One Of These Things is Not Like the Other

Courtesy of Barbara Ferrer, her local Barnes & Noble,  and her camera phone, we have a picture that really may be worth a thousand words.

Which words? The ones you use when you defend the accusation that romance is “porn.”


Random Musings

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  1. 1
    JessicaMcG says:

    huh, and here I thought we might be leaning back towards the flower covered books…guess not.

  2. 2
    Jaci Burton says:

    I wonder if I’ll sell more copies of my book being on the same shelf with Jenna.


  3. 3
    Angela James says:

    Jenna Jameson is a brilliant businesswoman, there are worse things that could be shelved there! But I wonder if that book is a romance? From Amazon, it looks to be erotica.

  4. 4
    Eeyore9990 says:

    What was I supposed to be looking at?  Because a double dose of hard, bunching abs?  Totally wiped all thought from my mind. 

    *is mindless zombie*

  5. 5
    growlycub says:

    As far as I could see all those titles (except for the Macomber on the very right) are erotica/erotic romance.

    And let me put in a plug for Handyman, great stuff and way more than sweating bodies, too.

    spam word: pattern16, well yes, there was a pattern, nice abs, if not 16, then at least 6… :)

  6. 6
    Teddypig says:

    I always thought critiquing books required reading skills?

    Little did I know Cosmo = Hustler.

    Note to self: No Queequeg mantitty on Moby Dick cover Church Ladies get upset.

  7. 7
    particle_person says:

    Susan Johnson? Really “Johnson?”

  8. 8
    nitenurse says:

    You know, if I want a Bethany Press type of book, I shop in a Christian bookstore.  If I want goog old fashioned romance stuff I head to Chapters or the used book store.  I’m yet to meet a child or a male in those aisles.

  9. 9
    Nifty says:



    Barnes & Noble doesn’t differentiate between Erotica and Romance.  I wish they did, although the lines are getting sooooo blurred these days that it may not matter.  Borders has an erotica section, but I’ve noticed lately that it’s gotten rather anemic, with most of the new erotica—Ellora’s Cave, Aphrodisia, etc.—being shelved in Romance.  They’re even shelving Blake Lace over in Romance, whereas that used to have a strong presence in the Erotica section.

    At Barnes & Noble, all the Erotica and Romance is shelved together, unless it is definitely Gay/Lesbian Erotica—which is shelved in Gay/Lesbian—or Zane, which is shelved in Fiction.

  10. 10

    I honestly can’t figure out if it’s one book I’m supposed to be looking at or if all of the covers/titles are equally gag worthy.

    And this is in no way a criticism of the authors.  I’ve been plenty unhappy with some of my titles/covers, myself.

  11. 11
    Carrie Lofty says:

    I think the point is that Jenna Jameson is a porn star, and now she has a book out. So where’s the defense that romance is nothing but porn? The boundaries are blurred ever more.

  12. 12
    Barb Ferrer says:

    Well, when I took the picture there were two things that were throwing me.  One, the Debbie Macomber book at the end of that row and two, the Jenna Jameson book in the middle.

    As a New Release section in Romance it’s supposed to be representative of the genre.  Now mind you—I’m no prude.  I had my ten year old daughter with me and she asked, “Mom, why are there so many naked people on the covers?”

    I replied, “It’s what’s selling.”  *shrug*

  13. 13
    rebyj says:

    have you all seen the price of those books? 13.99 – 15.99!

    all for the pleasure of reading words like “pussy and cock” instead of “sheath and man sword” LOL

  14. 14
    Chicklet says:

    all for the pleasure of reading words like “pussy and cock” instead of “sheath and man sword” LOL

    Actually, I like the first pair of words a lot more than the second. *g* They seem more… honest to me, somehow. Jay McInerney said once that he thought sex scenes in books should be “unadorned,” and I agree. I hate euphemistic language used to describe such an elemental experience.

    Probably explains why I’m fine with paying more money for certain books. *g*

    HAHAHAHA. My spamguard word is length68. Only one digit off!

  15. 15
    Kismet says:

    all for the pleasure of reading words like “pussy and cock” instead of “sheath and man sword” LOL


    I am not so fond of the naked people covers… gimme a person, place,or thing cover…and naked people can be put on the 2nd cover (I don’t remember what they’re called).

    Lack24…yes, I find the naked couple covers lacking.

  16. 16
    Kismet says:

    Not sure where my snorking comment went… but it was supposed to go beneath rebyj’s quote…that was hillarious. Root beer almost came out of my nose.

  17. 17
    rebyj says:

    chicklet I prefer the less flowery terms as well.
    Kismet, rootbeer is good for the sinuses!

    I’ve read a few of the newer erotica books, and maybe its just that I’m old but there are only so many ways to describe a love scene and the erotica doesnt seem any more graphic than regular fiction except in erotica, there are love scenes in which the hero’s aim is off. :0

  18. 18
    Tracey says:

    Aim is off


    flowery terms are done with, but the naked covers are WAY overdone these days.
    We Get It, it’s erotic romance…now let’s move on.

    my daughter recently put all my romance books in my bedroom and said she really didn’t want her friends to see the naked people. She’s 10. I couldn’t stop laughing.

