I wanted to be sure to market Poggibonsi: an Italian misadventure properly, so I did some studying.
Poggi is a romance story, albeit an unconventional one.
The main character, Mike Torino, falls hard for a woman, and I mean he falls HARD.
The romantic scenes you’ll read in this story are some of the most romantic you’ll read, period.
But the MC is not without flaws. Mike’s a hard-working, good looking guy who get a shot at a promotion by way of a project in Italy, so he takes it – right about the time his wife’s best friend is getting divorced. For no good reason, he starts thinking about that. They’re no different than us. If it could happen to them…
But the promotion looms.
He takes his wife Mattie and their young daughter on a working vacation hoping to rekindle romance, but it just isn’t working. They fight. A lot. And nobody seems to be having fun, so when it comes to a boil, Mattie leaves in a huff. And Mike is trapped. He can’t leave Italy without blowing his promotion, so he stays on.
Now, here’s where something strange happens. Mike has always ignored the flirty advances from women. He seems to get them a lot but he’s been immune. His assistant back in Atlanta, Samantha, notes: “Mike, you’re the pretty girl in high school who can’t understand why the boys keep falling all over themselves to help you with everything. Frankly, you being oblivious to it is adorable.”
But Italy! Tuscany! Romance! Everything he wanted to rediscover with his wife…
To make matters worse, his Italian partner ends up in the hospital with a heart attack.
Now Mike is really screwed. But Alberto assigns a young assistant, and all is to be well – and Mike is sure the new guy won’t be able to cut the mustard.
Until she shows up.
Yeah, she. The young Italian assistant is a young Italian lady.
And she is a looker
And she’s reeeeally smart.
She’s a take-no-crap, headstrong, aggressive type, too. The first thing she does is tell Mike to get a new tie.
Actually, she doesn’t even tell him. She grabs him and hauls him across the street and buys him a new tie. A locally made one. Because the people they’ll be seeing in meeting will know the difference.
She’s that on top of stuff.
And the deals goes well. So well, she wants to celebrate – with champagne and oysters. At lunch. On a playground.
Where she comes on to him.
I mentioned she’s hot, right?
Now, here’s a guy whose wife isn’t talking to him, alone in Italy on a business trip, and his sexy female liaison is knocking business out of the park – and coming on to him, too.
Normally, he’s immune.
Now? Uh, maybe not so much.
And what comes next is a hilarious, knock-down drag-out funny story about, well, all the stuff that comes next.
It has everything that’s funny in it: death, infidelity, drama… Oh, those aren’t funny topics? You haven’t read the story. They are here!
Sarcastic and witty, Sam usually keeps Mike out of hot water. Not this time.
Wanna know what happens?
I bet you do!
And don’t worry, I have put in a few twists you won’t see coming. One, NOBODY sees coming – and everybody loves it.
This is probably the most romantic book you will read in 2017, and definitely the funniest.
Because I wrote it, and as a bestselling author a few times over, I’m pretty good at this stuff.
So, I needed to know: WHO is the “romance reader”?
Turns out, RWA (Romance Writers of America) commissioned Nielsen to do a survey in 2014 https://www.rwa.org/p/cm/ld/fid=582.
Check these stats and then join me again at the bottom. I need your help.
The Romance Book Buyer
- Women make up 84 percent of romance book buyers, and men make up 16 percent.
- In the U.S. romance book buyers are usually between 30 and 54 years of age.
- 64% read romance more than once a month
- 1/3 buy romance more than once a month.
- How long have they been reading romance? 95% read romance for more than 5 years
Top romance subgenres by format read primarily:
- Print: romantic suspense (53%); contemporary romance (41%); historical romance (34%); erotic romance (33%); New Adult (26%); paranormal romance (19%); Young Adult romance (18%); and Christian romance (17%).
- E-book: romantic suspense (48%); contemporary romance (44%); erotic romance (42%); historical romance (33%); paranormal romance (30%); New Adult (26%); Young Adult romance (18%); and Christian romance (14%).
Top 10 popular romance tropes: IF APPLICABLE, CAN WE ADD THESE LINES INTO THE BLURB (1) friends to lovers (NAVS); (2) soul mate/fate (SOUL MATES); (3) second chance at love (POGGI); (4) secret romance; (5) first love; (6) strong hero/heroine (POGGI); (7) reunited lovers; (8) love triangle; (9) sexy billionaire/millionaire; (10) sassy heroine (POGGI KINDA)
FYI, Romance buyers also read mystery.
How do romance readers acquire romance books? Top answers:
- (1) Buy them in stores
- (2) Buy them online at a retail site (e.g., Amazon.com)
- (3-10) library, e-reader, borrow them from friends/relatives, mobile app, book club subscription, Oyster, Scribd, Amazon Prime
Which stores have they bought from most often? (1) Barnes & Noble, (2) Walmart; Online store (1) Amazon.com
How They Discover Romance Books: Most-important factor when deciding on which romance novel to buy (ranked from most to least important):
- (1) The story – how do they get to that? I HAVE TO BELIEVE The Blurb DOES THAT
- (2) The author – gotta have cred
- (3) Price
- (4) Review
- (5) Part of a series
- (6) Back cover copy
- (7) Cover art
- (8) Recommendations on a social media site
- (9) Deal/bundle/bargain/special offer
- (10) An endorsement by another leading author
Top 10 ways romance buyers are most likely to discover new romance authors or titles to read (ranked from most likely to least):
- (1) Browsing in a bookstore
- (2) In person recommendation from people you know (see below)
- (3) Browsing online book sites
Do romance readers talk with friends and acquaintances about romance books they’re reading? 76 percent said yes. The most-popular way romance buyers like to share what romance books they’re reading is in person/one-to-one with friends and family.
Romance readers utilize PRINT 67.5%, eBook 29.5%
E-book pricing: The $6 range is considered a “fair price” for e-books.