Paranormal Romance in the UK
I hear this ‘paranormal romance’ malarky is jolly popular in The United States of America.
I took this photo when I was out shopping the other day. OK, so I was in WHSmiths which, for those of you who don’t know, is the place to buy books if you don’t really like books.* But even so…
UK and US writers sometimes talk about how differently romance is regarded and marketed on either side of the pond. I thought this was a neat illustration of how the Brits do it (or rather, how we don’t). This is actually the first time I’ve seen a section of a shop labelled ‘paranormal romance’. In the booktrade, these stands are known as ‘dumpbins’. That was the section. It wasn’t a dumpbin standing next to several similar shelves. That was it. You may need to click through to the big image to see that most of the titles are in Norwedic or somesuch.
*WHSmiths used to stock erotica. In my local Brighton branch they shelved it under ‘Crime’. I kid you not. And once in that shop (the only time ever, anywhere) I saw someone actually buy one of my novels – a copy of Asking for Trouble. A bloke. He was standing there, merrily reading dirty books and breaking their spines, as men sometimes do because it’s their section, and I went to stand sort of behind him/next to him with my female friend. There were two copies of AFT. After a few seconds of ‘acting natural’, I said to Sally, in my best casual voice, ‘Oh, this one’s set in Brighton, it’s meant to be really good’ and pulled down one of the copies. Bloke immediately selected the other copy and scuttled off to the till.
I imagine he wanted, most of all, to get away from me and Sally but hey – sale!