RomBkLove W3: Change In what ways has the genre changed since you started reading? What change do you want to see in the genre?
I sometimes wish someone would put out a Mindset List for romance. As someone who only started reading romance in the last decade, I am short on historical perspective. There are things that define my experience as romance reader, things that I take for granted that are still suspicious newfangled innovations for people who have been reading romance for 40+ years.
If I were to write a mindset list for myself it would include some of these statements:
- Romance has always been digital
- Self-publishing has always been a thing.
- Covers have always featured headless torsos or inanimate objects
- Social media like twitter and fb have always dominated romance fandom.
- Erotic Romance and m/m have always been a subgenres
But in these short decade I have also seen a lot of change. I've seen several publishers crash and burn, many more be absorbed into large publishing empires. I have seen trends come and subgeneres rise and fall in popularity (Bikers, Billionaires, Massive Box Sets, Serials...). Hard to know what changes will stick or where they genre is going next. I do know that I love the Diverse book movement and the greater visibility of #ownvoices books and authors in the romance community. There is still a lot of change needed in the way Romance portrays the stories of marginalized people and how it recognized voices that are not white-cis-het but I'm in awe of the work by LGBTQ, Black, Asian,and Latino authors to bring their stories out despite the foot-dragging of gate-keeping editors and reviewers.
What changes big and small have you noticed in Romance since you started reading? What changes are needed or wanted?