Regular readers know how I feel about E.L. James’ Fifty Shades of Grey (ick). I have now, however, begun to wonder about how other authors feel about Fifty Shades. Like, say, Anne Rice.
Anne Rice has an erotic Sleeping Beauty trilogy, originally written under the pen name A. N. Roquelaure. Penguin has recently republished the books to take advantage of the hoopla surrounding Fifty Shades. Now, that sounds like a good thing for Anne Rice, right? In terms of money-making, sure. But there has been one major change to the books: The new covers say that if you liked Fifty Shades, you’ll love the Sleeping Beauty books.
Um, what? Did you just put advertising for someone else’s books on the front cover? Maybe Anne Rice is more pragmatic than I am, but this seems more than a little insulting. Sending signage to stores, sure. Having it on displays, whatever. But actually printing it on the book seems like telling readers and Anne Rice that she’s second banana in the bunch.
Not that she’s the only author whose books are being re-positioned – Sylvia Day’s marketing had her Crossfire series ready to go once rabid readers finished the Fifty Shades trilogy, and were looking for more.
I will say this: the erotica section has never sold so well as it is now, and many of the women buying are women who normally are not readers. So, if it’s getting people reading, I guess that’s a plus. I’m trying to shift some of them on to Jacqueline Carey’s Kushiel’s Legacy series, which although definitely erotic and featuring S&M, also has… a plot! And decent writing. I feel like a missionary out to convert the heathens. Wish me luck!