Friday, June 25, 2010

Mainstream or not?

I just finished reading Bullet by Laurell K. Hamilton, the 19th book in the Anita Blake series. *spoilers ahead*

It is sold on Amazon as a Science-Fiction & Fantasy or Horror book, and can also be found in the Romance / Vampires category. For anyone not familiar with the series, it will come as a shock to find the first 90 pages filled with an orgy involving BDSM and M/M scenes.

For anyone who's followed the series, it's become quite common to have large chunks of the books spent in bed (cars, clubs, etc.), between a heck of a lot of men and Anita, the heroine. Some of those scenes are even necessary (I won't get into the ardeur here, but it is a very interesting and clever plot twist). Some of them feel a should I say?

I've read quite a few reviews of this book and found out that some people are calling it porn. I, myself, just think that the book should be categorized as Erotica AND Paranormal AND Fantasy. The series is a mix of genres after all.
What I can understand though is that readers get upset by the sudden display of sex without a prior warning. After all, we all write erotica or erotic romance on this blog, and the people who buy our books know what to expect.
So, what do you think? Should books come with warnings? For example, some publishers, including mine, ask us to point out clearly what's in a book (eg. anal play/sex, f/f elements, etc.) so that readers know what they're buying and aren't shocked by its content. This is something that's quite readily available for ebooks...and I don't see why it couldn't be the same for NY-based publishers.

I know I like warnings. I even read them first when I go online to buy books. I like to know what'll be in there and if it'll tick my boxes. So, what do you think?


Willsin Rowe said...

Hmm...that's a tough one. I guess I like the idea of a warning stamp telling people that a story is classed as erotica or romance or paranormal. I've never really taken to the idea of explaining which elements of erotica are in a story.
I understand the need to categorise, but then it kind of gives hints and spoilers to know that there is, for example, man on man action. If you're three-quarters through a book and you haven't yet stumbled on the boylove, then knowing it's in there could telegraph the plot and/or ending...

Rozlyn Sparks said...

Me personally, I like a little heads up on what's inside. It can help me determine if I want to read the story or not.

Also, within erotica, having categories helps me to wade through the stuff I may not want to read. If I am looking for a novel I like to know if it's M/M M/F or F/F because while I like erotica, I may not want to read about certain types of hookups.