So, I don't normally read the NYT, but one article was mentioned in the RWA magazine, and I had to look it up. Basically, it said that romance purchases were up, again, 32% in the fourth quarter of last year as compared to the year before. A lot of people expected romance sales to flag, as the economy did last year, but it didn't. Conservative estimates claim that romance sales increased 2.4 % in the first three months of this year, as well, where regular fiction decreased a bit.
Personally, I think it's more than that. I think its escapism.
The figures they were using did not plot popular chain stores, like Wal-mart or K-mart. The average woman does not normally cringe at spending five bucks on herself, as many impulse romance buyers do. Big ticket items are suffering overall, but smaller, more manageable product sales are on the rise. I saw the other day where even chocolate sales are on the rise. Rather than buying themselves large, big money things, women are compromising with smaller treat items. They actually feel justified in purchasing the smaller items.
I do anyway.
The books themselves offer a way to get out of their normal, hectic, often times worrisome lives. It gives them a chance to relish in somebody else's trials, rather than their own. And it gives them hope that there is light at the end of the dreary tunnel.
Congratulations to Lora Leigh. Her book cover made it into the NYT article. Congrats also to J.R Ward, who had a mention in the article itself.
If you want to read the whole article, go here.