An open letter to Mr. Jeff Bezos, founder and CEO of Amazon.com, Inc.
First of all, just like we started our last post about Kindle Unlimited (KU), we’re going to start this letter by reiterating how much we love Amazon and the KU program. Getting instant access to millions of good books has never been easier than it is today, and Amazon is a HUGE contributing factor. It is truly a golden era for book lovers, and for your part in that, we genuinely thank you.
But let’s be really honest for a moment. The KU program, while awesome in theory, is broken and in desperate need of repair. How is it broken? Let us count the ways:
We want to make one thing perfectly clear. We love Amazon. Like, a lot. We’re firm believers that if something isn’t sold on Amazon, we don’t really need it. So, this post is not—nor will it ever be—an attack on Amazon. What it will be instead is a polite call for change to a policy that has recently been brought to our attention and troubles us deeply—and that policy is how authors are paid for their work that is downloaded through the Kindle Unlimited (KU) program.
Here Romance Rehab, we love the romance genre. Heck, we even wrote a defense of the genre to shut down all the small-minded critics out there who so enjoy slamming our choice of reading materials. But no genre is without its faults. With that in mind, here are our picks for the top 12 things we never again want to see in romance novels:
(Listed in no particular order)
So, I’ve been wondering lately if it’s time to call it quits with romantic suspense. You know, have the standard “it’s not you, it’s me” conversation and go our separate ways. It’s a tough decision because we’ve had some good times, romantic suspense and I. And there’s no denying that Cynthia Eden, Shannon K. Butcher, Kaylea Cross, and Katie Reus—just to name a few—are masters who’ve provided me with hours and hours of sexy, alpha book boyfriends, feisty heroines, and scary, sicko serial killers worthy of their own guest spots on Criminal Minds. But for every great romantic suspense I’ve read from the masters, I’ve read five more that featured crap that just irked the bejesus out of me. Stuff like:
Guest post from author Isabel Jordan.
I watched Batman vs. Superman last night. (There was nothing else on, and my husband wanted to see it, OK? Don’t judge.) As I expected, it was one of the worst films I’ve ever seen. And just to put this into perspective: I sat through Australia, all the Highlander movies after the original, and Catwoman, people. I have seen things that can’t be unseen.
Writing is hard work, and it doesn’t always pay as well as you might assume. (Unless you’re Stephen King, or JK Rowling. Then we’re sure it pays just as well as you might assume.) The last thing in the world we want is for our favorite authors to lose hope and quit writing, particularly before that next book in our favorite series is finished. So, with that in mind, here are a few things readers can do to help their favorite authors and keep them motivated to write more books, faster:
The official list of words and phrases we NEVER want to read again in romance novels
We get it. In the writing world, few things are harder (Ha! Get it? See what we did there?) to create than an engaging sex scene. As authors, particularly you romance authors out there, you are forced to walk a dangerously thin tightrope when it comes to writing these scenes. Write a classy, “fade to black before penetration” sex scene and some readers feel cheated. Write a realistic sex scene using clinical, accurate terminology and it ends up reading like an instructional manual.
The sweet spot (Ha! We did it again. We’re on fire over here) is somewhere in between the two extremes. But in the quest for realistic and titillating sex scenes, some authors get a little too creative (in our opinion) with terminology, causing things to get...weird. Since we read a lot (like, seriously, a lot) here at Romance Rehab, we’re pretty sure we can help you authors find that sex scene sweet spot. Here is a quick cheat-sheet of words and phrases we’ve come across that we’d be happy to never see again in books (or anywhere else for that matter):
Crushing the romance stigma once and for all
Romance novel sales tally in the billions of dollars every year. (That's right: billions. With a "b".) And still, literary critics and other various bookish snobs continue to malign the genre, loudly and with great disdain. Why is that? If you ask these folks, they'll tell you romance novels are nothing but badly written trash.
So, y'all have read a bunch of romance novels before forming that opinion, I assume?
Oh, no, they'll say, noses tipped heavenward. They don't read romance (with all the contempt in the world placed on the word "romance").
Huh. Now I'm confused.
Why would people be so openly hostile to a genre they've never read? I think I can tell you why.