The murmur of the snarkmatrix…

August § The Common Test / 2016-02-16 21:04:46
Robin § Unforgotten / 2016-01-08 21:19:16
MsFitNZ § Towards A Theory of Secondary Literacy / 2015-11-03 21:23:21
Jon Schultz § Bless the toolmakers / 2015-05-04 18:39:56
Jon Schultz § Bless the toolmakers / 2015-05-04 16:32:50
Matt § A leaky rocketship / 2014-11-05 01:49:12
Greg Linch § A leaky rocketship / 2014-11-04 18:05:52
Robin § A leaky rocketship / 2014-11-04 05:11:02
P. Renaud § A leaky rocketship / 2014-11-04 04:13:09
Bob Stepno § The structure of journalism today / 2014-03-10 18:42:32

The Real Book Business

Unaccountably fascinated by the prospect of this New Yorker piece on Nora Roberts, teased by GalleyCat here.

She sells 27 books every minute! She makes more money than John Grisham or Steven King. And — this is more macro — “of people who read books, one in five read romance.”

I wonder if there’s room to reinvent, subvert, honor, and blow up that genre all at once. Sorta like what Battlestar Galactica did with TV sci-fi. Can you imagine a new name on the supermarket romance rack — in swoopy high-gloss letters, natch — that the hipsters reach for, too? (Does this author already exist?)

June 22, 2009 / Uncategorized


Isn’t what you’re talking about just chick lit — Bridget Jones’s Diary, Sex and the City, etc.? It would seem like any 21st-century, fully hipster/critic-friendly variation on the genre would probably start with that subgenre rather than Nora Roberts.

Perhaps. But I feel that chick lit probably doesn’t deliver the same bodice-ripping that the glossy-letter supermarket books do. And definitely not the same sales volume.

I want a book that will sell 27 copies every minute!

What are the key characteristics of a Nora Roberts book? I guess perhaps this NYer piece will tell me, when I finally get to read it.

Look, you asked for romance books that sell well and are read by (quasi-)hipsters. If Sex and the City doesn’t generate enough sales for you, I’ve got some people who work in publishing who are slapping their foreheads right now who’d love to talk to you.

I read that Nora Roberts article! It was great; I’ve tried to pass it on to some of my friends who aim to become novelists, as an example of one way to make a living. They don’t really want to hear that.

The snarkmatrix awaits you

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