intense sensations

How to get your novel reviewed

Posted on: December 23, 2011

If you think it’s hard getting your thriller or paranormal romance reviewed, you should try being an erotic novelist.

I sent my latest work to a reviewer and she was very sniffy about it. “That’s not respectable fiction,” she said. “That’s porn.”

I was not prepared to take that lying down. “I’ve put my heart and soul into that story,” I told her. “Give me one reason why it’s not a legitimate piece of art.”

“Take the opening,” she said. “Three scantily-clad women on a beach are being long-lensed by a pervert. That’s a classic voyeur story.”

Encouraged by her use of the word classic, I said, “He’s not a pervert. What man wouldn’t ogle three near-naked beauties given the chance?”

“All right,” she said, “then there’s the bit where the woman is in the pool and she’s thinking about masturbating instead of going shopping with her friends.”

“Inner conflict,” I said. “All women have to juggle their lives. This is a universal problem. You can hardly call that porn.”

“OK, what she thinks about in the pool might not be porn but that shower scene! That is most definitely porn with a capital P, O, R and N!”

“Character development,” I explained. “The man watching her is a catalyst for change and when she strips off her bikini, she is, if you like, shedding her skin and showing that she is ready to move forward in her life.”

She wasn’t even listening. “And I hardly dare even mention that sizzling sex action on the bed,” she said.

“It’s a metaphor!” I told her. I was getting exasperated now. “It’s a metaphor for empowerment.”

“Did you have to depict everything in such photo-realistic detail?”

“That’s where the artistry lies,” I explained patiently. There is no telling some people. “Besides, I was enjoying myself. Is that so wrong?”

So don’t ask me how to get your book reviewed. Most reviewers are simply on a different planet.

The unreviewed version of My Russian Spy is available now from all good ebook retailers.


22 Responses to "How to get your novel reviewed"

Brilliant! My father told me recently that he read an article in NYT about a woman who writes “trashy novels.” He wanted to know if he could tell people that’s what I did. My mom said, “No, she writes PORN.” I do NOT! I told him to say I write “steamy romances” if he wants, but it’s not trash and it’s not porn!

Hi Louisa, thanks for your comment. It’s good that your father is helping to promote your work! ๐Ÿ™‚

Did you ever post that little golf piece (flash fiction length) you used to put that golfer guy in his place? LOL

And don’t forget you can use the term romantica. That simply implies nuclear hot romance. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Great post. Happy holidays, m’dear!

Was that flash fiction? Hahaha! I thought I couldn’t do flash fiction. No, I didn’t post it anywhere but in that comment thread you saw. ๐Ÿ™‚ Happy holidays to you too!

Funny put down. LOL

Romantica is actually a trademarked term owned by Ellora’s Cave. They fought long and hard for the right to use it. Personally, I like Empowered Women’s Fiction. Has a nice ring to it. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Ellora’s Cave are certainly producing some scintillating fiction, whatever they or we call it.

Brava, ladies. Some of the most unique and well crafted books I review are erotica. Danielle Smith’s Black Dog and Rebel Rose series are some of the most emotionally moving stories I have ever read. Porn, if so …Yay! More porn!

Exactly. Why isn’t there a porn shelf in my local bookshops? No wonder they are all going out of business. Today I found an erotica title (Carnal Machines) from Cleis Press tucked away in the paranormal romance section. I ask you!

Is this a tease or a shameless plug? Creative promotion in any case. You are using a classic “morality” setup to slip in your…er..erotica. It’s like the story of the man who goes to the priest for a confession and says things like:
“If I take my wife in the shower and we [something graphic]…is that a sin, Father?”

“If we go to the park and we [more graphic action]…is THAT a sin, Father?”, etc.

As a reviewer I have no qualms about erotica, regardless of the “porn” it has because my readers want to know. Some great writers have written what others call “porn”. My editor, however, keeps joking with me about my “smut” reviews.

I hope you can find a reviewer who won’t reject erotica simply because they think it is porn/smut – what are they expecting?

Thanks for your insights, Dave. I’m afraid it’s a tease and a shameless plug. Naughty of me! Hahaha!

I’m going to share this blog with the followers of The BookCase Project, many of whom are women.
Please go to the site and click “Like” so I know that you visited. Thanks and Happy Holidays!

Thank you! My own contribution to the bookcase project is to suggest that technology has made it possible to buy and enjoy a wide range of excellent erotic books that were simply unknown or unavailable before.

A clever little not-review ๐Ÿ˜‰

Who’s Empowered, the Women or the Fiction?

Hello Jo! Er, I think I meant the woman in the story is empowered. But it wasn’t meant to be taken seriously, so please don’t ask searching questions.

Very amusing! Words are taken in so many ways these days aren’t they? I reckon we think too much, and if we enjoy a bit of ‘steamy’ action in our romance/drama/suspense etc novels, then so be it. Go girls!

By the way, my comment above is showing as ‘Anonymous’ when actually I am here and I like to be heard and seen! SpookyMrsGreen (Catherine Green author) in case the computer refuses to acknowledge me…

Hello Spooky Mrs Green, ghost hunter extraordinaire. You are welcome in all your manifestations and guises, even as Anonymous.

Hi Vanessa,

If you would like me to review your short story, My Russian Spy, I am happy to do so. Just send a copy to my e-mail address . Maybe Eden Baylee will also post the review on her website.


Con Cรบ

Thank you for your kind gesture, Con. Eden has been kind enough to promote my work by ‘interviewing’ me. That was a thrill but I’d rather not push my luck. ๐Ÿ™‚

Loved it!

Reading a book is like experiencing a new kind of food. You like it, you dislike it or you just do not care for it. It is all a matter of personal taste and what you feel when you read it. The same book at a different period of our life may receive a complete different appreciation.

However, people who do not like explicit sex scenes in their romance will always find excuse to say it is not necessary in the plot.

For me a sex scene is not shy. It has to be explicit and this is why the subgenre IS erotic romance. I read a very interesting blog saying that we should make a difference between erotica and erotic romance and I agree.

The thing is that it is also true that some author choose to write porn. Just scroll any “multiple partners” in allromancebooks and tons of “daddys” or “ganging and banging” kind of quickies.

On the other hand, tons of incredible authors who know how to incorporate spicy hot scenes within the romance.

Just a matter of opinion and thanks G! we are all different to appreciate different subgenre.

I am a reviewer, trying to always have an open mind, I am into menage “kinky” romance. I quote kinky because for the majority of MF romance lovers, menage is almost assimilated to gang bang. Yes I love the sex scenes but what fascinates me is the relationship between all parties and the difficulties to make a multi partnership working. Sex is a plus but not why I read menage.

A reviewer is only one opinion. I like very much when an author understand that and try to not take it as it is everyone’s opinion. In a discussion there is always good and bad to take from. I understand that an author will be upset if we do not praise their work and it is hard to be detached emotionally. But again it is ONE opinion, this should be just analyzed. The author, should try to get ideas and move on and keep in mind that tons of anonymous readers loved the book but never have the chance to express their opinion. So a review should be a source of new ideas. If the reviewer does not like erotic, then that it his/her choice. No need to try to ask this person to change his/her mind. It is a lost battle and we will loose tons of energy for nothing worthy in the end besides frustration.

Nobody like necessary the blue color. It does not mean that the blue color is ugly.

~ Mary ~

Wow, thank you for this, Mary. I share your interest in relationships. They are endlessly fascinating.

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