*Pulls Ranty Pants Up* In Which Lauren Dane Discusses Art, Publishing, Trash and Writing What you Want

Normally I have a rule. Well I have a few, but the one I mean in this case is that I don’t talk shit about other authors. I don’t normally name and shame because it’s just silly and I may talk about a book I didn’t like or something an author did that I didn’t like, but I don’t use names or titles.

I’m going to break this rule today. I’m breaking this rule because yesterday, an author named Kendall Grey wrote a blog post that not only really made me mad, but it attempted to sling all sorts of her own guilt issues on other authors and on our readers too. So, Kendall Grey, though you deleted your post because people reacted with anger to the shit you were slinging, I have an important lesson for you: The internet is forever.

Turns out, Ms. Grey wrote some UF and put a lot of money and effort into it and it didn’t do well. Now, here’s the thing – I have some books that I LOVED. Books I worked my ass off on. Books I think are my very best work and they just didn’t hit it off with a lot of readers. It happens. To all of us. Grey is not a special snowflake for failing. If there’s a constant when it comes to art and publishing, it’s failure. There are books I read all the time in series that go on to die out and I LOVE them. I think the writing is amazing and it bums me out that more people just didn’t click with the books. But that’s the way of the world sometimes and if you mean to make your career in publishing, it’s a hard truth you have to accept. You do.

I’m going to say this one more time and hopefully Kendall Grey hears it – It’s a hard truth you have to accept that sometimes a book you pour your heart and soul and a great deal of work into just goes nowhere.

So okay, I get her feeling upset by that.

But then her post just jumped the tracks and barreled into crazytown. She says that when her UF didn’t do as well as she’d hoped:

I sold out.
I wrote an erotica book.
It kicked my UF series’ ASS in sales and rankings.

Now, I feel pity for her that she’d view writing any story as “selling out” but whatever, that’s her business.

My problems with this post begin with this:

Some hard truths came to light through this process. The biggest revelation was that as authors, we have to decide whether we’re in this business to make art or to make money. We can’t have both. Very few authors make art that sells. Commercial viability does not lend itself to artistic endeavors, and vice-versa. If New York doesn’t want your book, then you’re probably too creative. If they do want it, then you’re marketable. New York publishers run a business. They don’t give a shit about art.

Um, quit it with the “we” stuff okay, Kendall? Because I disagree that “as authors, we have to decide whether we’re in this business to make art or to make money. We can’t have both” In fact, that’s something YOU have hung around your neck and that’s what’s holding you back from being happy with what you’re doing. Me? I’m over here writing what makes me happy. Creating my art and, as it turns out, making money from it. Seems to me, Kendall Grey is the one here who doesn’t “give a shit about art”

Here’s another hard fact – you can cry all you want about how NY didn’t want you so clearly they don’t want art. Or that you’re too edgy or too awesome or that they just don’t care about quality. But really? they just didn’t want your story. Shrug. Now, sometimes you get rejected because your book sucks. Or because whatever editor you subbed to has just bought something very similar to your book just a week before. Or, in the case with UF, the market has tightened. Which isn’t about art or not art, it’s about which of their products people are going to want to read in what quantity. Because art galleries and publishing houses want to put out products people wish to consume. That’s sort of how it works.

The problem with the leap of (il)logic Grey makes is that because her books didn’t sell like she thought they should, that NY hates art. When really, art is in the eye of the beholder and unless you’re just creating it for yourself (and you publish so that’s not the case) you do have to understand that consumption is part of the process.

And then, she compounds all this shame spiral with this:

Apparently, they have something there. Readers generally (don’t throw stones—I’m referring to the masses here, not individuals) don’t want art either. They want easily digestible, bite-sized nuggets of warm fuzzies. They want simplicity. Art is neither easily digestible (you sometimes have to chew on it for days to filter meaning from it) nor simple.

Hear that readers? You don’t care about art! You aren’t smart enough to understand her art. Her failure is because you don’t want to put in the time to understand her books.

Now see, there IS a rule I don’t ever break and that is: Thou Shalt Respect Your Readers

There are several things about that statement Ms. Grey needs to understand. One: Not EVERY reader is the right reader for your book. So you write for the readers who enjoy you and your voice. Two: Telling readers, the people who in fact give up a great deal of their time and energy to read our books and if we’re lucky enjoy them and speak about them, that they are too stupid to understand our art is, in fact, YOUR inability to understand art, not theirs.

