Romance Rolicks Through Recession

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Romance is flourishing despite the recession, according to top-list editors who attended this month's New Jersey Romance Writers PYHIAB conference.

Editors panel at the 2011 New Jersey RWA PYHIAB Conference
"Even in the recession, our romance genre is thriving," said Latoya Smith, assistant editor at Grand Central Publishing. "We were doing two- to-three titles a month, but now we're up to four titles a month. We're always looking for new romance authors."

Grand Central Publishing authors include Elizabeth Hoyt, Margaret Mallory and Amanda Scott.

Margaret Marbury, editorial director at Harlequin, says the rise of digital books has helped romance thrive. According to Marbury, who oversees MIRA Books, HQN, LUNA, Spice and Harlequin Teen, business is up, especially when you combine the print and digital sides of the business.

"We've always had strong distribution where women shop, so those are areas where we're pushing really hard to maintain that space," Marbury said. "And the backlist has been the real winner in terms of digital. It's been a real boon to have access to those backlist titles."

According to the Book Industry Study Group,  today’s ebook power buyer is a 44-year-old lover of romance who buys at least one ebook a week and spends more on books today than she has in the past.

"Romance books translate to ebooks faster than any other genre," said Aubrey Poole, assistant editor at Sourcebooks, which publishes authors such as Grace Burrowes and Shana Galen. "People who read ebooks actually read more books."

Poole adds that the easy access of ebooks, via online retailers such as Amazon and Barnes & Noble, is a key reason people are buying more books.


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