  19. 19
    oakling says:

    I think the bedroom is a good place for all the naked picture covers… when there are kids around. It’s great when kids assert their own boundaries around these things. I know a woman who keeps her sex toys strewn about the apartment, even in her son’s space, even though he hated hated hated it – he was four or five at the time! Obviously that’s different – it’s just part of why I like it when kids get to be like “no, this will no longer go out in the part of the house my friends and I are in.”

  20. 20
    Barb Ferrer says:

    Well, I had to laugh at my daughter’s interpretation of one of the covers—not on that shelf, but another, they had another title face out—and my daughter, budding artist that she is, took a look at the cover and said, hand to God, “Mom, why is there a gargoyle sitting on that woman on the cover?”

    I looked again and nearly lost my mind laughing.  That cover photo was so soft focus, the guy actually did look slightly gargoylish.

  21. 21

    I’m really not sure how to respond.  It is ironic how romance writers try to defend the genre as it not being porn, and yet we are shelved (and have book covers which reflect) erotica and pornography.  Of course, not many authors have control over their bookcover or the marketing, but should we stop the fight and just enjoy the ride?  For me, the jury is still out.

    I want RESPECT for my work and yet I want sales too!

  22. 22
    Anj says:

    I think my favorite part of the row is that Jenna Jameson’s book is almost the most conservative cover…

  23. 23
    Ciaralira says:

    I think Barnes & Noble is confused about book shelving in general. I browsed yesterday and nothing was where I would have looked for it: Vampire romances (Charlene Harris and laurell hamilton and the like) were in with the sci-fi/fan section and Richelle Mead’s Succubus Blues was filed in regular fiction. B&N didn’t have the first two books in Meljean Brook’s Demon series (which I had gone in to buy) but did have a huge stack of jenna jameson’s book. It almost made me want to get a job there so I could rearrange everything to my liking!

  24. 24

    As an Aphrodisia author, I’m thrilled to see so many of our books on the shelf!

    Noelle Mack was the first Aphrodisia author to get a RT top pick and 4.5 stars. Her books are great! Jodi and Lacy’s books are fantastic too.

    I didn’t realize that Jenna Jameson was a porn star. (Apparently I live in a cave.) Her cover doesn’t give it away.

    Personally, I think it’s great that we can get our romance fixes in flavors ranging from Debbie Macomber’s, A Good Yarn to Kimberly Kay’s, Big Spankable Asses! I think it’s one of the reasons romance rocks! I’m glad that the covers can appropriately reflect the heat content too.

  25. 25
    Chicklet says:

    That cover photo was so soft focus, the guy actually did look slightly gargoylish.

    Do I spy the next popular subgenre of romance? *g*

  26. 26
    Teddypig says:

    I am for the equal rights of himbos everywhere.

    I want more naked virile sweaty gorjesus men on my book covers please!

    I feel men should have given the same opportunity to be treated like the sex objects we deserve to be.


  27. 27
    Barb Ferrer says:

    Do I spy the next popular subgenre of romance? *g*

    At this point, not much would surprise me.  *g*

  28. 28
    Barb Ferrer says:

    I am for the equal rights of himbos everywhere.

    I want more naked virile sweaty gorjesus men on my book covers please!

    *SNORT*  But TP, don’t you think that a full row of them sort of deadens the impact?

    *thinks about who she’s talking to*

    Never mind.  Carry on.

  29. 29
    Flo says:

    Why would it matter?  If you sell a story hooray.  Who cares what the label is?  If you’re going to be picky don’t write a story that someone may flick a bic or empty a twinkie too.  For all there are romantic ideals in the stories most contain some form of sexual contact which tends to get us humans all riled up.

    So don’t fash yourselves over the fact that a porn star bought into the business.  She’s a nasty dried up va-jay-jay so she’s gotta try her hand at something new.  Will she compare to someone who has been actually doing the CRAFT of writing for a long time and really really puts their all into a story?  Probably not.  But most likely she’s also ghost written.

    The book cover idea of sexy is so not anymore.  I’m desensitized to it.  I don’t go “Ooo sexy abs!” anymore.  At all.  I just sort of shuffle on by and hope I can find something romantic with a cover that doesn’t scream “FUCK ME! FUCK ME!  FUCK ME WHILE I’M TIGHT!”

    Alas, my choices are so limited these days. (*snerk* values45 I wish the industry had some!)

  30. 30
    rebyj says:

    That cover photo was so soft focus, the guy actually did look slightly gargoylish.

    Do I spy the next popular subgenre of romance? *g*

    I’ve read Vickie Taylor’s “flesh and stone” and “carved in stone”
    both about gargoyles LOL

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