Sunday, October 24, 2010

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Breaking News: SFR Authors To Be Released in Germany

I have wonderful and exciting news that I’m finally able to share with all of you:

Twice this past year, LoveLetter Magazine broke the news that three science fiction romance authors will be released in Germany. They are: Ann Aguirre, Eve Kenin, and Linnea Sinclair! First, I’d like to extend my congratulations to the authors. Best wishes for many happy sales.

This is big news for several reasons. First, Germany is (according to this 2008 article) “the second largest book rights market in the world after the US.” This means, in addition to their obvious great taste, German readers read international novels. On a side note, if you’re interested in learning about the German romance market before LoveLetter launched, click here to read “An Introduction to Germany’s Romance Scene.” The article is quite an eye-opener, especially given that around 2003, “Futuristics, audio books and military romances are also hard to find in Germany”.

Secondly, LoveLetter has been steadily reviewing science fiction romance novels for some time now. Founder and Editor Kris Alice Hohls and her team have been featuring our beloved subgenre for the magazine’s readers in conjunction with my monthly column. That’s incredible advocacy on Ms. Hohl’s part, and I count myself amazingly lucky that I get to be a part of it all.

Keep in mind that the magazine’s readers can’t simply go out and buy the books reviewed and/or the ones I write about. (If, like me, you’ve ever been a fan of international entertainment fare that’s not available to you for purchase—sometimes for decades—you can understand their frustration). So the fact that German readers can finally sample a few of the current science fiction romances for themselves is a cause for celebration!

Which brings me to the third point: German publishers are starting to take a chance on science fiction romance. That’s quite a risk, especially given how much of a risk the subgenre is for American publishers. I heartily salute them. While we can hope that romances in an alternate technological setting (whether in the future or past) will translate well internationally, there’s no guarantee. Still, my fingers and toes are triple crossed.

A final point I’d like to make is that how well science fiction romance succeeds as a viable subgenre depends on a whole lotta factors. Authors have to give readers something fresh and exciting to read. Publishers need to know there’s an audience for the stories and also how to market them. Readers who enjoy talking about said books have to reach many, many other readers. Ultimately, everyone involved has to be ready for change.

I believe there’s an applicable saying here…a very simple one, really: “Change is good.”

Joyfully yours,