What is selling??? Romance! And why not? With today's bad news and in bad times in the past, people want happily ever afters. The news is full of gloom and doom. It's time to escape from the real world where the conflict is made up, and the ending turns out good.
In the NY Times article, the author mentions fantasy and science fiction sales are up also. Another way to escape the realities of our world.
I remember talking to my mother about how during her youth, musicals were so much in vogue. Happy-go-lucky musicals for a time when the world was in turmoil. Comedy, the same.
There is still a lot of negativity about romance writers and their novels, as some reporter wrote an article tearing down bodice rippers after reading the NY Times article--to which I say, get with the program, lady. The romance genre isn't about bodice ripping, hasn't been for eons. Be informed before you use such bigoted terms.
*sigh* I've read romance novels since I was a kid. Nope, not bodice rippers, but what was Cinderella, and Snow White, and Rapunzel? Tons of children's stories are romances! :) And what's wrong with that? I loved them, fell in love with the heroes, wanted to find my own some day.
The only difference in my stories is the princess has her share of rescuing the prince. No ladies in distress standing around screaming while the hero takes on the villains. I remember when I was a kid and watched some movies like that, my mother would say, "Pick up a lamp, woman!" So maybe that's where I got my attitude about women not being helpless and hopeless, but saving the day every bit as much as the guy in the equation. :)
So I raise my glass to romance, and to fantasy (my own brand~~urban fantasy), and science fiction! To escaping the world of woes and finding entertainment in some other realm. :)