I met my friend Catherine for coffee and cake today (okay I was the one eating the cake, lemon, very tasty) and like me she writes, though her choice is horror- traditional bloodthirsty vampires not the vampire/werewolve romances that have started to predominate since the Twighlight series of books became best sellers.
We always look to see what books are on the shelves in our local branch of the big W (you all know who I mean) in our preferred genres, and I've not bought a romance novel from there for quite some time, though I used to spend quite a bit every couple of months.
For many years our branch had at least four bookcases of romance covering contemporary, historical, paranormal and traditional Regencies- many of them were imports from the USA as there were few UK imprints of the best known authors recent books.
I didn't mind paying more instore, even though I could have bought them from Amazon cheaper. I could start reading my favourite author's latest book on the bus home.
Then Twighlight happened.
Two of the bookcases became filled with nothing but paranormal romances with their black covers. A stark depressing contrast to the depth of colours binding the remaining romance books. Even bright pink chick-lit covers didn't look too bad then.
More changes and the romances were moved around the back of the bookcase and placed next to Erotica. Now I didn't have a problem with that, as some romances can border on erotica, and there is now a wider market for this area of writing.
Then the major store changes were implemented and everything was moved, which leads to the current situation of a limited number of historical romance being situated between Erotica and Horror- yes next to Horror, Stephen King and his ilk.
Just doesn't help when you're trying to find a good romance to read.
So now I buy online, or as e-book downloads, and my research and historical romance fixes are satisfied.
Okay, book shops of any size can't stock everything for everybody the way online suppliers can.
So, if you buy romances of any category, do you buy instore or online? Does price play a part in your choice?
I'd like to hear your views...