Monday, February 11, 2013



hey! its almost valentines day! you know what that means? ROMANCE! and...all that lovey dovey stuff. ack! well...cause theres just sooo many romance readers  and writers  i got thinking it could be cool to find out some interesting stuff about romance books.
did you know...
romance books are the most read books in the united states and 120 other countries. theyre printed in 25 languages! there are more than 200 million romance readers worldwide!
almost half of all books printed and distributed in north america are romance novels! its an over $1 billion dollars a year industry!
harlequin is the biggest publisher of romance novels.

romance novels are always at the top of the major bestseller lists (new york times, publishers weekly and u.s.a. today)

women between the ages of 25 and 54 make up more than half the romance readers. in general readers range in age from preteen to over 75. 22% of all romance readers are male but not many are willing to talk about it.
most romance books are way shorter than standard paperbacks and some are as short as 50,000 words.

romance novels come in hundreds of different themes. some real popular ones are historical, sci fi, paranormal and suspense.
romantic novels originated in the early twentieth century in england. they sold so well that some publishers dropped other books and just sold romance novels. they spread first to canada and then to the united states.
one of the earliest romance novels was pamela, or virtue rewarded written by samuel richardson in 1740. in the 1800s jane austen widened the genre. her book pride and prejudice is often thought of as the heart of the genre.

i hate to end with this fact but...although they love the work few romance novelists get rich. ugh! sorry my romance writer friends. :(

are you a romance reader? do you have a favorite sub-genre?

...hugs from lenny


  1. Hi Lenny - what a great post before Valentine's Day ... I've hardly ever read romance, but know that many do ... I love a 'soppy' romantic story once in a while .. and in my teenage years used to read Regency (romance) novels, and similar ... but moved on pretty quickly ... a good story with some history is what I really enjoy (oh yes a good murder mystery too!!).

    Few romance authors get rich .. that's sad - I guess as long as they can make a living -

    I'll have to come back and see what everyone else is reading ... and this is a great post and a good read for a wet, cold Monday morning!

    Cheers for now - Hilary

  2. I didn't realize some of those facts, especially since I'm not an expert in that area. It's certainly interesting to know. I suppose that's why most books have some kind of romantic aspect in them.

  3. I'd rather read books about raccoons than romance, but these are some great facts you found.

    Happy Valentine's Day!

  4. I'm not a romance reader. But I have read romance books published by my bloggers buddies and they were good.
    However, I will confess that I am a romantic comedy movie watcher. Yeah, I'll watch one willingly with my wife!

  5. I didn't realize romance books are so popular. I like romances in the books I read where it's not the main story plot, but I don't really like romance stories otherwise. Though like Alex, I like romantic comedy movies. Loved that you're blogging today. It added a smile to my day.

  6. I agree with Natalie. I like a little romance in my books, but there needs to be another plot, too, to keep my interest.

    Lots of times, I get writers asking me to beta read their work. One of the biggest mistakes (in my opinion) that I see is writing a "paranormal romance" which is all romance and no paranormal. I mean, what's the point of making one of the characters a zombie-infected vampire with the ability to travel through time if never does anything but mope around the girl and stare into her eyes?

  7. I like a little romance in books, but not for it to be the main focus of the book.

    My very first writing friend writes romances and mysteries for Harlequin. Her romance books are the only grown up romances I read. Her last one was about an Amish community and I really enjoyed it, but mostly because of the mystery and learning about the culture...

  8. Fun facts! I find it interesting that a strong percentage of men write romance novels.

    Thanks for the info, Lenny!

  9. Oops, sorry, too many typos!

    I like a little romance in my books, but I usually don't read 100% romance books. Great post, Lenny!

  10. I obviously don't know much about romance because most of the stuff I read here was new to me. Awesome stuff though.

  11. Very cool facts! I do like to read and write romance. The real world can be a tough place sometimes and I like knowing I'm in for a happy ending :)

  12. Interesting. I knew romance was big, but I didn't know it was that big. I don't read much romance. When I was a teen, I read some because my mom did.

    I always learn such good stuff here, Lenny!

  13. EGAD MAN! Romance is HUGE. *romance story percolating in Robyn's head* ;-) Billions of dollars. Yeah, yeah, yeah!

    You teach me so much, yanno that? And such a great Valentine Day post. I don't read too much romance though. All that kissing and stuff. GROSS!

    Huge hugs and smiles too.

  14. I don't read much in the way of romance anymore, but found your post very interesting. I used to read a lot of romance when I was a teen/YA.


  15. I love a good Harlequin romance every once in a while!! Great post, Lenny. Happy Valentine's day!

  16. Happy Valentine's Day, Lenny!

    I'm not a huge reader of romance, but I like adventure and monster books with a little bit of romance in them. They are awesome. And so are YOU!

  17. What fun facts here, Lenny! I'm not surprised by how well romance sells everywhere, and Harlequin has spent decades establishing themselves on the romance scene... I'm sure you're just gagging at all the lovey dovey stuff going on, but I hope you have a super Valentine's day anyway! Eat some chocolate~ :D <3

  18. I love that part about 22% of romance readers being men but they're not willing to talk about it. That number is higher than I would have thought. Very fun post, Lenny, and I hope you had a wonderful Valentine's Day!

  19. Great facts, Lenny! And Pride and Prejudice is one of my favorite books of all time. That said, I don't read much romance. But I love romance elements IN books! :o)

    I hope your V-day was great--I got a wonderful card from a wonderful 13 year old! Hugs!

  20. Thanks for sharing all these fun facts! Just wanted to stop by and say hello, and I learned a lot in the meantime!

    Have a good rest of the week! :)

  21. I love the fun facts! And just to let you know... there are more and more romance writers doing well these days, just because they are indie publishing and that helps their bottom line. But you're right that historically, romance writers tend to not make as much money. (Boo!)

  22. Holy cow--that is a lot of romance facts! And that last one is sadly so true...doesn't seem fair when they work so hard to produce so many books!

    Hope you had a great Valentine's Day! :)

  23. What a cool blog post for Valentine's Day! Wow look at all those romance facts! How interesting. You got yourself an awesome site here, Lenny!

  24. These were awesome stats, Lenny! You surely can research. I have to admit, I am a romance sap. It has to have major conflict and action, though. Hope all is well!

  25. Aw! I love a little romance in the books I'm reading. But it can't be the whole book, because that's just boring. ;) Love the facts Lenny!

  26. Just stopping by with a big hug for you, Lenny. Enjoyed your post!

  27. Hi Lenny,
    Just checking in. I wanted to thank you for the lovely spring email, too! That truly made my day!

  28. Hi Lenny - I am dropping in to see your blog - Hilary posted about you and you sound so nice! I can see that you are.

  29. I was just thinking about you. And can I say how much I always love your posts? Well I do! I learn so much from you.

    So you almost had me convinced to switch genres, until that last bit about not getting rich. ;) Guess I'll stick with middle grade.

    Have a great day!


whatever wonderful, warm, witty and wise words you manage to come up with!