What Do Readers Want--in romance?



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  1. #1
    Oliver
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    Default What Do Readers Want--in romance?

    Hi, I'm Patricia Rice, a published author who writes primarily romance. I'm new to the forum and would like a better understanding of who's on board and what everyone's interests are. I'm currently publishing Regency historical romance in print/epub but my ebook backlist is more varied, from contemporary romance to American historical romance to mystery. I still have many, many more books to put up in digital format. So I'm curious to know what readers would like to see.

    I know everyone would like to see lower prices. But I have publisher books selling for $7.99 that I can't change. So I set mine at $4.99 unless I'm having a sale for some reason.

    But what are your favorite types of romances? Do you want more contemporaries? Different settings? A particular kind of romance/character?
    blogging at http://wordwenches.com, http://bookviewcafe.com

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  3. #2
    Puck K.A. Jordan's Avatar
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    Default Re: What Do Readers Want--in romance?

    Good topic!

    I'd like to see more intelligent heroes and more romance.

    I know the 'Alpha' male is king of the romance - but I like 'nice' guys.

    I think it is possible for a hero to be very human - instead of the 'Alpha' arrogance that kinda gags me.

    I think that's why I write romance myself.

    AND I think that romance novels should have more romance in them. Not sex - Romance. You know what I mean? Emotionally intimate moments that make sense.
    K. A. Jordan - Author of Swallow the Moon, Impressive Bravado, and one opinionated blog Jordan's Croft.

  4. #3
    Tiny Tim
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    Default Re: What Do Readers Want--in romance?

    Hi, I'm new to the boards as well and really don't quite understand this 'blogging'...but I'm a multipublished contemporary romance writer..am updating and adding scenes to my printed romances as I put them into eBooks. Totally agree...alpha males make me reach for Tums!

    I write strong heroines - who never go looking for a man...but somehow they are found by usually fabulous heroes. Although I just got a 3 star review and someone wrote..."loved the heroine but this guy reminds me of some of my ex's and I hated them!"

    http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/vide...2braco%2bchase

    Video Vixen was top seller of the year for Dell when it came out and #1 on various romance bestseller's lists...she didn't take much updating...but she's tons of fun!

    Elaine Raco Chase

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  6. #4
    Puck K.A. Jordan's Avatar
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    Default Re: What Do Readers Want--in romance?

    Welcome Elaine - I understand how daunting the whole marketing/blogging/social networking/tweeting gig can be. I'm slowly getting used to it myself.

    It sounds like you are taking advantage of the opportunity to update your work. I love that about e-publishing.
    K. A. Jordan - Author of Swallow the Moon, Impressive Bravado, and one opinionated blog Jordan's Croft.

  7. #5
    Puck
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    Default Re: What Do Readers Want--in romance?

    Hi, Pat, Elaine, and K.A. I write contemporary romance also, and my taste in reading romance is the same as my taste in writing. I like stories that grow gradually. I don't like to have the people jump into bed in the first third of the book. I think that's quite shallow and just a ploy for a weak writer to keep readers interested. There should be more getting to know each other, more interaction with subtle undertones that show the characters falling in love. A slow build-up.

    As for sex scenes, I prefer to use my imagination, not be bombarded with graphic descriptions. I think a good writer can convey the feelings and emotions in a sensual manner without resorting to naming body parts. We all know what goes where.

    And, networking, yeah, that's a real time consumer. I don't do much of that and I know my sales suffer because of it.

    Joyce


  8. #6
    Tiny Tim
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    Default Re: What Do Readers Want--in romance?

    Quote Originally Posted by K.A. Jordan
    Good topic!

    AND I think that romance novels should have more romance in them. Not sex - Romance. You know what I mean? Emotionally intimate moments that make sense.
    I second this. The best romances (for me) are about that intensely vulnerable personal intimacy, whether they open the bedroom door, or not.

  9. #7
    Puck K.A. Jordan's Avatar
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    Default Re: What Do Readers Want--in romance?

    I second that! Characters should get to know each other long before they have sex. On the same note sexual attraction is not a good reason to fall in love with guy. Just because he makes her toes curl isn't a good enough reason. He has to be lovable - not just studly.

    I cheat - I put the bedroom scene at the end of the book. That way if the reader doesn't want to read it, they can skip it. I don't get graphic either - I'll leave that to erotica authors who have the knack for it. (I don't.)

    I like to have humor in the story as well. Every woman I know lists 'a sense of humor' as one of the top ten things she looks for in a man. (Me too!)

    I guess this leads me to plotting - I want a good story!
    K. A. Jordan - Author of Swallow the Moon, Impressive Bravado, and one opinionated blog Jordan's Croft.

  10. #8
    Tiny Tim
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    Default Re: What Do Readers Want--in romance?

    Greetings - I teach creative writing as well...and I always tell my students (adults) that it has to come from the characters. I love writing both kinds of romance novels...the slow build up - friendship that catches fire - to the instant attractions.

    The latter actually came from my Dad - he told me he fell in love with my mother when he saw her chasing her dog up the street while he was delivering packages! I told him that was crazy - but he just grinned - they were married for 60 years before they died.

    I asked my husband - instant attraction or ? He said 'instant lust' and then I got to know you and really fell deeper in love"...we've been married 42 years!

    So I think whatever story fits the characters work well and grab the reader. As for the love scenes themselves...I've bumped them up a bit, now that I'm the editor - but don't over do it...some of the erotica works the opposite and leaves both writer and reader cold!

    Elaine

  11. #9
    Puck K.A. Jordan's Avatar
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    Default Re: What Do Readers Want--in romance?

    I'm into the 'damaged hero' archetype - the 'Wounded Warrior' trying to put his life back together.

    Not so much dark and brooding - but a hero with a dark sense of humor. Enough of an edge to be attractive without being arrogant. It isn't easy to capture that quality - I've seen a few writers who get it dead on.

    I live close to an army base - so I know all kinds of soldiers and retired soldiers. They pass themselves off as 'regular guys' but some are so wired you can tell they've seen some nasty combat.

    They throw that sense of loyalty and devotion from the service to their families. Sometimes with disasterous results, since their wives have run the show while they were deployed.

    The first book of 'Lord of the Fading Lands' - C. L. Wilson nailed it. He was dark, but he teased her and played little jokes on her that was so endearing.
    K. A. Jordan - Author of Swallow the Moon, Impressive Bravado, and one opinionated blog Jordan's Croft.

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