When I first started writing, it was full of steam and hope. I had a set goal: inspire young women, educate them, teach them, make them laugh and strive to be all they could be.
I gave them Ride for Rights. Funny, full of real history, and meant to show young women..."it can be did."
And...nobody was interested. After a few months of only reaching 12 sales despite all my social networking, I said, "Hmm. I'll just write something else."
One of the things I hate about romance is all the darned perfect heroines and the fact that most of the time I walk away merely entertained, never having learned anything, so I said, "I'll give readers a romance with food for thought."
I wrote A Facebook Affair (soon to be rereleased as Love Request), a story featuring a hearing impaired heroine, because hey, we deserve happy endings too.
When I sold ten copies, I scrunched up my face and said, "Well then..." and "What am I doing wrong?"
Other authors told me sometime after I released four or five books, "Your work is too heavy. Readers just want to get lost in mindless entertainment. They don't want serious life issues. They don't want to think."
And as I got tired of feeling as though I was giving speeches to empty rooms--believe me, that's what it feels like to write a book nobody wants to read--I took those words to heart and I started writing erotica. It's a growing trend, a train more authors are jumping on to. You know why? We have to eat, and we don't eat paper and crap ink.
I've been seeing lots of snide conversations on sites like Goodreads. "Oh, I wish authors understood the difference between porn and romance. I'm tired of all this drivel."
How to answer that?
We do understand, but writing is a business, at least it's supposed to be. So I'm the writer and writing is my business. That means readers are my customers. They are the ones I must make happy. Readers tell me what they want. I write it for them. How do readers tell me what they want?
They buy my books.
If I sell ten of my sweet romance and 50 of my porn, then by all that's holy, readers hath spoken. They do not want the sweet reads. They want the hardcore stuff, and as I need to eat, I will write what they want.
So, truly, everyone, the best and absolute best way to make your reader's voice heard is to buy what you are interested in. Yes, the economy is tight, but 2.99, 1.99, or even 99 cents isn't breaking the bank.
Buy a book for Christmas, either for yourself or for someone else. It will make an author's day and you'll also make your voice heard. It says, "This is the kind of stuff I want to read! Please write more of it!"