Lessons Learned: Romance Never Sells

I love when I hear men, even a woman, say that romance never sells. Usually it’s in conversation of movies. When I tell them that I write romance and my novel “Gitana – Life Plan” would make a great movie, they usually wave their hand and say, “Romance doesn’t sell.” I’ve heard that three/four times now.

My father-in-law’s recent email to my husband was perfect and triggered me to write this blog. He wrote:

Tell Beth I have read over 300 free eBooks mostly published from 1850 to1935. The genre varies from detective, mystery, action/adventure, classics, war, political, espionage, Si Fi, historical fiction, western, horror, etc. They almost all have one thing in common – they’re ROMANCE NOVELS! Damsels in distress is the common theme.

Now these are stories that men would read and go to the movies to see. Think beyond 1935: “Casablanca (1942)” or “An Officer and a Gentleman (1982).” Both movies have romance. “No,” the naysayers argue, “that’s not romance.” If you consider the romance genre and how romances end in happily ever after, I agree that they are technically correct for “Casablanca.” The movie isn’t a “happily ever after” for Ilsa and Rick; however, the movie does have strong romantic elements.

Romance provides the emotional element needed to keep the story moving forward and to keep the reader or moviegoer engaged. Next time you watch a movie or read a western or horror story, see if you can find the romance. Even “King Kong (1933, 1976, 2005)” had strong romantic elements to it. Oh yes, let’s see how “Fifty Shades of Grey” does this winter when it arrives in movie theaters in February.

Romance sells.


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