Reading, like other types of art appreciation, is intensely personal. So what appeals to people is going to depend on who they are. It depends on what is happening in their life at any given moment. On what has happened to them over the course of their personal history and what makes them feel any number of things. The value of art, when it comes to being appreciated by the beholder makes the person consuming it part of that process. Failing to appreciate that integral part of the process is done at your own peril.

But it gets worse. Because Grey goes on to say:

I know it’s depressing to hear that in order to find success, you may have to compromise your principles. I’ve come to grips with the fact that in the current market, trashy smut sells, and urban fantasy does not. Tough shit for me. If you want to sell books, you have to feed the market what it craves.

So in one paragraph, you’re told “trashy smut” sells and that she’s feeding you something she hates to write because you’re all Oscar the Grouch living in the garbage craving that disgusting filth she’s sold her soul to write instead of her “beautifully artistic UF”

But never fear because:

For us artists who want or need to make a living at writing, there is a silver lining. Once you’ve done your part to feed the reader machine, and you get paid ridiculous amounts of money for publicly shaming yourself and lowering your standards, you’ll be armed with the power to write what you want. Once you’ve built your readership, there’s a good chance many of your readers will follow you into your preferred, artsy-fartsy genre because they like you. Yes, you may have to compromise and write more sell-out books along the way to feed YOUR machine, but the beauty is that you can do BOTH and make it work.

Now, Ms. Grey has to own her shit here. So if she feels what she’s been writing is trash? I have to take her at her word. And as she apparently thinks readers of her books are not intelligent enough to understand her other books, I’ll take her at face value on that too. Which is to say, I have no need to read or buy anything she writes because I am fine with understanding when an author says her books suck and I’m a dick for wanting to read them.

Now I’m going to talk about what I think.

I contracted my first book back in 2004. An erotic romance. With a digital publisher. Back then, all those things were considered trashy. Digital books weren’t considered “real” books and erotic romance wasn’t even considered romance by a whole lot of authors and author organizations.

But the readers? Well, they thought so. I just had my 8 year anniversary of the publication of my first book earlier this month. In the time since then I’ve written over 50 novels and novellas. Some I published with traditional publishers like Berkley and Harlequin, some I published with smaller publishers like Samhain and Carina. I’ve hit lists with books that came out from NY publishers and from Samhain. I’ve won awards. I’ve hit best of lists. And I make a really nice living with my art.

Two things I believe are responsible for this – I write the books I am proud of and I have the best readers in the whole world.

Writing books I love doesn’t mean I live unaware of the market. Publishing is, after all a business and readers are the consumers. So when readers are sick to death of a sub genre, it’s harder to sell a book in that genre. That doesn’t mean I am too awesome for readers to comprehend and it doesn’t mean NY publishers hate art. It means people buy what they like. Which means that when I have an UF out on a pitch, I understand the market is very tight right now and my chances of selling a book are lowered because of that fact. The causation here, however, isn’t “readers and publishers hate art and only love trash” it’s “I exist in a market where selling my product is part of the ecosystem and so I need to offer the very best product I can to increase my chances of selling it.”

Does it make me bitter sometimes when I have a book I adore and it doesn’t do well as another book that didn’t take me as long to write, or as much energy? Yeah, sometimes. But that’s how it goes. That is simply how it works. And in the end, it has nothing to do with not understanding my art, it has everything to do with what people are moved by at any given time. And sometimes you can know it up front and other times their reaction to one thing over another thing is a surprise. But it’s never because the consumer of that art is stupid or that they hate art.

So I love what I do. I don’t write trash. I write books. Some of them have a lot of sex in them. Some of them have less. Some of them sell better than others. Some of them that I worked the hardest on and am proudest of do not sell as well as those that were a snap to write. Sometimes something out on a pitch is a project I love so much and I know, at the same time, that its chances are very low (I have a project like that out on an option right now). It’s important to understand that creating art is complicated and if you want to sell it, it’s also a business. And business means you need to be aware of what the consumer is most in the mood to see.

Understanding your business and your place in the publishing eco system, whether you self publish, publish with a small publisher or with NY (or do all three as I do), does not make you a sell out. It does not make you a failure or a purveyor of trash. It makes you a savvy business person.

