Most people who have not been lucky enough to read a romance book think that all romance books are the same.
Of course, those of us who actually read and enjoy romance know that this genre is vast and varied.
Romance is a literary genre that has many sub genres. Even some of the sub genres have sub genres or themes.
But no matter how many different types of Romance sub genres we have they all have one thing in common:
An emotionally satisfying and optimistic ending
I’ve been a reader of romance for more then a decade and I just started realizing about two years ago that there was a whole world of romance I didn’t know existed.
Why are there so many seb genres in Romance?
I think it all has to do with supply and demand. The writers and publisher hear what we want and write it and then it gets classified so that we can easily find it. Sometimes that’s a great thing and sometimes that’s a horrible thing.
How can this classifying system be horrible?
Let’s say you like romantic suspense and therefore you only look in the romantic suspense category when you are checking out books. Because of that you will only see books and authors that fall under Romantic Suspense. Big deal you say? It is a big deal. Just think about all the great stories and authors you are missing because your reading focus is too narrow.
I realized a few months ago that I was guilty of this. That’s why I decided to create the Ultimate Romance Reader Challange 2015. I decided the best way to widen my romance reading horizon was to read two books out of every sub genre of romance Amazon listed.
I hope by the end of this year I will find an appreciation for all the genres and even stumble across a new favorite author or two.
So, just how many sub genres are there?
Category Romance: Also known as Series Titles. Category Romances are short books with no more then 200 pages or 55,000 words. The books are published in clearly delineated categories, with a certain number of books being published in each category every month. Each book in a line will usually share a theme but be different from each other.
Single-Title Romance: This label is given to any romance book not published as part of a category. They are longer books with 350-400 pages or 100,000-110,000 words. Each book is different and will stay on bookshelves until the bookseller decides to take it down.
The following are common themes of Contemporary Romance:
- Baby Love
- Chick Lit
- International Lovers
- Love in the Workplace
- Rock n Roll
- Rubenesque (also Curvy or Plus Size)
- Vacation Love
The following are common themes found in Erotica:
- African American
- Multiple Partners
- Science Fiction
The following are common themes in Historical Romance:
- 20th Century
- Gilded Age
- Native Americans
- Paranormal Historical
- Restoration and Enlightenment
- Suspense and Intrigue
- Western and Frontier
The following are common themes in Inspirational Romance:
The following are common themes in Paranormal Romance:
- Shape Shifters
According to RWA the following sub genres and tropes are the most popular in the Romance genre:
Top romance subgenres by format read primarily:
Print: #1) Romantic Suspense (53%) #2)Contemporary Romance (41%) #3) Historical Romance (34%) #4) Erotic Romance (33%) #5)New Adult (26%) #6) Paranormal Romance (19%) #7) Young Adult Romance (18%) and #8) Christian Romance (17%).
E-book: #1) Romantic Suspense (48%) #2) Contemporary Romance (44%) #3) Erotic Romance (42%) #4) Historical Romance (33%) #5) Paranormal Romance (30%) #6) New Adult (26%) #7) Young Adult Romance (18%) and #8) Christian Romance (14%).
Top 10 popular romance tropes: (#1) Friends to Lovers (#2) Soul Mate/Fate (#3) Second Chance at Love (#4) Secret Romance (#5) First Love (#6) Strong Hero/Heroine (#7) Reunited Lovers (#8) Love Triangle (#9) Sexy Billionaire/Millionaire (#10) Sassy Heroine
According to Amazon: the following Romance Genre sub genres are listed from the most amount of books to the least:
Amazon Romance Genre Print Books (559,350)
- Erotic (220,651)
- Contemporary (142,522)
- Historical (60,672)
- Paranormal Romance (41,098)
- Romantic Suspense (32,071)
- Fantasy (17,724)
- Romantic Comedy (17,058)
- Inspirational Romance (16,764)
- Gay Romance (15,664)
- Regency Romance (12,944)
- Young Adult Romance (12,507)
- Western Romance (11,277)
- New Adult (10,412)
- Vampire Romance (7,408)
- Multi-Cultural Romance (7,213)
- Holiday Romance (6,935)
- African American Romance (6,891)
- Gothic Romance (6,320)
- Military Romance (5,954)
- Science Fiction Romance (4,612)
- Time Travel Romance (4,364)
- Lesbian Romance (4,208)
- Sports Romance (3,337)
Amazon Romance Genre EBooks (251,571)
- Contemporary Romance (92,026)
- Paranormal Romance (31,021)
- Historical Romance (29,536)
- Romantic Suspense (26,276)
- LGBT Romance (18,655)
- Fantasy Romance (17,850)
- Romantic Comedy (14,710)
- Inspirational Romance (14,601)
- New Adult Romance (9,108)
- Western Romance (7,917)
- Multi-Cultural Romance (6,471)
- African American Romance (6,359)
- Holiday Romance (5,970)
- Science Fiction Romance (5,742)
- Military Romance (5,202)
- Sports Romance (2,977)
- Time Travel Romance (2,772)
- Gothic Romance (895)
No matter what sub genre you like to read or what format you like to read it on,
there is plenty of reading material to last you a lifetime!
So no more excuses. Go out there and explore the world of Romance!
Friday @ 9 am “Does Showing Pride in Your Appearance Really Make a Difference?”
Monday @ 9 am “How to Craft The Perfect Plus Size Heroine“
- What is your favorite sub genre of romance? Why?
- What is your least favorite sub genre of romance? Why?
- Do you feel a sub genre and/or theme was left out?
- What do you think of the popularity numbers and amount of books published per sub genre?