I think we’ve made it clear here at Knockin’ Books that we read a lot. Like, a lot, a lot. For real. A. lot. But since we launched this site nearly a year ago (geez, has it been that long already?) we’ve learned so many things about other readers. Too many to list out, in fact. If we had to name the biggest surprise, though? That one’s easy.
Romance readers are one of the most engaged, enthusiastic group of book lovers you’ll ever find on the interwebs.
It’s true! We’ve had plenty of great posts on Knockin’ Books, but posts about romance novels and romance authors, and even guest posts written by romance authors reach a level of popularity around here that is nothing short of amazing. And better yet, it's these posts that have the greatest level of engagement with our audience (aka: all you readers out there).
So, why is that?
It kind of makes sense when you think about just how many romance readers there are out there in the wild. Romance novel sales tally in the billions of dollars each year. And romance readers tend to be as passionate as the novels they love.
But for a genre all about love, and for all the multitudes of fans the genre has, romance novels continue to be maligned by all sorts of bookish snobs out there—and in the foulest of cases, by authors in other genres. The critics are so vocal and so vehement that a certain stigma has formed, and with it, many, many genre misconceptions.
“Mommy porn”, poorly written trash, bodice rippers, predictable, formulaic...if you proudly read romance novels, there’s no doubt that you’ve had at least one of these insults hurled at your choice in reading material. You know (and we know) there’s much more to the genre than these small-minded critics will ever see (since they also loudly proclaim that they never read the genre). But is it worth arguing about?
Well, we sure as hell think it is!
So, we thought and thought about what we, lowly little bloggers, could do to help crush the romance stigma once and for all. And what did we come up with?
At the new Knockin’ Books sister site, Romance Rehab, we’ll debunk all the romance myths out there, and then the fun will REALLY start. For each book we read and review, we’ll let readers know if it helps crush the romance stigma, or promote it. We’ll also offer plenty of suggestions for great books from awesome romance authors who are working to destroy the romance stigma with every word they put on a page. And maybe along the way, you all can give us some great reading suggestions and we can brainstorm about what else we can do— together—to crush the romance stigma once and for all.
So, we invite all of our fellow romance lovers out there to visit Romance Rehab and let us know what you think! Post comments, Facebook likes, Pinterest follows and retweets are SUPER appreciated, and will let us know that you think we’re right, and that the romance stigma needs to be annihilated immediately. We’d love to hear from you!
Romance Rehab: (www.romancerehab.com)
P.S. You may be wondering what all this means for the Knockin’ Books website. What about all the other genres? What about the cool infographics and list posts? What about the Get Off My Lawn guy? No worries. None of that is going anywhere soon. We’re still very committed to making Knockin’ Books a great place for self-published authors to get great advice and for readers to get interesting content and insightful book reviews. We’ll continue to experiment with new ideas as we try to figure out what works. We’d love to hear what you think. Drop us a line or maybe take our short survey. Any and all feedback is welcome.