Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Ten Points For Mr. Happy

We’ve been predicting this for a while, but now The New York Times is agreeing with us, so it must be true. (Right? Right?)

According to Motoko Rich, recession weary consumers may be cutting back on many luxuries, but one they’re willing to pay for is a happy ending.
At a time when booksellers are struggling to lure readers, sales of romance novels are outstripping most other categories of books and giving some buoyancy to an otherwise sluggish market.

Harlequin Enterprises, the queen of the romance world, reported that fourth-quarter earnings were up 32 percent over the same period a year earlier, and Donna Hayes, Harlequin’s chief executive, said that sales in the first quarter of this year remained very strong. While sales of adult fiction overall were basically flat last year, according to Nielsen Bookscan, which tracks about 70 percent of retail sales, the romance category was up 7 percent after holding fairly steady for the previous four years.
Motoko goes on to say that these numbers might be helped by the fact that the category generally offers up many titles in the less expensive mass market format. And romance isn’t the only area to be lit by the glow of a recession-era bounce:
Such escapist urges are also fueling sales of science fiction and fantasy, said Bob Wietrak, a vice president for merchandising at Barnes & Noble. Mr. Wietrak said sales of novels with vampires, shape shifters, werewolves and other paranormal creatures were “exploding,” whether they were found in the romance, fantasy or young-adult aisles, where Stephenie Meyer’s Twilight series continues to dominate and inspire look-alike books like the House of Night teen novels by P. C. Cast and Kristin Cast.
The New York Times piece is here.



Post a Comment

<< Home