Sarah MacLean writes about bookstores that refuse to sell romance novels, even though most romance readers read between 12 and 15 books a month:
The [book release] party was held in an independent bookstore near my hometown that does not carry romance. It was fun. I talked for 20 minutes, took questions for another 40, and a good time was generally had by all. We sold 90 books in 2 hours (and only 2 of them to my mother!); I was thrilled.
Afterward, the manager of the bookstore approached and said, “That was great! We’d love to have you again…if you’d like to come back.”
Would I! “I’d love to. And in the meantime…would you like me to sign the leftover stock?” This is a thing that bookstores ask of us, typically, when we go to visit them. It basically means…we have some of your books on hand, and if given the choice, readers would rather have a signed book than an unsigned one, so would you sign what’s around so new readers can get signed books from us? Honestly? I asked knowing the answer. I’ve never had a bookseller say no to that question, and I’d just sold 90 books! Clearly, people in Rhode Island loved me!
“No,” she said, as I attempted to keep my jaw from dropping. “Our customers don’t read romance.”
WHAT?! 90 Books! She’d been there! In fact, she was the one who told me we sold 90 books!
And yet…her customers…they don’t read romance?