Friday, August 3, 2012

The Soapbox- Think Before You Speak

Before I get the official Soapbox started and rolling, let me point out the disclaimer at the bottom of this blog.
<<thank you for reading and understanding>>

Lately I have seen a tremendous amount of, how shall I say it, authors putting out their works and promoting it as 'smut' (which as a published erotic romance author, I consider degrading and a jab at my writing). Now, let me first start by saying, I am all for promoting and finding new fans and readers... but what I have witnessed is outright demeaning to some authors' talents, credibility and reputation.

Over the last few weeks I have seen advertisements (paid for by the author) to promote his or herself as a "writer of smut". Now that may be fine and good for him or her, but now you have categorized me and other romance (whether sweet, sensual or erotic) with you as 'smut writers'.

My prolific writing style has allowed me to be a published author in many sub-genres of romance from sweeter than sweet to four flame erotic. So my sweetest romance, without a single kiss until the final page of the 37k book, may be looked upon as 'smut'. Association as an erotic romance author with so-called 'smut writers' advertising their talents in this fashion is disrepectful in my mind.

"I have had the same reaction. Really? You call your work smut? Not mine. I work hard plotting, writing, rewriting and I'll be DAMNED if I'm going to have my work called smut," adds romance author Jean Joachim. "People who don't respect themselves, don't deserve respect from others. And then they complain other people call their work porn or treat them badly."

If you put yourself, your career, your writing and namesake out there as a 'smut writer' and turn around when someone else says the title in a distasteful way, you get up on your soapbox ranting and raving, adding fuel to the ever popular erotic romance novels' fight for reverence and value among the romance industry. So, which is it? Author? Or smut writer?

Is that what his or her business card states? Jane Doe, Smut Writer and Author? Or does it state Jane Doe, Erotic Romance Author? People need to remember that their name is their business. Just like Mrs. Fields' Cookies... or the Ford Motor Company. You are selling not only your talent but your namesake. So, please tread carefully with titles and think of others in the same business.

It doesn't matter to me what sub-genre you write in, whether GLBT, hard-core BDSM or three to five flame erotic, I enjoy reading and reviewing all those genres but I get a tad bit disheartened and foremost offended by having the word 'smut' attached to my name and career.

When people ask me what I write, I respond with "romance of many genres. I have a book for every taste." Let the readers decide the category and level of romance in my books. If they choose to call it smut, than that is their view and opinion, just as this blog post is mine.

Care to share your feeling and thoughts?

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of any other publishing person(s).


  1. You always write such interesting articles Dawne. Note to self - leave more comments. It's strange, I have come across the word smut being used a lot too and it makes me cringe. Knowing how hard we work on writing to capture the essence of stories, to label it smut is a real put down.
    Somebody once asked me if I wrote smut and I was horrified. I answered with a resounding "No!"
    I'll be following your soapbox with interest.

  2. Smut has been used synonymously with the word "pornography" for years, especially by journalists exposing porn. My books are more about the story than anything else and I refuse to be identified with pornographers. Great post, Dawne!

  3. Thank you Dawne- you are so right. It's a shame that a few have taken that path as a marketing strategy. It is an insult.

  4. Thank you all for stopping by today- I just see some aspects that really make me think and I decided to share my viewpoints and opinions