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Erotica refers to literature that's deemed to have artistic merit. Although the notion of artistic merit is certainly subjective, erotica is said to be distinct from pornography, which tends not to have an artistic aim.
Erotica does depict erotic content and aims to be sexually arousing, but whether it's a sculpture, a painting, a book, or a photograph, it often also has artistic aims and merits. Although many people view erotica as pornographic, pornography is distinguished by its intention to illicit a quick, intense sexual reaction in the viewer, and generally has commercial, rather than artistic, aims.
Currently, erotic literature is a form of erotica that has been seeing a real revival. In 2012, some publishers reported that it was a major driver in e-book sales.