Erotica's Rightful Place in the Standings

Amazon recently published their Top Selling Ebooks of 2014 and guess who made the list?

Black Lies, the same ebook that hit the New York Times List three times, an erotic romance about a woman involved with two men.

But it’s the rest of the list that raises one of my meticulously-plucked eyebrows. Okay, that’s a joke. I haven’t touched a tweezer since Taylor Swift was dating John Mayer. But… I digress. What was I talking about? Oh yeah, the list.

Out of the Top 100 ebook titles sold in 2014:

20 of the Top 100 ebooks sold in 2014 are Erotica. 22 if you include Colleen Hoover’s books, which are borderline but really more romance.

22 of the Top 100 ebooks sold in 2014 are self-published. Some of those authors, a year ago, no one had ever heard of.

Why is no one talking about this? Why are we not, as a genre, celebrating that successes of Deborah Bladon, Meredith Wild, and J.S. Cooper? These ladies are dominating and doing it ALL. BY. THEMSELVES.

What started this thought process was an article in Flavorwire, one which stated that Adults Reading YA Novels ‘Saved Publishing in 2014’. The article also stated:

Ebook sales – which were thought to be declining – are up by 5.6 percent in trade.

Ebook sales declining? Have you looked around a subway lately? Gotten on an airplane? Gone to a park or looked over a credit card statement? Ebooks are taking over. They won’t fully ‘take over’ – I do firmly believe that. We will always have print books, and there will always be a market that prefers print to digital. But don’t bury your head in the sand and pretend that ebooks are a passing fad. Or one that will, at some point, be overtaken. I do believe, if there wasn’t a self-publishing platform, that this would be more likely to occur. I, as a reader, still hesitate over a $9.99 ebook when I can buy a print book for the same price. Publishers can reduce the ebook market share with competitive pricing. The rocks in the gear are self-publishers, those annoying little authors running around with their $.99 cent sales and $3.99 launch prices.

I’m one of those annoying authors. And I have readers who can’t afford a $4 book. I have readers who wait for payday so that they can purchase one ebook. And I love those readers. I wouldn’t have them if I was a purely-traditional author. They couldn’t afford me.

The Flavorwire article is focusing on the wrong thing. YA ebooks did, as they point out, increase by nearly 53%. They might have saved publisher’s bottom lines. But Erotica pulled up its sexy garters and ran nearly alongside Romance and Thriller titles when you looked at America’s reading patterns. And America’s reading isn’t just trade. Not anymore. And we have to recognize that. We have to put proper credence and respect where it is due.

Congrats to all of the authors who made this list. I am honored to be among your titles.