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Topic: random questions for readers of contemporary romances...

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Subject: random questions for readers of contemporary romances...
Date Posted: 12/15/2007 8:03 AM ET
Member Since: 7/5/2006
Posts: 4,669
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Okay I'm a romance junkie,but pretty picky and tend to stick to rengecies, so I have a few questions for our contemprary gals as to how they shop and what they read... this is purely for bookstore research. 

Right now our romance section is divided into 6 sections... but the section we have as "contemporary" is getting thin and we aren't getting very many in with our trades... so.  Those that read Fern Michaels, Debbie Macomber, Barbara Delinsky etc.... do you also read Lori Foster, SEP, Crusie, Carly Phillips?  Right now we have the first group together, and the 2nd group mixed in with "chick lit" and label them romantic comedies... I'm contemplating putting them all together again, and then having a mini "chick lit" section... OR mixing all 3 together... my only fear with doing that is that we seem to have more "mature" women reading the first group... if we added Foster et al.. I'm afraid they might get turned off by having the more "raunchy" titles mixed in. 

Opinions, advice,  etc needed :)




Date Posted: 12/15/2007 9:25 AM ET
Member Since: 12/8/2006
Posts: 29,785
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I read all of them...except Fern Michaels. The UBS I go to has ALL romance put together, then all other fiction put together. I personally have no problem picking out what I want from 5 rows of books... they do keep the Harlequins separate, though. They just put all of the romance in alphabetical order according to author. I wouldn't put the actual chic lit books with the romance, though. But I would put all the ones you listed ( Fern Michaels, Debbie Macomber, Barbara Delinsky etc.... do you also read Lori Foster, SEP, Crusie, Carly Phillips) together.

Date Posted: 12/15/2007 9:35 AM ET
Member Since: 3/25/2006
Posts: 240
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I consider myself quite an eclectic reader.  I read regencies on occasion, but I also like what I refer to as *smut*.  So, yes, I read Fern Michaels/Debbie Macomber but I also read Lori Foster/Carly Phillips.  However, I know many people who only read historicals and others who only read contemps.  I think it is really all about what  Y O U like.  I don't think there is any right/wrong answer. 



Date Posted: 12/15/2007 1:22 PM ET
Member Since: 5/3/2006
Posts: 6,436
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You can try a little of each, though that makes it harder to remember where to find what.

My gut feeling is that romance readers want to know what is romance -- ie, guarenteed happy ending -- as opposed to chick lit.

Date Posted: 12/15/2007 2:07 PM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2007
Posts: 26,510
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I would ask on the Chick lit board because I don't think most of them would consider Lori Foster or Carly Phillips as chick-lit.  Chick lit to me is more like Jennifer Weihner or Jodi Picoult. 

Date Posted: 12/15/2007 3:54 PM ET
Member Since: 7/8/2005
Posts: 1,010
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I wouldn't consider Jennifer Crusie to be chick lit.  I would look for her in the romance section.

Date Posted: 12/15/2007 7:33 PM ET
Member Since: 10/9/2007
Posts: 812
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Oh, I don't think Jodi Picoult is at all Chick Lit.   She's Contemporary Fiction.

Chick lit to me is single girls with relationship problems, and the book's focus is such.

Jodi's books deal with multiple social and family issues, and not all have an element of romance, either.

Date Posted: 12/15/2007 8:14 PM ET
Member Since: 7/31/2006
Posts: 14,634
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I go to a used bookstore nearby and a chain store, halfprice books. I prefer the smaller one nearby because she divides her stuff into 'historical' romance and 'contemporary' romance, separates the series type books into sections and has a fiction section for the chick lit, etc and all are close by each other. halfprice books started trying to sub catergorize every darn thing and I gave the he** up and left. there's only so much roaming around I want to do! and the smut books are mixed in with both the contemporary and historical romance depending on the time period...we just have to 'get over it' if it bothers us LOL! or what she does sometimes is if someone calls about an author or asks for recommendations she either pulls stuff or asks other customers buying similar stuff what they'd recommend..her sister is actually better with the racy stuff than she is! hasn't disappointed me yet!

anyways, I find it frustrating when stuff is divided up too much and I can't find anything...

Date Posted: 12/15/2007 10:00 PM ET
Member Since: 11/13/2005
Posts: 1,950
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My UBS has things sorted in the following catagories:

mainstream and lit fic titles



series(harlequins et al)

chick lit

contemporary romance

paranormal romance

historical romance

all of these are alpha by author. Carly Phillips, Jennifer Crusie etc. are in contemp along side Nora Roberts and others.  

Last Edited on: 12/15/07 10:01 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 12/15/2007 10:15 PM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2007
Posts: 26,510
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I've never read a Jodi Piccoult book. But she seems to be talked about a lot on the Chick Lit board. So I figured she's chic-lit. I haven't read much CL in the last few years so I'm out of touch with the genre.

Date Posted: 12/16/2007 5:30 PM ET
Member Since: 3/25/2006
Posts: 240
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If you look at the Chic-Lit tab on the message boards, it says something like it's not Harlequin for women.  Conversely, I'd say to the women on that board that consider Jodi Picoult chic-lit (which she is NOT) that just because a book is written by a woman, and it's not a "Harlequin", doesn't make it chic-lit either.