Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Another One Bites The Dust

An agent recently told me that because of its content and length, Leftovers is suitable for one-- AND ONLY ONE--place: Harlequin's NEXT line.

Well, guess what? Word came down yesterday that NEXT is folding. Yep. Harlequin's foray into category-like boomer lit is no more as of January.

Hate to say it, but I'm not surprised. NEXT was supposed to be about women in the next stage of life--y'know...empty nesters, late-in-life-pregnancies, women starting over after their marriages fell apart...a noble idea, to my mind. Only one problem: I picked up a freebie at the RWA conference in Dallas and was underwhelmed by the writing.

Which (I hate to say this even more) is how I feel about most books marketed as romance. The honest-to-god truth is, out of the hundreds of books I've picked up at the conference, I've read--as in gotten to the end of--about........two. Maybe three. I'm ready to admit this says more about me than the books. But then, since lines seem to come and go faster than new sitcoms, perhaps its a combo. Flipside, Duets, Bombshell, Everlasting...all category lines gone by the wayside.

And it's not just category...chick lit imprints have dwindled, too.

In fact, the only "romance" doing well seems to be the stuff that appeals to the younger demographic, e.g., erotica, paranormal, sci-fi, urban fantasy, and so forth.

I'm sorry, but yuck. Just not my thing. So forget writing and searching for markets, what's a girl like me gonna read?

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