The Erotica Question

February 13th, 2006 · 2 Comments
by Booksquare

If one is paying attention, one would realize that religion and sex remain the hottest gotta-have publishing imprints. Today we bring you sex — Avon has entered the erotica market with a new imprint called Avon Red.

Give us a moment while we resist an urge to make a bad lipstick joke.

Okay, we’re back. In addition to all the other stuff (sex sells! erotica is hot!), there’s an interesting comment in PW’s article, one we’d like to spend a moment on:

Following other romance publishers like Kensington, which announced its own erotica-dedicated line called Aphrodisia in October (PW Daily 10/28/05), Avon will also publish its new imprint’s titles as e-books (a format which is particularly popular among readers of the genre).

Erotica is pretty popular in electronic format isn’t it? If you hang around in the right places, you begin to realize that a lot of readers are going online for their erotic reading. We’re a bit curious as to why — our theory is that some women are uncomfortable heading out the local Borders to buy erotica. Our other theory is that bookstores might be reluctant to stock the more, shall we say, intense titles.

Giving lie to the oft-tossed-about theory that readers won’t stand (or rather sit) to read a full book at the computer (or on their PDA of choice), it’s clear that many readers are doing just that. Maybe a few print out hard copies, but we haven’t actually heard of anyone doing that.

We ask these questions because they naturally lead to another thought: does it make financial sense, even for big-house publishers, to go directly to print with an entire imprint? Would it be more practical to publish most works exclusively online with selected titles going into print? Kind of like taking the Ellora’s Cave model and mixing it up a bit.

File Under: Publishers and Editors · The Future of Publishing

2 responses so far ↓

  • Molly Maguire // Feb 13, 2006 at 11:12 am

    I think women wanting to keep their erotica reading habits between themselves and Eros is a definite reason for the strong e-book market. Plus the cheesy ass CGI covers on many of them make many clinch covers look positively respectable.

    I am amazed at what seems to be the limitless market for erotica among women. For decades, I had been responding to snide comments about romance novels being popular because women read them for the sex scenes with the simple truth that a lot of them didn’t have explicit sex, but these days ….. I gotta wonder.

    If porn drives the Web, then surely erotica drives e-books.

  • Karen Scott // Feb 13, 2006 at 11:52 am

    Hey, when I was in your country last year, I went up to a woman in a Barnes and Noble bookstore and asked if they stocked Elloras Cave book. She gave me ‘the look’. I think she expected me to whip off my clothes and start dancing round the nearest pole-like object.

    Needless to say I didn’t, but I was oh so tempted…