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Love in the Time of Corona: Romance Novels 2020

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    December 3, 2020 8:06 PM EET

    When the April launch of The Happy Ever After Playlist by Abby Jimenez (Forever) pivoted from an in-store discussion at Magers & Quinn in Minneapolis to a ticketed YouTube livestream from the author’s living room, Jimenez marshalled her many resources. With her husband behind the camera, her teenage daughter opened the event by performing three songs from the book’s playlist on her guitar. Then Jimenez chatted about the novel with Erin Campbell, Food Network Holiday Baking champ and general manager at Nadia Cakes bakery, which Jimenez owns.To get more news about Read Adult Novels Online For Free, you can visit freewebnovel official website.

    The event was a hit—Magers & Quinn sold 700 books, Jimenez says—and Forever hopes to build on that success as it looks toward forthcoming releases, including Farrah Rochon’s The Boyfriend Project (June), which PW’s review called an “effortless rom-com.” Garden District Book Shop in New Orleans has run a preorder campaign for signed copies and on June 9 will host Rachon and Jimenez in conversation on the video platform Crowdcast. “We’re lucky as authors to have so many different tools to be able to do things like this,” Rochon says. “If this had happened a decade ago, I’m not sure how a book launch would have gone.”

    Amid the Covid-19 pandemic, Romancelandia is reaching out to fans in creative ways. For this feature, PW spoke with authors and editors about how book tours and conferences have morphed into social media events, hashtags, Zoom meetups, and virtual bookstore visits, and what this means for readers and writers of romance. For She’s Faking It (Graydon House, July), which PW’s review called a “timely romance” that “skewers social media fantasies,” Kristin Rockaway had scheduled numerous in-person events, often alongside fellow HarperCollins authors such as Tessa Dare or Alisha Rai. She’s quickly adapted to the new normal: in April, she participated in an Instagram Live hangout with the owner of Bibliobar in Dallas and chatted with Lyssa Kay Adams (Crazy Stupid Bromance, Berkley, Nov.) in a Facebook Live event hosted by the Escondido (Calif.) Public Library and the podcast Tea & Strumpets.

    Virtual events may not be ideal, Rockaway says, but there’s a bright side: “Technology allows us to share the event afterward, and connect to readers beyond those who were there.” The ability to connect across geographies appeals to authors who are disappointed about not being able to meet fans in person. “I’m hearing from readers who are excited that they get to be included in activities they often miss because they don’t happen to be held where they live,” says Sarah M. Eden, who writes for Shadow Mountain’s Proper Romance line. “We’re building this broader sense of community.

    That’s something we should continue to embrace; we can do a better job of expanding our reach.” In March, Eden began posting YouTube videos of herself at home, reading a chapter a day from a 19th-century penny dreadful, The Mysteries of London by George W.M. Reynolds. The effort ties into 2019’s The Lady and the Highwayman, which PW’s review called a “sweet, lighthearted historical,” and its forthcoming follow-up, The Gentleman and the Thief (Nov.)—both books are set in the world of Victorian-era penny dreadful novelists. It’s also been a way to engage with fans, who listen along with their families and speculate online about what might happen in the next chapter. “Our readers’ lives are chaotic and uncertain, and people are concerned and worried,” Eden says. “Reaching out with sincerity has been helpful for me and my community.” Nisha Sharma, whose contemporary romance The Legal Affair (Avon Impulse), second in the Singh Family trilogy, pubs in August, has been reassessing how best to show up for her readers and be accessible in a public virtual space. “I’ve always attempted to demonstrate my authentic self on all my platforms,” she says, “but I’m doing that more so now than ever.