I was trudging through the Internet today and reading article after article on why women love romance novels. I was trying to find a universal theme amongst the articles – all written from 2010 until the present. Some of the pieces were titled, “ Why do contemporary women read old fashioned romance novels? “ and “Why smart women read romance novels,” and “How much do romance novels reflect women’s desires.” Spiffy, if trite and annoying titles, eh? Every article I read – and baby where there plenty – started with what I considered a derogatory opening along the lines that reading romance novels made women either : a. dumb, b. sluts, c. stupid or d. naïve.
It hasn’t been a very happy reading day in my writing loft.
I really couldn’t come up with one universal theme that would either tie the articles together along a logical line of thought, or give credence to the assertions that women who read romance are not the brightest bulbs in the box.
In other words, I felt they had no empirical data, just a lot of suppositions and theories that I didn’t agree with.
Okay. I strongly disagreed with them.
The industry of romance books does over a billion dollars a year. That’s billion with a capital B. Romance readers are loyal. They buy their favorite authors consistently, recommend books to other reads, and write reviews. When you are selling a product, what is the one thing you hope to capture with each and every sale? BUYER LOYALTY. Or in this case, READER LOYALTY. And romance readers are loyal. In spades.
If an author gives the book buying-romance reading public what it wants, they will come back time and time again for the new products (books) related to that brand ( author.)
I’ve mentioned numerous times before why I personally love reading romance novels. I simply love a good story about two people who find each other, despite what ever trials, turmoils, or disasters come their way, to find their happily ever after. Give me that book, with the characters sound and the plot believable, and you’ve got me as a reader for the length of your book-writing career.
And I’m not the only one who feels this way. Whenever a writer can actually make me believe that a fantasy can come true, I’m in. Totally and completely. And again, I’m not alone.
I am a middle aged, highly educated, wealthy and well-spoken professional woman who uses her discretionary dollars to purchase goods she not only needs, but desires as well. I love a good laugh, a mouthwatering piece of chocolate, COACH bags, and romance novels.
So, here’s the truth: I’m not dumb, stupid, naïve or a slut. And yes, I buy romance books. Lots of them.
I also write them. Lots of them.