The title doesn’t make sense does it? You’re probably wondering, how can a genre be popular if no one’s heard about it? I might be exaggerating a bit. I guess you can better describe interracial romance as a genre that hasn’t been brought to the level of other romance genres.
You might wonder how I’ve come to this conclusion. Well I write interracial romantic suspense books and doing that has put me in contact with many readers in general. I’ve spent years speaking with readers about their book-buying habits, their interests, their favorite genres, and why they like some genres but not others. I’ve also come in contact with many readers whose eyes bug out when I describe what I write because they’ve never heard of interracial romance books. It boggled my mind until I looked at the bigger picture.
When you have an interest in something, it’s hard to accept that others might not even know what you’re interested in, exists. Of course, readers know of interracial dating and relationships. This is nothing new. Movies and television shows have been depicting interracial relationships for forever. So why are some people so surprised to hear of this genre? Why do more people not know about it?
And let me tell you, interracial romance is a huge seller. The bestselling books in this genre are books featuring black women and white men couples. During years of research, I’ve come to find out that more black women read these books than anyone. Not only that, but most black women who read interracial romance either have an interest in it or they date interracially. It’s not a stretch to think that a reader would flock to the types of books they relate to.
I have some theories.
My first is that interracial romance does not get the same respect or attention as other romance genres. If so, why not? Is it because it’s still an uncomfortable subject for people? Is it because readers outside of the interracial culture can’t relate to it? Is it because big publishers ignore it and when they do publish interracial fiction, it’s depicted offensively? Is interracial romance a negative thing for some readers? It could be and probably is any one of those reasons concerning some individuals.
What about this theory?
Could it be just the lack of attention for this genre? What gets me is that many authors in this genre are extremely popular, but even the biggest authors in the genre have not received the clout or attention as other romance writers. Maybe those of us in the genre don’t support ourselves or each other enough. Maybe interracial romance authors need to do more in the community to bring awareness. Maybe we should start marketing our books to all types of readers instead of just those we know support us. Is it a case of us not bringing our books to different readers? I know I try to bring awareness, but how many others actually make the effort? Is selling books enough or do we want to bring interracial romance to the level of the other clearly respected romantic genres. The more I investigate, the cloudier things become.
I think everyone agrees that the readers are a huge part of the success of a genre. We have many faithful readers in the interracial genre, and they must let the world know about these books. Authors also have a duty to as well. I am constantly supporting and promoting the interracial genre in hopes that one day, these books are on everyone’s lips whether they want to read them or not.
We also need to do better with promoting these titles. We need more reviewers, book clubs, blogs, and sites dedicated to this genre. Whatever happens, we have to make people aware. Now there is nothing wrong with being an underground genre, but I would like interracial romance to be much more. I believe that’s only fair for the authors and readers of this fantastic genre.
What do you think is the reason that interracial romance hasn’t reached that level yet? Do you feel that the subject is still too taboo for some readers?
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