Thursday 10 May 2012

Romcom for All…!

This week I’ve been completely bowled over by a fabulous independent review of my contemporary romance novel ‘Reaching for the Stars’ on Amazon UK. Why bowled over, you might ask?

Well, as I explained on Nicky Wells ‘Centrestage’ blog this week - it was because it was by a man!
Okay – he confessed to downloading my book by accident and then reading it anyway – but the fact remains that he enjoyed it, took the time to write a fabulous review, and then to download my previous book ‘Bagpipes & Bullshot’.

All of this made me wonder why bookshops, both on the high street and online, continue to label Relationship Novels as ‘Women’s Fiction’ as if men should have nothing to do with them?

It’s stereotyping in the extreme. Yet the market for relationship novels continues to expand and men and women are breaking the stereotypical role image every day in real life. So why do publishers insist that the covers of Chicklit genre novels are routinely pastel colours with swirly-girly illustrations rather than designing innovative covers with a wider appeal?
They would say they are ‘target marketing’ of course - and it’s an undeniable fact that women read more than men do and that women buy more books - but that is hardly forward thinking. It is being narrow minded. How are we ever going to encourage men to read romantic contemporary fiction if we alienate them?

Romcom for All!

Nicky’s Centrestage blog post attracted some interesting comments and stirred up some passions on the subject of genre gender divide. Nicky Wells said: “Men do read romance.  Yes, they do.  I know that for a fact. They just don’t talk about it, they don’t like to admit it, and they certainly wouldn’t want to be seen holding a romantic novel in their hands while travelling on the Tube. If you think about it, it’s kind of obvious.  Everyone loves a happy ending.  Everyone wants to be loved.  Everyone is looking for that special someone in their life.  Why should men not enjoy a romantic novel?  In fact, the clever man will read romance as a ‘how to’ manual!”

So do men have a lot to learn from a romantic relationship novel?
And are men more likely to read romance on an ereader?
What do YOU think?
As a woman – how do YOU feel about the segregation of ‘Women’s Fiction’
As a man – are YOU man enough to read a romance novel?

Fellow author Nicky Wells and I are calling for a campaign to bring ‘Romcom for All’
We will be tweeting using the hashtag #romcom4all.
Please join the debate and share your views!

Please do feel free to leave a comment before you go, share this post on Facebook or your other social networks, tag this blog with your own blog post so that we can follow YOU – and don’t forget to and tweet YOUR thoughts on Twitter using the hashtag  #romcom4all.
About my fellow author Nicky Wells:  Nicky Wells writes fun and glamorous contemporary romance featuring a rock star and the girl next door that rocks your world!  Nicky is signed to Sapphire Star Publishing and loves rock music, dancing, and eating lobsters.  When she’s not writing, she is a wife, mother, and teaching assistant.  Nicky is also a featured author with the innovative reader/author project, Visit Nicky on her blog where you can find articles, interviews, radio interviews and, of course, an ongoing update on her work in progress, the second and third parts of the Rock Star Romance Trilogy.  You can also follow Nicky on Twitter and find her on Facebook.