A show based on popular bodice-rippers gives an industry often dismissed as tawdry a much-needed embrace. The success of “Bridgerton” couldn’t have come at a better time for the romance industry, which has been struggling to retain its power in the publishing world. Recent years have marked a steady decline in print and ebook sales of romance novels, which went from more than 98 million units sold in 2012 to 41 million in 2020, according to NPD BookScan, whose figures do not reflect sales of self-published titles.
Sarah Ferguson, Duchess of York, has written her first novel for adults, to be released by the leading romantic fiction publisher Mills & Boon. Her novel Heart for a Compass is a fictional historical saga inspired by her great-great-aunt.
ViacomCBS agreed to sell the 96-year-old company in a deal that potentially creates a megapublisher. A spokesman for Bertelsmann said Penguin Random House had lost market share in recent years and cited Amazon as a competitive threat to the overall book market. The combination of Penguin Random House and Simon & Schuster would be “below 20 percent,” the company said, citing data from the Association of American Publishers, an industry trade group.
What does this mean for readers and authors? Some of your favorite historical romance authors who are under Penguin contracts are Evie Dunmore, Mary Balogh, Amy Rose Bennet, and others. From Simon & Shuster are Julia London, Meridith Duran, and others. The pricey eBook prices from these two traditional publishers of $7.99 and up are no doubt competing with the lower-priced historical romance novels from independent authors on Amazon. The competition for readers is fierce, and the industry is changing to survive.
Drama in romance writers land. . .
Chinese-American romance writer Milan had been suspended earlier this month for criticizing other novels as being racist.
UPDATE: Read the link to the article regarding the rescinding of the decision and resignation of board members.