I will never, ever apologize for wanting to make a living from my art. Nor do I think any of us should. ANd if you do, that’s your own business, but don’t sling your guilt my way and expect me to wear it like a hairshirt.

I’m not a sell out. I’m not writing things I’m ashamed of so I can one day write what I want. Building a base means you best be writing what your readers like if you want to keep them as you expand. It’s a silly waste of that energy to fake who you are until one day when you can finally say, ‘hahah! Now I’m going to write this other thing” Because that’s not going to work.

Be who you are. Love who you are and what you do. If you hate yourself for writing X, don’t write X. Though please do understand that different things sell better or worse given time and trends.

And in the end, I’m gonna quote Madonna who I’m sure has no discomfort at all doing whatever the fuck she wants whenever she wants and who has made a pretty lasting career at it: I’m not your bitch, don’t hang your shit on me.

113 comments to “*Pulls Ranty Pants Up* In Which Lauren Dane Discusses Art, Publishing, Trash and Writing What you Want”

  1. Jenny Lyn
    May 16th, 2013 at 4:31 pm · Link

    From your post to the comments, it’s all dead on so I’ll just say ditto and thanks for speaking out for us romance writers and our readers!

  2. Robin
    May 16th, 2013 at 4:42 pm · Link

    Very well said!! I love erotic romance and absolutely hate when it is called “mommy porn”!!! I read what I like, which is anythings but non-fiction….And I buy everything you write!

  3. Judy
    May 16th, 2013 at 4:51 pm · Link


    I was angry about the section on how we readers only want “spoon fed” stories that are simple…… Oh wait so that make me too stupid then to read her work????? I think the better part is that it makes me way to SMART to waste my time reading what she is putting out……. I read a lot of different authors from different genres and never once have I felt that I’m being fed a story. Now sure, some stories are easier than others and sometimes I don’t want a lot of detail that I have to keep track of…. THIS IS FOR THE ALL THE AUTHORS OUT THERE THAT MAY READ THIS COMMENT….. I know that every author puts a piece of themselves into every story they write and I applaud each of you for it because I would never be able to put that much of myself out there constantly.

  4. Heather Johnson
    May 16th, 2013 at 4:55 pm · Link

    I love that you wrote about the author that basically bashed her readers. I’ve never read any of your books but saw this link on the GR profile discussing the author, Kendall Grey. After browing through your website here, I’m finding several delicious books here that I’m going to have to get. My book genre is all over the place but I do love smut. I find it truly disgusting that Ms. Grey basically bashed us readers who spend our hard earned money to read the wonderful books you publish. Shame on her. However, I’ll be purchasing some of yours to try out. So something GOOD has come out of it. LOL.

  5. Tom Webb
    May 16th, 2013 at 4:55 pm · Link

    Amen, sister. I am first and foremost a reader. And I vote with my dollars. Be very sure I won’t be voting for Ms. Grey.

    When I chose to start writing, I looked for role models. And the best advise I got? Write from your heart and respect your readers.

    I may never have a best seller, and that’s okay. My books sell relatively well for my chosen genre, and I have the best fans ever. I will never write another word before I betray their trust and call them names and belittle them.

    Grow up, woman. Suck it up and own your own fears or whatever. They are not mine. Nor your readers.

    Thanks, Ms. Dane. Nicely said.


  6. Bobbi
    May 16th, 2013 at 5:22 pm · Link

    Ah yes, the internet is forever.

    Interesting, I believe I had put one of her books on my Wish List at B&N… I may just have to go take it off, since I am too stupid to appreciate her art, and want to be spoon fed erotica instead.

    Classic case of biting the hand that feeds her.

  7. Stephanie
    May 16th, 2013 at 5:24 pm · Link

    Well said! However, I must say, that being told by an author that I am not on the level necessary to appreciate her books, well, she will never have to worry about that because I do not hand over my hard earned dollars to someone that will publicly denounce me and any one like me. So sorry Ms. Grey, but it seems to me you just cut your own throat with your mighty pen. And by the way, where has she been for the past 40 years when erotica had hit the mainstream and stayed. It is only recently with EL James, her 50 Shades and her great publicist that the rest of the world is reading what we have been reading for many, many years.

  8. Nanette
    May 16th, 2013 at 6:09 pm · Link

    Stands up and claps really really loud for you…I will clap till my hands hurts*** THANK YOU!!!! more power to you!

