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Thursday, September 20, 2012

Romance Current Trends and My Second Romance Read

Recently, I participated in a BookList Webinar called "Keeping Romance Fresh: Debut Authors and New Trends."  It featured 2 publishers and then John Charles and Rebecca Vnuk, librarians talking about resources and trends in Romance.

You can click here to watch the Webinar for yourself, but I did want to share a few things I learned.

While I was very interested in the Webinar for the collection development aspects, I also had a personal reason to participate.  Let's go back to January and my reading resolutions:
"I did not actually read a romance from cover to cover last year.  I speed read a few, but actually read...no, that didn't happen.  Even worse, the romances I speed read were by authors I already knew about.  Shame on me.  But in my defense, I was finishing a book for the first half of the year and then catching up on everything in my life for the second half.  So in 2012, I resolve to read the works of at least 2 new (to me) romance authors AND review them here on RA for All. That should be interesting and entertaining."
After gathering reader suggestions in this post, I ended up reading and reviewing  Smooth Talking Stranger by contemporary romance bestseller, Lisa Kleypas.

But I still have to read 1 more romance. I watched the Webinar hoping to get ideas, and it worked.  John Charles specifically came to my rescue offering a concise list of key trends and a list of 5 debut romance authors from 2012 that every public library needs to own.  Here they are, from my notes:

Debut Romance Titles Every Library Should Own

  • Western set Romances started to wane early in the 20th Century, but the are rising up again.  Cowboys are very popular.
  • Contemporary Romance was being usurped by paranormal in the last few years, but now that trend has reversed.  Contemporary is on the rise again.  Charles specifically singled out blue collar heroes and humorous romance as big growth areas.
  • Small Town Romance is all the rage right now.  Readers love that you can spend a series in one small town, following different characters with each book.  Since it is a small town, former leads show up in future books frequently.
  • There is a return to Chick Lit again.  This time, while the novels have all the shopping, story lines of professional women looking for love, now there is also the addition of more serious issues to the novels.  Charles offered 3 titles to illustrate this:
Again, if you want more info, the Webinar is archived and available for free viewing here.  And I will be back to you in a few weeks with my final romance title of the year.

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