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.


Old Kitty said...

Yay for this wonderful man loving your book, Janice! Brilliant! And yay too for Nicky and the campaign to remove this silly gender/genre divide! I've been around blogland long enough to also know male authors who romance!

take care

Nicky Wells said...

Wow, Janice, post is looking GREAT! Let's hope we stir up a bit of a wave... no, a HUGE wave of excitement. Thanks so much to Old Kitty for joining us so early on and loving the idea... That's exactly what we need! Take care now... see you later! :-)

Sheryl Browne said...

I think I said on Nicky's Centrestage it was a fab way to find out 'What Woment Want'. Fab post, girls. Let's give men what they want, too! Come on, guys, you know you do! ;) x

Rosemary Gemmell said...

Great subject - well done on you both for stirring up some interest and kudos to the lovely man who gave you the review, Janice.

It's annoying when men seem to dismiss most novels by female writers without reading them (not just romance), whereas women read everything on its own merit!

Bonnie Trachtenberg said...

Such a great idea, ladies! And much food for thought. I did have a man who saw me on Twitter, buy, read and write a fabulous five star review for Wedlocked. From his description of himself, he should have been the last person to enjoy a "chicklit" type book, but he did. They are out there and it's very heartening! Oh, and my husband says he loves my books, too! ;-)

Linn B Halton and Lucy Coleman said...

Of course men read romance stories - they just need some encouragement to admit it! Fortunately I'm married to one who is prepared to stand up and be counted. So come on guys, we love the fact you love LOVE!

Elizabeth Varadan, Author said...

Great points raised. Congratulations on the lovely review from a total stranger. And how nice that he liked it so well, he downloaded your previous book. That speaks volumes about your writing!

Talli Roland said...

Don't you love it when people you're not targeting read your work and love it? What a great feeling!

Gilli Allan said...

Congratulations on your review. I am sure some men enjoy romance. I am sure there are more around who would, if given sufficient encouragement. Mine is a lost cause. If we are watching TV and the plot is too much about relationships and love, He starts to mutter 'bring on the monsters'!