Random Thoughts- Readers and the Erotica Genre

I read an interview with  a fellow author, and actually my editor, and the interviewer asked her what advice she would give and this was her response…(hopefully she’s okay that I quoted her)

“Edit, edit, then edit again.  One of the basic facts about the Erotica genre is that critics will tear you apart for the slightest grammatical error or typo, and bad style or format will piss your readers off, too.  Erotica comes with a huge number of opposers, with a whole plethora of justifications for their negative and destructive attitudes, so give them as little as possible to beat you with.”

So this got me thinking…I’ve read numerous books, some good and some bad. I’ve read perfectly edited novels and then I’ve read some with mistakes on almost every page, hell I’m sure there are- no I know there are- mistakes in my first novel. Now…why is it that readers must comment on self-published authors mistakes rather than those of a published author? Trust me…I’ve read novels that have gone through the editing process and still have mistakes-both traditionally published and self-published. Is it because of the genre we write? This erotic romance? I don’t know, but I believe so. Many readers will pick up our books thanks to the FSOG Phenom, but why are we slashed when I found over 35 mistakes within one 224 page novel? Now don’t get me wrong-I am not complaining about that I just made a mental note to check the reviews of that specific book and there were no complaints- NONE. Zilch- yet the first glaring mistake was in the first sentence of the novel (and this novel went through editors)

So I pose a question…If the story is good enough and you as a reader enjoy it…do the small grammatical and spelling errors really take away or bother you? Or do you realize that people are not perfect?

It is beneficial for readers to talk with authors and let them know where we missed something…no need to rant and rave on a review. Again-going back to a previous post I had about how to constructively criticize a novel or author- send the author a message- most of us have Facebook, twitter, email and blogs.


7 thoughts on “Random Thoughts- Readers and the Erotica Genre

  1. I can speak from experience here as a researcher, author, and editor. I used to work for a biblical research ministry and did all of the above for their newsletter, magazine, and for a couple of their books. I was also in charge of all other written material, including their website content. We were NEVER allowed to make a mistake. One little spelling, grammatic, punctuation, or formatting error yeilded a letter writing campaign, phone calls, emails, and a near Congressional oversight committee! I cringe now when I see that I made a mistake on my blog or in a reply to a post. I have relaxed over those rules because they were so harsh. In all consideration, I type mostly with my thumbs on my phone now so I am bound to screw up. So to answer your question, I feel if a book goes through a publishing house there is no excuse for a typo. Publishers are supposed to hire competent editors. Self-publishing is different because the author has to do it all and if you don’t have the experience it’s a difficult job. I was self-taught and trained on the job when it was discovered that I had a penchant and talent and was very fortunate to get that kind of experience. I think standards in erotica need to elevate, especially since the interest has increased. A couple of errors here and there do not bother me if it’s well-written and engaging. If I’m deep in the story I can miss an error myself.

    • Thank you Elle-

      I agree. I know there are mistakes in my first book- they’ve been brought to my attentions and within the next month I am actually pulling it and re editing it with a different editor, I just find that when I read a book and I notice mistakes, I can forgive them if the story is compelling enough and I’m engaged in it. I personally think one can outweigh the other- I review based on the content and only mention mistakes if they really distract from the novel, but if the story is that good then they usually don’t. I also don’t review books that I can’t give higher than a 3 star to- it’s just a creative courtesy.

      I think self published authors make mistakes and eventually learn from them as I have.

  2. Grammar & spelling don’t really bother me too bad, as I can get the gist of what is ment. The problem I have is #1 contiunity & # 2 reaction by characters that I don’t understand. For example a book I recently finished & loooooved, I have 2 issues with – First – the female lead was making a point & toward the end of that convo, the male lead said “and what was the 2nd thing you wanted to say”?” She never did say she had 2 points to make – I went back to see if she indicated 2 points & that 2nd point was an important part of the convo. I know small but it stuck with me !

    Then the 2nd thing in the book to me was HUGE. It was when the male lead told her in a very sweet way, for the first time , that he loved her. The author followed with a totally different scene! No reaction was given from this important disclosure !! ACCCK ! It was as if this was just a general statement & they moved on to the next day. I still gave it 5 stars & didn’t know how to convey my disappointment with those 2 parts, as I don’t like to be mean, but I guess maybe I should share – i don’t know.

    • I think there is a way that a reader can convey to the author that something didn’t make sense and honestly the way you just said it seems fine to me- I think you voiced your questions without criticizing the author- you weren’t mean. I’d send the author a message or an email asking if there was a reason for it. You might be surprised. But I know as a writer that when we are in groove things get missed, or we run all different scenes in our head :). I value my betas for that reason.

  3. Editors are surprisingly cheap as well. My method is to write it, read/edit, read/edit again after a day or two has passed, pay for an editor (anywhere from $40-$200 depending on the length), review the edits, read/edit one more time, send it to a friend, read/edit again based on their thoughts. I did this method for A Dance at Doomsday (http://amzn.to/Hf0AnP) and haven’t had any complaints yet.

  4. I have to say I do find even minor spelling errors – and particularly the use of a wrong word (like there instead of their) or misplaced apostrophes irritating – but then I’m one of the lucky ones who has always been able to spell right from my early childhood. However I also run and edit a non-spanking magazine and do know, particularly if self-proofreading your own articles, that errors do creep in as you know exactly what you meant to write and just read that into it. But overall it does tend to be the quality of the story and plot which are the most important. I have a batch of very erotic spanking stories up on WordPress (under Sensualspanker) and I know there is the occasional error in these and I pride myself on my spelling (English not American – but can live with the latter *grin*) and grammar, but even so … However do read my stories and spot them for yourself!

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