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For Love and Money

I recently watched the movie, Casanova (the movie by which my brother and I jokingly refer to as Heath Ledger’s machismo ‘pambawi’ to Brokeback Mountain).

Heath Ledger played Giacomo Casanova, a 17th century writer-adventurer and a much celebrated lover and erotic seducer.

Casanova was a lover of women, a passionate man obsessed with love and all the heat involved with it.

Despite our cynicisms about love and romance, 17th century Casanova continues to intrigue our 21st century psyche. And, get this - he is not alone in that department. There’s the timeless love story between Romeo and Juliet; the Spanish lover, Don Juan de Marco; and even the Meg Ryan-Tom Hanks tandem that can get even the hardest of hearts going ‘awww!‘

Romance sells.

It sells in movies, tv, magazines, and of course, books.

As a matter of fact, the sales of romantic novels make up 50% of the total sales of books.

According to BusinessWeek Online, “Every 5 seconds someone buys a romance novel, making it a .2 billion dollar a year industry.”

Romance novels provide a millieu by which we can divulge our fantasies, live out that which is not present in our daily lives, or at the very least, provide much needed entertainment and ‘giddiness.’

Here’s a recent article on Romance Writers :
(* taken from the Reno Gazette-Journal)

Romance in the air for writers
Siobhan McAndrew

Even romance is a 9-to-5 job.

More than 2,000 writers from around the country are in town for the 25th annual Romance Writers of America Convention today through Saturday at the Reno Hilton.

Despite the love stories told amid the pages of paperback, writing about romance still is a business.

“It really is just a regular job,” said Debbie Macomber, a best-selling author who has written “A Good Yarn,” “The Shop on Blossom Street,” “Between Friends” and “Thursdays at Eight.”

Macomber, who has appeared on every major best-seller list including the New York Times, USA TODAY and Publishers Weekly, said being a successful romance writer is more than writing.

“It’s about marketing yourself and really selling yourself,” she said. “It’s a business. You have to be business-savvy.”

Macomber is the keynote speaker at the convention, which features workshops on how to use firefighter lingo, how to pick book-cover art, using swords and sword fights in a story line and how to make your villain a sociopath or psychopath. There are also many business-oriented workshops, including how to rewrite a manuscript, write for more than one publisher and how to pitch a novel.

Best-sellers such as Susan Elizabeth Phillips and Nora Roberts, to unknown writers trying to publish first manuscripts, are in town for workshops, networking and some fun.

“I go to an office. It’s at my house but it’s still an office. It’s like a job where you motivate yourself to write everyday,” said Susan Elizabeth Phillips, author of “Dream A Little Dream,” and “Ain’t She Sweet?”

Publishing houses have scheduled offsite events, including workshops with the Washoe County Sheriff’s Office and a downtown ghost walk for writers using paranormal story lines in plots.

The broad base of workshops proves the business of romance writing — classified as anything with a central love story and a happy ending — continues to grow, said Nicole Kennedy, publicist for the Romance Writers of America. She said romance novels comprise 50 percent of all paperback book sales, and sales this year are expected to top .4 million.

Macomber admits a stereotype is associated with romance books.

“Being a romance writer is good and bad news,” she said. “I will often get, ‘Oh, you write those kind of books.’ But at the same time, these are the books women are buying.”

I know I’m not going to change the world but I am going to brighten your weekend.”

Romance Writers Association membership, which tops 9,000, proves that it’s a business many are trying to break into, said Leslie Wainger, an executive editor for Harliquin Books.

But it’s not something everyone should pursue, she said.

“First of all, to write these books, you better enjoy reading these books,” said Wainger. In the business for 26 years, Wainger also wrote “Writing a Romance Novel for Dummies.”

“People assume because these books are easy to read, they must be easy to write,” Wainger said. “You have to work really hard to make it seem easy.”

So despite all the failed relationships that surround us today, romance is not exactly dead. Business has resuscitated it and is constantly keeping it alive.


About the Author: Global Business Watch aims to provide more and better avenues for sharing business-related ideas, by inviting community interaction primarily through blogging. Only a few years ago, blogging was proven to be one of the most effective tools for disseminating information on the Web. Professional blogs, especially, are valued as resources on data regarding the freshest and most relevant issues. The force of blogging rests mainly on its power to inspire insight and influence opinion, so that no one is left behind, or left without a voice. GBWatch aims to become a discussion hub for industry bloggers everywhere, and to become a powerhouse of business-related information on the Web.


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