The ABCs of an Erotic Romance Writer

Ever wonder what all the acronyms and terms mean that we romance authors throw around? Here is a quick primer in the ABCs of Erotic Romance.

ARC– Advanced Review Copy (sometimes Advanced Reader Copy). It’s a copy of the book given prior to release usually to book reviewers.

HEA– Happily Ever After. Think fairy tales. It’s required by many of today’s romance publishers

HFN– Happy For Now. The hero and heroine don’t have to declare their undying love and get married, but there is a promise that they are at least happy…for now.

M/M – Male/Male gay-themed romance (or F/F would represent 2 women)

M/F/M – a heterosexual threesome where the Male/Female/Male characters all have sex together however there is no direct same-sex sexual interaction between the men.

M/M/F– a threesome where the Male/Male/Female character all have sex together during which the men also interact sexually with each other.

GBLT – a genre in romance incorporating Gay/Bisexual/Lesbian/Transexual themes.

BDSM – a genre in romance with Bondage and Discipline/Dominance and Submission/Sadism and Masochism elements.

D/s or D/S  D usually stands for the dominant partner (or Dom/ dom) in the BDSM.  S (or s) usually stands for the submissive partner in BDSM

Galley – before a book goes to print, we review the galley and look for not only typos that may have been missed in the editing and proofreading stages, but also for formatting issues, page numbers, correct headers and footers, etc.

WiP – Work in Progress. Whatever book I’m in the middle of writing at the time.

FLE– Final Line Editor. After my editor is done, a FLE goes through the book to find any grammar, spelling, continuity or story issues.

The Big Six – the 6 big publishing houses who own most of the imprints you’d recognize.

Agency Model – a big mess where the publishers and the booksellers are in debate as to who gets to set pricing on third party sites like Amazon.

Legacy Publishing – the way publishing was done forever before digital came along. Authors (usually through an agent) submit, if contracted they receive an advance which will either be earned out or not. This model depends a very few huge name authors to sell many books and carry the rest.

Digital First– a publisher who releases the book in eBook format first and possibly will release some in print later. Generally authors are paid in royalties on actual sales and not with any form of advance. This model depends on sales spread among many authors.

Vanity Press – Author pays a publisher to put out their book.

Author Mill – a vanity press thinly disguised as a publisher.  They accept all author submissions and charge a lot of money (either on the front end or the back end) for the author to release their book through them.

POD – Print on Demand. A technology where books are printed as ordered. Usually in Trade Paperback size.

Self-publishing – the author acts also as publisher for either eBook, print or both.

Slush Pile – where your unsolicited book submission goes to wait for someone at the publisher to read it hopefully sometime before you die.

The above are fairly universal in the industry. Specific to my Tweet stream/Facebook page you may see the following:

ARe – All Romance eBooks, LLC, a digital bookseller who own, and ARe Cafe.

AAD – Authors After Dark. A convention for booklovers and authors held annually.

RT – Romantic Times Book Reviews Magazine throws a booklovers convention annually which we usually refer to just as RT.

PBR – The Professional Bull Riders organization (not Pabst Blue Ribbon if it’s in my Tweets!)

PRCA – Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association

NOTE: this is based upon my opinions, experiences and understanding from having written professionally since 1988. I may be wrong. Apologies if I am.

3 responses to “The ABCs of an Erotic Romance Writer

  1. WOW !!! There’s a lot more to it then I thought, Cat. Many thanks for the handy cheat sheet. I’m going to make a copy of it for me to reference when in doubt of a few of those accronyms.

    By the way, where have you been? I’ve been waiting for more of your books. I have noted that your have a new SP book coming out in September. It’s already on my must buy list.


    • Hey Sandie-
      I’ve been here at my laptop as usual! LOL I actually spent a lot of time rewriting the rest of the old Linden Bay out of print Red, Hot & Blue series, which I bombarded my editor with. We’ve gotten through a lot of edits and I’ve even got some release dates for the upcoming stories! Yay! You know dates can change and shift around a bit at Samhain but as of now we can look forward to HOOKED (Studs in Spurs Book 4) in September (as you mentioned), then COLE (Red, Hot & Blue Book 5–the followup to JARED) in December, then BOBBY (RHB #6–yes, Deputy Bobby gets a story) in March 2012. Then the first full length novel in the RHB series –A FEW GOOD MEN (which brings us back to the military with a tanker hero deployed in Iraq) comes in June 2012. The editor also has the next 2 full length military novels in the RHB series (MODEL SOLDIER and A PRINCE AMONG MEN) in her possession. Just waiting on a decision on those.

      And on another note, I am busy working right now on my self-publishing line with THE EX-FILES, which I am pushing to have released in time for the August Authors After Dark convention.

      So yeah, I’m here and typing! LOL
      Thanks for your comment.