According to a member of “publishing’s inner circles,” all the participants in the Women’s National Book Association’s latest panel discussion “seemed to agree that [chick lit] has a ways to go before it reaches its peak.”
Meanwhile, a newish magazine for fans of romance novels, Arabella, appeared on bookshelves last fall. An article originally published in the Chicago Tribune explains:
Arabella is filled with all things romance, including eight pieces of short fiction (the amateurish illustrations need work), horoscopes and book reviews, as well as tips for budding romance writers and industry market news.
Romance sales statistics for 2002 (issued by Libby Hall and published in the November 15, 2003 issue of Library Journal) show that romance novels continue to dominate the popular fiction market:
In 2002, 2160 romance titles were published. Total Sales exceeded $1.63 Billion, and romance novels accounted for 34.6% of the total fiction market and 53.4% of mass market sales.
Within romance, the genre breakdown was:
Historicals 26.7% (Regencies are 16% of the historicals)
Inspirational (Christian) 7%
Young Adult 0.5%
(Thanks to Christian for the statistics.)