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Monday, September 07, 2009

Who Reads Romance?

Well, if you're reading my blog today, you probably read romance novels! Right?
You are not alone. Take a look at some of the stats for romances taken straight from the Romance Writers of America website. You'll have to agree it's pretty impressive and you're in good company if you love romance!

Popularity of Romance Fiction

(source: Business of Consumer Book Publishing 2009)
Romance fiction generated $1.37 billion in sales in 2008.
7,311 new romance titles were released in 2008.
In 2008, romance was the top performing category on the New York Times, USA Today, and Publishers Weekly best-seller lists.
Romance fiction sales are estimated at $1.36 billion for 2009.
74.8 million people read at least one romance novel in 2008. (source: RWA Reader Survey)

Market Share of Romance Fiction
(source: Business of Consumer Book Publishing 2009)

Romance fiction was the largest share of the consumer market in 2008 at 13.5 percent.

Romance Market Share Compared to Other Genres
(source: Simba Information estimates)

Romance fiction: $1.37 billion in estimated revenue for 2008
Religion/inspirational: $800 million
Mystery: $668 million
Science fiction/fantasy: $551 million
Classic literary fiction: $446 million

About the Romance Genre
Romance fiction is smart, fresh and diverse. Whether you enjoy contemporary dialogue, historical settings, mystery, thrillers or any number of other themes, there's a romance novel waiting for you!

Two basic elements comprise every romance novel: a central love story and an emotionally-satisfying and optimistic ending.

A Central Love Story: The main plot centers around two individuals falling in love and struggling to make the relationship work. A writer can include as many subplots as he/she wants as long as the love story is the main focus of the novel.

An Emotionally-Satisfying and Optimistic Ending: In a romance, the lovers who risk and struggle for each other and their relationship are rewarded with emotional justice and unconditional love.

Romance novels may have any tone or style, be set in any place or time, and have varying levels of sensuality, ranging from sweet to extremely hot. These settings and distinctions of plot create specific subgenres within romance fiction. Click here to better understand the subgenres within romance.

Romance Novel Formats
There are two formats for romance fiction:

(THIS IS ME) Series or "category" romances: books issued under a common imprint/series name that are usually numbered sequentially and released at regular intervals, usually monthly, with the same number of releases each time. These books are most commonly published by Harlequin/Silhouette.

Single-title romances: longer romances released individually and not as part of a numbered series. Single-title romances may be released in hard cover, trade paperback, or mass-market paperback sizes.

Does that clarify things? Romance often takes a beating with jabs and jokes about the content, but LOVE makes the world go around and these stats prove that. When times are bad, people want to be uplifted with Happily Ever Afters and Feel Good books!

That's my job!

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