Thursday, December 9, 2010

Ereader as Brown Paper Bag

Link to December 9 New York Times article, "Lusty Tales and Hot Sales:  Romance Novels Thrive as E-Books.

Excerpt:    Sarah Wendell, blogger and co-author of “Beyond Heaving Bosoms,” is passionate about romance novels.

Except for the covers, with their images of sinewy limbs, flowing, Fabio-esque locks or, as she put it, “the mullets and the man chests.”

“They are not always something that you are comfortable holding in your hand in public,” Ms. Wendell said.

So she began reading e-books, escaping the glances and the imagined snickers from strangers on the subway, and joining the many readers who have traded the racy covers of romance novels for the discretion of digital books.

If the e-reader is the digital equivalent of the brown-paper wrapper, the romance reader is a little like the Asian carp: insatiable and unstoppable. Together, it turns out, they are a perfect couple. Romance is now the fastest-growing segment of the e-reading market, ahead of general fiction, mystery and science fiction, according to data from Bowker, a research organization for the publishing industry.

Mentioned in the article:

(The book, not this particular video.)

St. Martin's Press.

Sold as many e-books as hardcover books in its first week of publication.
37 (print) copies in LINKcat.  9 holds.  86 search results for the author.

Sales have doubled this year at All Romance, an online retailer that sells ebooks only.  Most popular = raciest!   “It’s easier to check out some naughty little title online than in a brick-and-mortar store where your pastor could step up in line behind you.”  I'm sure Dad would have been more amused than shocked.


75,000,000.  Number of people who read at least 1 romance novel in 2008.  (I assume this tally is limited to the U.S. though the article doesn't make it 100% clear.)

Typical romance reader (a bare-bones profile):
  • 31-49 years old
  • In a relationship
  • Reads 1-2 books per week

1 comment:

Gerard Saylor said...

I presume I am not the only member of the WPLC's selection committee for Overdrive to read this.

I'm now going to hunt for romance titles but I am cringing before I do my selection.