Friday, December 17, 2021

A few facts about romance novels

Did you know that...?

  • Romance novels keep most of the publishing industry in business. There would be no literary fiction without romance novels paying the bills.
  • Romance novels create $1.08 billion a year in revenue and account for 34% of the total fiction market in the United States.
  • The romance novel industry is about the size of the mystery novel genre and science fiction/fantasy genre markets combined.
  • Annually, one-third of all mass market fiction books sold are romance novels.
  • In 2014, Nielson data reported that 39 percent of all ebooks sold were romance novels—a number that continues to grow each year.
  • Unsurprisingly, romance novel sales have boomed since the start of the pandemic. According to Nielsen Book Scan, in March 2021 romance novels showed a 24% increase in sales over the previous year.
  • Many prestigious colleges and universities now include romance novels in their literature courses, including the University of Sussex, Duke University and Yale University.
  • Romance novels frequently top the major bestseller lists. This past week, two of the top 10 books on the UK's Sunday Times bestseller list (that's one fifth!) were Romances.
  • More than 70 million people in the USA alone read at least one romance novel per year.
  • Romance novels are not written by (or for) bored housewives. Romance writers (and readers) come from every walk of life, including lawyers, doctors, academics, graphic designers, teachers...and SAH moms.

Thursday, November 25, 2021


Tropes are conventions, or familiar plot lines or set-ups, that are instantly recognizable to readers, because we’ve seen them so often that they’ve become commonplace. They’re recurring themes that work as a ‘shorthand’ to help authors, readers and booksellers identify what a story is about. 

Aren’t tropes a bad thing? 

 I’ve heard a lot of writing advice (mostly from literary writers) that tropes should be avoided, as if they’re somehow a bad thing. That might be true for literary fiction, but in genre fiction tropes are unavoidable. Yes, it's true that tropes can seem cliched, but every genre has its own tropes, and it would be impossible to write without them. What would a suspense story be without the trope of the ‘ticking time bomb’? What would a cosy paranormal mystery be withiut the friendly ghost or amateur sleuth? Not only are tropes unavoidable in genre fiction, but they’re actually a good thing! 

Why are tropes important? 

Tropes are excellent marketing tools. Look at almost any book description and you’ll see them used as a quick way to convey the book’s contents. We all recognise what a Cinderella story will be about, or a best friend’s brother story. And for many readers, a favourite trope is enough to make them auto-buy a book! 

In Romances with limited word counts, tropes are a quick way to introduce a concept to readers. We’re familiar with the concept of fake engagement, forced proximity, secret baby or friends to lovers tropes, so we don’t need to have every detail explained to us. Harlequin even uses tropes in their titles as a quick guide to identifying the type of story you'll find between the covers. 

The other reason that tropes are a good thing is that they work. In the words of, “Tropes get used again and again because they speak to us on some deep level and connect with our experiences, fear, and hopes.”

As a reader, what are your favourite romance tropes?

Image by Bingo Naranjo from Pixabay

Friday, October 29, 2021

Meet Our 2021 ROSACon Speakers: Harry Wallett

Harry Wallett is the Founder and Managing Director of Relay Publishing based in the UK. Combining his entrepreneurial background with a love of great stories, Harry founded Relay in 2013 as a fresh way to create and publish books. He oversees the creative direction of the company and works to develop an excellent collaborative environment for the Relay team to thrive within. When he isn’t drawing up Relay’s next title, he can be found on the basketball court or trying to catch up with Tamar’s ever-growing list of countries to visit.

Don't miss his presentation on Ghostwriting at ROSACon 2021! Book your tickets today! 

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Thursday, October 28, 2021

Meet Our 2021 ROSACon Speakers: Therese Beharrie


Therese Beharrie 2021 ROSACon Speaker

Therese Beharrie is a South African romance author of several acclaimed novels, including her One Day to Forever series. She takes pride in writing diverse characters and settings, and her books are often recommended for their heart and banter. She lives in Cape Town with her husband, her inspiration for every hero, and two adorable baby boys. You can follow her on social media or visit her at

Don't miss her presentation Writing Category Romance at ROSACon 2021! Book your tickets today! 

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Wednesday, October 27, 2021

Meet Our 2021 ROSACon Speakers: Collette Merritt


Collette Merritt lives in beautiful Cape Town, South Africa with her husband, two daughters and two feline furbabies.

Collette is passionate about life, people and words, she divides her time between coaching work and writing, where she flirts with fantasy and fiction in her novels, indulging in unspoken secrets and embracing wanton fantasies … all before parents-teachers’ meetings.

Don't miss her presentation Self Care for Authors at ROSACon 2021! Book your tickets today! 

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Tuesday, October 26, 2021

Meet Our 2021 ROSACon Speakers: Ashleigh Giannoccaro

Bestselling author Ashleigh Giannoccaro writes edgy dark romance and erotic horror, self-published by choice she writes the stories others don’t dare. Currently residing in Johannesburg, South Africa with her two daughters and a menagerie of pets, Ashleigh enjoys writing stories that make you fall in love with the unlovable and leaves you asking questions. When not writing she can be found with her Kindle in a sunny spot reading or taking long walks to nowhere.

Don't miss her presentation BookTok for Authors at ROSACon 2021! Book your tickets today! 

Monday, October 25, 2021

Meet Our 2021 ROSACon Speakers: Tamryn Iyer


Tamryn Iyer is a graduate in Social Sciences from Rhodes University. She’s experienced working as an intern at a rape crisis centre – handling social media and doing empowerment talks.

She worked as an English teacher (educational rockstar) in Vietnam and is part of the Global Shapers Community (a division of the World Economic Forum) and more specifically, the Durban Hub.

Her time and energy is devoted to her startup, Impact17. Impact17 is a startup that utilizes social media as a tool of empowerment and facilitator of social change. From helping an entrepreneur launch their brand through Instagram to working with organizations and giving them content direction, she enjoys the ever-changing interwebs and how we can make the best use of it!

She’s passionate about three fields: CULTURE, ENTREPRENEURSHIP and TRAVEL. 

Don't miss her presentation DIY Social Media for Authors at ROSACon 2021! Book your tickets today! 

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