Bookish Posts

Over coffee: The overproduction of Romance Novels

Good Morning! Afternoon! And Evening Bookworms! It feels like forever ago that we had a little conversation over coffee, doesn’t it?


Today’s topic is one that I’ve wanted to discuss for a bit but never really had the time to. The Overproduction of Romance Novels. Authors who pump out novels approximately every 2 – 3 months or so.

Over Coffee is a segment at A Novel Idea in where we discuss all things bookish. Ranging from events, book blogger tips, book releases and predictions, and how to’s.

Over coffee: The overproduction of Romance Novels

I know of a few authors that have a new novel coming out almost every other month at a consistent pace. And at first, I didn’t really know what to think of it. Every reader wants the next story from their favorite author. I’m guilty of sometimes wishing my faves wrote faster (very unfair really lol) myself. However, the more I saw new books of these authors on Amazon kindle or in other sites, I began to wonder how it was possible to push out these stories so fast? What sacrifice did they have to make as far as story-telling? And Why would they pump these novels out like an industrial machine?

Obviously, these are questions that have way too many possible answers. So I decided that I was going to give some of them a chance. Their stories could be what I like to call “buffer” novels, romance novels that I like to read in between my usual behemoths (900+ page books). These authors usually write 250-450 pages which are relatively short so what’s the harm right?

Two authors that I see frequently on my kindle roster are: LJ Shen and Tijan. Both authors are know for their New Adult Novels and their steamy romances. They like to write about the bad boy type and sometimes their novels teeters into the dark romance category.

The first novel I read by Tijan was a while back and unfortunately, It wasn’t for me. I found the writing to be over simplistic and choppy. The characters were flat. However, since Tijan has a plethora of novels out, I decided to look for other’s that might be a better match for me. An endevour that I quickly found to be pointless.

My first LJ Shen novel was Vicious. I have to admit that even though there were some parts of the short novel that had me scrunching my nose, I enjoyed it. I wanted to continue with the series and was even a little happy that she had two spin off series taking place in the same universe. However, after that first book, I noticed a trend.

Why could the overproduction of romance novels be a bad thing?

From what I’ve seen from the two authors above and seen from many others is that they begin to recycle the same exact plot device with “different” characters. They begin writing one dimensional characters and loose world building. The romance is disconnected and seemingly out of nowhere. Stories that have great potential fall flat and the amount of eye-roll moments seem to increase with each book.

An otherwise what could of been a greatly told story, even if it had the same plot, leaves the taste of over watered coffee in your mouth.

Why could the overproduction of romance novels not be so bad?

While the above are very huge possibilities in pushing out romance novels too fast, we can’t ignore that sometimes it could be a good thing. For both the fans and the Authors.

For one, it allows the author to share all the stories they’ve wanted to write with their fans. Maybe they are skilled enough to write more than one story at a time (Super envious of that. I can’t even finish the one I’ve been writing for years); Or maybe they wrote the entire story out in one go, from beginning to end, and had to break it up into several books. Either way, their fans don’t have to wait too long for the next thing. The fans can expect another tale from their favorite author. On top of that, The authors have a steadier income and are always present in the book world.

They become more well known in the community. Not to mention, there is also the possibility that out of the 4 – 5 books they push out within the year, 1 of them might be the bigger best seller.

Overall Thoughts on the overproduction of romance novels

Obviously, these are just my opinions and observations. I do think that there are many circumstances to take into consideration. Like mentioned above, the author could’ve written the entire series in one go and had to push the stories out in different books throughout the year. Or maybe they just write fast. Or recycle the plot and embellish the story with other characters. It varies.
But I am a firm believer that stories that are written with more time in between each other are usually better written, better edited and better revised. The characters aren’t as flat and the world building tends to be better. The romance is more palpable and the story overall is more memorable.

What are your thoughts on the overproduction of romance novels? Are there any authors that you find that do it well?

Let me know in the comments below!

Jeimy

Over coffee: The overproduction of Romance Novels