If you are thinking of becoming a romance writer, the competition will be stiff. But by the same token, with over 30 million dedicated readers, there is always room for more. This is one market that will never be saturated. But, even with that uplifting thought in mind, romances, like any other genre, need to be marketed. These are the best sites to help you ensure your romance is a success.
1. Stephie Smith … Fiction with Humor and Heart
Host: Stephie Smith
Stephie Smith (who describes herself as a "Database Administrator for a software systems and services company... oh, and, yeah, I write") has put together this excellent general resource for romance writers.
This site has everything you need to get your romance off the ground – book review sites, online resources for period romances, book news, and general writing resources.
Site features: An incredibly well-organized spreadsheet of contests, including sponsor, cost, eligibility, dates and genre (genres other than romance are also listed); general writers' resources, publishing and promoting your book, grammar, agents, epublishing, script writing, romance writing; romance book review sites; and some wonderful historical resource sites, including period costumes, coinage, ships and, of course, pirates. Be sure to check out Stephie's fabulous links.
2. Top 50 Romance novel blogs
Blogrank – an extremely useful site for investigating any type of blog – ranks blogs according to the number of unique visitors, RSS feeds, Alexa ranking, monthly visitors and various other criteria. Visitors to some of these blogs number in the millions. A number of these high-profile blogs review books, others allow guest bloggers. If you want to get noticed in the romance community, this is a good venue to pursue. Posting a guest article on one of these blogs will guarantee traffic to your site. (Scroll down to the bottom of the link to see the other genres ranked by Blogrank.)
3. Romance Junkies
Writer's Digest named Romance Junkies one of the “101 Best Web Sites for Writers” for three years running. Romance Junkies is an impressive site, with written reviews, interviews, trailers, bloghops and contests. With over one million hits per month, this is one of the most heavily trafficked romance review sites on the net.
Site features: Reviews of romance novels, author bios and spotlight, a “cocktail hour” with featured writers, contests, free reads, a writer's corner offering information on Indie publishing, critique partners, and articles about the craft of writing. Submissions by paper or PDF attachment: http://www.romancejunkies.com/contact.html
4. Passionate Pen
Host: Jenna Peterson
This is an excellent website put together by Avon author, Jenna Peterson. Here you will find links to publishers and agents who accept all kinds of romance, writing tips, research and marketing links. The information on publishing is particularly useful for writers – of any genre – who are trying to break into the print market.
Site features: Extensive list of agents representing romance writers with links to their submissions pages, a complete list of romance publishers (including electronic publishers, a large-print library and Christian presses). Also includes a very useful submission checklist with detailed instructions for contacting agents and publishers as well as a great list of links covering every aspect of the publishing industry.
5. Romance Writers of America
General membership is $120.00
If you are a romance author, this is the organization for you. The RWA, a nonprofit association, represents more than 10,250 writers and publishing industry professionals in 145 chapters offering local or special-interest networking and education. RWA hosts an annual national conference and contests and awards for both published and unpublished writers. Membership includes subscription to the monthly Romance Writers Report, and access to lists of approved agents and publishers.
Site features: Statistics on the romance industry, description of sub-genres (with word counts), reader statistics, awards, chapter contests, an honor roll and “hall of fame.”
6. Paranormal Romance Guild
The Paranormal Romance Guild, AKA ("PRG") supports and promotes authors of the paranormal romance genre through the organization's website and special events. The Paranormal Romance Guild (PRG) was officially recognized on October 31,2009. The PRG is a non-profit organization.
The site features a blog, submissions for reviews, a list of author members, a list of accredited agents specializing in paranormal romance, preferred publishers, preferred artists, and more.
Membership of $50 a year includes participation in NY Times and USA Today author interviews and chats, book promotion on other sites, "beta" readers, access to a forum for author critiques, information on upcoming contests, and more. Free membership is also available.
Additional sites of interest
Romantic Times Book Reviews - RT reviews every romance novel published, including every sub-genre - mystery, sci-fi, horror, historical - you name it.
Smart Bitches, Trashy Books - "All of the romance. None of the bullshit." This is a cool site, and a must for romance readers. They've appeared in USA Today, The New Yorker, The New York Times, The Washington Post, Metro:New York, Salon, and ... wait ... Wait, Wait, Don't Tell Me. "Smart Bitches Trashy Books began in 2005 as a community of romance readers eager to talk about which romance novels rocked their worlds, and which ones made them throw the book with as much velocity as possible. Since then our site has grown to include a community of incredibly smart and savvy romance readers, as well as folks who are curious about all those fuchsia books with the tangerine skies and turquoise ruffles they used to see in the drug stores."