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By Danielle Ng-See-Quan
January 30, 2009
6:07 PM

Filed under News

Fenn to turn readers on to erotica

Sometimes, in order to sell sex, you just need to put a face on it. Accordingly, H.B. Fenn and Company is preparing to announce its new Fresh Face of Erotic Fiction program, which will spotlight a different Canadian erotic author – selected from amongst all the firm’s lines – each year.

According to Fenn vice-president of marketing Tom Best, there are usually only four or five new erotica titles in the Fenn stable each year. A committee of five employees will read and review all of the potential candidates in order to arrive at the selection. “We’re really trying to celebrate the genre and pick the best of the year, whether it’s the [author’s] first novel or one of many,” says Best, who will chair the selection committee.

This year’s fresh face is Opal Carew, who is the alias of Elizabeth Batten-Carew, an Ottawa-based romance author. Batten-Carew has written several fantasy-romance novels under her own name, and as Opal Carew she has written three erotic novels for St. Martin’s Press. Her fourth, Six, hit stores this month.

While Best recognizes that some people will never be convinced of erotica's literary merits, he hopes the program will turn more readers onto the genre. “I just think by identifying, on an annual basis, somebody we think is an exceptional [writer] … we’re going to attract new readers not only to the author [but to the field].”

Promotional support for the program includes a website and an upcoming book tour for Batten-Carew. In stores, Fenn plans to purchase endcaps or crowners to make the book selections stand out. Books by Fresh Face authors will also be branded with the program’s official logo: two cherries with stems attached.

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