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Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Wednesday Hodgepodge

Some book buyer stats that I found interesting came in today's market update from Cindi Myers.

According to PubTrack™ Consumer, a service of R.R. Bowker, LLC.:

23% of books are purchased through online purchase/e-commerce

22% are sold through large chains (Barnes & Noble, Borders, Books-a-Million)

10% are sold through book clubs

7% through independents

6% through mass merchandisers (Wal-Mart, Target, Kmart)

4% through warehouse clubs (Sam’s, Costco, BJs)

2% through supermarket/grocery stores

1% each through discount stores, drug stores, religious bookstores and book fairs

22% through a variety of "Other outlets" which includes author hand-to-hand sales, churches and other organizations, craft fairs, speakers selling from the back of the auditorium, etc.

I have no idea how this would translate to romance sales, but I'd be interested to know. I remember a few short years ago, the claim was that Amazon and other online retailers accounted for only 2% of romance sales. I think it's safe to say that number has probably drastically changed.

I have a gripe. (So what else is new?) Lately I've been trying desperately to find a romance I can lose myself in. I prefer historicals because I read for pure escapism, so the farther away from today's reality I can get, the better I like it. Within the past month I've bought three historical romances. The first book--a very popular and highly reviewed Regency Historical from Avon--was a wallbanger for me because the hero did something early on that made him so unsympathetic I couldn't bring myself to read any farther to find out if he redeemed himself or not. He was so repugnant, I did not care. The second and third books are an Avon and Harlequin, respectively. Another Regency-set and a Western. Both are so full of anachronisms, I'm constantly yanked out of the story. I have to wonder what's going on with editors these days. Most of all, why aren't these authors doing a better job of policing their own writing? I'm familiar with both these authors and they're both better than this. So I have to wonder what's going on with all the modern terminology and even slang being sprinkled through these historicals.

For anyone reading this who writes historicals, here's a link for the online Etymology Dictionary. Just click on the words and it will take you there. When in doubt, click over to the dictionary and it will tell you the definition(s) and year the word in question came into use. This is such a handy tool, I keep a shortcut right on my desktop. End of rant.

Okay. Getting back to the manuscript now. Hubby's working evenings this week, so the next several hours are mine, mine, ALL MINE!




  1. The statistics are interesting.

    I wish I could steer you to a great historical. My current read is a contemporary. I know, big surprise. It's a really good contemporary, too. Or at least I think so.


  2. Hmmm, I can't help you out much, either. Kinda don't have much time to read right now anyway.
    Keep exploring. I'm sure you'll find a diamond in all the rough.

  3. I am not reading much at the moment, so cannot help you find a book.
    Thanks for the link, it will be useful for me.

  4. Thanks, ladies. I don't buy nearly as many books as I used to since my favorite authors retired or switched genres, but I'll keep looking.

    Glynis, the link is wonderful and I'm glad if it's helpful. Since I write historicals, I refer to it often.

  5. Hey, Devon, I'm back! I thought of one for you! The new Jane Feather book, A HUSBAND'S WICKED WAYS. My cousin loved this series, but recommends that you start at the beginning: 1-A WICKED GENTLEMAN, and 2-TO WED A WICKED PRINCE. She was so excited when the new one came out in late March, she practically knocked me down to get to the shelf when we saw it there.

    Okay, I might be dramatizing a wee bit...

  6. Thanks, Mags! I'll hop over to Amazon and take a look.


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