Anna Ellis



Blogging A-Z – Adult Content

I’m participating in Blogging From A-Z Challenge in April – one blog post on every day in April (except Sundays!) Wish me luck!

April 1 – A: Adult Content

When I signed up for this challenge, the instructions were to give your blog a code to help others, like if you post about animals or writing or mechanics – stuff like that. If you have Adult Content on your blog, that was your code.  So because I write erotica, my code is AC.

I understand the reasoning behind that. If you’re looking looking for stories about dogs, you don’t want to be stumbling onto my blog! Or maybe you do! 😉 But seriously, if you only read Christian fiction, you should probably stay away!

Not that my books are so ‘dirty’.  I mean, my Husbands and Wives series contains explicit sexual situations but I’ve read some books that go quite a bit farther.  Maybe there should be a code for all erotica out there, to determine the level of adult content.  You get your romance, where the sex fits in on the road to the Happily Ever After; some times its a little graphic and there should be a Intended For Mature Readers sticker on it.

Btw, I’ve been told my novel Coming Home, by Holly Kerr, should have one of those stickers!  I always forget about the couple steamy sex scenes I put in there!!Coming Home cover

PrintAnd then you get erotica, where the story develops around the sex scenes. You want to have a sex scene where two people are going at on an office desk? Well, then write a story about sex in the office! (See Office Plays, out April 14 ;))  But then, maybe there should be levels of how explicit the office desk sex is.  Some writers prefer a more vanilla type of sex scenes, and that sells quite well. And some like a more rocky road type of scene on the desk, and that can be successful as well.

Since I’ve begun writing erotica, I’ve really dived into this genre.  I call it research! 😉 You would not believe what is available under the erotica genre! I don’t go for the longer, flowery hearts and romance types of books – I like my sexy bits short and spicy!  In the last year, here’s a sampling of some of the subcategories I’ve discovered:

  • BDSM that makes Fifty Shades look like a walk in the park; hard core stuff
  • swingers, couples, husbands handing their wives over to other men for a night of fun
  • animal sex – werewolves, werebears? 
  • Cougars – the older woman kind
  • Sasquatch, erotic pixies, tentacles and other monsters

You have to admire the imagination on some writers! Impressive.  A few of my favourite titles:

  • Pregnant by a Unicorn
  • My Mom Married Bigfoot
  • My Billionaire Triceratops Craves Gay Ass

And no, I’m not providing links to those! If you want to read about triceratops, I’m sure you’ll already know where to find it!

To sum it up, there’s A LOT of adult content out there.  And I’m okay with my blog being coded as such.  But I don’t think all erotica should be grouped together. Some adult content should really have a genre all on it’s own!!

Is this a favourite genre for you? What do you think about the variety out there?


Is Writing Erotica Right for You?

special repost from

Is Writing Erotica Right for You?

by Tracy Cooper-Posey

I’m sure you’ve heard of erotica, “romantica” and of erotica authors making fabulous amounts of money. If you haven’t, you must be so new to popular fiction you don’t know dick about it.

Did “don’t know dick about it” make you blink a little? Yes, that was intended to shock you. Erotica is shocking, if you’re new to it. But if you think it’s just pornography with a pretty tag, think again. The quote I just used and others like it are found in erotica, but that’s a tiny glimpse of the big picture. Read on and discover the rest of it, for erotica is different.

A clear definition is difficult. Erotica has tentacles in a dozen genres. It’s also a genre of its own. It’s not sufficient to say erotica is a story with explicit sex. Nor is erotica only about sex, unlike its gutter-cousin, pornography. At its purest, the new erotic novel is a brilliantly-written story with super-nova sex that compliments the caliber of the writing, and is fundamental to the plot and characters. In other words, if you remove the sex, the story can’t be told.

“Romantica” is used for romance + erotica, a huge category. But you’ll be hard-pressed to find traditional romance there. Erotica authors inherently don’t like boundaries — they’ll throw suspense, mystery, fantasy, science fiction, or paranormal into the mix. Some of the most popular romantica out there feature vampires, shape-shifters and elves.

You can head to the other end of the spectrum and find “big-scale novels in which the women and men are larger-than-life, the stakes are high, the stories are layered, and the sexual heat is a few degrees less than the surface of the sun.” (Donald Maass, Writing the Breakout Novel, Writers Digest Books.)

Unlike pure romances, erotica doesn’t use poetic euphemisms. The story is laced with sexual imagery and language. Sex acts considered taboo in romance can be a feature. The novel is charged with sexual tension.

However, even erotica has a vast range of explicitness, types of sex, and even quantity of sex. Erotica publishers such as Ellora’s Cave (, who offer primarily romantica, rank their books according to the amount and type of sex, and the language used.

