In a previous post or two, I have mentioned the popularity of the romance genre. Romance novels continue to be a staple of the bookselling and library worlds. Now, due to the popularity of the genre and the variety of its subgenres, the Romance Writers of America (RWA) has created a unique app.
Novel Engagement™ (NE) has four basic components: Authors, Books, Events, and Reader Zone. The best part of the app may be the Books section, which not only allows a search for books by title, but also by subgenre and theme. Keywords such as “cowboys” or “vampires” can be entered to narrow down a search. Looking for just a romance novel is often not enough for today’s educated romance reader. Romance novel enthusiasts have their own specific tastes and this app could help a librarian narrow them down.
The application also includes contests and giveaways, both online and live. In addition, readers can sign up to be notified through the app when their favorite author has a new release coming up. An author’s entry in NE often includes a bio as well as a list of titles, website addresses, social media connections, and any awards the author has received.
Allison Kelley, RWA’s executive director, strongly believes this app will be of value to librarians. “The app is a great tool for…romance readers to use to find books they can then go check out via their library or request that their libraries add to their collections. We think this will be a great resource for librarians to use for romance readers advisory.”
The app, which is free, is still in the process of being updated. “We have a website version on the way,” Kelley says.
According to a press release, the app lists 1,000 authors and over 5,000 romance novels. With RWA’s membership of 10,000 worldwide, those listings are certain to increase in the future. And with an estimated $1 billion in sales of the genre, this app is sure to help librarians and readers find the perfect romance reading fit.