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Before continuing, let me just say hi! This is obviously my first time posting on kindleboards, but from what I've seen already, this site is totally awesome. It has already helped me a bunch in terms of setting myself up for self-publication. However, I couldn't find anything concrete on categorization of romance. There was one topic by Juliette Dupree that answered some of my burning questions, but I still seem to be having a problem. So, assuming someone here is willing to assist, my quandary follows as such:

I've written four short stories that hang around 8k words each in length. For the most part, I'm ready to sic them upon the world and let the people of earth fare for themselves. To do so, these stories need a place to call home. And . . . that's where I'm stuck at. I can't decide on which category to place them in.

All four are set in different worlds--sci-fi, urban-fantasy, traditional-fantasy, vampire(?)-fantasy(?)--with romance-centric themes, and contain mild erotic scenes. The endmost of which is the real clincher. The stories aren't centered around sex, but it exists nonetheless. I went with a generic formula: A setting is established; the beginnings of a plot are introduced; the characters are presented; characters are interwoven in some way with the plot; romance sparks; romance turns into a flame; plot interferes with romance; interference is abolished; sex; happy-ever-after; maybe some more sex.

The erotica isn't too explicit, doesn't stand as the center-point, and doesn't last more than one chapter--which all lead me to believe that my stories shouldn't be classified as erotica. On the other hand . . . I've read some erotic stories that were more story than actual erotica.

Finally, would I be better off (in terms of sales) altering the ratio of romance/erotica to better accommodate readers with engine-sized sex drives? Or maybe getting rid of the explicit side completely?

Still, my biggest concern right now lies in categorizing my stories as not to mislead potential readers.

If you get through my wall-o'-text, please, please help me out.

Whether you answer or not, thank you all in advance!

And happy new years (+17)!
 

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First, be sure what you are writing is erotic/erotica for sure before you classify them as such. Romance has gotten very hot these days and what would have been rated x isn't so much today.

Next, to classify you need to know your setting; historical, contemporary, space opera, science fiction, paranormal, romantic suspense(which can be contemporary or historical or even paranormal.)

The subgenres get mashed together a lot nowadays too. Find books like yours and see what they are classified as.
 

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If there's just a sex scene or two, that does not make a story erotica.

From your description it sounds to me as if you either have SF or fantasy stories with some sex or some variation of SF/futuristic/fantasy/paranormal romance. If the romance is central to your stories and resolves with a happily ever after or at least happy for now ending, then you have some form of romance. If the ending is ambiguous or unhappy or the romance is not central to the plot, then it's SF or fantasy.
 
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