I’m feeling a bit controversial today, so bear with me. When Lisa and I finished Given we had some concerns about how well it would sell. Oddly enough, we were concerned that an African American erotic romance wouldn’t sell well. When I looked at the books on the various e-publisher sites there simply weren’t that many African American romances. In fact, I couldn’t find any. Almost all the books were IR, primarily with black women.
Granted, I was only judging by the covers, and as we know cover art can be deceptive, still, just as matter of course, one would expect to see more AA books than IR, much as it is in the mass-market. Of course, e-publishers are niche publishers. They appeal to the reader who doesn’t find what they are looking for in the mass-market. That makes perfectly good sense, but other than Zane there is very little AA erotica in the mass market. So why wouldn’t AA erotic romance also be a niche market for the e-pubs?
I find it hard to believe that there isn’t a market for AA Erotic Romance. After all, Zane has to be selling to somebody. Is no one writing it? Or, is it that they assume that it won’t sell? And if the assumption is that it won’t sell, why? I’ve said before that as near as I can tell most of my readers prefer IR books, and IR books exclusively. And certainly the sales of Given have borne this out. I thought perhaps those who prefer AA books would make up the difference, but that hasn’t happened either.
Granted, the technology gap is a problem. There are a lot of readers that won’t read e-books. And I get complaints all the time from readers that like IR, but don’t like erotic romance. I’ve explained that because of market considerations, at least for the forseeable future most IR books will probably be e-books and most e-pubs do erotic romance. So, I guess the bottom line is at least for the time being, I won’t be doing anymore AA erotic romance, and that’s a shame.
Okay, and here’s even more controversy. In the IR books why are there so few with AA heroes? I assume that these books are written by white women, I haven’t had any ideas, but I did have an idea for a historical with a black man and a Native American woman. That probably won’t get written either. Is it assumed that white women aren’t interested in stories about black men? Is there a problem with black men as romance heroes in general and why would that be?