  9. Trish
    May 16th, 2013 at 6:26 pm · Link

    Applause, applause, applause Ms. Dane!! Thank you.

  10. Aimee
    May 16th, 2013 at 6:50 pm · Link

    She bashed the indie author world a few weeks ago. Part of the bash being that she felt the need to have to sell her soul to bloggers and break down and do a blog tour in order to break the top 100 with her book and how she really hated the fact that she had to reduce her sale price in order for anyone to consider buying it. She leaves a bad taste in my mouth once again.

  11. Jennifer
    May 16th, 2013 at 6:53 pm · Link

    Well said!

  12. Julie Esparza
    May 16th, 2013 at 7:10 pm · Link

    This is a great commentary! As a avid reader of romance and erotic romance I love to relax and enjoy the HEA. I started reading and reviewing e-books years ago and thought it was great to find erotic romance. Im very happily married, have a cute 5 1/2 year old and a demanding job where I research and publish in medical library peer reviewed journals. I’m far from dumb but I want to be entertained when I read. So I can say I probably wouldn’t read her books because I don’t enjoy that genre. I plan though to make sure I don’t read anything by her under her Grey name. The rest of you I have read and actually reviewed in the past. I will stick with authors that enjoy what they do!

  13. Vic
    May 16th, 2013 at 7:20 pm · Link

    What I love about your stories is the depth of feeling and emotion and connectedness between the lovers. I can tell that you write what you love and love what you write and never compromise. You are auto-buy for me and I want to thank you for giving me sooo many more stories than my normal auto-buys (not to ding anyone) because you some how are able to be so much more prolific than most. Did you manage to clone some Nora Roberts genes on getting more books out than anyone and she didn’t notice? 🙂 Just, thank you.


  14. azteclady
    May 16th, 2013 at 8:02 pm · Link

    Readers may be too dumb to appreciate her art, but obviously this is one person who is stupid beyond redemption. It must be soul destroying to write what you despise in order to sell, but to then shout those feelings to the world (the internet is forever, indeed, and these are the things that keep bobbing to the surface any time/every time a web search is done) is professional suicide.

  15. Molly
    May 16th, 2013 at 8:12 pm · Link

    I’ve had similar conversations with family about TV/Reading habits…a little different but stick with it:

    I like watching TV that makes me “think” or explores things about people and places.
    I live and work in reality…I watch it on TV and hear it on the radio. Reality doesn’t always have happy endings. I like reading because it takes me away from reality to a place where, for the most part, good people win; bad people loose; and the girl/boy gets the girl/boy at the end. But it is what makes me happy.

    I have friends and family who LOVE reality TV and the Showtime/HBO shows. They all read “thinking”/Oprah book club books. Sometimes they look down on me because I have NO ‘desire’ for an extra dose of reality.

    This is no indication of my, or their, intelligence level!! People entertain themselves how they want and you can’t blame them when they don’t agree with you….esp when you rely on those people for your pay check!

    To end with another slightly off topic analogy:
    bad service = no tip
    Ms. Grey = insulted customers
    insulted customers = no tip for Ms. Grey

  16. Merry
    May 16th, 2013 at 9:29 pm · Link

    …While I totally agree with your views and the issues you’ve raised, Lauren (and I LOVE your books), this post has also introduced me to an author I may not have discovered otherwise. Kendall Grey’s urban fantasy trilogy does sound very appealing to me, and I’ve just bought them.

    I can imagine just how difficult being an author can be, especially in this digital and self-publishing age, and expressing frustration, albeit perhaps seemingly misguided and misdirected at times (hey, we’re all allowed to get a bit hot-headed occasionally!), can be a healthy, constructive and, indeed, informative outlet that can benefit others experiencing similar challenges.

    Perhaps I’m missing something here, but Ms Grey appears to be very appreciative of her fans, and I can’t help but admire her generosity and hard work in the support of whales via her writing.

  17. Pals20
    May 17th, 2013 at 1:48 am · Link

    Holy shit… SMACKDOWN!!! 😈 😉

    Thank you for standing up for your art, for us and for you.

  18. tradermare
    May 17th, 2013 at 2:54 am · Link

    Thank you. Thank you for respecting your readers. I read that original post and wondered how KG could be so disrespectful of her readers, her colleagues and her craft. This is a very hot topic right now in my reading community.

