Since November, readers and writers alike have been enjoying Books of Delight, a fab new erotica book club with a twist. Books of Delight is the brainchild of the awesome Chris Unity Bowness and his equally awesome wife, Caroline. Chris had been doing guest spots on my blog for quite some time now, and he has always been a champion of erotica and erotica authors, so when Chris approached the Brit Babes for some feedback about his idea of an online book club for erotica, he got a resounding thumbs up.
I recently talked to Chris, who is also a Relationship and Sex Mentor, and he had this to say about the Books of Delight’s conception and exciting firs few months.
“I love erotica and, as a sex mentor, I have used it over the years, personally and professionally, as a tool to open up discussions about sex, because what’s great about Erotica is that it’s about the sex. Yes there are fabulous characters and wonderful story lines, but enjoying erotica and saying so, I believe, makes a statement that you are sex positive and enjoy sex. To enjoy erotica means exploring and exposing yourself to sex. I am intrigued by the psychology of erotica fans. (Which I’ll save for another post.)
Furthermore, having been involved with the genre for a number of years I believe erotica has an almost cult like following supported by authors who are hungry to engage with readers of the genre. I think this stems from the fact that to explore and find the best erotica, beyond E.L. James and Sylvia Day, you have to really go out there and look for it. And sometimes even when you know what you’re looking for the search is made harder by search engines and booksellers filtering it out. There has been a recent well publicised ‘cleaning up’ by Barnes & Noble, iTunes and Amazon of erotica from its ebook stores.
About two years ago I started sharing and posting the newest releases, offers and news from the world of erotica and was surprised by the amount of people stopping me in the street or massaging me to say they’d picked up a book I’d shared and how everyone of them had enjoyed it and in turn told me to keep sharing.
It was then I started looking at social reading sites to further explore and engage with other fans of erotica. I wanted to find a place where I could engage with others, where we could share other books but also where we could converse with authors. After going from site to site and finding bits here and bits there, I asked myself why I didn’t start something which exactly fitted my needs but also was what I believed a community could be built on.
I wanted to build a community where books could be recommended and discussed on a regular basis. This would be a place where readers could be guided to the best books and authors, where we could share with each other our love of erotica. It would be a community which would be supported and also engaged by the very authors being recommended. Books Of Delights was borne…”
After a lot of hard work, planning and organising by the Bownesses, the group began in November as a Facebook private group. I was lucky enough to have Grace Marshall’s novel, An Executive Decision be one of the two choices for the virgin run along with the amazing Tabitha Raynes’ novel, A Clockwork Butterfly.
“I was lucky enough to have one of my novels as a featured book in Books of Delights alongside the gorgeous Kd!,” author, Tabitha Raynes said. ‘I loved being able to interact with readers and see how they interpreted the story. It was quite thrilling to learn things about how the books are read and to be surprised that some of the things discussed hadn’t occurred to me! Just shows that once a piece of work is out there, it takes on a life of its own. That was really lovely – to have your writing come alive in someone else’s imagination and hear about it. Books of Delights founders Christopher and Caroline are wonderful at bringing out people’s enthusiasm for what they are reading and to promote lively and interesting debate on some of the issues that the stories might raise. A wonderful experience – especially getting to ‘meet’ readers. Some even took the time to leave excellent reviews – most appreciated and unexpected. I loved it and I thoroughly recommend joining!”
Reader, and new convert to erotica, Cheryl Jackson says, “Books of Delight is what it sound like and more. Erotic books to tingle the senses but also the very community is a delight. I’d not read much erotica before joining and was pleasantly surprised by the engaging stories I read and am now a definite fan. There is plenty of opportunity should you wish to discuss the books, concepts found in the books and indeed general points relating to sex positive ideas. There are also general conversations and you soon find yourself drawn into the group. Participants and authors mixing in a friendly way. There is no obligation to join in the conversations if you chose not to but you will receive a warm friendly welcome if you do.”
Caroline Bowness is in full agreement. “I like the way readers have access to authors to ask questions and interact. I hope as it grows and people get braver we will have more discussions on the books we are reading.”
Speaking from an author’s perspective, there’s nothing writers love more than to engage with people in a discussion about their stories, and for me, that was the very best part of Books of Delight, the write and reader interaction. The Brit Babes were all invited to join the group from the beginning, and the Brit Babes do love to talk erotica, writing and S.E.X.
Author, Lily Harlem said, “As an author I love being involved with Book of Delights, it’s informal, friendly and a wonderful way to interact with readers who are fans of the erotica and erotic romance genre. Writing can be a lonely business, tapping away all day on a laptop creating characters and plots, so when it’s time for some social time where better to go than a place with likeminded people for stimulating, passionate conversations about love and lust and everything bookish.”
Author, and founder of Writer Marketing Services, Lucy Felthouse, had this to say about Books of Delight. “I think it’s a fantastic idea to get a bunch of enthusiastic readers together to read and discuss books. As a writer, there’s nothing better than being directly in touch with readers to find out what they’re enjoying, to answer questions they may have, and to ask some of your own. It’s great fun, and I’m looking forward to what fun the group brings next.”
Add to that interesting insights and links added by Chris and Caroline, and you have the formula for a dynamic, exciting new group, which has been so successful. Even though BoD is technically in a trial period until April, as exciting as the first few months have already been, in February, Books of Delight is evolving from the successful private Facebook group to something bigger and even more exciting. Keep your eyes on Chris’s mentoring and sex positive website, www.multiple-asms.org for the exciting relaunch in February. Once the trial period is over, Chris is aiming for a full launch in the 2nd quarter of the year in which Books of Delight will become a micro subscription service.
BoD It’s BODdy Brilliant! — Author, Victoria Blisse
BOD is beautifully bawdy. — Author, Kay Jaybee