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Category Romance

When you think of romance, what comes to mind? Harlequin maybe? Silhouette? Perhaps the term bodice ripper jumps into your head. Perhaps your think of clinch covers or happy endings. There are lots of things that makes a romance a romance.

But what makes a category romance a category romance?

First of all, know that category romance is also referred to as series romance.

Category (aka series) romance has five main publishers. Harlequin, Silhouette, Mills & Boon, Heartsong Presents (Barbour Publishing), Avalon Books (Thomas Bouregy & Co., Inc.).

Category romances are books in a line or imprint which have been written to very specific publisher guidelines which include:

  • length — all books within a “category” or line are printed at the same pre-determined number of pages.
  • style/tone/sensuality level — each “category” carries a promise to the reader, and those expectations are clearly stated in the guidelines.

Category books are produced in a fixed number of titles each month, and are usually marketed in a block rather than as individual titles. Each “category” has a specific matched look, so books are easily identified as belonging to that line. Usually they carry an identifying series number.

Because they are romances, the focus of the book is the developing relationship between the hero and heroine, they always end happily, and have a theme of universal importance to the readers.