  19. Ever After Romance (@MyEverAfters)
    May 17th, 2013 at 4:06 am · Link

    Well said, Ms. Dane. Art indeed is in the eye of the beholder. 😉

  20. Rucy Ban
    May 17th, 2013 at 4:17 am · Link

    Beautifully written. Couldn’t have said it better.

  21. Mackenzie Larch
    May 17th, 2013 at 8:30 am · Link

    I mean obviously.. it goes without saying that “us” as readers in no way shape or form, associate you or any respectable author with her.

    So glad I haven’t wasted a dime on her.

  22. Chris
    May 17th, 2013 at 8:50 am · Link

    Amen!!! And thank you for your response to her self absorbed ranting & raving!! Is she really that dense to actually publish that on her blog??? What an insult to her own readers & readers everywhere!!
    Well, she made her bed…

  23. Dawn
    May 17th, 2013 at 8:58 am · Link

    Well said – I will read what I want to read when I want to read it. Not because NY told me it was right and/or popular, but because the genre intrigues me.

    A couple of years ago, it was all about the vampires, right? Doesn’t mean Anne Rice is going to say “WTF?”

  24. JP
    May 17th, 2013 at 9:35 am · Link

    You rock. I want to be you when I grow up (which may sound odd, b/c I think I’m older than you!).

  25. Lise Horton
    May 17th, 2013 at 9:40 am · Link

    Love your books, first off. And loved and fist-pumped at your righteous rant. I write erotic romance. I just sold my very first novel that is an erotic romance. After 2 years of writing, honing and pitching my urban fantasy. That I purely LOVE. And I knew going into the process that because I had a quirky, kick-ass heroine with a spanking fetish, and only a modicum of a romantic sub-plot for an urban fantasy first in a series – that all of these elements would lower the likelihood of success with this book. But I owned that. No one was to blame that I got those rejections. I haven’t given up on that project, and I love writing erotic romance and I can only hope that I have great luck with it so I can funnel that money back into writing more great erotic romance, to satisfy the craving for passion of awesome readers, and, someday, perhaps get my urban fantasy out there too. Where it may, or may not, find favor. But it won’t mean I love it any less, or that I won’t continue to write the best erotic romance I can. And you are absolutely right. Put shit out there, you’d better own it. And I’d like to see if Ms. Grey’s sales on her next “sell out” novel take a hit. Cuz karma can be a bitch. And signing off because I have to go wait for the next terrific Lauren Dane title.

  26. Christina (A Reader of Fictions)
    May 17th, 2013 at 10:57 am · Link

    This response is brilliantly written and perfect. Thank you so much for writing it. I don’t read much erotic romance, but, if I ever get a craving, I’m sure your books will be at the top of my list, because I now know you’re a classy woman who can construct a good argument and sentences.

    There are a lot of authors that should read this bit about respecting your readers and understanding the market. Art is subjective, and not determined by genre. In the eyes of one person, your books might be trashy, but to another they might be the peak of art. Neither one’s even necessarily wrong. What’s important is that you are writing works you believe in, whether they took you days or years to compose, whether they prove to be huge successes or not. If even the author doesn’t respect the work they’ve done, why would I, as a consumer, want to spend my time with that product?


  27. JackieBCentralTexas
    May 17th, 2013 at 1:38 pm · Link

    😈 As a fan of your work it is with heartfelt gratitude that I say :”Thank you for all your hard work!”

    As to the author in question have never heard of her and UF is one of my favorite genres and Erotica is one that enjoy also but apparently my radar missed her work altogether and at this point maybe that is for the best for both our sakes. 😐

  28. Teresa Riley
    May 17th, 2013 at 1:41 pm · Link

    *Clap* I aplaud you. Very nicely said!

  29. Stephanie
    May 17th, 2013 at 3:22 pm · Link

    Snort. I tried to read one of her books a long time ago (I’m a sucker for free).

    Not finishing the book has nothing at all to do with *my* intelligence.

