Round Robin May 2018 topic: What changes have your seen in romance novels in the past decade? Is there a change in romance novel direction? Is there still a market for non-explicit sex stories? What is the next romance novel trend?
Back in 2006, I opened Freya’s Bower as a subsidiary of Wild Child Publishing. Wild Child had always been family friendly. Freya’s Bower would be our romance/erotic romance/erotica arm. At this point, erotic romance was booming. We published quite a few BDSM erotic romance written by members of the BDSM community. However, when we published it, it wasn’t quite accepted. Paranormal and shifters were popular, as were vampires and M/M. That hasn’t really changed that much, although the types of shifters has expanded to include ones not considered at the time. (Dragon shifters have become popular now. We had a dragon shifter series that sold really well.)
Of course, times have changed … some. Readers are still interested in erotic romance, but BDSM became accepted, but it’s not as popular. In recent years, we’ve seen a rise in ménage stories, but it has altered a bit. Now, it’s ménage M/M aliens having babies. (Yes, that’s happening, and there is an audience for it. At least, it’s not dinosaurs. This is not to say there’s anything wrong with that, merely it’s not something we would’ve imagined back then.)
We’ve seen the rise of the “new” genre NA (New Adult) romance as well as romance featuring “minority” protagonists (about time).
I don’t think erotic romance is going away, but there is definitely an audience for sweet romance stories. Readers not only buy it but actively look for it. The challenge becomes being found, but that’s the case with most genres.
If you’re interested in what the top romances are of 2018, here’s a list from Google.
Personally, I enjoy both sweet and explicit romance. My only requirements, really, are well-written, preferably third person, tight POV, and HEA. Or, at the very least, HFA.
What about you? What do you think is the new romance novel trend? Do you have a favorite romance genre? Would you rather read sweet or spicy?
I do write stories with romance elements. You can find my books here.