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October is Book Review Month: Starting with Forever Love by Deborah Armstrong

October is going to be book review month. Reviews are so important to authors but so hard for them to get. People mean well when they say they’ll review a book, and they usually genuinely mean to, but life gets in the way or perhaps the book isn’t quite their cup of tea but they don’t want to be rude. In contrast, sadly some people believe that writing a review allows them to be as rude and nasty and personal as possible! You can’t win.

Anyway, to do  my part I’ll be posting a review every day – here, on Goodreads, Library Thing and anywhere else I can think of.

I’m kicking off OcBoReMo with Forever Love by Deborah Armstrong.

Forever Love by Deborah Armstong is the perfect read for anyone who enjoys spicy contemporary romance. Forty-something author and widow Davina Stuart sits next to much younger actor heart-throb Quinn Thomas on a flight to Los Angeles to talk about the movie script for one of her books. They’re attracted to each other right away, although Davina tries to be sensible. However, Quinn is very persistent and a romantic weekend follows. But there are problems as they face into the future. Davina isn’t looking for a long-term relationship and Quinn has an ex who can’t let go. Can Quinn persuade Davina his love is real and can she love again? She was betrayed before so she’s wary. And at her age she most definitely doesn’t want to start a family. It’s not looking too optimistic for them.

Davina is very successfully portrayed. The reader really gets inside her and feels her longings and frustrations and understands the reasons for her decisions. Quinn doesn’t come over quite as sympathetically as the heroine. You feel sorry for him for the baggage he carries and the difficulties he faces as a star, but his habit of calling Davina ‘woman’ all the time definitely becomes jarring. Settings are nicely described and you get a real sense of the characters’ lifesytles. This is very well written escapism, entirely believable and with nice touches of humour along the way. There is sensuality, but also tension and a few twists and turns along the way. It’s good entertainment from a promising author.

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E-Erotica – Sure Fire Best Selling Ebooks?

According to reports nearly all we ereader owners are busy reading erotica aka porn. OK, not all the time, but at least some of it. And apparently we get an extra thrill from reading them on our Kindles or Nooks when we’re on public transport or during work breaks when other people are around but have no idea what we’re feasting our eyes upon!

What’s more, it’s not just the books that are dirty. There are some shady authors out there in the erotic arena who are shamelessly plagiarising material and masquerading it as their own. There’s an interesting report about it here.

So, erotica sells well. What other genres enjoy consistently good sales? In  a previous blog post I discussed a report that gave the following information about ebook market shares: romance 16%, paranormal 15%, thriller 12%, mystery 12%, fantasy 8%, science fiction 7%, young adult 5%, comedy 4%. There’s no breakdown of how much erotica comes into that romance category!

This site  gives an idea of erotic ebook sales which it summarises as:

Average erotic romance ebook sales as of Dec 8, 2011

  • First month (or quarter): 290 copies
  • Total to date for books out one year or less: 417 copies
  • First year: 845 copies
  • Total to date for books available for more than one year: 1415 copies
  • Total books on record: 258

These averages are based on sales of at least 5 in print books by at least 3 different authors for each press surveyed.

I’d be very interested to find out what sales are for the free erotic books that appear every day in the lists of free Kindle books, and on Smashwords. I’m guessing those are through the roof.

Should we all jump on the bandwagon and churn out hardcore novellas with lots of groans, sighs, throbbing and words starting in ‘cu’? At times it’s tempting when sales seem SO slow on my books. I do have a blovel out there with an adult element in it, shall we say, but it’s contemporary romance rather than erotica, with mystery thrown in. (I use a pseudonym since I’m mainly known as a children’s author and this isn’t something you’d want them reading!) But am I on the top of a slippery slope?

Paranormal is another immensely popular genre, closely followed by thriller. Maybe I should give those a go?

No. I think it’s pretty clear I’m not going make much money as an author, certainly nothing like enough to live on, so my writing remains an enjoyable if time-consuming and occasionally infuriating pastime. I shall carry on writing the rom-com/mystery stories that are swirling around in my head.

And yes. I confess I’ve downloaded some naughty ebooks and enjoyed them, but I’ve downloaded an awful lot more travel memoirs, mysteries, rom-coms, fantasy and chick-lit. Like many ebook readers I imagine.