Romance Novels Are Big Business. And Not Just For Women.

Books and Movies

 

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Well this one was a first. I have been to book launch events before, but never for one that was centered on the topic of romance novels– otherwise known as bodice busters or in some people’s minds soft porn depending on your personal rating. Not had I ever been invited to a Galentine’s Party.

Did you know there is a “Romance Writers of America group you can join? In fact, romance novels are big business with over 10,000 writers in the U.S. and back in 2013 they had a 34 percent of the U.S. non-fiction market totaling over a billion dollars. And if you think romance novels are only read by women think again. About 16 percent of romance readers are men. I guess men are curious what their wives and significant others are reading. The stat that really blew my mind was 35%+ had been reading romance novels for over 20 years. I know my mom read them but hid them. I was always sneaking a read of one of her clandestine books.

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So when I was invited to attend this event by Riverdale Avenue Books I couldn’t say no. Who could turn down pink cocktails and an author reading of a book called Smoke Sleep F*ck by Esme Oliver that was described as “Think Eat, Pray, Love without the unrealistic expectation of finding a man and saving your life.” I walked to the event and met a group of the friendliest group women I’ve ever met. Several of them were authors. When I asked them, “Does your content come from real life experiences?” I was met with sly smiles and silence. LOL! I guess I wouldn’t tell either. But writers need to do research, right?

After being offered a drink, I chatted with a woman whose best friend was a romance writer and watched the room filled with men and women. Eventually the author of Smoke Sleep F*ck, Esme (a pen name by the way) spoke and read a chapter of her book that was about to be released. In this case the author started by stating that this was a true story.

“I wrote this book to help women.After having a fling with a charming Italian chef I met on a trip to Umbria upon my 40th birthday, I decided to write a book about my experience called Smoke, Drink, F*K. While this fling was supposed to stay just a fling, it turned into something much deeper, and I fell in love. However, the man I fell for didn’t turn out to be what he appeared to be. He abandoned me suddenly and without an explanation — ghosting me to never return. I thought the painful experience I went through and the lessons I learned along the way may help and even empower other women (whatever age).”

Wow! I had to admit I was intrigued. The publisher vowed to send me a copy and to email me for my address, which she eventually did.

After the reading, they held a contest. We were all challenged to write a dirty word down on a piece of paper. Ugh! I really didn’t want to write a dirty word down but when in Rome you have to do as the Romans do, right? Well this one was a first. I have been to book launch events before but never for one that was for romance novels. Otherwise known as bodice busters or in some people’s minds soft porn depending on your personal rating.

I walked to the event and met a group of the friendliest women I’ve ever met. Several of them were authors. When I asked them, “Does your content come from real life experiences?” I was met with sly smiles and silence. LOL! I guess I wouldn’t tell either. But writers need to do research, right?

After being offered a drink, I chatted with a woman whose best friend was a romance writer and watched the room filled with men and women. Eventually the author, Esme Oliver of “Smoke Drink F*ck” spoke and read a chapter of her book that was about to be released. In this case the author started by stating that this was a true story. Wow! I had to admit I was intrigued. The publisher vowed to send me a copy and to email me for my address, which she eventually did.

 

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After the reading, they held a contest. We were all challenged to write a dirty word down on a piece of paper. Ugh! I really didn’t want to write a dirty word down but the audience was all strangers to me so I had nothing to lose. I ended up writing the word “moist”. Depending on your mind I could be talking about a cake I just baked. Right? After a few pulls out of the proverbial hat my word “moist” was called to the sound of laughter although a bit delayed. I guess it took a few seconds for some to realize I wasn’t talking about cake. I won a book called, “Scoring With Santa” that I have not read it yet.

A week or so after the event I got my copy of “ Smoke Sleep F*ck. It was not at all what I expected. It was really a story of one woman’s journey to find herself. It was a romance novel and she didn’t get the guy. You’ll have to read it.



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