Similarly, print books (e.g.: the Brava imprint by Kensington Books) offer degrees of sexuality, but not all rank their books. As these lines are new and still experimenting, you may be surprised by what you find …er… between the covers.

How successful is the erotica genre? Enough so that Ellora’s Cave, an e-publisher of romantica, has gained recognition by the Romance Writers of America as a legitimate publisher (which makes them one of the first e-publishers to meet RWA’s stringent requirements). Dozens of Ellora’s Cave regular writers have moved to full time fiction writing. A Brava author netted the first one-million dollar advance in romance writing. Many erotica authors are achieving break-out status with their novels — they’re reaching very large general audiences who read the book for story and for whom the sensuality enhances the reading.

Erotica, to further differentiate it from pornography, is primarily a woman’s market, and unlike romance, there’s a bigger percentage of men writing and reading erotica, and male writers can write under their own names.

Ready to dive into your first erotic novel? Wait, there’s a downside you should be aware of.

Drawbacks to writing erotica

1. You may not want to show your mother.

Pseudonyms blossom in this industry like flowers in June. Despite their pride, many authors hesitate to share their success with friends and relatives who may not understand.

When I was boasting about my first erotic novel, a male friend commented: “it’s erection material, right?” I could have explained how erotica is so much more than erection material, but his knowing expression told me I’d be wasting my breath. So I simply agreed and encouraged him to buy a copy — which is both the perfect revenge (sure, I’ll take his money) and the perfect education tool. Once you’ve read an erotic novel, you get it.

2. Sex, sex and more sex

One erotic publisher has a vocal readership who constantly cry “moresexmoresexmoresex!”

You can get sick of describing sex, even when enhanced and made new by the characters and situations. Depending on whom you’re writing for, you may be asked to add more sex scenes or sensuality or both. If the market you’re aiming for isn’t a perfect fit with your own comfort levels, you may find yourself describing sex acts that make you uneasy.

Although I haven’t heard of a publisher who forces their authors out of their comfort zone, most will coax you to meet their readers’ expectations. Do match the market with your own tastes, otherwise your story will emerge flat and the sex insincere.

3. Extended and different story lines

This is also a positive (discussed below). It can be a negative, because you have so many possibilities. If you’re used to writing within a well-defined genre, you’ll get lost in that sea of potential. These readers want super stories, big characters, sub-plots, and sexual sub-plots.

4. Difficulty getting impartial reviews

Although resistance is crumbling, it is still a problem — especially for e-books, which fight reviewer prejudice against the format. But there are reviewers who will review erotica, and websites devoted to the genre. Just don’t expect your book to be reviewed by, say,Kirkus Reviews, or for all reviewers to treat your novel fairly. The genre is misunderstood even within the industry.

5. Success means more piracy

Even for print authors, electronic piracy drains revenue. Novels are scanned and distributed on peer-to-peer networks such as Kazaa, or by email. The more readers love your books, the more eager they are to give copies to all their friends.

There’s also for-profit pirates who sell their illegal copies, and look like legitimate e-retailers.

6. Be prepared to market and educate

A lot of your promotion time will be spent explaining why erotica isn’t pornography, or romance. If you don’t like pushing yourself or your books, the added burden of dealing with resistant people may be daunting.

The good news

1. To market, to market

There’s dozens of markets for every type of erotica. Every day publishers launch erotic imprints, scrambling to secure shares in the gold mine. With the constant change, any list of markets would quickly be out of date. Do a search on your favorite search engine, using terms you’ve heard here: romantica, erotica, sensual romances. You’ll unearth a cornucopia of possible markets. Don’t limit yourself to just print publishers. E-book publishers are just as well respected and successful.

2. Money!

Yep, there’s gold in them thar novels — especially if your natural style fits the popular sub-categories. Plenty of authors have moved to full time writing, and I’ve already mentioned the one-million dollar advance, but I’ll mention it again as it has such a nice ring.

But. Don’t write erotica just for the money. You’ll hate yourself by the third novel. And if you can’t or won’t write in the popular sub-categories, then you won’t make as much money which, if you’re writing for money, is self-defeating.

3. Gaining professional respect

Erotic novels are reaching the New York Times Bestseller list (try Jennifer Cruisie’s Tell Me Lies as a cheering example). As more novels achieve the same success the “erotic” tag fades and the authors become “mainstream”.

4. Extended & different story lines.

It’s not just for sex that barriers tumble. For any subject, you can show things as they really are, and deal frankly with issues that get kid-glove handling elsewhere. That’s true freedom. This is so different from other popular fiction genres, it’s little wonder erotic novels are reaching wide audiences.

5. High writing standards and tough editorial standards

This is a positive until you’re facing your first edit. I was humbled by the thorough, relentless editing I received. I learned a lot — and this was my fourteenth book!

