In what I feel will be a new trend, I will quote or use information gleaned from various writing forums to write a blog post. The first of this is about outrage. It's about something I still can't quite describe properly. I'll let you read it for yourself.
"I have four different pen names, each focusing on different kinks. My main one (A) is slightly more vanilla. B is for Pseudo Incest and darker BDSM stories. C, which I haven't published on yet, is a gay male pen name. D is for Sci Fi erotica
Take one story. Stacy meets the rich, handsome Kevin. They bone.
Make them brother and sister, publish under B.
Turn Stacy into Steve, publish under C.
Turn Stacy into a robot sex slave, publish under D.
If the first story takes four hours to write, the rewrites take maybe a half hour to review and replace the pertinent info. Four stories written hitting four different markets in less than 6 hours of work."
Now, I want to be certain that it's clear what's going on here. This erotica author (I hesitate to put him in the category I'm in) writes a story, and then changes minor details to publish the same story 3 more times. Let that one sink in, for a moment. This person releases new stories Mon/Wed/Fri.
So, what is this? If what you want is to get up a massive library of stories, it's the best thing you can do. The guy admitted to leaving his day job a couple months ago. In other words, the sleazy practice he's describing here is -working-. But why is it so wrong, then?
It's wrong because it's assembly line production. This is a guy doing factory work, not creative work. This is a guy who doesn't write for writing's sake, but for the money. It's someone who picked erotica for the potential money. It's not about craft, telling stories, or even just inciting base lust in readers.
As much as I favor making a living off your writing, this is over the line. Selling the same story 3 times under the pretense of newness is bad enough, but the guy is going to lose a ton of those stories when amazon discovers the similarities. If I was a more vindictive person, I'd be out there right now, reporting every single one of the guy's works. I know the pen names, I only blanked them because the point of this blog entry isn't a witch hunt, it's to talk about a problem.
Say this guy gets discovered. It's possible that he just loses his livelihood (I really, really hope so), but equally, it's possible that Amazon feels the need to tighten the noose even more around the neck of self-publishers. Something they definitely should not be given reason to do.
In other words, this sleazy fucking scumbag is, in the name of nothing so supposedly noble as art, but rather money, cheating readers. At least, he's being disingenuous. And he's playing with an already fragile "peace" between Amazon and erotica/romance authors.
In conclusion, I have only one message to Mr. A: Fuck. You.