Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Harlequin's Romance Report

Because I blog about the romance industry, today I received an e-mail teaser about Harlequin's annual Romance Report, a press release on which is scheduled for tomorrow. Here's a snippet:

This year’s Harlequin Romance Report survey (www.press.eHarlequin.com/), which polled more than 3,000 men and women across Canada and the U.S., discovered that the U.S. is a nation of romantics. Ninety-two percent of men and 94% of women consider themselves romantic and surprisingly, almost half of all men (45%) consider themselves hopeless romantics. While the majority of American men (64%) and women (72%) want more romance in their lives, the problem is that 72% don’t know how to get it, believing that television and movies set impossible romantic standards.

Much like the sexual revolution that liberalized sex and forced discussion about sexuality out of the bedroom and into the public domain, The Romance Revolution, the focus of this year’s Romance Report, is all about helping people get in touch with their inner romantic. The report also explores how romance has changed and where it is headed, identifies the barriers to romance and explores romance in its new domain – online.

Here's something that's not romantic: according to the report, 16% of men and women have broken up with someone by e-mail, text message or instant message. The sniveling cowards.

Harlequin Enterprises Limited is the global leader in series romance and one of the world's leading publishers of women's fiction, with titles issued worldwide in 25 languages and sold in 94 international markets. The company produces over 115 titles monthly and publishes more than 1,300 authors from around the world. Harlequin Enterprises Limited is a wholly owned subsidiary of Torstar Corporation, a broadly based media company listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange (TS.nv.b). Harlequin’s Web site is located at http://www.eharlequin.com Harlequin has offices in 18 countries, including Toronto, New York and London.

I'm one of those 1,300 authors because I write for Steeple Hill Books, which is owned by Harlequin. (Yes, the mighty Harlequin machine publishes Christian romance.)

The last paragraph of the e-mail message invited me to contact Harlequin to arrange an interview with a "romance expert." Goodness only knows what that is, but I don't have time to wonder about it this afternoon.

I have a romance novel to write.


Adam "Luke" Luther said...

"16% of men and women have broken up with someone by e-mail, text message or instant message".

(I think your point there was that there is no face-to-face or at a minimum, voice contact).

"Breaking Up" by e-mail or other computer age technology reminds of WWII era "Dear John or Jane" letters.

What are the rules there? In WWII how did the sender actually know if the letter was received and thus the end of the relationship communicated (still cowardly IMO, at least wait until your guy or gal got home--or worse)? Sort of like leaving a phone message and wondering if the person on the other end got it until they respond.

Similarly, in the computer age, messages are sent instantly, unlike the Dear John letter which took months, even years to "retrieve". Today we have the ability to determine if the e-mail/IM/ was accepted instantly.

WWII could be an exception as those in relationships really didn't know how long that dreaded war was going to last.

Today, if you ask someone out in person or to go steady or whatever they call it now, be a man or woman, and break up in person.

It's the least you could do.

Douglas Cootey said...

"Dear John" letters are actually quite common in the Mormon community since young Mormon men are encouraged to serve two year religious missions. When I attended Brigham Young University in Utah the "Dear John" letter was something most missionaries who left with a girl at home complained about when they came back home. Most of them recovered, however. Return Missionaries, or RMs as they are called, are in high demand if for no other reason than girls know they won't be taking off on a mission again. :)

Still, text messaging a "Dear John" is a terribly cold and cowardly thing to do. I would never do it, but then, I don't think any of the girls I broke up with over the years would have appreciated the message in any form.

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