So, Fiona Love is still chugging along in sales, one Kindle download at a time. My sister is convinced I’m not gonna pop on Kindle. That I need to sell actual print copies of my book in the neighborhood where most of the urban romance readers are.
She even did a little informal research, asking around to see where my readers might be:
“Your daughters read urban fiction right?”
“Where do they get the books from?”
“I don’t know. Some little shop up the street.”
“Are they on Kindle?”
“Hell no!” – laughter – “They can’t afford it. And even if they could somebody would probably steal it from them on the bus.”
OK, aside from the utter sadness inspired by this dialogue, she’s got a point. I might find more readers in the black neighborhoods than I would in the Amazon Kindle store. But A, I’m not interested in hand to hand sales like that. B, I don’t classify my stuff as urban. I write romantic fiction. Some may attach the interracial label to it, but at it’s core, I write stories about a man and a woman falling in love.
Hell, I don’t know. Sometimes I’m royally confused which direction my marketing should take. Yet I know for sure I do not want to limit myself to Black readers. That market’s too small. Remember Borders? That section for African American authors? F- that. I wanna be global! I wanna be on the table next to Nora Roberts, Francis Ray and Lori Foster. But I also don’t wanna be a damn fool.
I suppose at the end of the day I gotta keep writing and try to make this thing pop the best way I can. If I try to do something I don’t feel strongly about, chances are the shit’s not gon’ work anyway. So I may as well let my work convince everybody in the audience of readers in my mind that they’re just reading a great romance story, not an urban romance with associated labels and -this-isn’t-for-me-limitations.
Call me idealistic, a pie in the sky dreamer, but this is my dream. I gotta do it my way. Even if right now I don’t know what the H E double hockey sticks that is. LOL
What does urban romance mean anyway? I grew up in the suburbs! I’m being facetious, but there is a distinct genre of books that fall into that category. Think Triple Crown Publishing, which is beyond successful. But that ain’t me. My fictional environs stretch into more middle class territory if I’m honest, and that’s a genre that’s not being well served.
Where are all the books about black girls like me who went to all white schools growing up and were weaned on long-haired hackeysack playing hippie boys? There are a lot of us – if you’ve ever been the only little ink spot in the room raise your hand?
Everybody’s always got an opinion, but they don’t sit down in front of my computer and try to make two people fall in love.
I’m gonna write good stories, romantic fiction that everyone can enjoy. I’m not gonna deny any color or anything. My story and the love between my characters will be at the center of it all, which is as it should be.
I know I love stories like that, no matter what the main characters look like.