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Finding (Many Kinds of) Love

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We hear it so often it’s a cliché; love comes in many forms. Sometimes they’re talking about the many types of love, including friendship, motherly love, and love for all mankind. Other times, they’re talking about variety among romantic relationships, in the shape of different gender combinations, numbers, and interests. We can’t all be polyamorous lovers of were-wolf tales, but there’s certainly someone out there who is. And shouldn’t they be able find their perfect story?

You see, romance publishers very much like to find what I’m going to call the wide-niche. The specialized tastes that are specific enough to need seeking out, and broad enough to have a lot of eyeballs. An easy example is Harlequin, the well known publisher of romances established in 1949. According to their website, they’ve been very successful finding niches:

Harlequin publishes over 120 titles each month under the Harlequin, Silhouette, MIRA Books, Luna Books, Steeple Hill Books, HQN Books, Gold Eagle, Worldwide Mystery, Kimani Press, Spice and Harlequin Nonfiction imprints in North America. In addition, Harlequin publishes five Spanish-language series in North America, with 16 titles monthly.

However, recent word is that they’re closing five lines.

It isn’t as if lovers of these types of tales will be unable to find stories to read, since good stories find a way. It just might be a little more difficult to find them once they’re scattered and no longer have a dedicated line.

I imagine a day is coming where we have a curated line, designed for us. Perhaps it will look a little like what Netflix does for movies and television series, where it comes with a match-up rating saying how well it fits your tastes. How appropriate, really. It’s like online dating for books.

Until that day comes, we will continue to read back covers, pass books to friends, read reviews, scan Goodreads, and hope that we can discover the book we didn’t even know we were looking for.

Because, in the end, the best books are the ones that surprise us. Can an author, series, line, or algorithm guarantee that?

How do you find new books to read? Are you disappointed that Harlequin is dropping these lines? What new lines makes sense for romance publishers to pursue? Let us know in the comments.

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About Lela Bay

Lela lives in a modest house in a modest town with her husband, children, and pets. Despite living so far north, she requires a certain amount of sunshine each day or she gets grumpy. Her hands are always cold, but her heart is warm. When she isn’t writing, she enjoys strolling, gardening, reading, and tea time with friends. Music has always been a large part of her life, and she owns a ridiculous number of instruments, though these days she mostly plays Rock Band. Lela’s favorite romance authors include Laura Kinsale, Jennifer Cruise, and Jane Austen. She enjoys stories with intimacy and humor. Favorite movies include Overboard, All of Me, North & South, Pride and Prejudice (miniseries with Colin Firth, please), The Princess Bride, and While You Were Sleeping. On television she is a fan of Grey’s Anatomy, Downton Abbey, and Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries. She frequently contributes movie and entertainment reviews to Meant to Be Press. Follow Lela on twitter @bay_lela

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This entry was posted on May 18, 2017 by in Chick Lit and tagged , .
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