Lurcio: a big chunk of the reason was more and more people getting their fiction jollies for free on the internet (the same thing happened to a lot of mainstream porn magazines; that market is nearly dead now). Another aspect was publisher buy-outs; imprints getting swallowed up into bigger and bigger publishing houses and, to an extent, the really big ones going 'Ewww! Smut! No thanks' and first starving the imprints of resources and then closing them down. Of course, they've changed their minds now for which we do sort of owe Ms James a pint.
But there's an ongoing problem with erotic material of any kind that's made by/for women and it's this: media control is in the hands of men. So if you are a woman producing erotic entertainment material aimed at other women, you will only be able to get so far before you hit a brick wall in the shape of a man in a suit who says 'Well my wife wouldn't like it, therefore it won't sell' - and you get no distribution/no promotion/no backing or you end up having to ruin your product by filling it up with adverts for lipstick and tampons/mansplaining/tee-hee-not-really-boys antifeminism.
Anyway, I now have a release date for My Book. And would actually love to get it discussed all over the internet, naturally. I'm not just being a squawky MeMeMeeeee! author here, I do genuinely think that it's worth discussing why so much erotic (and romantic) fiction aimed at women has to feature a submissive woman and a dominant man. I've been told over and over again that this is 'what women want' but at the same time I know a lot of actual women who would far rather read about a powerful woman and a submissive/innocent/less powerful man/men. Anyone know any other good discussion sites to muscle in on?
Solid i read loads of Black Lace books in the 90s. And a few of them did feature powerful/dominant women and submissive men.
A few titles off the top of my head. Dark Obsession Rude Awakening Nadyas Quest The Devil and the Deep Blue Sea (that was the first one i read which i got free with a copy of New Woman which is how i found out about BL.
Also used to buy Scarlet for the Cliterature section (they carried a really good serial by Mathilde Madden.) When i read erotica i quite like reading about f/f even though ive never actually experienced it and m/m though i like m/f too. Your book sounds great. Just my cup of tea.