And the reason for this success? Is it because romance-reading woman are typically savvy consumers and early adopters of tech? Is it because romance writers are a thriving and adventurous group of authors? Is it because female entrepreneurs saw a need and filled it without worrying about 'literary' laurels?
No, clearly the main explanation of this phenomenon is shame. Just as the main reason woman like ereaders is because they are purse-friendly.
I am not saying concealability isn't part of the picture. But all these articles seem to make only three points. 1) You can make money from romance readers, 2) being seen with a romance book is shameful and 3) ebooks are kind of scary and might attack print books and 'real' publishers if given the chance.
How about a story on how romance epublishers are succeeding because they fill a basic and valid story-telling need, they are run by kick-ass women who know what they are doing, and use technology that is effective and embraced by a large and adventurous readership who are proactive and interactive consumers--not passive cash cows? How about that? And how about writing that article without using the words trashy, bodice-ripper, bonk or embarrassed?
(And don't get me started on using RWA as a commentator about the wonderfulness of digital publishing.)
- Lusty Tales and Hot Sales: Romance E-Books Thrive: "It is difficult to predict what expanding e-book sales will do to print sales in the long term. Kelly Gallagher, the vice president for publishing services for Bowker, said that e-book sales were “definitely cannibalizing print,” a prospect that worries publishers."
- E-books: the acceptable face of bonkbusters: "So there are still plenty of people buying good old-fashioned books. While e-readers provide an alternative option choice for those of you too embarrassed to be sitting on the train reading a book with Jamie Oliver's mug on the cover."
- What Books Are You Embarrassed to Read in Public? "I can totally relate since I occasionally read paranormal romances, which almost always have a bare chested man on the cover. I’d much rather read these books on my Kindle."
- Romance fastest growing segment in e-books: "According to Allison Kelley, who is the executive director of the Romance Writers of America, “when books were out of stock or out of print, they were hard to find, but e-books have changed all that.”"
- E-Books Tell of Readers' Naughty Little Love Secrets: "Romance-novel fans who are embarrassed to tote around books with half-dressed hunks and scantily clad heroines on the cover are finding a way to indulge on the sly: e-books."