Writing Romance: Which Hero Sells Best?

When writing Romance, have you ever wondered why bestselling authors keep churning out the same hero?

Just to be clear: I’m not talking about elevating the sidekick in Book 1, to hero status in Book 2. I’m talking about applying the same basic, male persona to every Romance hero, regardless of his profession or historical era—for instance, the Duke, the Scottish Laird, the Detective-in-Charge, the Billionaire. (See a personality-pattern here?)

Call me crazy, but I used to think that authors, who did little more than change the name and hair color of their Romance heroes, lacked creativity.

Fortunately, I wised up.

Make Money Writing Romance Novels

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Bestselling authors wouldn’t keep writing the same types of Romance heroes, in book after book, if readers weren’t eagerly buying those novels.

In other words, our readers are perfectly happy, immersing themselves in familiar stories.

According to psychologists, readers are ruled by their subconscious. The subconscious responds most favorably to Romance characters that have withstood the test of time: the Prince, the Warrior, the Rebel, the Mentor etc. These characters are called “archetypes.”

Romance readers are mostly women, so there’s no coincidence that Romance novels feature archetypal heroes and heroines in a starring role.

Archetypal Romance characters let readers (and writers!) connect with deeply rooted parts of their psyches. Through archetypal Romance characters, a reader gets to experience parts of herself that she admires, loves, or secretly wishes she could reveal more fully to the world.

If a reader can connect emotionally with your hero and heroine in an excerpt on Amazon, then she’ll become invested in the outcome of your book.

An invested reader is more likely to open her wallet.

Sexy Romance Heroes Sell Books

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While the Prince (or King) archetype remains a perennial favorite in Romance novels, he has stiff competition among Warriors and Rebels. As a result, bestselling authors may blend several archetypes into a single Romance hero. This technique makes a character complex, interesting, and memorable.

Savvy authors know that readers vote for their favorite hero-types with their buying dollars. If you want to make money writing Romance novels, research your subgenre’s bestseller charts before you write Chapter 1. Figure out which archetypes your target audience prefers.

Once you settle on an archetype, you must develop an endearing Romance hero, who’s sexually magnetic and who’s the perfect foil for your heroine. Readers will grow bored—fast!—if you can’t keep the sparks flying between your hero and heroine on every page of your novel. Translation: If you’re receiving rejection letters or poor reviews, you probably dropped the ball.

A successful Romance author escalates the romantic tension before, during, and after every kiss and consummation scene. To accomplish this feat, she must master two writing techniques that are specific to the commercial Romance genre: sexual tension and emotional tension.

Unfortunately, these techniques are rarely taught in traditional courses devoted to fiction-writing or creative-writing. That’s why I developed my on-demand video course, 50 Ways to Give Your Hero Sex Appeal. Check it out if you want to win loyal Romance fans and create a niche for yourself in our crowded genre!

Click here to see a lesson sample.


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