Breakout Session six – Dishing the dirt on Erotic Romance

Panel discussion with Lexxie Couper, Jess Dee, Rhian Cahill, Sami Lee, and Denise Rosetti

Much of their sales are in ebook format.

Some books have been self published.

Difference between erotica and erotic romance: 

  • Erotica focuses on the personal journey of one character, and that includes a sexual journey.  One or more partners maybe included, and the focus character may be married.  However those relationships are less important than the personal growth and development of the main character
  • Erotic romance is about the relationships between the characters.  There has to be emotion and not just sex which is why it is erotic romance.  However unlike other romance sub-genres, there are no closed doors which is why it is erotic and not just in the ‘sexy’ or ‘spice’ categories.  Multiple partners in menage situations are acceptable.

There are comments under the cut which may be explicit or even controversial, but read away and let me know what you think.  I’m just reporting the discussion that took place.

What elements work for bdsm as a turn on not a turn off?

  • examine the power exchange properly – there can be submission but it can still be very lovely and not demeaning
  • taps into secret desire a lot of women have for a man to take over
  • feeling you can let go and have someone else do things for a change
  • we are used to having to take care of everything, including our own pleasure – nice to let go

Erotic Romance

  • sex can be on page one or halfway through the book – doesn’t matter as long as it is important to the story
  • has to have emotion and not just sex
  • no closed doors – that is why it is erotica
  • characters may think they are having meaningless sex but it is never ever meaningless
  • write sex scenes in deep POV, and always move the story forward, otherwise it is just meaningless sex


Keeping it fresh:  how do you avoid writing the same scenes over and over in each book?

  • always read current work, classic work, other sub-genres
  • add another person to the mix  (from Jess)
  • dialogue unique to each character so that it feels real and as if it belongs to that story rather than just a rehash


How to get published:


  • can target a print publisher
  • publishers are interested
  • readers are looking for it in mainstream bookshops (and even kmart at the moment!)

Erotic romance

  • go to digital publisher first
  • more freedom with content and relationships
  • higher heat levels allowed


How do you promote yourself?

  • your brand is you, not your last book or current book or next book
  • your brand is what you want people know about you as as a writer
  • if you are writing across multiple genres, then you need to find ways to make that easily identifiable for readers
  • if you are already on facebook or have a blog, consider setting up a new website for promotion of your published work
  • some find the whole social media circuit useful, particularly those who are in ebooks, to get their product out to readers
  • while erotica seems to be finding more mainstream acceptance (thanks to a certain book), erotic romance is still primarily digitally published at this time


Your thoughts and stuff

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