Romance returns to collaborative fiction site Pan Historia…
Everyone loves love so why did it ever leave? It’s really a problem of gender expectations and preconceptions I think. Romance has the reputation of being a woman’s thing, and yet, hey there blokes, you all know you love romance too. I have long suspected men of being the more romantic of the species, but I digress.
My original intention in removing Romance as a genre option was to tighten up the genres we have and make sure that each and every genre was active. It seemed, in the site design, that we were spreading ourselves too thin. We once had Comedy, Role Play, and World as genre options too. Last year I did a marketing survey of the members of Pan Historia and what I discovered was that many writers at Pan, male and female, loved Romance whether they were writing there or not. I also learned that many people come to Pan just to read. So it seems that a genre’s popularity shouldn’t be purely based on number of posts per day or number of novels populating the genre.
Having discovered that people often just like to read what is on offer at Pan has changed my thinking about the site design in a lot of ways. I used to be very fervent about cleaning up novels that had gone quiet, but now I think of them more like the books at the library that don’t get checked quite as often. It doesn’t mean it’s time for them to go in the sale bin quite yet. I’m looking at ways to highlight the reading at Pan in different ways than it’s been done so far. Right now it’s all about what’s the latest, hottest, and the newest, which is pretty much how it’s done all over the net. My earlier blog posts sink under the weight of my newer ones until they’re never read again. I’d like to find some way of bucking that system at Pan so that a novel that was written two years ago can still be a popular read now, and not just data languishing in the database.
With these thoughts in mind a genre like Romance doesn’t need to meet posting quotas or worry about novels coming and going. Popularity shouldn’t solely be judged on statistics. A good love story is timeless. It can be revisited again and again.