Love Reigns on the Bookshelves
- Monday, March 12, 2012
With dozens of new books debuting every year, one may wonder if the romance genre will ever reach a saturation point. “Romance will always be part of life, and each new generation wants to read about it. Just as we see old movies remade by current stars, each generation wants entertainment to reflect their times,” says Murray.
“Romance readers are insatiable. Certainly the market can only bear so many titles in a given year, but we’re in this business for the long haul,” agrees McConnell of Thomas Nelson.
All signs point to the Christian romance category as having a bright future. “The future is one that is more faceted and rich than ever before, with new stories and happily-ever-after endings to come,” says Moore.
“I think as long as readers seek escape from their hectic lives, there will always be a market for uplifting, happily-ever-after stories,” says Bethany House’s Patterson. “Romance has held its own since the beginning of Christian publishing, and I think it will continue to be a mainstay category.”
Authors of romantic fiction concur. “Romance is the top genre in fiction, and has been for years, so I think that speaks well to the future of the romance novel,” says Hunter.
“There will always be varying trends, but romance novels are the biggest portion of the reading market, and it always will be,” adds Sattler.
Peterson points to the category’s continued strong sales as an indication of its enduring appeal. “Romance consistently fills the strongest number of fiction books,” she says. “Romance will always sell because the readers are going to continue looking for happy endings.”
Fueling those sales is the human being’s innate desire for love. “Our need for love is never ever going to go away, as long as this world exists,” says Smith. “I think romance is strong and will remain strong. Genres go up and down, but one thing has been consistent in fiction sales for years and years—romance.”
“I don’t think the publishing world will ever see the last of romance,” adds Copeland. “I think women are too sentimental and will always love a good romance.”
- 17 percent of romance book buyers say they enjoy reading Christian romance.
- Of other popular fiction genres for romance buyers, 13 percent like to read religious fiction.
- With Christian romance, 13 percent of those purchases are in e-book format, while 19 percent are in print.
Source: Romance Writers of America’s romance book consumer survey conducted with PubTrack Consumer in August-September 2011.
Upcoming Romance Releases
A selection of upcoming releases in the romance category . . .
Arms of Love by Kelly Long (Thomas Nelson)
Brush of Angels Wings by Ruth Reid
Following Your Heart by Jerry Eicher (Harvest House)
The Wedding Dress by Rachel Hauck (Thomas Nelson)
Garden of Madness by Tracy L. Higley (Thomas Nelson)
My Stubborn Heart by Becky Wade (Bethany House)
Submerged by Dani Pettrey (Bethany House)
When Love Comes My Way by Lori Copeland (Harvest House)
Angel Eyes by Shannon Dittemore (Thomas Nelson)
HopeSprings by Kim Cash Tate (Thomas Nelson)
My Dearest Naomi by Jerry and Tina Eicher (Harvest House)
A Promise for Miriam by Vannetta Chapman (Harvest House)
Short-Straw Bride by Karen Witemeyer (Bethany House)
Sarah Hamaker is a freelance writer and editor, and author of Hired @ Home: The Christian Mother's Guide to Working From Home. She lives in Fairfax, Va., with her husband and four children. Visit her at www.sarahhamaker.com.
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