Throw Like a Girl, Read Like a Girl, Write Like a Girl

March 16 2010

I enjoy reading articles about the publishing industry gathered from a variety of sources in the online Romance Writers Report.  

Now that I am (FINALLY) a published author, I find the latest book sales statistics fascinating. I am curious about the growing popularity and the astonishing variety of paranormal genres.   

The most recent edition included an article from the Yale Herald, titled “In defense of romance: Proving the stereotypes Wrong,” by Katherine Orazem.   

I can’t seem to get that article out of my head.

The topic of romance writing was introduced at Yale University, when two authors, Andrea DaRif and Lauren Willig, both alums, returned to campus to teach a seminar called “Reading the Historical Romance.”   

Orazem got to her point quickly by describing the 15 books reviewed one Sunday in the New York Times, and then pointing out that the only place a romance novel was named anywhere in that section was on the Best Seller List.  I repeat, ON THE BEST SELLER LIST.  

Orazem brought up these statistics that most of us romance authors have known for awhile: at least ten of the twenty most purchased paperback books in any week are romances; and romance fiction has the largest market share of all the genres.  

Willig went on to ask a question that had never occurred to me: “Why are romances met with such resounding silence by the mainstream press?”  

The easy answer is that all romance novels are poorly written, boring and/or a waste of anyone’s time.  

Another possible answer is, the New York Times doesn’t review books that have happy endings and are purchased by females.

Thanks to Marilyn Stasio’s monthly column in the Sunday Times, I have encountered and gobbled up the works of many of my favorite authors. Like romance, the mystery genre has not always been held in esteem by the literati. There may even have been a time when those books weren’t reviewed either.


A Modest Proposal by A. Y. Stratton

Hey, guys over there in that august periodical, I propose that you reserve a half-page of copy (every so often) to review the best romances. If you look, you will find them. Along the way you might even attract a new supply of faithful readers.