Posts Tagged: romance novels

My Misbegotten Historical Romance

As National Novel Writing Month gets underway, here's the first in a month-long series about the novels that we started writing but, for whatever reason, never finished.

In the fall of 1998, I was at UC Berkeley, mired in the early stages of a history Ph.D. program that, even in a best-case scenario, would last until 2003 and then spit me out into an increasingly tenuous academic job market—and my performance in grad school so far didn't necessarily promise a best-case scenario. I had few friends and had just had my heart broken rather badly; the latter, thankfully, served as a catalyst for some life reforms. 18 months later, [...]


How Are "Mein Kampf" E-Book Sales Doing?

I saw a woman reading Mein Kampf on the subway this morning. The cover was on it, she hadn't ripped it off, or covered it with a brown paper bag or anything. She did tuck it face-inward when she closed it to get off at her stop, but that could have been unintentional. But it made me wonder: if e-book sales of romance novels are big because, as genre expert Sarah Wendell told the Times last week, the print editions "are not always something that you are comfortable holding in your hand in public,” how does Mein Kampf do in that regard? Well, it turns out. March of [...]


Romance Novels, The Last Great Bastion Of Underground Writing

Romance fiction is widely reckoned to be a very low form of literature. Maybe the lowest, if we're not counting the writing at Groupon, or on Splenda packets. Romance fiction: probably the worst! An addictive, absurd, unintellectual literature, literature for nonreaders, literature for stupid people—literature for women! Books Just For Her!

Low or not, romance is by far the most popular and lucrative genre in American publishing, with over $1.35 billion in revenues estimated in 2010. That is a little less than twice the size of the mystery genre, almost exactly twice that of science fiction/fantasy, and nearly three times the size of the market for classic/literary fiction, according to [...]