- On the hardcover fiction list, the highest “romance” book I recognised was Janet Evanovich‘s “Twelve Sharp”, which was ranked at #7. Romance in quotes because strictly speaking, I suppose the Stephanie Plum series isn’t romance. Ah heck, it’s shelved under Mystery, but you know what I mean – it has Morelli and Ranger! I’m slightly surprised – I mean, I knew Ms Evanovich is one of the big-hitters, but I didn’t think she sold so well. Heh, that’s probably why her novellas get published in hardcovers… (right, I’ll stop going on about that now)
- Nora Roberts‘ “Angel Falls” came in at #16 on the hardcover fiction list. She also topped the paperback fiction list with “Blue Smoke”. Both of these are contemporary romantic suspense, which probably appeals to the widest reading audience. I’ve read both – umm… probably preferred “Angel Falls” to “Blue Smoke” as I think the suspense plot was stronger there, but neither really stood out for me.
Also on Publishers Weekly (and again via SFBC) was a reference to Charlaine Harris‘ Sookie Stackhouse series – guess what they called it? Noir contemporary fantasy.
Now that’s a new one for me – here’s the whole quote (part of an article that asked various SF/F publishers about where they saw the genre heading):
“At Ace/Roc,” says editor-in-chief Ginjer Buchanan, “we are using various approaches to grow the sf/fantasy audience.” These include an Ace/Roc page on the corporate Web site (www.penguin.com) and an increased use of the Internet for marketing—with video trailers, podcasts, author blogs on the corporate site, buzz mailings, etc. Buchanan notes that, in the fantasy genre, “we’ve had great success recently with anthologies done on the Berkley list that feature both romance and fantasy authors.” Last year’s bestsellers, she adds, continued to be noir contemporary fantasy, such as Charlaine Harris’s Sookie Stackhouse novels, the latest of which, All Together Dead, is due out next month. The booming subgenre, Buchanan reports, continues to be noir contemporary fantasy, along with a growing interest in postapocalyptic/alternate history.
I suppose the terms “urban fantasy” and “paranormal” are getting old pretty fast. It’s an interesting subgenre name – I’m going to have to think about what other books could possibly fit into that, maybe Jim Butcher‘s Dresden Files series or Karen Chance‘s Cassie Palmer books. Actually, thinking about it, what’s so “noir” about Sookie Stackhouse anyway?
Finally, if you haven’t seen, Nalini Singh has a couple of posts up on her international covers – call me weird, but I’m completely fascinated with the differences between covers in each country and/or region. It’s interesting to see how something that works for one country doesn’t necessarily suit another.