Duh. But just in case you had any doubts…
Today’s e-book power buyer—someone who buys an e-book at least once a week—is a 44-year-old woman who loves romance and is spending more on buying books now than in the past. She uses a dedicated e-reader like a Kindle instead of reading on her computer. [source]
Apparently Amazon and B&N are arbitrarily censoring erotica. Amazon has been eliminating books because of their titles, according to this article, while B&N has been allegedly hiding certain previews, which cut into book sales. I’m not sure I understand the logic of preventing a child from reading a steamy sample when supposedly s/he could walk into a Barnes & Noble, pick up that same book off the shelf, sit down, and read the entire thing. Or maybe these books aren’t on the shelves? Or perhaps there are B&N employees engaged in quiet carding. “Um, excuse me, but that’s a steamy-looking romance … may I please see your driver’s license?”
In any case, it annoys me that these article writers use romance and erotica interchangeably. They’re different. A romance novel may or may not contain a whole bunch of steamy sex (there’s a huge range, from no sex in the Christian romances to total porn), but either way it is supposed to have some semblance of a plot, however flimsy. The best romances have complex plots and are fun and interesting, though this varies hugely. I haven’t read a lot of erotica, only enough so that I can write some, but from what I see, plots are pretty much nonexistent. The idea is simply to get the characters (quickly) into a situation where they can begin having sex. That’s it. You don’t want to waste time (wordcount) with anything complicated.
But in any case, good news for romance and/or erotica writers, right? This stuff continues to sell, as always. Yay!