(K. Brent Tomer),
IN 2013, the Romance Writers of America (RWA) estimated that sales of romantic novels amounted to $1.08 billion, and accounted for 13% of adult fiction consumed that year, outselling science fiction, mystery and literary novels. In the five years to 2015 in Britain alone, romance and erotic fiction sold 39.8m physical books worth £178.09m. The sector has also been among the most innovative, with a strong tradition of independent and self-publishing. It was one of the first to capitalise on the anonymity offered by e-books and, according to Jellybooks, a British company that analyses e-book data, romance readers are twice as likely to read on smartphones than literary novel or non-fiction readers.
But the stigma attached to the romance and erotica genres remains. The ne plus ultra of the past decade is E.L. James’s “50 Shades” trilogy. Originally self-published, it went on to sell more than 125m copies worldwide after being published in print in 2012. Last year’s film adaptation and a fourth book, “Grey”, broke global box-office and British adult-sales records respectively. Nevertheless, the public attitude has rarely…Continue reading