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3 Tips for Novice Romance Authors

The romance genre consistently ranks as the top selling category of genre fiction. What can the self-published novelist do to gain success in this popular, yet crowded, niche?

  1. Understand your audience. According to Romance Writers of America, 84% of romance book buyers are female and the average age of the romance reader is between 30-54 years old. Keep these demographics in mind as you write. And as you market once you’ve completed your book, but that’s a whole separate blog post.
  2. Romance novels have formulas. Use the formula.
    1. A hero that a reader loves (or loves to hate) and a heroine that is sympathetic.
    2. A conflict that is believable. The “thing” that keeps them from getting together needs to be reasonable.
    3. A happily ever after. This is not negotiable. If writing happily ever afters does not set you squarely in your happy place, rethink the decision to write romance!
  3. The emotional connection and the physical attraction should be front and center. Focus on emotional payoff. Romance readers want to connect with the hero, heroine, and the survival of the relationship. It’s okay to include some action, but don’t skimp on the emotions.

Maybe the most important thing you could do to prepare for writing romance is to read romance. Consume romances like candy, in the style of most rabid romance readers. The more you read, the more you’ll see the elements that appear over and over again. You’ll develop an instinct for what works and what doesn’t. Check out lists like USA Today Bestsellers and start reading.
Write on, friends!
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