Thursday, January 20, 2011

Undercover Romance Becomes NO Cover Romance?

According to a recent article in the New York Times, romance novels are the hottest selling items in the ebook market, leaving every other genre in the dust. The reason attributed to the popularity of ebook romances? Discretion. Consumers who would previously be embarrassed to be seen in public with a bodice-ripping title can now download and enjoy in private. In a Daily Mail interview, romance author Talli Rand said "There is a stigma attached - fairly or not - to reading romance novels. A lot of professional people... probably don't want their hunky heroes splashed across their covers for everyone to see."
It seems there's a big pool of readers out there who love romance novels, but wouldn't be caught dead carrying around cover art featuring an oiled up warrior with a flowing mullet and bulging pecs locked in a steamy embrace with his well-endowed lady love - and ebook marketers are on to them. Barnes and Noble has launched a dedicated "Romance Shop" for it's Nook e-reader (with a staggering number of titles), and companies like All Romance ebooks are doing a booming business.
This trend is no news to libraries who lend ebooks: back in 2009, Paul Keith, Electronic Resources Librarian at the Chicago Public Library noted that circulation of ebooks was up noticeably, and that "Heavy readers of romance novels love e-readers."
What about you? Would you be more inclined to read a romance novel if you didn't have to worry about other people snickering at your reading material?

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