Should you try erotica?

If you don’t love the new erotica, or swiftly grow to love it after your first read, then consider well if you want to write it. You can try a novel and you may even get it published. That’s where you’ll hit trouble, because your readers will demand novel after novel. You’ll reach burn out very fast indeed. Writing erotica is demanding.

You must be willing to promote yourself and your books, and if you feel any trace of discomfort about the genre, your promotion efforts will be weakened, and your insincerity will show in your writing.

Erotica embraces all the technical aspects of break-out fiction (fiction that sells well enough to be considered mainstream), and is creating its own genre.

It’s also leaving its mark on other genres — opening up the novel world to more explicit sex, and teaching writers to deal unflinchingly with other aspects of humanity. And that’s a good thing.

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Why Boomer Women are Hot for Erotica E-Books

special repost from HuffPost Post 50

Why Boomer Women Are Hot For Erotica E-Books

Posted: 04/24/2014 8:05 am EDT Updated: 04/24/2014 8:59 am EDT




By Julio Ojeda-Zapata

There’s now a second sexual revolution of sorts, and it involves erotica — the written kind that women tend to prefer over graphic sexual imagery.

Women have been reading sexually explicit fiction for centuries, of course. But until recently, finding and buying it could be difficult and embarrassing, not to mention expensive.

These days, however, two trends are converging: The rise in e-reader sales and the popularity and acceptance of erotic fiction. E.L. James’ bondage-themed “Fifty Shades of Grey” and its two sequels have been big factors in the genre’s entry into the mainstream.

James “brought erotica to Costco, to Wal-Mart, to my grocery store,” says top erotica author and editor Alison Tyler. “Now, even my shy local banker is talking about the cast of the upcoming movie.”

Access to titles is easy. Women can browse the Internet and purchase the books with the tap of a touchscreen. They can read them privately in public, using e-book readers, which are growing in popularity among those aged 30 to 64.

And as erotica becomes increasingly respectable and mainstream, they can share the e-books among their friends and relatives without fear or shame. As Tyler puts it: “The doors have been opened.”

A Growing Trend

The trend has been a long time coming, erotica-industry experts say.

“Fifty Shades put erotica in the mainstream,” says Vida Engstrand, a spokeswoman for Kensington Publishing. But e-book sales “had been growing since well before E.L. James hit the mark,” she adds.

In 2011, the year Fifty Shades was released, electronic sales of Kensington’s aphrodisia erotica imprint already accounted for 57 percent of the total, up from roughly 2 percent in 2008, Engstrand said.

E-book readers such as Amazon’s Kindle and tablet computers like Apple’s iPad are rapidly displacing traditional computers as preferred devices for digital-book reading.

The bulk of e-book readers say they do so on a dedicated reader or tablet, rather than on a desktop or laptop computer, according to 2013 data from the Pew Research Group. About a third of those surveyed use their phones to read e-books as well, too, according a Pew report released earlier this year.

And guess which is the most popular e-book category? Yep, it’s romance and erotica, according to the Book Industry Study Group — followed by the mystery-and-thriller category and general fiction. Cookbooks, graphic novels and travel books are the least likely to be read digitally.

The E-Book Erotica Link

It’s no mystery why so many boomer women prefer reading their erotica on electronic gizmos.

“It is a brown wrapper,” says Brenda Knight, publisher of sexual-book publisher Cleis Press. “Women of a certain age like discretion.”

E-book readers and tablets “have definitely changed the game for the erotica genre,” says Tom Corson-Knowles, founder of TCK Publishing, which sells romance novels, among other categories.

“In the past, buying erotica was an awkward, strange and embarrassing chore,” he notes. “People buy based on emotion. When the overwhelming emotion you feel is shame or embarrassment, you’re obviously not as likely to buy.”

Now, since “readers can browse, shop and read erotica from anywhere and at any time with their (Internet-connected devices), it takes all those bad feelings away,” Corson-Knowles adds.

Not all women want to be covert about reading erotica while in public, though. Knight said she sees “ladies in their 70s and 80s” reading Fifty Shades on the bus.

Likewise, “I’ve seen women reading Fifty Shades in public everywhere from New York to London to Dubai, so I think the stigma has certainly lessened,” says leading erotica author and editor, Rachel Kramer Bussel.

Female erotica readers are increasingly talking about the books with their friends and family, too.

“The rise of Fifty Shades has opened up erotica to readers who might not have known about it and also means women are sharing favorite books with friends, co-workers and family members,” Kramer Bussel says. “Not everyone is sharing their reading habits, but women are more comfortable doing so.”

