I wish I could say I’m one of those writers who stalk the Internet reading my reviews and checking out my ratings. I’m not talking about reviews on review sites. I’m talking about reader reviews and ratings. I think if I wrote mainstream literary fiction I’d be more apt to check them out regularly. But because of the nature of my books, I never see a direct correlation between book sales and the amount of ratings and reviews the books receive. So I stopped checking ratings and reviews a long time ago. And this was way back when I was only writing for print publishers.
In other words, and I’m now speaking in broad terms, the overall sales figures of male/male erotic romance indicate people are buying erotic gay romances but only a small fraction are commenting or leaving reviews about them in a public forum. And, I’d like to add, the small fraction who do rate and review these erotic romances almost always use a fake name and identity. Nothing wrong with that. I wish I could do it sometimes. However, the concept is simply too Internet cliche for me and I’d rather not be part of the large Internet problem of “too much anonymity” everywhere. I wrote a post about this, here, when I was shopping for new granite countertops last September. It has nothing to do with books, but everything to do with anonymous online reviews.
I think there’s a reason for the lack of ratings and reviews. Most people prefer to use their real names when rating or reviewing a book anywhere. I know if you check the reviews I’ve written on amazon or goodreads you’ll see that I stand behind my own name and not a pen name. And those who prefer to use their real names would rather read erotic male/male romance in private. And with the advent of e-reading devices, racy book covers can be camouflaged completely.
So if you’re an author of male/male romance or erotic romance and you’re not seeing as many reviews and ratings for you books as you’d like to see, this might be the reason. I know authors who have sales to back them up, but the amount of ratings don’t match up to the sales. I could be wrong on this. There’s no way to prove or disprove it. But take a look at the number of ratings for a mid list mainstream literary novel and compare it to a best selling male/male erotic romance novel and most of the time there will be a huge difference.