Is The Romance Market Really Bottomless?
An innovative independent publisher in New York City, Diversion Books has announced a new venture: EverAfter is described in its inaugural press release as “the first bookstore experience exclusively dedicated to romance ebooks,” offering “in-app purchase.”
The consumer copy on the app’s landing page puts across its information in this customer-facing language:
Always there for you. Knows all the best new titles. Special deals for subscribers, plus tons of free titles. Over 100,000 romance eBooks, perfect for every taste. No monthly fees, no commitments, no strings attached….unless you’re into that.
And boy, is that logo pink, almost what we used to call “pank” in the Deep South, so deeply hued that it could symbolize the current trend in romance: saturation marketing.
The romance binge in books has been running for a long time, of course. And we’ve seen plenty of outfits jump onto the pink sled as it skidded past.
Sourcebooks has created the Discover a New Love “community for romance readers” in the States.
In May, not long after HarperCollins’ parent NewsCorp announced its acquisition of Harlequin — considered the grandmother of romance publishers — HarperCollins in the UK held a virtual romance festival, considered quite a success in many reports.
And Diversion, itself, is hardly a complete stranger to the popularity of what I call “shirtless men kissing beautiful women” books, easily spotted by the squirming stereotypical artwork on countless covers-in-the-clench. The 400+ Diversion backlist titles — a part of the company’s growing library of new and previously released material — are referred to in its own material as “old school bodice rippers.” Which might lead to speculation about new school bodice rippers.
Diversion’s Mary Cummings is the vice-president and editorial director of EverAfter, and is quoted in the news release saying:
Romance fans read more books and buy more books than almost any other reader. We thought such dedicated readers deserved their own dedicated app, where they can discover, buy, store and read the books they enjoy. With our flash sales, special pricing, recommendations and thousands of free eBooks, romance fans finally have an app where they can read what they love.
It’s probably correct that she says romance fans read and buy “more books thanalmost any other reader,” the emphasis mine. Mystery/crime/suspense/thriller work, in fact, makes such a strong showing in many surveys in the US that quiet voices occasionally, and bravely, question whether romance is, actually, the largest genre in the States, as many of its fans insist it is.
And in the UK, there’s a decided advantage to the mystery crowd — romance simply doesn’t have the same traction there that it does in the American market. Readers there eschew ripping bodices for R.I.P.-ing, it seems.
I asked Diversion CEO Scott Waxman why he and his associates had decided to launch the EverAfter app now.
Is it, I asked, an opportunity play based on the track record of the long-running Ellora’s Cave operation? One of Ellora’s features is a deep collection of subgenres, and Diversion’s EverAfter release talks of “curated EverAfter Essentials categories like ‘Alpha Male Essentials’ or ‘Love at First Sight.’” Read More
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By Porter Anderson | @Porter_Anderson
Writing on the Ether: Diversion Books Launches EverAfter App
Originally published by Thought Catalog at www.ThoughtCatalog.com