Friday, June 25, 2010

Romance on Fire

Songs of the Day: "Sucka for Love" by Danity Kane and in honor of Michael Jackson, "The Lady in My Life"

    I was reading the May/June issue of Writer's Digest (if you haven't guessed already this is my favorite magazine about writing) and I came across an article on why romance is hotter than ever. Throughout time romance writers have been considered to be "less serious writers." To be quite honest, that just isn't fair. There are published novels that are considered to be "literary fiction" but after reading them, I'd toss them aside because they just didn't do it for me. The same is true in romance. There's the good, and then there's the bad. I thought I'd share some highlights from the article. If you're currently a romance writer or you're trying to break into the business, this article The following facts are from the Writer's Digest article entitled, "Romancing the Publishing Industry."

The Facts
- According to Business of Consumer Book Publishers, 74.8 million people read at least one romance in
  2008 (and the figure has doubled in the past decade)
-Romance has been a top performing category on The New York Times, USA Today, and Publishers
-Romance fiction has created around 1.37 billion in revenue. If you want to put that up against some other
 genres, take a look at what some others have generated:
           Religion/Inspiration- $800 million
           Mystery- $668 million
           Science Fiction/Fantasy- $551 million
           Literary Fiction- $446 million
-The Washington Post, Time Magazine, and other sources reported that Harlequin (the largest publisher of romance) had steadily  growing profits in 2008 and 2009
-Nearly $7,500 romance novels were released each year.
-Writers such as, Nora Roberts, Sandra Brown, Debbie Macomber, Janet Evanovich, etc. provide solid  
  proof that the potential for crossover to mainstream appeal does indeed exist.

According to the article there are 5 characteristics that your romance novel should have.

What Your Romance Novel Should Have

1. "HEA"- Translation: "happily ever after." Romance stories should always have a happy ending.
2. "Morality Reflective of the Majority"- Basically the characters have to be in a monogamous
3. "Variety"- Contrary to popular belief, romance novels are not all the same. There are several 
     subgenres of romance which includes, romantic suspense, paranormal, erotica, inspirational, urban
     fantasy, contemporary, historical, and comedy, and thriller. That's a lot if you ask me.
4. "Sexual Tension"- This does not mean explicit sex. The misconception is that romance novels are filled
     with explicit content. Not true! There is no need for sex unless it reveals character or advances the plot.
5. "Character Growth"- This is true for all genres in my opinion. Nobody likes a flat character.

The article also states there are 10 things you can add to make you romance novel a success.

Spice Up Your Romance Novel
1. "A strong hook or concept"
2. "Sympathetic motivated characters"
3. "Evocative Setting"
4. "High-stakes conflict"
5. "Unique voice"
6. "Credible emotion"
7. "Tight pacing"
8. "Skillful layering" (with regard to plot, themes, characters, etc.)
9. "Reversals" (surprises and challenges)

Publishers Seeking Romance Writers:

1. Harlequin Enterprises
2. Random House
3. Penguin Group
4. HarperCollins
5. Kensington
6. Dorchester Publishing

There is obviously a world of opportunities out there for romance writers. These facts and statistics are impressive. Romance week comes to a close, and I'm a little sad. I hope I have helped those of you who are romance writers, and those of you who hope to break into the industry. For the curious ones, maybe this has pushed you in the right direction. I have really enjoyed exploring the romance genre, and hopefully you have too. See you next week!


1 comment:

  1. All very interesting facts about romance! I definitely have the "HEA" in my books!