Marketing Meetup Recap: Catching the Romance Reader

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The American Booksellers Association recently presented a Marketing Meetup that focused on bookseller strategies for marketing romance titles in their stores.

The July 11 Marketing Meetup, hosted by ABA on, was titled “Catching the Romance Reader” and featured guest speakers Billie Bloebaum of Third Street Books in McMinnville, Oregon, and founder of Bookstore Romance Day; Tracie Fain of The Book House in Atlanta, Georgia; Clarissa Murphy of Silver Unicorn Bookstore in Acton, Massachusetts; and Angela Trigg of The Haunted Book Shop in Mobile, Alabama.

Here are some of the tips the speakers shared on how indie booksellers can better welcome and promote romance books in their stores:

  • Participate in Bookstore Romance Day on Saturday, August 17, an event designed to give independent bookstores an opportunity to celebrate romance fiction and strengthen the relationship between bookstores and the romance community.
  • Join The Romance of Bookselling Facebook page, where indie booksellers discuss romance fiction and ways to break the stigma around the genre.
  • Build a relationship with your local Romance Writers of America (RWA) chapter, which can help booksellers create romance-focused events and programming with local authors.
  • Sign up for HarperCollins’ Heroes and Heartbreakers newsletter.
  • Check out The Kiss Club on, which features a romance book for $3.99 each month.
  • Clearly display romance titles in-store, stock a diverse selection, and organize by subgenre when possible.
  • Be on the lookout for romance reviews in Publishers Weekly and Shelf Awareness for Readers to stay in the know about what to recommend to customers.
  • Talk up the genre and publicize it in-store through staff recommendations and reviews, and be sure to market both in-store and online.
  • Host and promote romance-themed book clubs and find readers on social media.
  • Follow popular romance authors on social media, as they’ll also talk about what books are trending right now.

The American Booksellers Association now offers two opportunities for live online education: a twice-monthly Marketing Meetup and a monthly Technology Meetup. All member booksellers are invited to participate in these online discussions; subscribe to the mailing list here to receive invitations for the Technology Meetups, Marketing Meetups, or both.