And when I say “we”, I’m referring specifically to authors who write interracial romance, and this disheartens and angers me on a level you couldn’t possibly imagine (Maybe you can…)
In the last few months, I’ve spoken with a few authors who are well-known in this genre who are just fed up for a myriad of reasons:
- Sales are down or non-existent because let’s keep it real, IR romance featuring women of color don’t get the exposure and recognition that a mainstream or even gay romance does. You can do all the promoting and takeovers and blog tours in the world, but if nobody is actually buying your book, what’s the point?
- Readers aren’t leaving reviews. Yes, I know this is a heated topic among authors and readers about whether or not a reader should leave a review, but I’ve recently discovered that reviews not only provide feedback to an author, but they actually help the author’s book get seen on the e-tailer’s site. There’s actually some special algorithm where if an author has a certain number of reviews, then their book gets listed in the “Readers also purchased…” category underneath a similar listing. This is huge exposure for an author.
- Internal bullshit. By this, I mean that anyone who is deep in these IR romance community streets knows that this genre is very clique-y. If you’re not a part of the cool crowd, then your book won’t get mentioned or recommended or shared. Petty? Yes. But the truth of the matter is, it really does happen.
Some of my favorite authors are telling me that they’re going to be writing fewer IR titles. This could mean we’ll literally get only one or two IR titles a year, they’re going to go mainstream, or it will be a combination of the two. Now don’t get me wrong. I am not angry with these authors for doing what they need to do to further their writing careers. I’m just pissed at the reasoning behind it. I love my IR authors, and I admit that I’m selfish (lol) and don’t want to share them with the general public. Will I still read and support them though? Hell yeah…