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  • Writer's pictureAnnika Pillai

traditionally published vs indie published romance


When I started out in the romance genre, I used to exclusively read traditionally published romance books––and I actually think this is the case for a lot of people; traditionally published romances are more accessible, and just in general better suited for people dipping their toes into romance books. I think that authors like Emily Henry in general, seem to be more enjoyed by readers who only occasionally read romance, as opposed to readers who only read romance. That’s not to say that I don’t regularly enjoy traditionally published romance, because I do, but the majority of my favorite romances are indie published books.


Indie published books makeup a huge part of the romance industry––but they hardly ever get recognition for this, and are often excluded from the conversation.


The Goodreads Choice Awards for the romance category rarely ever includes indie-published romance books, when sometimes they are some of the best romances to be released that year!


Furthermore, traditionally published romances rarely ever have adequate representation––and if they do, it has taken years for it to get that way. Indie published romance are often more quick to diversify their work. That’s not to say that the diversity in indie-published romance books is 100% better, because it is not––but there is definitely a case to be made regarding the huge influence of indie-published romances, in the romance industry.


I almost exclusively read indie-published romance these days; I feel like they are not only better than traditionally published, but they also tend to not be as formulaic as traditionally published romances can be. Obviously publishing houses want to churn out a certain type of book, and especially in the romance industry, that can lead to certain requirements, or certain types of books being put out.


I'm writing this, because I think that the romance industry is evolving, and after seeing the candidates for the Goodreads Choice Awards for the romance category––more so, the lack of indie authors on the list––I only hope that this change will be further recognized, and that indie published romances will get a bigger seat at the table of Romance.


Every single year, more and more, popular indie published romance books are put out, and I have yet to see one make the Goodreads Choice Awards nominee list. Here's to hoping that next year, things will be different.

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