Ebury's Gillian Green Chats Up the Strategy Behind Launching Digital-First Imprint Rouge Romance
Green: Well, we have amazing authors in a whole array of subgenres: paranormal, historical, regency, romantic suspense, etc.… but what they all have in common is their ability to create great characters and great plots. All Rouge titles have a strong central romance and a lot of sexual tension. For me, the best romances make you forget the inevitable happy ending because you get so caught up in the journey the hero and heroine are on to find each other.
Extra: What would be the criteria necessary for doing a print run of a particularly strong-selling Rouge title?
Green: We’re not going to be as prescriptive as saying that a book has to sell x in digital form before we release a print edition. We’re looking at the list as a whole and plans are afoot…
Extra: There are a lot of notions floating around in the conventional wisdom about what an e-book imprint means, some of which are negative (i.e., that the publisher doesn't believe in the books enough to print them or that perhaps the content is of a lesser quality). Rouge clearly has a stable of great authors, and is backed by an esteemed publishing house, but does a publisher consider those notions and, if so, how does she counter them?
Green: I think it’s important to reiterate that we’re a digital-first list not a digital-only list. However, with romance in the UK there is an inherent snobbery towards the genre even within the industry itself, far more so than there is in the U.S. This makes it difficult to get romance books into the market conventionally.
However, we know the readers are out there and we’ve selected an array of amazing titles to publish on Rouge, including a number by critically acclaimed, New York Times-bestselling writers as well as incredibly talented debut authors. Romance fans are turning to e-books because it’s an easy way to read what you want, wherever you want, without anyone casting aspersions on their reading habits.