Romance Novels Pulped for Road Resurfacing

Current mood:  animated
Category: News and Politics

It’s my turn to blog today at The Many Shades of Life and Love and here is my post:

I have a mate who constantly ribs me about my erotic romance novels. He sends me snide little emails asking how the business is treating me. He asks how the panting and kissing and slobbering are going.

I email back, telling him I am making a living from the books he sneers at…well, I’m able to pay some bills, anyway. He, however keeps tilting at windmills. Not that I have anything against him tilting at windmills. I am a dreamer, myself.

But I am sick and tired of people putting down romance novels. This morning, he forwarded me an online item all the way from Wales, written by Robin Turner who reports that thousands of Mills & Boon novels [the British equivalent of Harlequin romance novels] have been pulped ‘into tiny fibre pellets, called bitumen modifiers, and are used to hold the ‘black top’ in place, resurfacing roads such as the M6 and M4.’

According to the article, ‘a mile of motorway consumes about 50,000 books and several million Mills & Boon novels have gone into them.’

That’s better than burning them, I suppose.

If you check the quoted lines above, it is clear that not only romance novels have gone into filling roadways, but romance novels take a licking and despite all the teeth gnashing, they keep on ticking.

The truth is, the publishing industry world-wide has been trashing, pulping and otherwise destroying books for decades.

This is the big ugly secret that publishing doesn’t tell it’s starry-eyed new authors. I knew about it because I worked in bookstores for years and I used to cry at night when I was forced to rip the covers of perfectly good books to be shipped back to publishers.

It was like killing babies to me.

I also work in a public library and I know how quickly newly released books become obsolete.

I am also a published author and I learned early on that the average shelf life of a new book in the stores is two weeks.

That is why ebooks are breathing new life into publishing.

An ebook can live forever. Paperbacks resulting from them also can live forever because most are POD, meaning when you order from Amazon or whatever, the book is printed immediately and shipped to you. Most of the big NYC publishers are going POD now for this reason.

No more pulp, no more street fillers.

I want to remind all the high-falutin’ authors out there that it is predominantly romantic and erotic fiction that sells in ebook format.

We have paved the way, literally, for the rest of you. So remember that as you pen your next Great American Novel, Romance Lives Forever.


Aloha oe,


Currently listening:
Simple as a Sunrise
By Daniel Ho
Release date: 2005-07-04

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