Tuesday, October 26, 2010

The Future of Romance

Last week, I had the opportunity to moderate a panel discussion on “The Genre of Romance” at the UAA Bookstore. (Thanks to Rachel Epstein for hosting us!) Kianna Alexander, Marcy Gentemann, and Jackie Ivie talked about romance writing, how the genre has changed over the years, and what the future might hold. They had interesting ideas and tidbits of information:

50% of people choose to buy a book by the cover.

There’s a variety of subgenres including a line of romances with a Nascar theme.

It may be easier to get published in romance nowadays, but harder to stay published.

In August of 2010, the tide turned and more ebooks were published than print books.

One area of agreement was that ebooks will continue to be popular, but print books will be with us for some time to come. Our authors had great stories about writing romance, and their relatives’ response to having a romance writer in the family. They had quite a discussion about epublishing, self-publishing, and how the industry has changed over the last few years We also enjoyed hearing about their favorite authors; Barbara Cartland, Victoria Holt, and Beverly Jenkins were all influential. Our best guesses for future trends: environmental issues and more multicultural romance. What do you think is the future of romance?

Lynn Lovegreen


Tiffinie Helmer said...

I think the sky is the limit. Seriously, could you imagine the range of romances twenty-five years ago. I was reading Joanna Lindsey, Jude Deveraux, Julie Garwood and the like. All were historicals and basically all that you could find. There was no vampires, werewolves, or witches. Never mind demons. So I believe that there are many avenues still untapped and there isn't anything we couldn't write about!

Boone Brux said...

Wish I could have been there. It sounds like a great panel. Thanks for sharing, Cheryl.

LizbethSelvig said...

Wish I could have been there too. I've decided to sit back and enjoy whatever trends the romance "industry" follows. I really foresee a future where there's a great mix of paper (recycled to the enth degree, preferably) and e-books. I love that e-roms are gaining in popularity but that nobody wants to give up the feeling of a "real" book in her hands (especially her own!)

And, I'd love to see environmental topics get more popular, along with other social issues. YA, Sci Fi and Fantasy have a head start on us there. It's about time we started getting some great romantic minds churning on the problems of the day--and giving them great, HEA, romantic solutions!

Cool blog, Cheryl!

Lynn Lovegreen said...

Yes Tiffinie, who could have predicted the growth in paranormal romance? Boone, hope you can attend the next panel. And I agree with Liz that it will be great to see some romantic solutions to today's problems.:-)

Readers, any other predictions, ideas?

Anonymous said...

I think the appeal of writing in general in any fiction genre is the surprise. We love our HEA so as long as I get that I'm open to just about anything. Bring it on. The panel was great and illustrated all those points. Cheryl, thanks for getting the discussion put on at UAA.

Lynn Lovegreen said...

Thanks, DeNise. I'm with you--a happy ending is essential!