I’ve been asked for some writing advice on getting started with romance writing. Specifically, what SELLS? And how do you start writing it?
Years ago, when I started writing romance, I didn’t choose romance. It chose me. I made up my mind that if I didn’t sell a novel to a publisher within ten years, I would give up writing. Becoming a published author was my dream. However, I got impatient with myself. Dreams are all very well, and dabbling with writing when I had many other commitments was selfish. (Yes, I was wrong-headed in many ways, but I was young… :-))
So, I had ten years. Since I was a voracious reader, I looked for novels that I could write. Scouting around our local library, I found little Mills and Boon romances. Not only could I read them with pleasure, I immediately knew that I could write them. After that, it took around six months to get a multi-book contract.
I’m not the sharpest knife in the drawer, but that knowledge stuck with me. What you can read with pleasure is the key to what you can write.
New Adult Is Currently the Hottest Genre in Romance Fiction.
Romance has many, many sub-genres. Currently, the hottest sub-genre is “New Adult” fiction. Here’s the Amazon Best Sellers in New Adult and College Romance.
These books sell A LOT of copies. H.M. Ward writes New Adult romances, and reports:
“A book in the top ten sells around 5–10K copies per day. Let’s take the average and give the book some wiggle room and say it’s selling 7K copies a day @ $2.99. In 7 days you’ll have made (net, not gross) over $100,000.”
St. Martin’s Press established New Adult in 2009, and over the past couple of years, that genre has really taken off. The sales-blockbuster Fifty Shades trilogy kicked the category into overdrive.
When the Wilders needed to save their home, they wrote New Adult. It’s a hot-selling genre. If you can write New Adult, you’re in like Flynn, to coin a phrase.
Can you write New Adult romance? Download some freebies, and check them out. If you can read them with pleasure, and think to yourself: “I can write this!” You almost certainly can.
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