My work bestie and I were talking books in our office kitchen this week. We were overheard by a female co-worker who asked us what kind of kitsch we are reading. I was a little angry – it’s a weird attitude, probably from somebody who’s never tried a really good romance novel.
Today there is still that weird notion that romance novels are trashy or trivial. That they don’t deal with real issues and are cheesy. This week this video landed in my inbox. These authors explain exactly why I read the genre and all its sub genres.
Video source: Penguin Random House
There is nothing trivial about high quality romance. We get characters from all kind of backgrounds with their individual issues that are more realistic and relatable than any suspense, fantasy or horror novel can ever hope to be yet conservative media keeps trying to marginalize romance.
According to RWA romance novels shared 34% of the US fiction market in 2015. That’s a huge junk out of total sales.
Here are some more numbers:
- Estimated annual total sales value of romance in 2013: $1.08 billion (source: BookStats)
- Who is the romance book buyer? (source: Nielsen Books & Consumer Tracker)
- Female: 84%
- Male: 16%
- Age of the romance book buyer: 30–44 years old (source: Nielsen Books & Consumers 2015)
Source: Romance Writers of America
Given that indie authors sprout like mushrooms there is a good chance that these numbers have changed already.
I rest my case.
I want a good story to take me away from real world, to let me dream and inspire me. That’s all I really expect from a book and it’s what romance gives me.