One thing has been clear from the very start of our digital distribution network: Romance sells.

Titles from three Romance publishers—Harlequin, Kensington, and Dorchester—can make up more than 25 percent of total eBook sales on sites that don’t specialize in the subject. That doesn’t even include romance titles from other major publishers like HarperCollins, Penguin, and Random House.

When it comes to Romance readers, eBooks provide two things these customers want:

  1. Instant access to thousands of titles. Romance readers devour books. When OverDrive started distributing eBook titles to retailers, Romance readers were early adopters of the format and have, like many other genre fiction readers, helped eBooks go mainstream. Why? Because they no longer need to plan a trip to a brick-and-mortar store or wait for a print title to ship. These avid readers suddenly had instant access to thousands books.
  2. Anonymity & community. Many Romance readers like the anonymity of purchasing Romance eBooks instantly online. You can read them on a computer or mobile device discreetly, without the shirtless hunk on the book’s cover announcing that you’re a romance reader. Internet anonymity has also allowed communities for Romance readers to sprout up, providing online word-of-mouth marketing that wasn’t available to readers a decade ago. (Just look at the comments Smart Bitches, Trashy Books posts.)

Romance is easily the best-selling subject across OverDrive’s global distribution network. And OverDrive’s catalog includes tens of thousands of Romance titles available to retail partners. For bottom line sales, a robust Romance catalog is essential.

Tip: Be sure to keep your metadata up to date with the latest catalog feeds from Content Reserve to keep in sync with specials from Romance publishers. If you’re promoting free or low-cost titles, then you’ll become a source for Romance purchases in the future.

Dan Stasiewski is a marketing associate at OverDrive.

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