Warning: This blog has...
Did my heading make you want to read? It could. It could also do the opposite.
I am blogging today about warnings, namely in the form many publishers and writer are issuing with Erotic Romance.
I could go to any book site right now and usually get a rating on how steamy the book is I want to buy, to aid in my consumer decision. But it goes much further. Now we have warnings for what might be objectionable material to help as well.
Warnings usually bring to mind "stay back" biohazard signs, so many writers, bless their hearts, have taken to making them fun cheeky selling points, like:
Warning! The following book has super hot ménage action featuring not one but TWO sexy cops, and one happy and exhausted heroine (I just made that one up).
I always hoot when I read these, and applaud authors for having fun with it. We can spin doctor with the best of them. It could lure a reader right in. Or it could make them summarily dismiss the book! There are two sides to this story. One is the reader trying to make a good purchase to their tastes, and the other is writer hoping you will buy their work.
I have been on both sides. Firstly as a reader. There is an epublishing house, whose books I have bought and enjoyed, that appears to not to use a heat rating, or warning for objectionable material. I am always flying blind when I buy, and sometimes I get irritated when I buy a book, which if I’d had more info about, would have known it was not to my taste. And, the flipside is I have also received books as a reader and may thought I would not enjoy it based on the labels, and found I did. The third issue is the reader believing the warning to be listed incorrectly, which also could annoy.
Writers are in a bit of a bind. They may not want to give away too much plot for suspense reasons which are one tricky bit of it. It can be hard to determine what you should warn about too. For instance, my character is tied up briefly in Flesh for Fantasy. I don’t really want to list it as bondage, because I don’t want people buying it to expect I am writing about the s/M lifestyle. They would feel misled, and probably disappointed. But I don’t want to alienate anyone who would be upset by it either by not mentioning it. Here’s my warning then that I list when putting excerpts on loops:
Warning: Contains hot erotic fantasies shared with a handsome stranger, and being sexily restrained (light bondage)
I had the same issue with Demon of Desire. Sometimes there are block type warnings by publishers or reviewers eg: multiple partners. I was upset when my book was listed as that at a few places. It did not tell the whole story. I have two heroes, or love interests in the story. It is not group sex or ménage and if you bought it looking for that, uh, oops.
Warning: Contains one hot-as-hell love Demon possessing magical seduction powers, one sexy sensitive Beta male, and one confused but exhausted heroine.
For writers, depending on what we say or don’t say, or how we say it, you may not buy our book. I don’t think anyone can write to all tastes, so this may be pretty fair if wouldn’t be interested in our work. But it can put up these weird kind of gates to people that may like your work, and choose to hang back because of the warning.
It’s a double edged sword.
So, what are your thoughts on warnings?
Please join me tomorrow where I talk about romance...is it being dissed?
Chloe Waits ~Romance With No Inhibitions
Demon of Desire - a Book Vamps' Top Pick
Flesh for Fantasy -Newest release out now at Phaze