My third novel, Comets, was published as an eBook and has been for sale on Amazon since the middle of last year. A few days ago it also became available here on Smashwords.
One of the requirements for listing on Smashwords is that if the book is intended for adult readers it must have an ADULT label at the point of sale. While I can see what they’re getting at, unfortunately the term “adult”, when used to describe a book or a film, carries the implication of explicitly erotic content. Comets does address sexual issues in the lives of its protagonists in what I hope is a tasteful way. What happens sexually between some of the characters in the course of the novel is essential to the plot, especially as it is set in the 1830s when social norms were clearly different to what they are now. In the same breath I should add that the scientific and religious views expressed by some of the characters are also essential to the plot; they were controversial then, and remain so in some circles even in the 21st century.
So should Comets have an ADULT label? When I wrote the novel I intended it to be read by adults rather than children or young teenagers. But I doubt whether older teenagers, approaching school-leaving age, would find anything in the book particularly shocking or unheard of.
Perhaps the ADULT label will lose me some potential readers – and perhaps it will gain me some! If there is anyone out there who has read the book and would care to express an opinion, I would be glad to hear from you. Click here to contact me and let me know what you think.