Last week was a busy one!
On Thursday I was part of a panel at the meeting of the Romantic Novelists’ Association and the question we were asked was: How is romantic fiction faring in the recession?
For those of you interested in or writing romantic fiction, the highlights from Georgina Hawtrey-Woore, senior editor at Random House, and Lizzy Kramer, agent with David Higham Associates, are:
- The category romance end of the market, such as Mills & Boon, is buoyant. M&B’s sales are up and they’re increasing output on lines such as Nocturn, which publishes speculative romances (werewolves, angels, shapeshifters etc).
- The chick lit end is less so and established writers are doing better than new or midlist writers.
- Ebooks and speculative romance are both increasing in popularity.
- Young adult books (whether romance or not) are also attracting a lot of interest. Random House is about to launch a new line and Penguin just have – their Puffin Books imprint. I remember buying loads of Puffin books when I was young!
- It’s about time authors grabbed back the commercial fiction share of historical fiction – it seems to have been hijacked by literary authors, in recent years.
- There is still room for fresh new voices, so if you’ve got one – go for it!
(Pic: What you can’t see in the pic above are the big boxes of chocolate and fudge on the table in front of us. Now you know why we’re smiling! My thanks to Jan Jones for letting me use this photo.)
On Saturday I whizzed back to London to chat to the RNA’s South East Chapter at The Lamb in Lamb’s Conduit Street, Holborn. The South East Chapter always put on a good event and I was treated to a lovely hot chicken sandwich beforehand.
We talked over what made a hero, what made a heroine and how you could get the right one for your book. This included discussing one of the bees in my extremely large bonnet – make sure you’re writing the right book! Ask yourself what you’re writing and who you’re writing for. It’s amazing what a difference this can make on your focus.
A busy booksigning of both Starting Over and Love Writing rounded the afternoon off. Thanks for your hospitality, South East Chapter.
Market news: Starting Over has just gone into W H Smith High Street shops! Better than that, it’s half price in the ‘Great Read – Satisfaction Guaranteed!’ promotion.
And Amazon.co.uk has dropped its price for Love Writing to £5.98! Big saving on the RRP of £9.99. For that matter, big saving on the author price!