Thanks for this list of publishers who came…and went. Makes me feel a little better about the volatile period now. I’m a hybrid, first published by a small press in 2011. That press wouldn’t accept my second-in-a-series book because my heroine stuck with her hero in the second book. So I had to get a reversion of rights for my first-in-a-series book…so I could indie-publish the second book. Within a year, my small press was not only accepting ‘continuing’ romances, but they also opened their doors to literary fiction, with much less romance required. In a short 20 years, I’ve seen a ton of changes in the romance field. And, by the way, I got my romance push from Herman Wouk’s Marjorie Morningstar. Never read Woodiwiss…not ‘weaned’ on Harlequin.
I did some research on romance favorites for an article I wrote. I was interested to see Goodreads list of ‘the best’:
<p class=”font_8 color_11″>Goodreads Ten of the Twenty Highest Reviewed Romance Books: Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell; It Ends with Us by Colleen Hoover; Me Before You by Jojo Moyes; Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen; The Thorn Birds by Colleen McCullough; Outlander by Diana Gabaldon; The Hating Game by Sally Thorne; Dark Lover by J.R. Ward; Fallen Too Far by Abbi Glines; Bared to you by Sylvia Day… (Charlotte Bronte and Nicholas Sparks appear on this list of 20)</p>
<p class=”font_8 color_11″>When I asked my romance writer friends what author sparked their desire to write romance, many mention Kathleen Woodiwiss (The Flame and the Fire). Jude Devereaux, LaVyrle Spencer, Judith McNaught and Katherine Neville are big influencers, as well.</p>
I learned that a single book ‘turned’ authors into romance readers/writers…and they never looked back. It’s a compelling genre, for sure!