Monday, November 14, 2005

What do Readers want?

Why am I here? Ah, the eternal question.

Here's how it went down.

Tina: "Hey RomanceGuy, ya see the SEx blog last week?"
RomanceGuy: "Hi Tina, please call me RG, sounds better. Yeah, what went wrong?"
Tina: "Okay RG, please call me Tina. No class, that's what it was. Started off on the wrong foot."
RG: "I just did. Yeah, that Indiana Fogarty one ... when did they release her?"
Tina: "Right, I know who you mean. Could at least have done some promo."


RG: "Well Tiny, it's been great, but I gott--"
Tina: "That's Tina. Here's the thing. I started thinking how to raise the tone of the blog, and of course you came to mind immediately. What do you say?"
RG: "Good luck with that."


Tina: "Okay, look ... the truth is, Monday's a really slow day, hardly anyone reads blogs on a Monday, so none of the pri--er, authors--want the slot. Ya gotta help me out!"

You've got to admire her persistence. From flattery to damsel in distress, hardly missed a beat.

RG: "Well that's different. So I wouldn't have to be witty or interesting or--"
Tina: "No, not at all, you could be your usual self."

In hindsight, the flattery wasn't so bad.

Tina: "So can I count on you?"
RG: "All the way to twenty-one hon."

So there you have it, the genesis of putting RG into the OY.

* * * *

Now that we've dispatched one of life's eternal questions, let's move onto something a bit more challenging. Like, say, a universal conundrum.

What do erotic romance readers want?

The secret to solving universal conundrums is to take one small galaxy-sized bite at a time. So for today, let's talk about something we're all currently kicking around at LSB.

What compact info nuggets would you like to see in every book's description? The stuff which would tell you quickly whether or not you might be interested in a book.

I don't think genre alone cuts the mustard for our books, since many of them cross two, three or more genres. The same book could show up in Contemporary, Paranormal and Suspense. Does that really help you?

Do you need any of the following kinds of info (just examples):
Time: Future, near future, present, near past, historical, ancient, mythological
Setting: Urban, rural, office, school, factory, ranch, spaceship, astral plane
Sex content: Hot hetero couple, hea; kinky toys and play; edgy, captivity, coercion, pain, domination; multiple partners, moresomes

Are short text descriptions like these more useful to you, or would you prefer ratings like 1, 2, 3 or A, B, C?

To put this in context, did you know you can search our Library? Just click on "Search this forum." What would you like to be able to put into the search box so that it would bring up a list of books for you to consider?

If you can help us to zero in on what's important for you to know, then we'll do our best to make it happen. We've been kicking it around for years now and still don't have a good answer.

So why don't you tell us?

Until the next time Tina's stuck,


Blogger snowflake said...

I like short text descriptions like the ones you mention since rating can be subjective and doesn't really give you an idea of what is going on in the story.

10:11 AM  
Anonymous Rae Morgan said...


A very timely topic. Looking forward to seeing the results.

Rae Morgan

10:38 AM  
Blogger Bonnie Dee said...

Ratings are indeed a trickly thing. I remember when they invented PG-13 and suddenly everything switched up a notch. After a while only a rare movie was rated G since it was considered the kiss of death at the box office.

A story could have a very wholesome rating and still be filled with very sensual/sexual situations. Just because wild monkey sex doesn't take place, it doesn't mean a story isn't sexy.

11:14 AM  
Blogger Trista Ann Michaels said...

I think that instead of ratings you should do something else, such as list what the story contains.

Like 'this story contains BDSM, light bondage, or Menage-a-trios', I think I spelled that right. It doens't rate it based on how sensual it is, but tells the reader what's in it. Some people may like to read about menages and you might not know it's in there based on the blurb. So a little note below the blurb stating what this story contains could be helpful.

Just a thought...:)


11:33 AM  
Blogger Michelle said...

Hi RG,

Interesting topic of conversation. Oh, I didn't know we had the dewy-discimal system in the online's been years since I've used the thing, did I spell it right? I might have to take a refresher course in how it works, but I'm up to the challenge.

Michelle Hoppe

1:05 PM  
Blogger Dakota Cassidy said...

You said I have NO CLASS???? That's just IT, boy-toy--wait and see if I don't tell the world you like to eat your wheaties, unfrosted and naked on Tuesdays like it's some kind of freaky-deaky religion!

I never. Well, wait, I have, but that's for another CLASSLESS blog. ROFLMAO

Dakota :)

1:51 PM  
Blogger Amie Stuart said...

Hmmmmmmmm can I weigh in? I vote for no numbers but something that'll KISS--keep it simple stupid.

3:24 PM  
Blogger RomanceGuy said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

5:29 PM  
Blogger RomanceGuy said...

Sorry, the Library link was broken above. It should be


5:33 PM  
Anonymous shellya said...

I like short descriptions. Also Trista mentioned "description(s) of what the book contains - ie BDSM, bondage, etc". I think this would be a good idea as well.

10:48 PM  
Blogger Pam P. said...

I like your short text descriptions, especially for the sex content - gives a much better idea than ratings.

3:41 AM  
Blogger Ellen Bunch said...

I like short text descriptions because so many places have ratings and all of them vary. I read a book a day and mostly erotica (at least 80% anyway). I find a story sexy when there's an intensity that leaps off the page from the chemistry, relationship, experience of the main couple. I like it to be so hot that I'm twitching in my seat as I'm reading and envying the exploding passion of the couple. I personally have experienced the love of my life and incredible passion. I hope everyone can go down that road. For those who haven't yet, reading about it is a good way to get the juices started. Reading about a couple who have so much hunger between them - not just sexually, but emotionally, physically, spiritually, all of it - that really knocks my socks off as a reader and I will read everything that author has in print. You authors who do that know who you are because I've written all of you.

Ellen Bunch

12:29 PM  

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