Follow up

Dear Author investigated sales at Ingrams. Now, I don’t quite follow all the numbers and Jane certatinly doesn’t claim to have the whole story, but the results are interesting. Below she compares authors who have been traditionally published to those e-pubbed.

To summarize, it appears that LLG sold approximately 9,510 copies of her book the Marriage Bed. Jaid Black’s Ellora’s Cave publication sold 26,832 and is still selling at a brisk pace. Superleader, Eloisa James sold 17,154 of Kiss Me Annabel while Elizabeth’s Wolf sold 17,280 during approximately the same time period. The midlister’s Jaci Burton and Marianna Jameson had similar numbers with Jaci’s books selling better in the second year (a better long tail), meaning bookstores are more likely to keep the Burton book in stock v. the Jameson book.

In the comments, Shiloh Walker also adds

One thing… this isn’t taking into account the ebooks royalties. You get a decent backlist built up, those ebooks become a very, VERY stead source of income.

And to continue on with the HEA discussion and what is romance, Camille rounds up some links and says, among other things:

Because of the emphasis on the HEA, I feel that the romantic journey in the romance novel has been tailored to the HEA instead of the other way around.

And Alau says

Sometimes I think modern romance writers try too hard for the HEA and as a result it seems forced. I think that’s why I tend to like romance and stories of relationships outside of the romance genre mainly because, well it seems more fitting to me.

I have some sympathy for this point of view. In that, I have read books where the HEA creaked rather alarmingly. Now sometimes that’s just because it’s a bad book. But I recall compulsively reading Kathleen Korbel’s Some Men’s Dreams where the story was very well done and yet at the end I thought the heroine would be better off without the hero, he was such a mess.

Still. When I decide I want a HEA, I want it. And that’s where some romance readers might get ticked off. They’re counting on the hero and heroine being together at the end. Non-romance readers are unlikely to mind. I’ve certainly run into more than a few people who are somewhat amazed that romance (usually) guarantees coupledom. They think romance equals love story a la The Bridges of Madison County.

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5 thoughts on “Follow up

  1. The DearAuthor post was fascinating. Whether the figures were exactly on the money (ha!) or not, great insight into what’s going on out there.

    As for the HEA…tricky subject, that. I happen to think ‘Bridges’, ‘Gone With the Wind’, ‘Wuthering Heights’, etc., are some of the greatest romance stories ever told. Yet, by certain standards, they wouldn’t qualify as ‘romances’ today because they don’t exactly end happily.
    But they end as they should, in a manner befitting the story told.

    And then you get into the argument of whether they’re “romances”, or just “love stories”, or “novels with romantic elements”, etc., and I hate the effing labels.

    But if a reader picks up something that IS labeled “romance”, they have every right to expect an HEA because that’s part of the current definition.

  2. I do want the story to have its proper ending, not a forced HEA. And I can see how those writers whose focus is romance, might have to struggle if the HEA isn’t progressing naturally.

    But as a reader I have my moments where I feel I need to be able to depend on an HEA. Now, if it’s happy and not HEA, maybe it’s not really that bad. I haven’t read a lot of those, to be honest. I’ve realized during this discussion that I associate non-HEA with unhappy endings.

  3. Pingback: Celia Stuart ~ On the Back Porch » A Challenge

  4. I get ticked off when Nicolas Sparks books and those of James Waller are judged to be ‘romance’, but at the same time, I agree that HEA is in the eye/heart of the beholder. That’s why if it’ll have ‘romance’ on the spine of the book, that is excactly what I’ll deliver or die trying. Otherwise, it’d be like a reader buying a mystery and finding out it’s a manual on how to build a robot. Maybe a bit of mystery, but hardly what they’re after.

    Great blog, Jorrie.

  5. Thanks for dropping by, Sunny!

    I think it’s the people who aren’t aware of what is required in the romance genre who think of Sparks and Waller as romance.

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