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Publishing Romance: The History of an Industry, 1940s to the Present

3.87  ·  Rating details ·  15 ratings  ·  4 reviews
Romance novels have attracted considerable attention since their mass market debut in 1939, yet seldom has the industry itself been analyzed. Founded in 1949, Harlequin quickly gained market domination with their contemporary romances. Other publishers countered with historical romances, leading to the rise of "bodice-ripper" romances in the 1970s. The liberation of the ...more
Paperback, 334 pages
Published February 26th 2016 by McFarland & Company (first published November 15th 2015)
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Sharon
Jan 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is not a casual read; it is, in fact, a scholarly and businesslike examination of the romance novel industry in the US from its beginning in the late 1940s up until approximately 2014 (the book was published in 2016).

There are chapters on trends in content and cover art, mergers and acquisitions, and how digital-first imprints are changing the industry. Some of it is long and convoluted, but it's important to know where romance novels came from in order to perhaps understand (serving as a
...more
Jessica (RomancingtheBookworm)
Jun 20, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: romance-studies
I was delightfully surprised by how much I enjoyed John Markert's book! I certainly expected to be interested by it, since Romance Studies is my academic area of expertise, and Publishing Romance offers a new, industry based perspective (rather than the usual content based perspective) of the romance genre. However, I didn't expect the book to be as accessible, and at times downright entertaining, as it was. He even made me laugh a few times, and I wrote "THIS!!" in the margins more than once in ...more
Jackie
Feb 12, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: rnff
Looking back at my Goodreads history, I see that I began reading John Markert's Publishing Romance: The History of an Industry, 1940s to the Present all the way back in November of 2017. It's an invaluable piece of research about the history of the business, moving beyond Margaret Ann Jensen's Love's Sweet Return: The Harlequin Story (1984) and Jay Dixon's The Romance Fiction of Mills & Boon 1909-1990s (1999) to examine all of the North American publishers that, at one time or another over ...more
ZepysGirl
Sep 08, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: nonfiction, library
Ive been reading this textbook all summer. Its a very in-depth history of the industry (normally broken down into what is Harlequin doing? and what is everybody else doing?). I do like it, although it was a slog. ...more
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