I am tired of hearing romance writers, and women's fiction writers, complain about how we are not taken seriously. Apparently, we're not reviewed by whichever Literary Gods do the Reviewing, and are looked down upon, sneered at, and generally despised. At the same time, I read statistic after statistic about how romance sells more books than any other genre, and how women buy (and read) more novels than men.
So, we're complaining that a few (male! or non-romance-loving women) reviewers ignore our work, and instead focus on "literary" fiction. And because other, "literary-minded" readers follow those reviewer's advice and buy non-romance novels. So, what?
Somehow I don't think that the so-called literary experts are exactly our target audience. And as an avid (very, very avid) reader of romance & women's lit myself, I can honestly say that I've never had one of those reviews sway my book purchases. I glance, from time to time, at the NYT book reviews, and the items reviewed by my own local paper. And I get about two sentences in and just keep glancing on to the next section. The reviews do not appeal to me, the reviewers don't seem to share my interests, and I would not trust their advice when making book selections. (And, more importantly to the printers, the sponsors aren't getting their money's worth out of me.)
So, why on earth should we waste so much emotional energy complaining that people outside our target audience don't get us? We don't get them either. And there are more of us. Lots more.
Listen up, gals. Ignore them. Lets do our own reviewing. Spread the word ourselves. And if someone turns their nose up at us, we can laugh. Because we're so much bigger than they are, that we will be able to see right down into that turned up nose. And we don't call them "snotty" for nothing...