Over the past decade, there has been a massive boom in the eBook marketplace. What was once considered a vain and mysterious practice has now become commonplace, and it has given rise to individuals with pen names who make a decent living for themselves authoring, editing, and publishing their own works. From self-help books to erotica books, the face of reading literature has changed dramatically, and it’s all thanks to two very separate entities: the eBook marketplace and 50 Shades Of Grey.
Erotic literature has always had a place in the reading world. Even turning the times when brick-and-mortar book stores reigned supreme, there was always that section of the bookstore that young children couldn’t wander into. The trope itself got painted into the idea of books: the forbidden place children weren’t allowed to go. From rooms being locked in houses and entire corners of palaces being off limits, the idea of certain people being cordoned off from a section of a building has long been not only a trope in writing, but commonplace in a book store.
But even then, only certain tropes that were appealing to the masses were found in those forbidden texts: heterosexual couples participating in heterosexual sex within the confines of their marriage. Sometimes the erotica was spiced with fetishes if the couple within the literature were attempting to spice up their intimacy, but beyond that, outlandish sex in books didn’t get work published.
But, 50 Shades Of Grey changed all that.
The Grey series by E.L. James is something the literature community doesn’t enjoy talking about, but it does deserve recognition here because it blasted those forbidden doors wide open in the world of erotic fiction. It shed light (though some will call it an unrealistic light) on a fetish in the sexual community that many are not comfortable talking about. However, blasting that door wide open created an entirely new marketable space for the romance erotica world, and it has been filled with many tropes not written about in the days where brick-and-mortar stores reigned supreme. Now, stories of sex clubs and dominating women and swinging lifestyles is commonplace in the world of erotica, and the viewership of this category continues to grow.
A category that was once one of the least-read genres of fiction has blasted into first place and has stayed there in the eBook market ever since the Grey series took a bomb to those sexually-repressed doors.
But, what makes all of this easily accessible is the turn towards the eBook marketplace. When eBooks first arrived on the scene, many people believed it was an avenue used by those who couldn’t get their works published by a big publishing company. It was considered a last-ditch effort for someone without tempered writing skills to get their work out into the world, and for the longest time many people fought it. But, in 2003, libraries began opening their doors to the electronic world by allowing people to “check out” downloadable PDFs of the books in their library, and it started the craze that flourishes today.
Now, after the outreach libraries attempted to do at the turn of the millennia, eBooks have become a branded symbol of authority. If you are knowledgeable on a subject, write an eBook about it. That eBook then serves as a tool to prove your authenticity and expertise as well as helps to harness your brand. Every doctor, online guru, freelance writer, and self-publicized “expert” has at least one eBook to their name, and this gave way to the fiction market as we now know it.
Two-thirds of all romance erotica is consumed via eBooks. In today’s society, sex and all its deviations are still a very touchy and sensitive subject, and many people do not enjoy broadcasting the fact that they read it. EBooks allow for privacy because they aren’t displayed on bookshelves when you walk into someone’s home, they are much cheaper than paperback books, and those writing the erotica can author under a pen name to keep their daily lives separate from their writing lives. 50 Shades Of Grey busted down a door that skyrocketed romantic erotica through the roof, but it is the ability to quickly publish one’s own content that bolstered the eBook community’s reliability.
EBooks give people instant access to all types of literature they wish to read at a price that is ⅕th of what they would pay in a bookstore. They do not have to go through the embarrassing process of walking into the “red zone” area of the store, they can keep their literature private on their phone, and they can devour as much content as they want without holding a book with a fully naked man on it in the middle of the public swimming pool.
The face of readership has changed over the years due to the sheer availability of eBooks, the low price of eBooks, and the physical books that brought down walls to take a taboo section of a store and turn it into an entire marketable industry. Romance erotica has quickly become the second-highest subgenre of fiction to be devoured by its fans for the past seven years, and the projected trends only see its continued rise as it gains popularity and steam.
So long as there is demand, there will always be those willing to meet that demand. EBooks are going nowhere, and neither is erotic fiction.