Changing Times

It wasn’t always this way. Traditionally, women who liked erotica could find only a limited supply. Tyler remembers decades ago when a company “published a mimeographed list of titles to choose from” and charged about a dollar per page.

Back then, it was common to find dozens of romance titles at most bookstores, but little or zero erotica.

Back in the Victorian era, erotica “was so illegal you could be arrested for publishing it,” says University of Puget Sound professor Darcy Irvin, who studies censored materials of the 19th century. “It was far more expensive than regular books, meaning by and large women wouldn’t have owned it. They did read it, but they would have had access through a male person, a husband, lover or brother.”

How times have changed.

“Let’s do a test,” Tyler says. “Type ‘erotica’ into Amazon and you get, oh, 133,620 results. And I think those are books that have ‘erotica’ in the title.”

Julio Ojeda-Zapata is a technology journalist and occasional author. His latest book is “The Mobile Writer.” Find him at and follow him on Twitter @ojezap.


Serious Sexytime in Books

I am the author of Erotic Romance novels.  Steamy, sexy, hot – I write books where there’s a lot of sex!

I didn’t plan on doing this when I was growing up.  I always wanted to be a writer, but I never thought I’d write stuff like this.  My father still doesn’t know.  I’m nervous to have my mother read my books, as well as my husband because then what will he expect of me? (Actually, not that nervous about that…)

I’ve written other novels, with less steam and sexy bits.  I’ve published one, and am getting ready to put out another.  I use my real name for those and created Anna Ellis for my pen name because didn’t really want people to get confused. Erotica isn’t for everyone.

But it seems like a lot are reading it!!

I didn’t take too much interest in the genre before the Fifty Shades Trilogy put erotica on everyone’s radar.  I know it was around long before, I know there were tons of fans out there but no one talked about it.  It was like watching porn – if you did it, you didn’t tell anyone.

People can say what they want about Fifty Shades (I’m quite vocal about my criticisms of it!) but you have to acknowledge how much it did to bring awareness to the genre.  The third book in the series was one of the Top 10 books in Amazon’s books of 2012.  And if readers liked what Christian and Ana were up to, they moved on to Sylvia Day’s books with her Crossfire series.  There are tons of authors out there that are becoming well known for writing contemporary romantic fiction.  Or erotica – whatever you’d like to call it.

Maya Cross.  Pamela Ann.  K.Bromberg.  J. Kenner  Maya Banks.  Dylan Cross. Nikki Sex.  Minx Malone.  (love some of the names!!) That’s just naming a few of the authors I easily found on Amazon.

When I decided to try my hand writing erotica, I did some research.  And I was surprised – there’s a lot of stuff out there!

Such as…

F-f. (female on female)


M-F-M (male –female- male)

M-M(male on male)


Paranormal romance, with werewolves, vampires, you name it

Kink with a wink





BDSM.  This is a big one, thanks in part to Fifty Shades.   For those of you wondering,  BDSM is an acronym of bondage & discipline; dominant & submissive; S&M – sadomasochism.  BDSM  refers to any or all of these things, and a lot of stuff besides.  And it’s not all hardcore – it can be soft and sensual and subtle, more sensation than whips and chains.  But there are a lot of books out there on spanking.

And everything in between!

My books – The Husband and Wives Series – focuses on swapping.  Swinging.  The official name is apparently polyamory, which is the ”practice, desire, or acceptance of having more than one intimate relationship at a time with the knowledge and consent of everyone involved.   It’s different from swinging and may or may not include polysexuality.”  My books are about happily married couples who enjoy sex with their partner, as well as other people’s partners.

Sound like your cup of tea?  Check it out.

Why now?  Why is erotica so big right now?

You can get in to the discussion of feminism and how women are stronger and more independent than ever these days.  Women know what they want and how to go get it.  Being a 40 year old woman myself, I agree with that.  I’m different than I was twenty years ago, and so is society.

But then you have to ask – how are these women finding out what they want?  Do all women these days have the type of relationship with their partner where they can easily discuss their wants and desires and explore them together?

Ah – no.  That would be great, but it’s not how it works for most.

And that’s where books come in.  Books, written by authors who are in-tune with their own sexuality, understand what they want, what their readers want, and have a great imagination.  And no, I don’t think writing erotica means you have this kick-ass, hotter than hell sex life, where you explore anything and everything.  If you write about serial killers, does that mean you go out and kill people?

I think writers are a brave sort – they put their thoughts and feelings down so others can read them.  And those who write erotica are no different.  Maybe even more so, because they face ridicule and disapproval from so many.  But they have an added bonus of knowing what they write about might help someone accept and appreciate their own sexuality.  Discovering new things that turn them on, even if they save it for themselves.

I’m not suggesting this genre is for everyone.  But if you’ve ever been interested, this is the time to check it out!