Monday, May 28, 2012

The Write Stimulus for Women

Romance, erotica, or maybe... pornmomgraphy? 

Erika Leonard’s genres are drama, erotica, and fan fiction.  They are rolled into one book (iffy on drama).  The author said she wanted to write a love story and joked that her husband didn’t mind the research. 

Aside from the titillating study, her first novel, Fifty Shades of Grey, is a flippin’ best seller.  Not exactly anti-climatic.  Not only that, according to this week’s Globe and Mail, the three top selling books for the last few weeks are all by E. L. James.  Fifty Shades of whatever. 

I purchased the book with the intention of doing a review.  Alrightalready, I was curious, too.  Unable to help myself, I started highlighting awkward segments (phrasing−not positions) and marking repetition, which became tenaciously eye rolling.  I finally gave up.

There was a great deal of eye rolling by Anastasia, Christian, and other characters in the book.  Actually, I couldn’t help rolling my eyes reading about a woman in her twenties who could barely put one foot in front of the other without falling on her face.  Seriously, did that not bother anyone else?  The first twenty-five pages were painful to read.  She was stumbling, falling, dropping, tripping, struggling...

What makes this book such a great seller?  Is it the writing?  Not by a long shot. Even though the emails are cute, we’ve already determined it’s not the writing or the character profiles that make this trilogy a Best Seller.  It must be the story.  No, there is no story.  The author started to tell a story.  She offered us a little but I wanted more.

Christian’s background intrigued me.  I kept reading...and reading...until the last page.    There was no satisfying reveal.  Maybe that was her strategy.  The book left me hanging, and not from the ceiling. 

At the end of Fifty Shades of Grey (well, it had no ending), my first thought−one of my first thoughts−was that they took an unedited overly long manuscript and split it into three books.  With a trilogy, they would triple their sales.  A fantastic marketing ploy.  AND, it’s working.

Why is Fifty Shades of Grey so popular?  It must be the sex.  BDSM.  Is it the novelty of it, or the familiarity of it?

Women love porn and erotica.  There is a difference between the two.  In fact, I learned a few more juicy facts that I will investigate further for an upcoming column.  According to online sources, one in three people viewing pornography online are women. 

Be assured that many more books of this persuasion will inundate the market. 

Admittedly, I have not read the other two Fifty Shades books, nor am I particularly inclined to read them at this time.  Is it sour grapes?  No, of course not−well, maybe a little.  Imagine, this is her first novel and it’s a mega hit and a soon-to-be movie.   

Oh, well.  Maybe the book I’m trying to get published needs more sex.  Yes, that’s the answer! 

Let the research begin......


  1. I read all three and the writing is terrible! Entertaining...yes but that is about all.

    1. Thanks for your comment. At least there's something to be said for entertainment. Not a total loss but disappointing just the same.