Wednesday, April 8, 2009

It's Spring! Romance is in the air--at WalMart?

It was gratifying to read the big article on romance in today's New York Times. For one, it verifies what I've noticed in several economic downturns, that movie box office receipts and escapist literature sales stay strong. According to the Times article, it even increases: romance sales were up 7% last year according to BookScan, and that's probably low because BookScan does not track WalMart sales.

This is great news for romance authors, but tinged with caution: due to mergers and downsizing, the market has shrunk, and with it author advances. I think every career romance author would do well to diversify, writing for different houses, expanding to young adult and nonfiction.

I wish I could remember where I read recently in a blog that now is not the time to write the book of your heart. The blog's author recommended that aspiring authors write something commercially viable. She obviously does not know the ladies of Georgia Romance Writers, a pragmatic group of writers who write for the thrill, but with an eye out for the market.

We know that the bonbon-munching, martini-swilling author is a myth (well, except for the martini part, at my house) and work hard at our craft. Now's the time to get those proposals in the mail!

Can't open the link for the NYT article? Email me at and I'll send you the pdf.


Debbie Kaufman said...

Yeah, why is it people stereotype us that way? If they only had a clue how much work this actually is to write!