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Archive for the ‘Polls’ Category

The media can blather on all day about how the Kindle is trampling Sony in the eReader wars, but is this an accurate reflection of the formats and devices romance readers use?


I’d love to see a spoof a la the “I’m a Mac. And I’m a PC.” commercials. Are you a Kindle or a Sony, and what would those two look like if made human?

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It may not be a scientifically designed or executed poll. No professional pollsters called up households across America to pester them for their opinions, but here at KR, at least, it’s official. When asked “Are You Embarrassed Reading Romance in Public?” a resounding 63% say, no. Only 7% stated that they were worried what people would think.

It’s a question that definitely resonates with romance readers and writers. I posted links to the poll on various writers forums, including¬† Absolute Write Water Cooler, where a week later, the discussion continues.

Below, are a variety of responses, representing the No, Yes, and Sometimes Embarrassed camps.

Nope! Don’t mind the bodice-ripping or even the waxed mantitty…Oddly enough, the only ones I might hesitate to lug around in public are the real old-school, white cover-couple-in-clasp Har/Sil’s. They just seem so…old. But, yeah, considering a good portion of the world doesn’t read AT ALL, I dare someone to challenge me about WHAT I’m reading!

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Heck no. I’ve taken Harlequin Presents, Silhouette Desires, and even Kensington Aphrodisia books with their super steamy covers into the waiting room of my OB/midwife. Since I’m there, like, every week now that I’m pregnant, I need something interesting to read. You can only read so many baby magazines before you gag.

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YES!! This is a major reason why I love my Kindle and my romance novel readership has gone way up. No way would I want someone seeing my “Lord of Scoundrels” or “Wed Him Before You Bed Him” book covers. Some of the cover art is very embarrassing and more information than I want total strangers to be able to glean about me.

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No way. I read them proudly because I refuse to let someone else’s opinion make me feel bad about my personal tastes…I read ebooks because I have thousands of books rotting in storage already. I have no room left for physical books. It’s so much easier to load a few novels on my PDA and stick that in my purse than it is to stick a few books in my purse.

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I actually had one guy try to hit on me at a Starbucks once because of what I was reading. I guess he thought partially naked guy on the cover = me wanting to jump in the sack with him??? Nowadays, I’ll take a mystery or thriller with me instead. It sends a different message and tends to keep the weirdos away.

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I like romance covers. Really I do. I adore bare, six-pack laden stomachs and rippling pecs. That said, I don’t want someone I normally work with in a professional setting (like my office) seeing that I read steamy books…For me, it’s less about being embarrassed, and more about keeping a professional appearance and distance between myself and my co-workers or casual acquaintances.

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I don’t mind being seen reading smut, although I don’t think that the daily bus commute is either the time or place for damp panties… it’s the mushy crap with the period costumes I find embarassing. I find most of the covers as embarrassing as softcore porn DVDs.

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I think it’s up to the publishers to change the perception if they want it done, not me. They should stop making them so tacky if they want to expand the fan base into readers of women’s fiction and literary fiction. It’s certainly possible. I loved Diana Galbadon’s first book. I would not have bought it if it had the standard lurid romance cover on it. I wouldn’t have looked at it twice.

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I’m not embarrased at all to read romance in public, in fact, I love to do it! I flaunt the fact that I like to read dirty books, and sometimes I find the dirtiest passage and make my friends read it just to see their reactions.

It’s an open, very frank discussion, which, as one commenter pointed out, publishers would be smart to follow. You’ll find many more thoughtful, and irreverent, responses in the threads at The Cooler.

Are You Embarrassed Reading Romance in Public?” will remain active through August 30, so if you haven’t already chimed in with your opinion, please do!

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Yesterday, I was contacted by Sara Stewart, Features Editor for The New York Post, who was curious about eBooks and romance readers. She asked me if I thought the increasing interest in reading romance novels in eBook format was due to the fact that no one can see what you’re reading on a mobile device.

Personally, I believe the increase is due to the fact that romance readers buy a lot of books. However, it got me thinking. How self-conscious do readers feel when reading romance books in public, if at all?

Weigh in with your opinion below.

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With RWA Nationals underway in Washington, D.C., a good deal of contentious talk has circulated over discrimination against eBook romance authors, notably the lack of official programming for the format at the conference, and the difficulties eBooks face in qualifying for the RITA Awards. Romance Writers for Change, would like to see this change, and is playing a vocal role at the conference, advocating for better recognition, rights and opportunities for electronic romance fiction within RWA.

What’s your opinion? Are current RWA policies keeping you from joining the organization?


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