Jessewave has a great post today about reader saturation in m/m romance. I haven’t commented because I have nothing constructive to add, other than perhaps a +1. Poor editing, lack of plot, sex that serves no purpose, shallow world building, all of it is stuff that I’ve complained about here or offline.
More than one comment responds that Wave’s saturation is essentially her own fault, that familiarity breeds contempt. And while I do believe that reading too much in one genre may lead to a feeling of sameness from a reader, that’s not really what Wave is writing about or what fuels my frustration as a reader of m/m romance.
As a long time reader of the romance genre, I’m familiar with sub-genre glut: there’s a reason I haven’t read a paranormal romance with vampires of any sort in more than a year — they were played out for me, and taking a break was the best thing I could do. That isn’t what I’m feeling with m/m romance. My frustrations aren’t with the band-wagoning and sudden expansion of the market place; as a consumer, that’s a good thing for me. My frustrations are byproducts of those things, though, as publishers rush incomplete works into e-print in order to capitalize on the relatively recent popularity of the sub-genre, and as authors of het romance decide to graft m/m onto their m/f manuscripts without really adjusting any of the dynamics (gender, social, political, etc.).