Paranormal Romance in decline?

Somewhere this week, and truly I’ve been searching to find where it was because I neglected to book mark it!, I read that Paranormal Romance is in a decline and that publishers are looking for more contemporary stories in a couple of different areas, including ones with fantasy elements.

Okay, my first thought was shit! I’ve had this world created and have been working on it for so long I’ve missed the boat.

The second was, wait, what to they mean by decline? (and honestly I don’t think this was the exact word they used. I think it was ‘sales are down’ or something). But then… that doesn’t mean paranormal isn’t selling, it’s just not selling perhaps as well as it used to. (incidentally, cowboys are, apparently, very hot) So whew, I still have hope.

However, if sales are down, then publishers are going to be more selective so I really need to get this story in ship-shape.

But then, in the same article (seriously!! if you find or know the piece I’m thinking of please link to it in the comments!) the writer said publishers were looking for contemporary romance. There were a couple of different areas of contemporary but the one which stuck with me was fantasy elements were okay (’cause, you know, I’ve got a bit of tunnel vision on these things). Um, okay, then maybe I’m still good? Fae? Weres? what do they mean by fantasy elements?

All I know is the romance genre market does shift. Not that long ago Regency seemed to be queen along side Romantic Comedy. Note that these still sell well, but perhaps not at the stellar height they used to.

So I think I’m okay. Just need to get this wrapped out and out.

Oh, did I mention I’m on page 322 of editing/revising? Things are going well. And yes, the H/h have finally had sex. Whew, I’d forgotten about that scene!


Found where I’d seen the comments! One of my writing buddies was at RT and posted his impressions on what he’d learned in a private writing blog. Which explained why I didn’t find it when I went back through my history.

I’ve gotten KevaD’s permission to quote his comments:

I was there to meet up with some authors and talk with a Kensington publicist.

Apparently contemporary is really showing an increase in sales of late as paranormal sales go down. Erotica has the major publishers’ full attention right now, but now that they have actually read “Fifty Shades of Grey,” they are going to be really picky about the erotica novels they sign. They’re insisting on quality pantie wetting (my terminology), not whatever they can shovel out to the masses.

Thank you Amber Green for pointing me in the right direction!


11 thoughts on “Paranormal Romance in decline?

  1. But all I can write is paranormal romance, fantasy romance, urban fantasy!! 😉 Only time will tell I suppose. Good luck on your edits. I just finally shipped my manuscript to the editor I hired last night after working on my own edits for 6 months. I honestly don’t know what to do with my hands now. Oh that’s right, start outlining the sequel.

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  3. I’ve been an avid PNR reader for 20+ yrs and I hear this every year or so, and there’s sometimes a corresponding slump in the number of new paranormals being released. Then a few weeks later, paranormal romance is back stronger than ever. The thing is, when readers tire of one paranormal being, say vampires or werewolves, and sales start to slide a little, there’s always a new creature waiting in the wings – witches, fey, angels, demons, etc.

    Detractors of paranormal keep waiting for readers to tire and turn to another subgenre, and keep predicting that turn, but they underestimate the creativity of paranormal authors and the range of beings we’ll develop. They also fail to understand the faithfulness of readers for favorite authors, series, and characters, or the ever-increasing appetite for new ones.

    So, even if sales are down a little now, never fear, they’ll be up again soon.

    Truly, I think the only thing that could have a real and serious negative impact on PNR sales would be an economic climate in which few books of any kind sold, or a social/political climate which made reading such materials dangerous. Even then, I think writers would find a way to get their stories to readers – not on the same scale, of course, but now that the appetite is there, it will demand to be fed.

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  5. Wouldn’t worry about this too much. I agree with the comments above and would like to add that I noticed this trend when Amazon classified my stories Contemporary>>>Fantasy. Yes, they’re paranormal & romance.

    ~ Aithne

  6. This happens every few years. It gets all big and the market is flooded and then it slumps. then with a little time it shoots back up. Readers will always have a love for paranormal romance.

  7. I’m almost positive the article I read was from someone reporting on what publishers were saying at the RT convention in Chicago. Man, I hope someone links to it!

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