If you want to write a bestseller, it’s a good idea to look at pursuing romance. Romance books account for the majority of those that make up some of the most renowned bestseller lists out there, such as Amazon, The New York Times, Publishers Weekly and USA Today.
If that doesn’t convince you, the facts surely will. Reports state that the romance fiction industry is roughly worth a whopping $1.8 billion per year. To put this into perspective, it’s about one-third greater than the inspirational book industry and is approximately the size of the mystery and science fiction or fantasy genres combined.
Romance genres possess over 29 million regular readers; however, many bookworms who normally gravitate toward other genres have also stated that they enjoy picking up a romance novel every once in a while.
We’ll explain just how you can use this genre to your advantage below.
Why Are Romance Genres So Popular?
Romance books are incredibly popular and for good reason. They allow readers to escape from their everyday lives, live vicariously through the characters, and begin reading, knowing that they’re guaranteed a happy ending.
Live Vicariously Through Characters
Romance bestsellers often include characters that readers can relate to. This allows readers to feel what the characters are feeling and experience what the characters do. They give readers a chance to feel emotions they’ve been longing for. In real life, relationships are unpredictable and don’t always go according to plan. In a romance novel, they do; readers know that the relationship will always work out. This brings readers a sense of peace and allows them to experience love, happiness, and excitement.
Life is complicated. There’s just no way around this. As we’ve progressed as human beings, life has become far more complicated and involves many more factors that cause stress. Romance books allow readers to escape reality and enter a more ideal and desirable world. They’re able to interrupt their daily routines with moments of excitement.
Real life doesn’t always guarantee happy endings, especially when it comes to love. While many real love stories do end happily ever after, you’ll likely have to kiss a few frogs before you find your prince or princess. Readers understand this and are drawn to romance bestsellers because they know that a happy ending is always in the cards. I mean, who doesn’t love a happy ending?
Does the Subgenre of Your Romance Book Matter?
If your goal is to work your way onto bestseller lists, then the subgenre of your romance book most certainly does matter. We’ll take a look at what romance subgenres sell best below.
Some romance niches tend to sell better than others; however, these are not set in stone and will likely fluctuate as time goes on. This is why it’s always a good idea to take a look at what niches the romance bestsellers fall under on Amazon’s bestseller list at the time of your writing.
The subgenres that consistently appear in romance bestsellers are contemporary romance, romantic comedy, erotica, romances set in desirable holiday locations, love stories set in quaint towns, supernatural romance, urban fantasy romance, thriller romance, and romance books involving blended families.
The Persuasive Art of Marketing
Most romance books that become a great success are often backed by extensive marketing, have been adapted into a movie or television series, have won an award, or have been written by a renowned author. These marketing tactics will greatly assist a book in becoming a bestseller, regardless of its niche.
How Do You Write a Romance Bestseller?
Select Your Niche
First thing’s first, check Amazon’s bestseller list to find out which niches within the romance genre are trending. Once you establish which romance subgenres show up the most on the list, you can decide what niche you’d like your book to fall under.
Tropes are plot devices or character traits that are used so often within a specific genre that they become conventional to that genre. Tropes allow readers to feel a sense of familiarity while serving as a starting point for the author. The following are some of the most commonly used tropes in romance bestsellers:
- Love triangles
- Secret billionaires
- Friends to lovers
- Characters who have wound up in a situation where they are stuck together
- Enemies to lovers
- Forbidden love
- Second chances
- Soul mates who overcome obstacles
- Fake relationships that turn into true love
Watch Your Language: Cliches and Juvenile Euphemisms Are a “No-No”
Your use of language is key to allowing readers to connect with the characters in your book. Use honest dialogue from the perspective of the character. Don’t use cheesy cliches or unrealistic conversations. Juvenile euphemisms for intimate body parts aren’t usually well-received, so be sure to use the correct wording for the appropriate parts.
Create Compelling Heroes and Heroines
While your heroes or heroines should be strong and compelling characters, they don’t need to be perfect. These imperfections will be the reason your readers can relate to and connect with the characters. The engagement level of your reader with your book will likely be based on the romantic chemistry between your main characters, so communicate the characters’ points of view about romantic relationships to build tension and give the reader background information. Just remember, your characters should never be defined by their relationships to each other.
Set the Scene
The setting of your romance book plays a crucial role in providing the reader with a sensory experience and background information about the characters. The reader will be able to use this information to spark their imagination and establish a visual counterpart to the story. This will make your book more memorable and exciting.
Your Minor Characters Are Important
Minor characters exist to give readers a better indication of who the main character really is as a person. They help to set the scene and give readers more insight into the lives of the main characters. If readers are to really understand and relate to your main characters, they will need to experience how they interact with other minor characters. Examples of these characters can be work colleagues, family members, and friends.
Bromances Are “In”
Men have best friends and feelings, too. Romance novels where the male protagonist has a best friend or “bromance” have become wildly popular. This allows readers to relate to him better and see a different, more sensitive, and vulnerable side of him.
The audience of romance genres is predominantly female. Females have disclosed that they often read romance books not only for the strong female protagonist but also for the men. If you include a bromance in your novel, you’re likely to greatly increase your chances of writing a bestseller.
Let’s Talk Steamy Scenes
Who doesn’t love a good sex scene? The thing is that sex scenes don’t just happen out of thin air. A good sex scene results from a buildup of events to display character development and plot progression. You’ll need to assess your audience to determine how advanced your steamy scene is—you should be sure to find the optimal balance between isolating your readers and leaving them unsatisfied.
Happy Endings Are Key
Happy endings are a given when it comes to writing a bestselling romance novel. Readers expect that things will work out between the characters that they’ve established a connection with. A guaranteed happy ending is one of the primary reasons people enjoy reading romances.
Use Established Authors and Romance Books as a Reference
Established romance authors are renowned for a reason—they write bestselling romance books. It’s always a good idea to refer to a bestselling romance book when writing your own. This will ensure you have a reliable source to guide you throughout your publishing journey.
If you wish to write a romance bestseller and have fantastic ideas but don’t quite have a knack for the writing itself, you can look at getting a professional writer to write it for you. Yes, you read right—this is a real thing. Amazing, right? Make use of professional and affordable ghostwriting services to reap the rewards.
Writing romance books will immensely increase your chances of working your way onto bestseller lists. Romance genres have a large and dedicated audience who are eager to indulge in romance books regularly. If you do adequate research, understand your audience, and follow the formula, you should be writing a book of bestselling standards in no time.
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