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EllenFisher said:
Depending on the story, it might be better defined as women's fiction, general fiction, or literary fiction. Again, you might want to sample a few things listed under these categories before you decide.
Good advice. I've bought some romance books for Kindle and I'll browse through those other genres before changing my upload. :)
 

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I used to think that I wrote erotica, but based on the definitions above, I doubt that I have. All I do is have a storyline and then add some sex here and there.

I thought at least that Fun at the Car Wash and Other Erotic Short Stories was erotic, but maybe not?

I guess my definition would be if you can pull out the graphic sex and the story is still there, then it is not erotic. It is just a story with sex in it.

For example in the short story about the car wash, it could easily be toned down and still be a good story. It is better though with more realistic sex scenes.

I can still remember reading a novel by Robert Heinlein and trying to figure out if he said they had sex or not. I never knew. Of course, the times were different and sex wasn't allowed in novels. Today he would probably write a totally different way.
 

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As a reader, this sometimes lack of proper genre marking is a little worrisome. I understand that creativity wants to go where it wants to go and that especially indy authors embrace the freedom to write anything they want without publishers telling them what it should be called.

But if I, as a reader, cannot trust the categories or tags, then I won't have any choice then to stick with tried and true. And that means publishers. I am just trying to convey a reader opinion here and why some might be a bit weary.

I always hear the just sample argument. But especially in Romance, that will not do you any good for obvious reasons.

My suggestion as a reader is to go out and actually read the genre's you mark your books in. Don't go by hearsay or how you assume a genre is. Read the books. Go to genre specific blogs. There are many that deal with Romance, Historical, Erotic, Paranormal etc. There are also sites that specialize in Erotica.

Please make yourself familiar with the genres before happily tagging and categorizing.

Because I can tell you as a romance reader, I won't find anything cute, endearing or inventive about a book called a romance that turns out to be anything but.

I am sure that readers of other genre's wouldn't appreciate the mislabeling either. Each genre has its "thing".

Sex in a book does not equal Romance or even Erotica. There is sex in Stephen King novels, I know, I read many of them. Does make them neither romance nor Erotica.

So educate yourself and learn about your audience.  :) Good thing is you have many writers of said genre's among you that can help you out a bit. But nothing substitutes reading some actual books.
 

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Unfortunately, it's all in the eye of the reader.  Some people will see anything with graphic sex as erotica, others will not. 
 

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ilyria_moon said:
Aw, man. I think I need to change my tags and category, then. What if a romance dominates the entire novel, but the predicted ending is absent. Is it not under romance? What should I file it under, just fiction? I want to file it under bonkbuster or trashy novel but Amazon doesn't have those categories. :mad:
As a reader, if you label your book a romance and it has no HEA, I will be p*ssed.

If you label it as "erotica with romantic elements" that lets me know that a HEA is not guaranteed. If I'm not expecting one, I'm okay with it.

EDIT: Okay, you just said it wasn't erotica. What about "women's fiction?" That, I think, is tag for "book about relationship with no guaranteed HEA."
 

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Amanda Brice said:
You cannot have a "romance" without a HEA or at least a HFN (although in that case, it's either going to be a YA Romance or a "Novel with Strong Romantic Elements"). If there is no HEA or promise of an HEA, then it is a "love story" is may be related to, but is actually quite different, than a romance.

Sorry, but you can't just change established reader expectations and use standard industry terms without getting pushback. If you call something a romance, then it better have a HEA or the promise of a HEA, or readers will be mad. When I pick up a romance, I expect that HEA. That's WHY I chose to read a romance on that particular day. If I don't want or need an HEA at that moment in time, then I'll happily pick up any number of other mainstream novels with romantic subplots, but which aren't romance.
I think I'll stick with horror where you don't always have to worry about the HEA's. Bloody revenge is much more fun. In my last story I have just finished off the floozy from my local library and a Goddamn awful teacher I used to know. No, you can keep you HEA's.
 

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Courtney Milan said:
As a reader, if you label your book a romance and it has no HEA, I will be p*ssed.

If you label it as "erotica with romantic elements" that lets me know that a HEA is not guaranteed. If I'm not expecting one, I'm okay with it.

EDIT: Okay, you just said it wasn't erotica. What about "women's fiction?" That, I think, is tag for "book about relationship with no guaranteed HEA."
Y'know, I made a list of the plots and tone of the book and while romance is the main thread, it falls best under black comedy. I think they have 'satire' on Amazon, which is slightly different, but is it close enough? Gah! ::) It never occurred to me that people would expect a happy ending; I must read books by people as cynical as I am. ;D

It's definitely a black comedy. So...*runs to see*...shall I remove it from romance and just leave it in satire and general fiction? At the moment, I have it in contemporary romance, too.

A satire is an objective commentary or examination about a topic. On the other hand, a black comedy is a humorous look at a serious issue. While both satire and black comedy pertain to examining an aspect of life, a satire is not always humorous and tends to be more journalistic in nature. For example, Woody Allen's Manhattan is a black comedy as is all of Neil Simon's works. Desperate Housewives is a black comedy that consists of ensemble cast of housewives that go through their everyday life in a funny way, but inside of it we learn the realities of life. Such realities include how deception works, how to really get what you want, the truth behind motherhood, and what marriage is really like.
 

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Atunah said:
As a reader, this sometimes lack of proper genre marking is a little worrisome. I understand that creativity wants to go where it wants to go and that especially indy authors embrace the freedom to write anything they want without publishers telling them what it should be called.

But if I, as a reader, cannot trust the categories or tags, then I won't have any choice then to stick with tried and true. And that means publishers. I am just trying to convey a reader opinion here and why some might be a bit weary.

I always hear the just sample argument. But especially in Romance, that will not do you any good for obvious reasons.

My suggestion as a reader is to go out and actually read the genre's you mark your books in. Don't go by hearsay or how you assume a genre is. Read the books. Go to genre specific blogs. There are many that deal with Romance, Historical, Erotic, Paranormal etc. There are also sites that specialize in Erotica.

Please make yourself familiar with the genres before happily tagging and categorizing.

Because I can tell you as a romance reader, I won't find anything cute, endearing or inventive about a book called a romance that turns out to be anything but.

I am sure that readers of other genre's wouldn't appreciate the mislabeling either. Each genre has its "thing".

Sex in a book does not equal Romance or even Erotica. There is sex in Stephen King novels, I know, I read many of them. Does make them neither romance nor Erotica.

So educate yourself and learn about your audience. :) Good thing is you have many writers of said genre's among you that can help you out a bit. But nothing substitutes reading some actual books.
Amen, sister!
 

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Okay, I'm just labelling it Fiction and Contemporary Women's. I prefer mixed endings over happy ones and I don't want loads of bad reviews from disgruntled Romance readers. :)
 

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This sounds like the old joke, how do you tell the difference between kinky and perverted?  Kinky uses a feather, perverted uses the whole chicken.  Anyway, I think if sex is the drive of the plot it's erotica, if romance is the drive, but the sex scenes are graphic or super hot then it's erotic romance.
 

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Courtney Milan said:
What about "women's fiction?" That, I think, is tag for "book about relationship with no guaranteed HEA."
Actually, I consider women's fiction to be broader than that. More "book about a woman's journey (that might entail a relationship of some sort) with no guaranteed HEA."
 

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Sex sells and with the right cover, title and description your erotica book will sell since erotica is focused on sex. Yes, what Jamie said.
 
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