Over the Christmas holiday, I spoke to The Times (and by default, The Daily Mail) about the enormous popularity of romance novels on Kindle. The reporter asked me if I thought it was due to the fact that on Kindle, you can hide the cover of your novel in a way that's just not possible in paperback form.
I reckon that's part of it. There is indeed an unfair stigma attached to romance, and riding the Tube with your sexy cover displayed for all the local pervs to eye up might attract some unwanted attention. Plus, there lurks the stereotype of the spinster getting her kicks through such books. And it doesn't help when the article itself used cliched language like 'bodice rippers' to describe romance novels; someone please tell me how that's romantic?
The bit the reporter didn't include was this: romance novels are fast-paced, entertaining and well plotted. They're as difficult to write as any genre, and as enjoyable. That's why romances are so popular, and always have been. And with the low prices available on Kindle, the masses are pouncing on them yet again.
So this brings me to my question: have you ever wanted to buy a book, but were turned off by a childish/ too feminine/ embarrassing cover? And if you have a Kindle, would you consider buying that same book now?