What’s Happening with Romance

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February 2012
by Linda Carlson

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Swashbuckling young hunks ravishing glamorous virgins, embossed covers and titles in gilded script. If that’s your perception of romance novels, look again. The genre has changed.

Yes, paperback racks still display bodice-rippers as well as the demure love stories that climax (so to speak) with a passionate embrace in the final chapter, and each romance author can still function as a brand that helps all that author’s titles sell better.

But today’s romance publishers are active with e-books; sales of erotica are surging; characters are better developed; page counts are lower; and authors and publishers alike are using a variety of marketing tactics, including social media.

If you’re publishing romance now, you’re in a very crowded market. Some authors are predicting that the genre will be saturated for a few years by the flood of e-books, both republished material and original digital-only shorter pieces. And pricing is very competitive, with some books being offered free to generate demand for an author’s latest work.

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