Thursday, May 9, 2013

Author Chat Friday: Even more Questions Authors Can't Stand!

Yes, that's right, I'm back for another week, with another three questions authors can't stand being asked. This week's three doozies come from the lovely Maggie Nash, a fellow Australian author. So, let's discuss these questions, shall we?

When are you going to write a real book?
In today's world of technology, the ebook is the fastest way for a reader to get the story they want; they don't even have to leave the house! So why is it that only print is still considered a "real" book? 
Now, don't get me wrong; I still prefer print over digital for reading pleasure. That's just me; I like my books "old school". I love the smell of paper. However, not all stories are long enough to be a stand-alone print story; that is nothing to do with the author, it is just simply the case sometimes. Some stories truly are only short. And in a world where digital publishing is so popular, why must a short story still be only published in an anthology? There is nothing wrong with a short story being publishing as a stand-alone, digital copy. It gets its own attention, its own promotions; it doesn't fight with several other stories in an anthology, it shines by itself. 
So before you ask an author who publishes primarily shorter stories, or publishes only online, ask yourself; why should a short story have to fight for your attention just so you can hold a "real" book in your hands?
I also would like to mention that "real books" are more expensive to produce, with very little of the money ending up in the author's hands because of the price of printing and distributing. It is not the author or publisher denying the reader the chance to read a "real book" these days; it is the distributors and book stores who take most of the profit that are making it too costly for books that aren't already extremely popular to go to print. Zetta Brown has written a fantastic post on just this particular issue on her blog She Writes. I encourage you to check it out to see that it's not all easy for an author and publisher to get a book in to being "real". Authors need their paychecks too!

Oh, you write THOSE books!
Is that a problem? In a world where women are more free to indulge in their sexuality (I'm not saying all women are promiscuous, we're just finally able to be the sexual beings we've always meant to be), it is a shame that people still frown on THOSE books. There is an audience for everything, I've always said. Single women, women in relationships, mothers, working women, all types of women (and even some men!) enjoy these books. So if someone has a problem with THOSE books, then you're obviously not part of the audience authors of THOSE books are writing for; instead of trying to belittle the authors of THOSE books, congratulate them on having an imagination, and stick with the books you enjoy. There are audiences for everything; just because you're not part of all those audiences, doesn't mean that certain subjects shouldn't be written about. 

Do people still read bodice rippers?
Personally, that term makes me cringe. But that's more because it strikes a painful image of a poor, defenceless renaissance style dress being torn to shreds, damaged beyond repair. For other authors, it can seem a derogatory term. 
As I said in answer to the previous question; there is an audience for everything, and just because you aren't part of all those audiences, doesn't mean that, in this case, those audiences don't exist. 
To actually answer the question: yes. Plenty of people do still read "bodice rippers." Just google search "Popular Erotic Romance novels" and you will find multiple Top 10 lists, "Must Read Erotic Novels" lists, and several places that suggest what to read after 50 Shades of Grey. Gone are the days of hiding Mills and Boons books because they were THOSE books; women are now boldly reading these books on the train/bus on the way to work, discussing the books over coffee and lending them to family members. As much as I personally don't like 50 Shades of Grey, I will admit that it has been a considerable help in getting erotica and erotic romance novels out of the "taboo" list, and in to the "socially acceptable" list. Heck, that book is getting a movie! So yes, not only are people still reading 'bodice rippers,' THOSE books are rapidly becoming even more popular and socially acceptable. With Mother's Day in Australia coming up this Sunday, stores are listing 50 Shades of Grey and several other of THOSE books as "Great Ideas for Mum!" in catalogues. So please, don't act puritan and innocent. There are audiences for everything, and just because you aren't part of it, doesn't mean there isn't a call for it. 

I think next month might be my last of the questions, unless readers out there have any to suggest, or any other authors have some to suggest. I have some research to do for one of the questions for the next one, so until then, please think before you ask, because you never know if the question might be something the author could consider offensive or rude!