Then there’s the question of how naughty do you want your book to be? Do you want to stop at blushes, hand holding and kisses with the camera panning away as your couple caresses each other by the firelight? Are you comfortable with taking things a little further knowing that not only strangers but friends and family will be reading your descriptions of pert nipples and parts athrobbin’? Are you considering describing your characters performing acts that would make a porn star blush and plunge your book straight into the land of erotica? How many times will your hero and heroine knock boots? Will you tease the audience throughout the story, building anticipation until the end? Would you prefer your characters to be in a committed relationship or even married before they finally do the deed or will you sprinkle their lovemaking throughout the story?
When your story is complete and it’s time to work on the cover how will you get your readers’ attention? There are readers who love seeing the fuchsia cover featuring a brawny half naked man with long flowing hair and pouting nipples clutching a trembling female falling out of a silky gown while other readers are embarrassed to be seen with these covers in public. These are all things you need to consider when writing and publishing a romance novel.
When I told my mother I would be publishing a fantasy romance series she scoffed, “Why would you read that trash, let alone write it?” Conversations between this “good Christian woman” and myself always included her opinion that romance was nothing but smut. Meanwhile, to my knowledge, she has never actually picked up a romance novel. What most people don’t seem to understand is that as with any other genre out there, romance has its good stories as well as bad. Some books are just so awful they’re an insult to the English language while others hook you from the beginning and take you on a ride you’ll never forget! We’re all familiar with the adage “don’t judge a book by its cover” and with actual books as with people, this remains true. So if you’ve never picked up a romance novel before, give it a try sometime. If you have and you’ve been turned off or feel burned out by what’s out there, dive back in. There are so many divisions within the genre of romance itself that there’s always a new experience waiting for you.