Who's Reading What

The author's loop within my publishing house has been buzzing the past few days on an e-book, whose subject matter is objectionable to a vast majority of the reading public. Let me qualify. There are those who like what this author wrote, and will buy the book. Not myself, but with over six billion people in the world, someone will like this story.

This made me think, because our discussion then progressed into what our family and friends thought about our writing, and more pointedly, explicit sex scenes. I write about multiple partners, a little bondage and discipline, so I've already pushed boundaries some authors won't cross. I respect they're not comfortable having the bedroom door flung wide open during intimate scenes, but, my reading audience knows this is what they'll find in my stories. I've set the standard for what my readers can expect in a Madison J Edwards book.

If I were to suddenly write a western, and talk only about gunslingers and doe-eyed Misses, my core group of readers would be disappointed, and might never buy another one of my books. Ever.

If your readers expect snappy dialogue, a little bit of suspense and loads of laughter, then that's what you write. If your audience buys your books because you write romance with a hint of eroticism, but keep the bedroom doors closed, then that's what you write. Just because your partner, or friend is uncomfortable reading/knowing you write explicit sex scenes shouldn't stop you from writing them. They don't have to read the book, do they?

Ultimately, we write to please the people who purchase our stories, and fall in love with our characters. They are the ones we should be trying to please.