:book reviews, feminism, feminist, interview, katie olver, sexy, u star novels
What inspired you to start U Star Novels?
I found a company in the US that did a similar type of thing, so I contacted them to see if I could distribute their books. I wanted to be able to change them because they were very American, but they weren’t happy about that and asked for a ridiculous amount of money up front, so the idea kind of died at that point.
Someone later suggested I find writers and do it myself, so that’s what I did. I had a bit of luck when I won a start-up business award in 2006, and I launched on the back of that.
What sort of response have you had?
I was very aware that I didn’t want to publish adult content at that stage because once you step into that realm, you can’t put your website on certain directories and that kind of thing.
I did a lot of market research and it quickly became apparent that people wanted more sex in their books, and a lot of them wanted sex scenes written by a woman. So those were the next steps we took, based on customer feedback. We found a female erotic author and she did Amsterdam Lessons for us, which is one of our racier novels.
What’s your most popular title?
I think it’s also popular because it’s a very action-packed, James Bond-type book—the hero flies helicopters and chases diamond smugglers. I thought it would be mainly women buying these novels, but the split is very much 50/50.
Where do you usually find the writers you use?
Our books are developing loads now because the technology behind integrating the customers’ personal details is getting more sophisticated. We’re going to start doing something similar to the old ‘Choose Your Own Adventure’ novels, so we can start putting into the story the sort of sexual adventures you want to go on with your partner.
Give us a rundown of the books you currently have available…
You also publish personalised versions of classic novels. Was it difficult to get permission to do that, considering the nature of your other books?
How much are the books, and where can our readers get them?
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