Friday News: First World Problems
I came across this picture and this video while browsing Reddit. Rajesh Kumar Sharma founded a free school in the slums of India. Their schoolroom is a space under a bridge. Their blackboards are concrete walls. First world problems are anything that doesn’t include having to gain an education under a bridge in a slum.
I disagree with Milan on a several points but my concern about historical isn’t whether existing author platforms can be boosted by discounted pricing but rather the malaise in the historical sub genre. Other than a few voices, the genre seems stagnating and the positive numbers generated rest primarily on the same authors repetitive success. Stephanie Laurens, not so long ago argued that reduced prices would harm her established readership and she didn’t find that her established readers were digitally entrenched. Her mind may have been changed as many of her books have been temporarily reduced frequently. It’s hard not to run into a reduced Stephanie Laurens book.
I’m not convinced that mere pricing will herald a rise in historical books. We need new storytelling within the historical romance genre. One reader told me she thought Regency historicals have become a bad parody of themselves. I’d hope digital strategy isn’t based on price alone and reselling backlist titles at lower prices. What I do agree is that Avon has been successfully pushing certain books by aggressive backlist pricing. Kind of what Samhain has done for years with its free promotions. Should other publishers do what Avon does? Sure, it can’t hurt. Particularly when you aren’t seeing the numbers Avon is putting out (but that’s just for its historical authors where Avon has long been dominant).
Digital strategy should also include experimenting with content to capture new audiences. The latter might be wishful thinking on my part. I keep waiting for great self published authors to break down the historical gates and really shake things up. Courtney Milan’s Blog
Though some New Adult titles have sensual elements to them, Hwang was careful to make a distinction between erotic romance–where the relationship is still the primary focus of the story–to erotica, which emphasizes the sex. She expressed some displeasure at the conflation of the two categories, and how trying to wedge the success of New Adult into a post-50 Shades landscape has led to descriptions of New Adult as “sleazy YA” and (in her opinion) the mislabeling of some authors and their books.
Both agree that we haven’t seen the market peak yet. William & Morrow notes that these books are marketed to adults and so the question is whether brick and mortar will find a place for these stories. Shelf Awareness