Like all markets, the Romance genre is difficult to break into. That is doubly so for the Inspirational Romance Market. There are dozens of publishing houses that print romances, but only a handful who publish inspirational. And, it doesn’t stop with the publishing. Once a book is released, it doesn’t automatically appear on the shelves in the romance section, regardless of the publisher. Just take at look at the aisle of books at your local book store. The romance section contains hundreds of selections, anywhere from contemporary to historical; from time travel to vampires; from Jane Austin to chick-lit. Now step over to Religion/Christian Friction section. It is probably the same size, if not smaller than the entire Romance Section. And, the novels are listed by author’s last name so you need to read almost every type of book offered to find the two dozen or so romances among the bunch, unless you are already looking for a particular author.
To me it just doesn’t seem fair. Don’t get me wrong, I love a good romance, secular or inspirational. You will find me in both sections every time I am lucky enough to spend time in a bookstore, so this is not about one over the other. It is about why Inspirational romances are segregated. As they are romances, why can’t they be shelved in the regular romance aisle? It seems as if only Inspirational Romances are separated out from the other romances. Does anyone know the reason why? Paranormal/Sci-Fi Romances are with romances and not Sci-Fi, and Wild West Romances are not put with Westerns. I could continue to list examples but I am sure you get the idea.
So, is there a reason why Inspys are segregated? And, do you agree with the practice of not shelving Inspirational Romances with all of the other romances? It is simply something I have wondered about. Not passing judgment, just curious.