Thoughts on the wild, the weird, and the romantic from author Joy Nash

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Joy Nash is a USA Today Bestselling Author and RITA Award Finalist applauded by Booklist for her "tart wit, superbly crafted characters, and sexy, magic-steeped plots."

» Friday, February 17, 2006

One thing a woman absolutely won't do in front of a man...

Pick her nose? Pluck her chin hairs?


Buy romance novels with half-naked hotties on the cover.

At least, that's my suspicion after doing a booksigning on Valentine's Day. The bookstore's manager wanted a Romance Author for The Big Day of Romance. After all, what's more romantic than a romance novel? She was sure my books would sell as quickly as the Godiva chocolates on the table. She even arranged for a keyboardist nearby, playing dreamy love songs.

I set up at 6 pm and stayed until 8:30. The store, a large chain bookstore, had a very nice stream of traffic for a weekday evening. A lot of couples strolled through, probably on their way to or from one of the many restaurants in the shopping center.

Not one couple bought my book.

And it wasn't because the women weren't interested. They were. You could tell by the way they picked up the book, turned it over and read the back cover copy, then gazed up expectantly at their men. Then their husband/boyfriend/date would make a snarky comment and the woman would sigh and put the book back. And this happened over and over again.

One guy said, "She don't need romance from a book, she gets enough at home."

I just bet.

The experience got me thinking - just why won't women buy clinch cover romances when men are watching? I'm guessing it's because they don't want their men to feel inadequate. A guy might look at the hunk on the cover and get the feeling that he can't measure up.

Which he absolutely can't. Any more than his wife or girlfriend can compare with the beauties in the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue. This is because a romance hero, like a good deal of female cover model cleavage, is fiction.

Would you buy a half-naked guy in front of your Significant Man? Why or why not?

My Valentine's Day booksigning wasn't a total loss - I did sell books, just not to couples. Women without male discouragement bought my books. Also, men shopping alone snagged copies for their wives/girlfriends as Valentine's Day presents. Apparently some men are smart enough to know that a romance novel is a great incentive for romance.

Or maybe guys just don't realize what's in those books.

Until Next Friday,


Blogger Penelope Marzec said...

My hubby knows better. He never complains when I pick up a romance book. However, the cover of my latest book did shock him a bit--but I think he's getting used to it.

7:23 PM  
Blogger Jennette Marie Powell said...

Hi Joy,

Found your blog through your post on the FF&P list. Interesting topic! I would not have expected this, but after reading, I'm not surprised. Can't really put it to the test myself, as I can't imagine even getting my husband into a bookstore.

8:19 PM  
Blogger Sandra Schwab said...

*LOL* Woe betide the man who'd dare to make a snarky comment when I'd want to buy a romance novel (clinch or no clinch)! But it's true, some men apparently do have a problem with romance. Thus, several years ago a would-be boyfried deemed it appropriate to voice this most brilliant idea of his that I wouldn't need to write romances if I only I'd jump into bed with him. Which brought a rather abrupt end to his particular relationship. *g*

I didn't know you were a manga fan, too. How nice! :O)

12:27 PM  
Blogger Cyndi Redding said...

Hey Joy!

Congrats on the blog and the booksigning! I did a Valentine's day gig with e-books last Feb. It was in mid-coastal Maine where computers are still a "new fangled" item. LOL.

I had fun anyway since there were lots of nice people to talk to, 4 other authors and all our husbands in the store. The guys browsed for 3 hours while waiting for us! We all agreed that THAT was love!

Check out my blog--the Cybercyn Cafe. I blog on Wednesdays. Today I'm blogging at the Liquid Silver Books blog. As you may have guessed, I'm a big fan of the blog! Welcome to the fun!

Experience an original Cyn

3:06 PM  
Blogger Jordan Summers said...

I've never had any problem buying romances in front of my dh and he knows better than to make a snarky comment. I wish I could say the same about the male checkout clerks. :-/

5:12 PM  
Blogger Caroline Clemmons said...

I love your book covers, but CELTIC FIRE is especially nice. I've bought romance books with my husband along, so I'm surprised by your experiment. Maybe my dh is more secure than some, or just sweet enough to know I love my romance novels.

3:15 PM  
Blogger Joy Nash said...

My dh doesn't blink, no matter what I buy. But we've been together for a loooong time. Some of the couples traffic for my Valentine's Day signing were young, and maybe hadn't been dating for very long. I'm not surprised they were a bit shy!

7:47 AM  

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