Wednesday, July 25, 2007

A dilemma

There's more bloffle. There's always more bloffle, but I swear, this year it just seems like one spins into another before the last one is blown out. I'm sort of curious as to whether they will ever stop, in a train-wreck witness sort of way.

But I do occasionally still have serious things to ponder and discuss. Like:

I have a book to turn in for a publisher. It's the fourth of a quadrology. (Is that what those are called?) Fourth in a series, anyway. The other three books are by authors who write erotic romance. As in, that's what readers know them for.

I, those who swing by know, am not known for writing erotic romance. I don't, so much. Not under this name, anyway. So I have a dilemma.

The last time I did a series with erotic romance authors, I stuck by my guns and did not write a book that matched the tone. Certainly I upped the heat, I think, but I didn't go erotic. And the book didn't quite reach the reading audience for the series.

So now, here I stand at the deciding point again, pondering what to do. Should I continue to stick to the tone I've set with this name, and once more keep myself beneath the erotic romance line, and trust that the people who want to read it will find and enjoy the book (assuming it's picked up, of course). Or should I hop on the erotic romance trend, toss away caution and write something hotter, and hopefully tap into a new portion of the readers out there?

It really is a thorny (I was going to say sticky, but I'll spare you) question. What would you do in my shoes?


Chris said...

Man, that's a tough one. I guess the answer would depend on how you came to end up with the assignment, and cost to you vs benefit to you.

If you think it will hurt your sales in the sweetside market, that's a cost. If it would pain or bother you to write above the line, that's a cost. If doing it will make you more $, that's a benefit. If doing it will enhance your reputation and connectivity within your publishing market (editors, houses, etc.), that's a benefit.

I think you also have to factor in any promises you have made or implied to the other authors, the editor involved, and the pub house with whom you have a contract. Does holding back hurt them? Have no impact? Can you talk to any of them about the topic directly?

Now weight each of the costs and benefits against the things that are most important to you in the short and long term -- do you get different answers if you look over the short term vs the long term?

I'm one to go with the long haul answer every time, myself...

Man, I dunno if that helps, but I do sympathize. I've been struggling with some sort of parallel issues within my non-writing life, so I've done a lot of thinking about how to decide (Libra through and through, I'm still sort of following my gut).

Catie said...

Is there any particular reason you have to write this book under the non-erotica name? Can you put the erotica name on it instead? You and the publisher both want to make money, after all, and if people recognize the non-erotica name as one that doesn't write teh sexay, then writing under a different name shouldn't hurt, right?


Ericka Scott said...

I'm a bad one to ask. I write to the market....tsk,tsk, me....

I'd take a look at what YOU want to get out of publishing this book...and go from there.