Saturday, August 11, 2012

Romance Novels - A General Discussion

All my previous posts have been personal observations and non-commercial. This one is different, in a way. This one is targeted specifically to helping sales at my various pre-read book outlets, but it is also a(n) (interesting?) personal story.
When I owned an actual brick and mortar (funny thing is, it WAS made of brick and mortar) used book store, the majority of sales were romance novels of one subtype or another. Probably 60-70% of the inventory and in-store sales were romance. Until I bought the store I knew nothing of the genre, its writers, publishers, history, nothing.
But I would talk with my customers and learned what they liked and why. I also developed a business relationship with Harlequin, THE biggest publisher in the genre. I now consider myself the most expert straight men on the subject of the people I know.  Perhaps one day I’ll finish editing my “History of the Bodice-Ripper” and publish it.
As with most everything you learn because you choose to, I have enjoyed the process. I also have enjoyed the conversations I have had, with stronger and stronger grasp of the topics, with readers. I still prefer, personally, to read what would be dubbed more manly fiction – historical yarns like the Age of Sail in the previous blog, or thrillers/mysteries like John D. MacDonald and westerns like Louis L’Amour and Luke Short.
Surprisingly (not!) I still have a very large inventory of romance novels, all subgenres, dating from the 1960s to about 2007 with any selection (only scattered titles after that).  This includes significant selections of serial romance novels (generically known as harlequins, even though published by many labels).
Some examples:
I have 29 titles written by Robyn Donald, 32 by Anne Mather, 25 by Lisa Jackson, and 25 by Diana Palmer.  I have literally hundreds of titles in the main series: Harlequin Romance, Silhouette Romance, Special Edition, Desire, Loveswept, etc. And I have hundreds, if not thousands, of “stand-alone” titles from Daphne du Maurier through Barbara Cartland to Nora Roberts and Luanne Rice.
If this is an area of interest to you and you are missing one or more back titles, please browse along. At least on the Biblio account linked here there is free shipping and a coupon for 50 cents off your second and subsequent books on one order.
Pleasant reading!

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