Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Bringing Sexy Back... But NOT the way you think!

Already, only a month into our venture, we've caught some flack for offering only "wholesome" reads.  In one blog, it was stated that "wholesome" implies other publishing houses don't offer this.  Actually, no.  I work for five of them, and I know for a fact other epubs publish sweet or wholesome books.  But at Astraea, we'd like to take things back to the way they were, years ago when people read romance for...romance (and any other genre for the actual genre instead of the graphics)!

In a nutshell?  We're bringing sexy a clean way! :o)

Look, I know "sex sells", I'm well aware that our venture won't be raking in huge amounts until we make a name for ourselves, maybe not even then. But I want to be a place people go that they can trust the content and not worry if their teenager is downloading stuff they shouldn't know about until they're adults. And doesn't everyone have to start somewhere?  In the epublishing business, I realized that very few epubs are only on the clean side.  With the take off of dedicated e-readers and the upcoming tech generation, I saw a gap in the market.  Where can clean authors go where they don't compete with erotica? Well, my first instinct is to say the inspirational market.

But what about those who fall somewhere in between?  My two books aren't inspirational, but they're certainly not erotica.  I wouldn't even consider them mainstream, but somewhere in between inspirational and mainstream.  Close door sex but some serious sensuality.  And I'll be honest, what romance book isn't made better when you know your characters want to go at  it...but choose not to because of conflict or personal reasons?  Look at Twilight.  You can't tell me Stephenie Meyer didn't do SOMETHING right.  All the naysayers can hang it up.  If she hadn't done something right, she wouldn't be a rich woman today.  And how refreshing was it to see something so clean make it so big! A hot, loving, caring, PERFECT vampire wanting to wait until marriage? *GASP*  Yet teenagers and even women well into their adulthood can't get enough.

That proves to me that there's a market for it, whether we want to admit it or not. I'm not trying to say that everyone who publishes erotica should repent and close their doors.  I'm saying that there are people who just aren't into that kind of thing.  Some people would like to download a book without worrying if they're getting something they don't want to read.

Then there are those who want the heated stuff.  I'm not sorry to say, you won't find that with us.

Astraea is going back to the basics, where romance (or any other genre!)is real romance (or mystery, get the point) and focuses on the relationships and emotions involved, not Sex Ed 101.  Anything is possible, and it's possible that we might fail.  But we won't go down without a fight!



  1. The almost kiss, progressing into a the moment two people kiss is the hottest thing in the world...IMO.

    And I agree, I think there's a definite market here.

  2. I totally agree. I read alot and there have been quite a few times that I've skipped over the love scene because it was too graphic for me and/or unbelievable. There have also been times that the wording made me laugh out loud. Almost as if the author was either clinical or uncomfortable with writing the details. There haven't been very many books that I actually blushed and felt the scene was appropriate for the characters and the storyline. I know several family members that are looking forward to what Astraea offers.

    I know sex sells...but there are actually readers out there that enjoy reading for the escape. Not the sex scenes.

  3. Great post. I think it's great that you're offering readers an alternative to some of the things that are currently out there.

    And like the others said, there's something about the anticipation of a first kiss, or that first time someone holds a door open for you or takes your hand.

    Since I write for teens, I like to concentrate on the building of friendships/relationships and of the awkwardness and worries that come along with first love. Of course, as writers we know that people are having sex, but sometimes it's nice to focus on something besides that!

  4. I am so excited to find your site! I am an author who isn't comfortable writing sex. I'm all over sexual tension but my own beliefs and comfort level won't let me write something I wouldn't want my grandmother (if she were still living) or my priest! reading. I will certainly be watching your progress and wish you the best. When I'm ready to submit the book I'm working on, you'll be on my list!

  5. Sounds like a wonderful idea. I'm a sweet romance writer, and have forwarded your info to some writer friends. I may have missed it somewhere, but do you only have e-books, or do you also publish in print?

    Thanks so much,

    And good luck!

    Ruth J. Hartman

  6. Nearly all publishing is niche now, particularly in e-books. Why try to sell straight romance in an erotica venue?

  7. Ruth, we'll be doing POD as well for higher word counts. We're so excited and having so much fun!

  8. Susan, we agree. That's why we feel like there's a hole in the market. Very few places offer clean reads in the epublishing world. We're trying to redefine things with our company. Dedicated e-readers are exploding, teens, moms, people who don't always read erotica (I'm one of them!), so we're aiming for those people. Some people would just like to be able to read cleaner stuff without worrying about content. That's where Astraea comes in. Thanks for commenting!

  9. You're site sounds wonderful! I don't like to read erotica either. If I'm reading a book with stuff I don't like, I skip over that part. I totally agree that you can have a romantic, sexy scene without talking it to death with graphic words. That's what makes a good writer. The reader gets it, but doesn't have to be hit over the head with it.

    Just out of curiosity, what word count will you be putting into print?

    Thanks :)


  10. Kudos to you Astraea Press. It's always nice to have a safe haven of sorts. I am very excited you will be at Sweet Pitch Day at Sweeter Romantic Notions. It's going to be a great day. That's January 20th. Cya then!