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CBS SUNDAY MORNING to Report on Boom in Erotic Romance Novels, 3/24


Correspondent Bill Geist goes under the covers for a report on the boom in steamy erotic romance novels, where e-readers are helping drive sales, for the "The Money Issue" of CBS SUNDAY MORNING WITH Charles Osgood to be broadcast March 24, 2013 (9:00 AM, ET) on the CBS Television Network.

Geist travels to Texas to speak with Desiree Holt, a 76-year-old grandmother, who is a prolific author of what's been dubbed "Mommy Porn," one of the fastest-growing segments of the publishing industry. Holt has written 142 novels since 2007 and credits the evolution of the electronic reader with boosting sales.

"You can read anything on it and nobody knows what you're reading," Holt tells Geist. "You could be reading one of my books. You could be reading Shakespeare."

As Geist reports, the veil of e-readers, plus sales of the 50 Shades of Grey trilogy, have brought a new generation of readers to erotic romance.

"We have, like, 800 authors and 5,000 titles," says Patty Marks, chief executive officer of romance publisher Ellora's Cave. "But we sell between 150,000 and 200,000 books a month."

One author, Marks says, earned $1 million last year writing erotic novels, which can get steamy. It's not all sex, she adds. "I mean they have to have a good story, they have to have a good plot," Marks says, adding the cover is important, too. "The women like hot covers."

Holt's daughter tells Geist, with a smile, her mother writes "porn. We support her. We just don't read it." Holt, however, prefers to call her work "erotic romance."

"Mainstream readers have tended to shun erotic romance, not understanding what it is," Holt says. "I think too many of them equate it to pornography... They don't understand that they're love stories, that they're romances, that they're relationship stories."

Geist's report on the publishing phenomenon is part of CBS SUNDAY MORNING's annual "The Money Issue," featuring finance-themed topics, set to be broadcast March 24, 2013. Rand Morrison is the executive producer.

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