Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Top Five: Paperback Romance

I haven't done a Top 5 post in ages, mostly because the same five books seem to be sitting on top of our holds queue here at work. I think The Help by Kathryn Stockett was published for the sole reason of making me crazy. I'm convinced that book is never going to die. Of course I said this about The Da Vinci Code too, and it eventually did - it's just going to take time.

So since I don't want to talk about Kathryn Stockett, Nicholas Sparks, Alice Sebold, Steig Larsson or Lisa See - we're going to talk paperback romance. Cuz that's how we roll here in the Bat Cave. Behold! The Top 5 paperback romances currently in demand for my library system.


Archangel's Kiss by Nalini Singh - When you spend a lot of time online, it's easy to think that the romance genre revolves around Romance Bloglandia. News flash: It doesn't. There are scads of people out there who read their romances in a vacuum and have no clue that people actually blog about romance novels. For that matter, what's a blog? Case in point, while many bloggers were raving about Singh starting with her first non-category novel, my romance reading patrons are just now starting to catch on. This one currently has the highest request to copy ratio in system among paperbacks. Three requests for every one book.


McKettrick's Of Texas: Tate by Linda Lael Miller - This is not a surprise at all. LLM has been writing and publishing for a long time, is a regular fixture on various bestseller lists and this one is the first book in a new trilogy. Naturally, people want to read it.







Ravishing In Red by Madeline Hunter - Hunter isn't the most popular historical author among our library patrons, but she routinely puts up very respectable numbers. I've seen very positive reviews for this one all over the darn place, and frankly that cover is all sorts of eye-catching. Once the wait list is satisfied, I think this one is going to see very steady circulation numbers.






The Elusive Bride by Stephanie Laurens - The Avon historical contingent tends to do very well here at work, and our two-headed monster is Stephanie Laurens and Julia Quinn. I know hard core romance readers tend to scoff at hard cover books, but I honestly feel that Laurens' foray into hard cover helped her mass market sales overall. That's my theory anyway, assuming library stats count for anything.





Street Game by Christine Feehan - Looking at demand and request numbers, aside from the blockbuster hard cover authors (Nora, JAK, SEP etc.) Christine Feehan is probably our most popular romance author. Doesn't matter what series we're talking either - I always get a nice healthy wait list for her latest. At one point this one was my most requested, in-demand romance title regardless of format. It was out-pacing the hard cover releases. Seriously. My library patrons love them some Feehan. Or else they can't seem to quit her. Either way, she's a rock star.

19 comments:

nath said...

You're right that many don't follow blogland, but I'm still surprised... aren't these people curious about what's coming out and reviews? Especially reviews?

Ah well, interesting to see those are the top 5 books. Actually, it makes a lot of sense :)

Seriously, Nicholas Sparks?

Jennifer Estep said...

I have Tate in my TBR pile. I'm a sucker for westerns, contemporary or historical.

BevBB said...

Wow, that's an interesting top five, Wendy. Never would've thought Feehan and Singh would both be on it with those other three. See, it's not them being on it, it's the whole combination that's interesting to me. ;-)

When you spend a lot of time online, it's easy to think that the romance genre revolves around Romance Bloglandia. News flash: It doesn't.

Heh, yeah, that's what I keep telling people online but I'm not sure they believe me either. Most of the romance readers I know offline rarely if ever spend any time online. I'm not sure how that skews most of the opinion/issue-oriented posts within romance bloglandia, either.

You're right that many don't follow blogland, but I'm still surprised... aren't these people curious about what's coming out and reviews? Especially reviews?

It's been my experience that they pretty much browse what comes out as it becomes available. It's only when they reach the point of wanting more than that, that they start searching out reviews through some source or another.

SandyH said...

Interesting list and I have actually read three of the five.

Kristie (J) said...

"When you spend a lot of time online, it's easy to think that the romance genre revolves around Romance Bloglandia. News flash: It doesn't. There are scads of people out there who read their romances in a vacuum and have no clue that people actually blog about romance novels. For that matter, what's a blog?"

It doesn't????? Well thanks for bustin' my balloon there Super Librarian.

*g*

Of all the ones you've listed, the only one I've read is Ravishing in Red. I used to read LLM all the time but was somewhat disappointed in the last few books of her I read and she kind of dropped off my radar.

CindyS said...

Thanks for posting this - I need something to read pronto and I have to say - I've never read Feehan and wow, that one has a back list.

I think I've read a few LLM books years ago.

And I've only read one Stephanie Laurens and I didn't like it - maybe have to give her another try.

Now I have to go google The Help and see why people need it - is it an Oprah book?

CindyS

Wendy said...

Nath: Like Bev mentioned further down - they browse. When I was working with the public more directly, I used to have countless people ask me "When does Author X have a new book coming out? I love their books!" They're just not as obsessive as some of us :) And *sigh* yes, Nicholas Sparks. Dear John is flying off the shelves because of the movie.

Jennifer: I still have her last trilogy in my TBR. I suck.

Bev: Yeah, it's easy to forget. If you live your whole life online you think everyone must hate secret baby books and has an e-Reader. Um yeah....no. No they don't.

Sandy: I thought so too.

Kristie: Sybil really liked LLM's last contemporary trilogy but alas, in my TBR (naturally). Heh - and sorry to bust your balloon.

Cindy: Feehan does too much series-baiting for my taste - but a couple of the So. Cal. Bloggers like her Ghostwalker series.

I thought FOR SURE that Oprah was going to pick The Help the last time she did a book club pick. It has Oprah written all over it. But alas, I was wrong and she didn't. Not yet at least.

