Alex J. Cavanaugh and is now more than three years old. By visiting the IWSG blog, you can find links to all the participants. Participants will share their insecurities and/or offer advice and encouragement depending on their needs this month. Please join in this warm, welcoming group.
I've commiserated with a few fellow writers when we've had books with disappointing sales. Sometimes the books were independently published but others were published by small presses or even the big NY boys. And reports from RWA National Conference in July and two weeks ago from the NJRWA conference, that editors and agents no longer want paranormal romance. A lot of my friends write what RWA categorize as paranormal but RWA defines it broadly so it includes any kind of speculative fiction. The national organization, and I assume editors and agents, lump sci-fi, fantasy and futuristic in with vampires, angels and demons. Yet, the most recent Romance Writers Report has the 2013 statistics showing that over 22% of readers claim paranormal romance is their favorite sub-genre. This is of interest to me since my most successful romance novels are science fiction romances. I haven't heard of any small presses claiming paranormal is dead. Romantic suspense is the leading category.
Other stats shared include that 21% of the adult fiction market goes to romance and that publishers generated over a billion dollars of revenue last year. Only the thriller genre edged out romance for most sales dollars. Almost half that revenue comes from E-book sales.
What do these stats tell me? Popularity of genres waxes and wanes. I will continue to write what I enjoy reading and not try to follow a trend. Christian Romance and YA romance had the lowest percentage of readers, yet there is and will always be a market for books in those categories. With almost half of romance readers buying a book every week or even more often, a lot of books are being sold. When asked, romance readers claim the most important factor in selected a romance to read isn't the sub-genre but the story itself.
The lesson of the stats? Write the story you want to write. If only 22% of readers are interested in your novel's category, then make it a great story so that all those millions that make up that percentage will want it.
Have you heard any recent reports of a certain genre gaining or losing popularity? Do any of the things I've shared above surprise you? Are you surprised how much of the book market is romance? When do you think E-books will outsell print?
Please remember to visit the rest of the IWSG participants. You'll find lots of interesting posts.