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Might it not be worth writing Victorian Era Romance? (1 Viewer)

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Cat Laurelle

Senior Member
I love the Victoria and all 18th-19th Century romantic stuff. But I've heard most authors that started in that subgenre have since switched up to modern times for their settings in their romance novels. I still would like to at least play with some plots and ideas, but does it sell anymore? Does anyone know if publishers have abandoned buying that sort of stuff? Am I one of the last only readers of that time-period, or does an audience that is of substantial size still exist for the truely old-time English romantic novels?
 

froman

Senior Member
Two words. Steampunk romance. I don't know if it's been done but it would be interesting.
 

Rustgold

Senior Member
I'd wonder whether it's a combination of it being an era that no-longer appeals to those types of female readers, plus that you'd need to write something better than the classics to sell. When you can get away with 2nd rate material in a modern era (and still sell), it would partially explain that trend.
 

The Backward OX

WF Veterans
I love the Victoria and all 18th-19th Century romantic stuff...but does it sell anymore?

Cat, why don’t you just go look on the shelves and see what’s there?


I'd wonder whether it's a combination of it being an era that no-longer appeals to those types of female readers, plus that you'd need to write something better than the classics to sell. When you can get away with 2nd rate material in a modern era (and still sell), it would partially explain that trend.
If Victorian era romance appeals to Cat it’s a fair bet she’s not Robinson Crusoe. There’ll be thousands of others, who would make up her readership.
 

LugubriousLenny

Senior Member
There used to be a big market, I know that. Not sure if the term resonates today, but it used to be called "pulp fiction" when I was a kid.

Now I'm trying to stifle the nostalgia. Please, someone, tell me there's still some cheap, badly-printed rag with the worst romantic fiction ever written in it?
 

froman

Senior Member
Jonathan Strange and Mister Norrel won the Hugo award for best novel a few years ago. It wasn't a romance but it was written in that (older) english style.
 

Bloggsworth

WF Veterans
Depends how you write it. If you write it in genre but with 21st century insight and don't compromise the readability by trying to use cumbersome old fashioned methods of address I see no reason why it wouldn't find acceptance. A lot of novels from that era could be heavy reading, Dickens, Sir Walter Scott & Co., I doubt that would find acceptance nowadays. Wilkie Collins was lighter in tone, but still a bit convoluted, so I think you should go for it if you think you have a good story to tell.
 

movieman

Senior Member
Romance seems to be the biggest seller in self-published ebooks, so even if it doesn't sell to a publisher it may well sell to readers.

And the novel I'm finishing off at the moment is kind of a Victorian horror romance so I'll see how well that does :).
 

Aello

Senior Member
A steampunk romance novel could sell decently; type "steampunk" into Facebook or Google; there are quite a few large groups of fans still out there. So even if, like movieman just said, a publisher won't buy it you should still be able to find plenty of readers online.
 
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