It’s no secret that romance and erotica top the list of bestselling genres because…well, let’s face it…sex sells. But more importantly, well crafted romance titles that speak to a broad audience of readers also sells, as evidenced by imprints like Carina Press (Harlequin) and Ellora’s Cave being digital-first pioneers while still maintaining standards of authorship.
But hasn’t every swashbuckling pirate or lord of the manor story line been done to death yet? Obviously not. Moreover, romance authors and publishers are finding new ways to reach their readers, as evidenced by new themes in the romance and erotica genres. Spare us your vampires, move over werewolves…Big Foot is here.
Yes, Big Foot, the stuff of legends and Squatch-hunters everywhere. Only he’s made his way to the page with pseudo-rape tales from author Virgina Wade, and Amazon was nonplussed, to say the least. Following the controversy this fall with ebook titles finding their way in front of juvenile consumers, Amazon and other retailers began a broad sweep of removal, stripping a large number of titles from their virtual shelves for violating what the retailers say were their terms for content of this kind.
Key titles were replaced rather quickly, with others, like Virginia Wade’s Big Foot-human-rape-triangle, undergoing a face lift before being returned to the site. Cover image changes, title changes, and even outright rewrites were required of some authors before their erotica would become available again.
But that hasn’t deterred the die hard erotica writers or their hard core fans (pun intended). New titles continue to be posted to e-readers in record numbers, and the scenarios are even wilder than before, if that’s even possible. All Big Foot stories aside, gargoyles, aliens, and robots have seen huge growth in fan base as readers look to push the envelope of erotica without being…creepy? The safety net afforded by a non-human–and therefore, not actually possible–partner makes this cryptozoological erotica (an actual term) a highly profitable genre for an equally highly engaged audience.