  30. Denise
    May 18th, 2013 at 4:53 am · Link

    I’m an author published with a small press (Samhain) and I just sold to a large press (Harlequin). I write UF, PNR, historical romance and, yes, erotica. I love every genre in which I write, and nothing I do falls under the heading of “selling out.” Nothing I do compromises my “art.” Nothing I do is done for the sake of “feeding” the publishing machine. Nothing I do makes me feel like I’m offering up “bite-size nuggets of warm fuzzies.” But when it come to the ultimate “nothing,” let me say this: NOTHING would ever, Ever, EVER make me insult my readers. Period.

    Be bitter, Ms. Grey. I’ve met you. It was clear in the first three minutes that you were toxic. Couch this however you will — that you’re radical, blunt, “brutally honest” (?), that authors have flooded your inbox with thanks (per your blog), that the response you’ve had has been overwhelmingly positive (also per your blog) — but realize that you’ve created a shit storm that the umbrella of “apology” you posted isn’t going to shield you from. That was no apology. It was demeaning to the reader who stood up to the public fit you pitched. You cannot claim that original post wasn’t written for readers. It was on a blog. Blogs are read. Readers read. And readers found it. Clearly what you wrote has been nearly universally interpreted as an insult to both your authors, as your perceived peers, and your readers, as consumers.

    Ms. Dane, I struggled with whether or not to post this response because it is, quite honestly, a basic repeat of your position. However, after reading the response Ms. Grey lobbed at the reader, I felt I had to chime in. Thank you for your direct, honest and logical post. Readers deserve the best we, as authors, can give them, without apology and without *ever* insulting their choices. I can only hope that the old adage is true: Karma’s a bitch.

  31. Dawn
    May 18th, 2013 at 6:12 am · Link

    Thank you Ms. Dane. Loved your opinion on ms. Grey. I rank you very high on my list of favorite authors even though I don’t like the UF genre. But that’s okay, isn’t it. That’s just the way it goes. As an author/artist you are still respectful to all your fans anyway. Just because I don’t particularly care for some of your books I still love your writing. Ms. Grey however, I will never say that about her. Shame on her. I have her book on my TR list but if I read it now I will borrow it. I’ll never pay for it and I won’t review it.

    Lastly I want to sayi have not been an avid reader all my life. A few years ago I picked up a paperback for some summer reading and it was a Contemporary Romance and I started getting hooked on reading more. I feel that with the lack of television programming and the birth of Ereaders we now have a new form of entertainment available to us. I think it is wonderful for us the readers and for authors like yourself Ms. Dane. When television started canceling the daytime soaps for reality television because the reality shows were cheaper I knew the market would go elsewhere. Guess what, it did. All of us woman who live reality everyday and appreciate that break from it, we now pick up our Ereaders/tablets and we get our daily fix. I work with an office full of woman and we discuss books all the time. 4 or 5 years ago we may have read 1 or 2 books a year now I read 3 or 4 a week.

    Thank you Ms. Dane and all the other awesome appreciative authors out there. We love and appreciate you too! For Ms. Grey, I think Ms. Dane’s quote will be something you won’t forget for a very long time. “Internet is forever”

  32. Anne
    May 18th, 2013 at 8:24 am · Link

    This makes me sad. If you’ve read her books and have dealt with her personally you would know that post was not meant how its being taken. And I dont understand the mentality of bashing another person. How is this any different then what she is being accused of. I thought the days of stoning and ostracizing human beings were over.

  33. Felicity Heaton
    May 18th, 2013 at 10:14 am · Link

    Lauren, I agree with you 1000%. It digusts me that she has publicly bashed her readers like this, and it’s very clear that she’s only in the writing business for the money, not for the love of the art of writing.

    Readers are our lifeblood and without them we’re nothing, and talking about them in such a horrific manner is just incredibly unprofessional. I’m like you, Lauren, in that I’m proud of everything I write because I put my heart and soul into every book.

    I’ve been writing romance since 2005, and have written over 50 stories to date, and still have around 40+ of those available, and I write because I love it, not because I expected to make a fortune from doing it. I write because I love that connection I gain with readers and I can share something with them, and I always write books I want to read and that I’m really proud to have written.

    I’ve written books through some tough times, just like you, when the ebook market was very small and people didn’t take us seriously, and I didn’t stop writing just because I wasn’t making millions in royalties. I persevered. I kept writing and putting out new books for my readers.

    I make a very good living off my books now, and not because I “sold out” like this author. I write my art with passion and readers devour the books I put out.

    To say that you have to sell your soul in order to reach readers is just nonsense, and to bash the readers who read and enjoy your books is insanity.

