According to NYT article, romance novels are the strongest selling category of fiction, surpassing other fantasy genres such as Sci-Fi. The reason--readers want a happy ending and a story in which fantasies come true.
Romance buyers are not only the most loyal, they are willing to sacrifice other things in order to buy their fix of happiness. And Romance also does well in nontraditional formats.
Romance novels have also captured a larger proportion of the electronic book market than other categories. Whereas most publishers say that about 1 percent of sales come from e-books, Harlequin says that digital editions make up about 3.4 percent of its sales.
At Fictionwise, the e-book seller recently acquired by Barnes & Noble, about 50 percent of sales are romance books, said Steve Pendergrast, chief technology officer. “Romance readers tend to be voracious readers,” Mr. Pendergrast said. “The ability to instantly download and start reading is potentially more important to that audience than any other audience.”
The growing market for digital romance novels has attracted several newcomers, including tiny independent publishers like Ellora’s Cave, Samhain Publishing and Ravenous Romance.