Redmond, WA’s Redmond Reporter’s opinion writer Samantha Pak recently published a great piece about romance books. She spoke with Brick & Mortar Books, an independent bookstore, about the genre. Below is an excerpt.
At Brick & Mortar Books in Redmond Town Center, the romance section sells just as well as any other section, according to bookseller Casey Blair. And when you take into account that it’s the store’s newest section, only having been around since the end of February 2018, that’s pretty impressive.
Blair, who is the romance buyer for the store and leads the store’s romance book club (of which I am a member), said the genre’s reputation is not in line with how progressive it is now. While there has historically been a lot of white biases within the genre — both systemically on the publishing side, as well as in terms of content — things are changing. Publishing companies are starting to get the memo that people want to read books not just about white people, Blair said.
As I like to put it, people of color fall in love too.
Blair said at Brick & Mortar, they want to make sure people of color are represented in what they carry because representation is hugely important. They want to be as reflective of the community’s demographics as possible. This is their way of doing their part to demonstrate to publishers that there is a market for diverse stories, Blair added, noting that The Kiss Quotient by Helen Hoang is one of their bestselling books. It’s a romance featuring a woman who is on the autism spectrum and a man who is half Swedish, half Vietnamese.
Follow the link for the full article; it’s great!