, it’s all about the storyline.

    5. Have you NEVER read an erotic romance and never plan to? Any reason why?

    Read many!

    6. Any other thoughts about the two that I haven’t asked?

    I’m going to tell you about the dilemma I’m facing right now trying to sell my book to NY. It’s HOT, not necessarily erotic because the sex isn’t a HUGE part of the book. SO, what’s happening is, because I’ve got some of the “naughtier” words and more “graphic” scenes in my book, some houses are deeming it “too hot” while others are deeming it “not hot enough.” It’s what my agent, the lovely Laura Bradford, has called the Goldilocks syndrome. It is VERY frustrating.

    So, my suggestion to you is this: If you’re going to write it hot, write it really hot, and vice versa so you don’t get caught in the middle of the see-saw like I am right now. It’s not a fun place to be.

    PERSONAL THOUGHT/NOTE: Since I don’t enjoy writing such in depth sex scenes, my next book won’t be nearly as hot. It’ll be enough to get your fire started, but won’t contain the wordage that I’ve used in When Petals Fall.

    Good luck, Sis!

  7. Jen Says:

    Okay, here’s my two cents.
    If you’ve got characters and a story and they don’t want to have sex until page 50, then “making it hotter” will ruin (IMHO) the story.
    There are some characters that don’t mind getting a little kinkier, but my experience is that forcing a story to be something it isn’t will create bigger problems.
    I flip back and forth between erotic and contemporary and I really don’t like the erotic stories where sex is SO much of the book there’s no plot or character development. There’s some erotic romance that has taken me right to the edge of my comfort zone.
    And yes, it’s difficult with covers on some of the stuff I like (whips, chains, handcuffs) in my house with two small boys. I hide them in my bedroom. LOL.
    Hotter sells, so I’ve been told. But that doesn’t mean that I’m going to force a story that ISN’T hot to BE hot.

  8. amie stuart Says:

    Plus with the risque covers, I can’t take the book with me to a doctor or dentist appointment, can you imagine!

    Why not? 😀 :d 😀

  9. Christy H. Says:

    1. What is the percentage of books from NY (I only stipulate this because that’s what I’m targeting) you buy that are erotic? Hot romances? Sweet romances?

    I buy about 50% erotic, 40% hot, and 10% sweet

    2. I hear that some readers are embarrassed to buy an erotic romance from the store. Do the covers of erotic romances turn you away (again, not talking Changeling here, think NY), or do you just love the sexy bodies on many of the covers?

    I’m not embarrassed to buy from the store – my trouble is finding a store (where I live) that actually carries erotic romance ~ I mainly buy on-line.
    BUT…depending on where I’m reading, I can’t always take a sexy cover with me – I don’t want to read it in front of my teenage boys, etc.
    I do read alot at the Dr’s office – my doctors always ask what I’m reading. lol

    3. Do you, after reading erotic romances, find yourself bored with general romance?

    No, not bored – I just want to change what I’m reading. I can only read so much erotica before I want to read a thriller or something suspenseful. And, then sometimes I just want to read something sweet and fun

    4. Do you flip back and forth between erotic and general romances without a problem?

    Yes – all the time

    5. Have you NEVER read an erotic romance and never plan to? Any reason why?

    I read erotica ALL the time.

    6. Any other thoughts about the two that I haven’t asked?

  10. Crystal B. Says:

    1. What is the percentage of books from NY (I only stipulate this because that’s what I’m targeting) you buy that are erotic? Hot romances? Sweet romances?
    50% erotic 40% hot 10% sweet

    2. I hear that some readers are embarrassed to buy an erotic romance from the store. Do the covers of erotic romances turn you away (again, not talking Changeling here, think NY), or do you just love the sexy bodies on many of the covers? I mostly read at home so I am fine with whatever is on the cover. I don’t have children so I don’t have to hide them.

    3. Do you, after reading erotic romances, find yourself bored with general romance? No, I don’t find myself bored.

    4. Do you flip back and forth between erotic and general romances without a problem?
    Yes, I do.

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