That’s right! I got a press release from Grand Central today announcing that it will be expanding the Forever imprint. After reading what Anne had to say below about the pending Penguin and Random House merger, I had wondered whether traditional publishing of romance would start to shrink a bit. Would RH and Penguin combine imprints and cause slots to be lost? It does seem a bit like a recipe for further squeezing the midlist and making it harder for new writers to establish themselves.
In contrast, the news from Grand Central felt pretty welcome. In the press release, the publisher announced that Forever and the eBook-only imprint Forever Yours had 64 titles in 2012, they expect about 120 this year and over 190 in 2014. Wow! That’s a huge increase. Not surprisingly, they’re also looking to add to their editorial and marketing staff.
Based on the comments from Grand Central reps in the press release, it sounds like they are attuned to the fact that romance readers read a lot, and we like to have lots of books to select from. Amy Pierpont, the Editorial Director of Forever and Forever Yours stated that, ” “Romance readers are talking, and Forever is listening! Fans want more books from their favorite authors, they want them published more frequently, and they’re eager to discover new favorite authors and series. Forever’s expansion allows us to bring readers exactly what they’re asking for—and more.” The publisher also seems to realize that readers have very diverse tastes. Beth de Guzman, the founding editor of Forever and now a VP at Grand Central, described the romance market as “more robust and diverse than at any other time…” I hope that the realization we romance readers are a pretty eclectic bunch translates into some nice, broad-ranging title lists as well. I see potential here, and I just hope that having room for more authors and books on the publisher’s roster turns out to be a good thing for readers.
– Lynn Spencer