Thursday, April 16, 2009

The New York Times...

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.


  1. Thanks for sharing this, Jennifer. Apparently this story was also on NPR. A reader told me that on the blog, and then the other night at Kingfish when I had the booksigning set up, a man came in to go to the bar. (This is not a joke walks into a bar...) Anyway, since I'm in the entryway, everybody has to walk past me. He looks at the table and at the books, and mentions the 32% figure and that he heard it on NPR. How interesting that he would remember that!

  2. I've been seeing this, too. And GMA did a video segment on it the other morning. They interviewed someone at HQ. People who have lost their jobs are reading more, and even people who haven't lost their jobs are turning back to more economical and hopeful entertainment. They're turning to romance more than anything else because of the happy endings. YAY! The stats are up with submissions, too. People who've lost their jobs are writing and hoping to sell as a way of making money.

  3. Jennifer, had to pop back over and tell you to look at Bookends, if you haven't already. Jessica is talking about the economy and skyrocketing numbers of queries again.

  4. Hello ladies. Thanks for stopping by.
    Magdalena, maybe he's a closet romance reader. Maybe he's like my grandfather, who moans and groans when the daytime soaps come on, then demands to know why so-and-so is with so-and-so now, or did this character die, or where did this character go? God forbid he ever admit to watching a soap.
    Devon, the up sales are good, excellent in fact. The rise in submissions, well, not so much. Just what we need, more competition.
    Got the box by the way, and thank you very much. I look forward to reading your book. As soon as I'm done with Magdalena's, that is.