I’m in a torrid love affair with romance novels. The headstrong heroines, the misunderstood heroes, and the happily ever afters are everything I could possibly want in a good book. I devour them. And I’m not ashamed to read the paperback (cover out!) on the train during my commute. Another reason I love romance novels so fiercely is because they go hand-in-hand with self-publishing. I spend my days helping self-published authors share their books with the world, and a majority of those authors write romance. This is no coincidence and here are five reasons why:
1. Speed of Publication
Romance readers are voracious. In order to satiate their readers' appetites, many romance authors publish six to even twelve books a year. Yes! That’s a book a month! Many traditional publishers cannot keep up with this publication timeline because it can take 12 to 18 months to get a book to market on a traditional publishing timeline. Therefore, romance authors opt to self-publish their books to keep up with their fans. Self-publishing platforms are uniquely equipped to get books to market quickly, which is a great business model for romance authors that affords them the speed and flexibility they need to keep their readers happy.
2. Ebook Publishing
After the collapse of Borders and the rise of the ebook, romance authors became wise to the fact that this new digital frontier was great for business. 50 Shades of Grey hadn't hit it big yet, and reading a romance paperback in public was still taboo. Ebooks were the perfect answer to this problem, allowing readers to discreetly consume content at an unprecedented pace and price that wouldn't break the bank. The self-publishing world happens to be the ebook mecca. Self-publishing platforms, like IngramSpark, allow authors to upload an ebook and distribute that book widely. Ebook publishing in romance is a robust, well-oiled machine that bring many readers joy under a cloak of discretion and affordability.
3. Lack of Traditional Romance Publishers
Over the past few years, several of the large traditional romance publishing houses went under. This left many romance authors with their rights reverted and no home for their books. Authors were used to self-publishing their ebooks for many years by this point. However, print books were a new frontier. Many authors figured that if they could self-publish their ebooks that they could do the same with their print books. This is where self-publishing platforms save the day. Self-publishing is an easy solution for romance authors to bring their readers not only the ebook version but the print version of their latest release or give a beloved backlist title new life.
4. Control Over Publication
Control is not just reserved for that hunky hero! Romance authors love control too! Trust me, I have seen many a color-coded binder that has made my jaw drop to the floor. Romance authors may be “pantsers” when it comes to writing plot but they plan out their books releases, book marketing, book cover design, social media, and even cover reveals sometimes a year in advance. So how does self-publishing facilitate this level of planning? Because authors are their own publishers when they self-publish, they can control all aspects of the publishing process. They can decide everything from their pub dates to the look of their book covers to how they will promote their book. In addition, IngramSpark allows authors to do pre-sales up to a year in advance. For many romance authors, pre-sales are an important strategy to excite readers and stimulate book sales. So, the control that self-publishing affords romance authors promotes their creative business savvy.
5. Ability to Reach Readers
Romance readers come in all shapes, sizes, and colors. It’s what makes the community so vibrant. Because romance readers vary so widely, distribution has to be as broad as the audience. Self-publishing platforms, like IngramSpark, are very good at reaching many readers! With book distribution to over 39,000 physical libraries and retailers and over 20+ major ebook retailers, romance authors can reach all of their readers around the globe. Plus, being retailer agnostic is incredibly important, not just in the romance community but for authors everywhere.
Clearly, romance authors and self-publishing are just like peanut butter and jelly or Fabio and an Avon cover. Despite all of the reasons why the two are a match made in heaven, I think the greatest reason of all is that working in tandem helps fabulous books find a place in the world. I can honestly say that a world with more happily ever afters is definitely a better world and a book I want to read.Check Out Our Romance Writers Spotify Playlist