Thursday, September 5, 2013

Who Wrote This Book?

About a month after my first taboo book (Adam and Sheree's Family Vacation) was published, my girlfriend said, "I think you should have written that one under a pen name."

Thanks for the advice, doll.  You couldn't have come up with that idea BEFORE the book was published?

But, alas, hindsight's got those powerful specs, and we just sit around waiting to realize our mistakes.  That's how we learn.

If you follow me on twitter, you'll have heard me mentioning that Adam and Sheree's dirty, disgusting sequel is dropping next week. Yay! But I'm hardly going to create a pseudonym for a series book. That would be pretty stupid.

However, if you do follow me on twitter (and if you don't, you should--@gisellerenarde), you've also heard me mentioning that I wrote an incredibly filthy novella to be released in October.  It's an adaptation of the Salome story set in the 1970s.  Barely-legal, step-Daddy/daughter, step-brother/sister.  You pervs know what I'm talking about, because you jumped all over me saying you want to buy a copy.

Pervs, you're putting my cats through college.  I love you all.

Anyway, here's my question: considering that this is a taboo book and the tone and content represents a bit of a departure from a great deal of my other work (aside from Nanny State and the Adam & Sheree stories), should I publish it under a pen name?

Obviously if I do, I'm going to promote it transparently.  I'm hardly going to say, "Huh? Salome? Never met the girl. Don't know what you're talking about."  I'll acknowledge that I wrote it.

So if I, Giselle, plan to promote it and accept it as one of my own, what's the point in publishing under a pen name?  Well, Amazon's been hassling me ever since Adam and Sheree happened. They've banned two of my works and tried to suppress a third, so I'm thinking I'm on some kind of list. That probably sounds paranoid, but who knows with Amazon?

Aside from that reason... I don't know... branding?  Lots of authors publish different content under different names, and many are totally transparent about which ones fall under their general masthead. 

I need some advice, people.

What should I do?

Oh, here's another consideration that I'd almost forgotten: the other week, I saw on a blog or site or twitter or somewhere (way to cite your sources, Giselle) some question about a new book.  Readers seemed wary of it because the author was unknown and lacked web presence.  Do you think my made-up taboo self could fall into that sort of trap, of readers not trusting an author who appears to lack credentials?

Readers, writer, arithmeticians... tell me what to do. Please?

(c) 2013 Giselle Renarde


  1. Wow, I always struggle with this question. I have some stuff involving tentacles and non-con and milking fetishes and other sorts of heavy erotica. I worry pretty often that I should not have published those under the same name I use for my lighter erotic romance.

    I go back and forth between being afraid that my heavier stuff will either get me banned or put off readers of my lighter work.

    On the other hand, I'm an omnivorous reader who reads the entire spectrum myself—everything from Harlequin romances to the sort of stuff that gets banned from Amazon or not published by anyone. I worry that if I started trying to separate my work this way, I'd wind up with seven different pseudonyms, or that I would confuse readers who would otherwise follow me no matter where I was on the spectrum.

    So I guess I don't have any answers, but I'm really interested in the question, and what you decide to do.

    I'm also very, very sorry that you've been having so much trouble with Amazon.

    1. I'm glad you commented even without any answers. It helps to know that other authors are on the same wavelength. I'm not sure how it helps, but it does.

  2. Giselle,

    Why did they ban your first book? Too taboo? I also agree our job is not to confuse the reader. Once we have a brand I think we should stick to it. You can shuffle back and forth with that brand. Not everyone is going to like what you dish out. Thus the need for some type of variety. You are on the right path. Stick to doing you. If it works so far, why change it. There's other venues out there, Smashwords, Kobo and even Nookpress. Follow your heart and you'll hardly ever second guess yourself.

    1. Adam and Sheree's Family Vacation was banned because Amazon doesn't allow incest erotica (although the same content in a book with literary merit is fine and dandy). So I was expecting that.

      When they banned Stripping My Son's Sleeping Girlfriend, I hadn't anticipated any issues because it was previously published and had sold very well at Amazon. My publisher says they're cracking down on erotica with "sleep" in the title. Okay, it is a little non-con, I guess...