BevBB said...

Feehan and the Ghostwalker series. When she first started doing that series, it was one I thought I'd really like. I read two, maybe started the third and it was like - ugh. Seriously. Have never picked up another one. Not sure exactly what it was but I came to a dead stop on that one.

And, yet, I still follow the Carpathians and they're up to what? Like the 20th book? Don't think it's quite that bad but close. Maybe. ;-)

You just never know what's going to connect, even within certain author's backlists.

Liza said...

My niece took my copy of Tate out of my TBR pile and took it home with her this past weekend. She did leave me 3 other by LLM, so I think I'm good.

Amy said...

Wendy, John and I just started going back to the library here locally. When I discovered how to search for books online through their members only section, I thought "glory days, see how much this will save me at the bookstore!".

WRONG, our library doesn't have nearly the variety in romance that others do. Grrr. Trying to find some of the paranormal stuff is a challenge, and the database hasn't even heard of Nalini Singh -- gah!

Wendy said...

Bev: I was still with TRR when the first Ghostwalker book came out. It had it's moments for me, but there was just way too much series-baiting. She kept introducing all these random, interchangable, hunky guys that really served NO purpose to the story at hand - and that sunk things for me.

I never got hooked on the Dark books, but holeee - WAY popular here at work. Especially in audio.

Liza: Lori hooked me up with Tate (heeee, that sounds dirty). It's literally sitting in a tote bag on my home office floor. I really need to get my book organized. I haven't dealt with any of them since the last So. Cal. Blogger get together.

Amy: You want me to start driving East? I'll get 'em straightened out! LOL My advice? Look for some of the hard cover stuff. Maybe the library will be a good way to satisfy your fix for those authors who publish in hc?

Zoe Archer said...

Back when I worked at a bookstore, people would come in, mumbling about some book with bees in the title, and I'd rattle off, "Sue Monk Kidd, The Secret Life of Bees." That happened all the time.

Wendy, does anybody ever ask you where the Self Help section is? I'd get that periodically and it took a lot to keep from responding with a smart ass answer.

Amy said...

That's what I plan on doing, Wendy, re: hardcovers and probably some mysteries too. I'm about to wrap up the latest Lisa Gardner, The Neighbor, and have to go pick up the Patrick Swayze semi-autobiography, The Time of My Life, which they've held for me.

I'm going to start asking them about some of the urban fiction/paranormal authors that I've been hesitant to buy. Maybe they can do ILL?

BevBB said...

When I was working with the public more directly, I used to have countless people ask me "When does Author X have a new book coming out? I love their books!" They're just not as obsessive as some of us :)

My own sister has at most about four or five authors that she follows and a few books stuffed under things here and there. If that many.

I have literally bookshelves and boxes full. All over the house.

Heck, my own kids only follow a couple of authors religiously. Technically, I think I function as their alternative "library" if you want the truth. Most people would be simply amazed at the sheer number of books most of us that find each other online have. I mean it's why we share information with each other, isn't it? :-D

And to me that's when it passes from simply being about about reading to being about collecting - when people think you have your own libraries in your houses and you can't really disagree. ;-)

Wendy said...

Zoe: LOLOLOL - "Self Help," that's priceless! After a while I got really good with memorizing Dewey Decimal numbers. "Where are your cookbooks?" 641.5.

Amy: Yes, definitely ask about ILL. Also, that's a fabulous way to get your hands on out-of-print titles.

I need to read more Gardner. I listened to Say Goodbye on audio last year and lurved it.

Bev: Right there with ya. I'm the family's de facto librarian. Even back when I worked directly with the public, I probably answered more reference questions for my family.

My Lil' Sis is a hard core library user, but she will borrow books from my personal stash. Although she only tip-toes through the romance genre. She'll read romantic suspense, erotica, and some erotic romance. No way in heck do I think I could get her to read a historical or category.

Carol said...

I order all the fiction for the library where I work, and sometimes patron requests really baffle me. Like you, I find Christine Feehan one of our most in demand authors, and our catalog lists 50 items by her, including books,audiobooks and e-books. Yet, I get frequent e-mail requests asking me if I plan to order her latest title. Why would they think that after ordering every other book by her, I planned to skip the latest? It's Christine Feehan readers more than any others who do this.

Wendy said...

Carol: My most recent example of that was when an anonymous staff member sent in a request for me to purchase the next J.R. Ward book. Um, yeah. Since I was buying them back when nobody was reading them (our patrons didn't hop on the bandwagon until Book Three), it's pretty safe to say I'll be buying the new one. Trust me.

BevBB said...

You know, I'm be truly curious to see what Feehan's Dark series real demographics are even there's probably no way of finding out what they are.

I say that because my son is a fan of them and he likes them for the universe. Yeah, I know. Weird. ;-)

He's read every single one of them and waits expectantly for the next to come out. As far as I know, though, he hasn't touched any of the others by her. Unless, maybe, it was some of the shifter stories that are connected to them.

I guess what I'm wondering is whether she might've broken out of the "romance" label with that series while no one was looking.

Wendy said...

Bev: I think you might be on to something there. Certainly part of Feehan's appeal is the fact that she was doing paranormal WAY before the current upsurge in popularity. For a while there, she was it really.

Also, I'm really curious how the sales of the graphic novel went (Dark Hunger). Did it mainly sell to people who were already fans? Or did it tap into a whole other market that didn't know Feehan existed?

Something to ponder at any rate....