Chasing Inspiration

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

In These Tough Economic Times

I was reading through one of my publishing industry newsletters and found an interesting article on how romance continues to sell well during this particular economy.
According to various news outlets, romance fiction is selling well despite the economic downturn. Harlequin Enterprises reports revenue rose 2.2 percent in 2008 to $379 million U.S., with sales up in both the North American retail and overseas segments. (Publishers Weekly, 26 Feb. 2009) And, the Chicago Sun-Times says sales have increased at Borders for American history, “romance novels and science fiction and fantasy books.” (Chicago Sun-Times, 28 Feb. 2009) The USA Today best-seller list reflects the success of romance fiction. For the week of March 4, “one-quarter of the list’s top 50 books are romance novels, and 20 percent of the books new to the list are in that category.” (USA Today, 4 Mar. 2009)

What dose this mean?

Some would posit that people are looking for something optimistic to escape into during these hard times. I know that's part of why I read, and write, romance fiction. I want to know that love conquers all and will triumph in the end. I want to see people work through difficulties and come out the other side healing and a little more whole than when they went into the story. I want to believe in the goodness within people and the power of trust and vulnerability.

I don't know that all who read romance feel the same way, but from the chatter in some online communities I spend time at, I have to believe there are many who read romance because they want the happily ever after and the joy of a relationship that makes it. And as much as people claim they read romance for the escapism, there is a part of me who believes they also read romance for the hope it offers. And what is more important during uncertain, even dark times than hope.

So, to all you romance writers out there, thank you for bringing hope and love and the belief that we can live happily ever after. This is a wonderful gift. Thank you.

1 comment:

  1. Essentially, life sucks. People want to find happiness somewhere. :) Plus, romance isn't just summer reading. The true fan is invested in the genre. I know most who follow authors or other genre work, come and go depending on vacations or author schedules. Romance readers will read all the time.