I researched data (2010- 2014) for this months' Round Robin blog topic . Multiple sources (online and print) stare that romantic novels are the most popular and most lucrative genre in American publishing, with over $1.35 billion in estimated revenues. This is almost two times the size of the mystery genre, and nearly three times the size of the market for classic/literary fiction.
Best Books (romance) according to Amazon/reader's choice, 2010:
Lady Isabella's Scandalous Marriage
Pleasure of a Dark Prince
Married by Morning
The favorites seemed to be evenly divided between: Paranormal/Romantic Suspense/Sweet Homespun.
The 2013 list of Best Books (romance):
Scarlet (Lunar Chronicles)
The Rosie Project
The Sear of Tranquility
Fast forward a decade: Witchcraft/Paranormal/Possible Destruction of Mankind
It seems historical, homespun, chicklit, and the 'classic' contemporary romances are on the back burner.
However, there seems to be exceptions: Scottish men wearing Kilts are marketable and appearing on the Cable t.v. scene!
What I have seen in the last ten years is less diversity in the romance genre. Erotica and Vampire/Changeling characters are still dominating the market. While series novels by Debbie Macomber and Susan Mallery still break into the top 10-with contemporary/sweet romantic theme, becoming the exception (at least statically speaking) rather than the rule.
Does this mean readers no longer hunger for Sweet Romance, Chicklit or Historical Romance?
I don't believe so. (Hence the popularity of eBooks and re-releases of 1980-90s romantic fiction.)
I believe an author who writes non-explicit romances has a smaller list of publishers to query, and smaller royalties each quarter than in past decades. However, trends peak and fade away and reappear. If a writer writes to his/her strengths and doesn't randomly chase trends, a readership will develop.
I like a good Zombie/Paranormal story and write 'um too (though with a light touch). I watch GRIMM and iZombie. But these are not the only shows I tune in or the only theme in the novels I write. I suspect this is true with readers and publishers also.
Remember when writing a story not slotted to a 'genre' was the kiss of death, so to speak?
Enter: Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter and Pride Prejudice & Zombies. Who could have guessed such stories could be made into a movie?
The key is writing a story that captures the reader.
Do I have predictions for the upcoming year?
- Erotica will climb for a bit longer due to the movie (50 Shades) and general interest.
- Pirates and Highlanders, and Vikings will gain and retain popularity.
- I'm also thinking contemporary romance sweet/ sexual tension (1-flame) will regain a foot-hold on the market. Characterization and emotional connection are the backbone of these novels.
What is your take on the matter?
What books do you plan to focus on this upcoming year?
What are you hungering to read?
What book setting/ theme are you 'not' interesting in reading?
Please post comments/suggestions.
Remember to Blog Hop and see what the other participants have to say about this month's topic.
Fiona McGier http://www.fionamcgier.com/
Victoria Chatham http://victoriachatham.webs.com/
Skye Taylor http://www.skye-writer.com/
Margaret Fieland http://www.margaretfieland.com/blog1/
Helena Fairfax http://helenafairfax.com/
Anne Stenhouse http://annestenhousenovelist.wordpress.com/
Marci Baun http://www.marcibaun.com/
Diane Bator http://dbator.blogspot.ca/
Rachael Kosnski http://rachaelkosinski.weebly.com/
Rhobin Courtright http://www.rhobinleecourtright.com/