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Romance – Indies vs. Traditional Publishing

26 April 2018

From a commenter on TPV:

The current buzz in author loops which serve romance: that traditional publishing and agents are ceding the ground to indies because they can’t compete financially. In response, they are steering their stable to women’s fiction, especially bookclub women’s fiction, because these books still command semi-reasonable advances and are comparatively print-centric.

If true, that will be a seismic shift in the publishing landscape.

Also, most romance writers are skeptical about their readers being willing to follow authors to a different genre. So if women’s fiction flops, you can see where things are headed in the next few years or months…

Romance

8 Comments to “Romance – Indies vs. Traditional Publishing”

  1. Of course I don’t participate in every romancer loop out there, but from anecdotal evidence this sounds true (see “Sleepless in Seattle” for antecedent). I’ve heard more than one romance author say that their acquisition editor has tried to steer them into other genres than romance. “How about a hot romantic suspense?” when that is not what they write. Women’s fic? Possibly. Although some romancers do sneer at women’s fic as a romance without a happy ending, only for a few have I seen their romance skills morph effectively into writing satisfying women’s fic.

    Of course YMMV. I’ve read some stellar women’s fic, even in Christian fic, but for me it’s not part of a steady balanced diet.

  2. If the ladies will accept a comment on this from an old man … 😛

    Keep to what you know/like to write, your readers will know it when you write too far outside your comfort zone.

    As to those editors? Just remember they work for the publisher – not you – making money off you for the publisher is job one. To them you (and the rest of us) are rental cars – cars they won’t mind ruining if it gets them where they want to go – wrecked in a ditch as they climb into the next rental …

    Certainly you can try writing other things, but don’t let them burn you out trying to force you to do something you aren’t (mentally) ‘built’ for.

  3. It sounds good, but it’s not true.

  4. It’s absolutely true. My agent is doing this exact thing.

  5. I have authors whose contemporary romance I read but I don’t read their historical romances (and visa versa), so the odds of me following them into Women’s Fiction? Not good.

  6. If “women’s fiction” builds a hungry enough readership, then indies will fill the demand happily.

  7. Does this mean books are subject to the same economic forces as widgets?

  8. Change always comes later than you expect in the short run, and sooner than you expect in the long run.

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