  34. Amanda P
    May 18th, 2013 at 10:55 am · Link

    Hell yeah! Well said!

    -Amanda P

    Lets Get Romantical
    Where the Night Kind Roam

  35. Lucy
    May 18th, 2013 at 2:46 pm · Link

    And by standing up for us readers who devour the sell out genre, erotica, you have gained the upmost respect from the readers!! Thank you for standing up on our behalf!! . I don’t care how positive the blog her post was on, tries to spin her fall from that high horse, I’m pretty sure we know how to get our refunds. So, Kendell Grey my response to you is this: you and that damn horse you rode in on. Try to be an artist here and read between those lines.

  36. Tracy M
    May 18th, 2013 at 5:13 pm · Link

    Lauren, love your post….. Totally agree with all you said!!

    Just read a reply from KG (to a reader comment calling her on her article) that suggests she didn’t receive any negative comments for the blog post – apart from the one she is commenting on – and that authors are thanking her in droves for saying what she did but that they don’t want to publicly support her for fear of ‘backlash’….

    She hasn’t looked at any comments or thoughts on her post and we, the readers, have taken what she has written in a very different way from what she was actually trying to say?!?!?! It’s “rife with tongue-in-cheek sarcasm as is her style”…. Yeah, you keep telling yourself that Kendall!!!!!

    She said she did write Strings for money – but not for her, it’s for the Whales Charity……. Why the feckin’ rant about making money then?!?!

    Sounds like she has realised she fecked up (hugely) and is now trying to downplay the whole thing…..

    Had been considering buying Strings after reading some good comments about it but now I really don’t want to give her my business……
    Will stick to buying books from authors that I love, who write what I like to read & who make no apologies for writing the books they do!!!!!

  37. Bianca
    May 18th, 2013 at 7:13 pm · Link

    Thank you for saying what we’re all thinking, Ms. Dane.

    Nobody is all bad, just like nobody is all good. But the author in question has let her hatred for a certain group of supposed “gatekeepers” fester and boil until her anger had nowhere to go but toward those who helped her get what she wanted in the first place–the readers.

    Now the readers are her gatekeepers, and she still can’t get through.

    Karma is a bitch, you know, and she’ll win every time.

  38. Christine
    May 18th, 2013 at 8:44 pm · Link

    I really hope you never find yourself on the crap end of a bad decision. If anyone would care to hear her side of the story, please click:


    My biggest gripe is this, everyone is entitled to their own opinions. If you are unhappy with comments made, show your dissatisfaction by not supporting that author. You CAN NOT admit you liked the book, then leave a 1 star review because you are now unhappy with the author! That is not a book review, that is author bashing!

    I have had enough of this petty crap, this is the last thing I thought I would have to deal with when I got back into reading *sigh*

  39. Lauren Dane
    May 18th, 2013 at 9:24 pm · Link

    You’ll have to point out any place, EVER where I’ve either advocated doing such a thing, or have done it. Which you can’t of course, because I never have. I don’t have the time, nor is it that important to me to do so. As for being on the crap end of a bad decision? Everyone has been. Where the rubber meets the road, of course, is how one deals with it. You can own your mistake and bad decision, or you can pretend you didn’t say all the things you actually did say and say in public (as many people have actually screen capped). That’s where one can either learn from losing their composure in public and insulting the very people responsible for your success, or you can evade responsibility.

    My biggest gripe is this – you’ve come here with your all caps and thrown around an accusation regarding author bashing, when that’s simply not true. In point of fact, I can’t say whether I liked the book because I haven’t read Ms. Grey, and certainly now that I’ve been informed by her that her book is trash, I have no plans to. Generally, I only review books I liked and I certainly don’t bother reviewing books I’ve never read.

  40. Christine
    May 18th, 2013 at 9:55 pm · Link

    I was misunderstood…and I can see why.

    I have been reading this crap all day (definitely my own fault) and getting worked up about it. I should have been more clear. The first part of my comment was directed at you, Ms Dane. The second part was directed to all the many people out there who, I feel, are stirring the pot and being just plain cruel. I definitely did not mean to insinuate that you personally have written a 1 star review, I was speaking out to the people who have. I don’t understand how a person can say that (I’m paraphrasing) the book was great, then leave a 1 star review because you are unhappy with comments made by the author. I stand by my comment that the above practice is author bashing.

    I have read your Brown series and your Chase series and love your work. My commenting on this thread was in no way meant as an attack on you personally. I am just so sick of people, in general, going on the attack RELENTLESSLY and not willing to hear her side of the story. Again, I refer to:


    I would hope that people who are upset would be constructive with their comments and not author bash just to keep it going. This is a real life person with a real life family with real life feelings and I think that it is sometimes, too easy to forget that when you are at home typing on your computer.

    Please accept my apologies for not making myself more clear.
    This whole situation just makes me sad, I personally really enjoy being connected to my favorite authors on FB, Twitter, etc but am considering stopping that practice. This is supposed to be fun, and it just hasn’t been lately with all the drama.

    Again, I apologize for not making myself more clear. I hope that, while you may not agree with me, you can understand where I am coming from.

    Thank you.

  41. Merry
    May 18th, 2013 at 11:19 pm · Link

    Thank you, Christine, for adding some balance to this debate.

    I agree, in principle and in general terms, with the valid points Ms Dane has made, but…

    Just because it has been perceived that Ms Grey has bashed her readers, etc., etc., that’s no reason to publicly bash her back. And that is EXACTLY what it is.

    Ms Grey expressed an opinion, with which everyone has a right to disagree, but without the (IMO) very personal vitriol.

    In retrospect, I actually don’t think it was necessary to name and shame, and lynch mobs are never appropriate. People can make up their own minds about how this affects them, individually or collectively.

    Now that this has happened, though, I’m glad to have been introduced to Ms Grey’s urban fantasy work.

  42. Lady Heather
    May 19th, 2013 at 5:06 am · Link

    Bravo, Ms. Dane!
    Well said!

  43. cher
    May 19th, 2013 at 9:13 am · Link

    Well said !!

  44. The BookChick
    May 19th, 2013 at 12:55 pm · Link

    Well said Lauren. That author is an idiot *sorry*…but who does this?!?! Goes in a public forum and just spew garbage. I hope she is happy with her 15 seconds of fame. 🙄

  45. Tymber Dalton
    May 19th, 2013 at 3:09 pm · Link

    THANK YOU! You’ve said the same things I’ve thought. Don’t slam readers, for starters. Not if you want to commit career suicide. You can write what you love to write and make money off of it without being a “sell out.” And if you’re going to go batcrap crazy, do it in private, not on the Interwebz.

    And definitely don’t try to take everyone out with you (ie fellow authors).

    She doesn’t speak for me, that’s for damn sure. I’m not just a writer, I’m also a reader. She’s managed to piss me off with her comments on both ends of the spectrum.

  46. Sara York
    May 19th, 2013 at 3:51 pm · Link

    Really it doesn’t matter if she slams readers or not. People are buying her stuff. Her numbers a very good on Amazon and how many readers are actually reading her blog. Writers will hear about this and it will piss us off and we won’t buy her stuff but from her numbers at the sales sites, she doesn’t need us to buy her books. The few number of people who follow blogs, look at posts and scroll through Amazon are probably one tenth if not lower than one tenth of her readership. Yes, she’s an idiot for putting this out there. She’s a bitch for suggesting that authors who write erotic are selling out. She’s a hack for writing books that she considers to be “sell out” books aimed at a stupid audience. But don’t kid your self in thinking she will lose sales over this. I think it’s a publicity stunt that will gain her more readers in the long run and she’s known all along what she was doing.

  47. Erin O'Riordan
    May 19th, 2013 at 4:45 pm · Link

    Authors who don’t respect erotica as a literary genre have no business writing it. Was D.H. Lawrence a “sellout” for writing ‘Lady Chatterly’s Lover?’ Was Anais Nin a “sellout” for writing ‘Delta of Venus?’ Was Ernest Hemingway a “sellout” for ‘The Garden of Eden,’ or Erica Jong for ‘Fear of Flying?’ Of course not – all this erotica, though it may have been scandalous in its time, is now considered classic literature.

    If Ms. Grey doesn’t believe erotica is art, she’s better off leaving it to those of us who pour our souls into writing intelligent literature about sex. Readers always know when a squeamish author is pecking at the keyboard with her hands half-covering her eyes when she writes a sex scene; it doesn’t make for a pleasant reading experience.


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