Collection Development | Indie Romance

Swoon-worthy titles to expand the collection.

Indie romance offers a multitude of stories and story types that reflect the desires of authors and readers. They span a variety of subgenres, are culturally and/or racially diverse, feature various types of relationships, and even offer a variety of lengths, from novellas to full-length novels. If readers want a deep dive into Irish gods and goddesses falling in love, indie romance is the place to look. A small-town series of novellas based on popular song titles from the 1980s? Indie romance is there. A dark romance series about a trio of assassins, bent on revenge, who find their one true love working at a coffee shop? Yep, you guessed it. Indie romance. Traditionally published romance is expanding to include more stories that appeal to more readers, which often makes librarians assume that this diminishes the need for indie romance. Not at all. For the many great stories outside of the traditional publishing ecosystem, libraries can be a critical discovery point.

When developing an indie romance collection, librarians might consider if a work is in a subgenre that circulates well in their library. If a library already has a high-circulating historical romance collection, there is a good chance that an indie historical will be successful too. Is it by an author, or recommended by an author, who has a following already? Again, likely to circulate well if that is the case. Does it look like an appealing book? While maybe one should not judge a book by its cover, readers absolutely do, every day.

Like anything else, there are gems and misses among the enormous amount of indie romances that come to market. Some are indistinguishable from traditionally published books in terms of the quality of cover art, editing, and writing. In fact, many authors are actually “hybrid” authors who have a foot in both the indie and traditional publishing worlds. They enjoy the freedom they get from indie publishing, where they control much more of the process. It is likely that many libraries also already have one foot in the indie door by buying these hybrid authors. Go further and add some more happily-ever-afters to the stacks and broaden the viewpoint of the collection at the same time.

Starred titles () are recommended for all library collections.

Ash, Nikki. Controlled Chaos: A Single Mom, Rock Star Romance. self-published. (Love & Lyrics, Bk. 1). May 2022. 339p. ISBN 9798832878782. pap. $16. CONTEMPORARY ROMANCE

Bailey, Sydney Jane. Adam. Wolf. (Diamonds of the First Water, Bk. 3). Sept. 2022. 260p. ISBN 9783985361007. pap. $14.99. HISTORICAL ROMANCE

Black, Shayla. More Than Desire You. Shelley Bradley LLC. (Reed Family Reckoning, Bk. 8). Nov. 2022. 278p. ISBN 9781936596928. pap. $15.99. CONTEMPORARY ROMANCE

Blakely, Lauren. The Boyfriend Comeback. self-published. (Winner Takes All, Bk. 1). Sept. 2022. 450p. ISBN 9798835441136. pap. $16.49. LGBTQIA+ ROMANCE

Chant, Kat. God of Summer. Wild Rose. Sept. 2022. 380p. ISBN 9781509244027. pap. $18.99. PARANORMAL ROMANCE

Dane, Lauren. Reckless. self-published. Sept. 2022. 412p. ISBN 9798985772678. pap. $14. CONTEMPORARY ROMANCE

Evans, Bronwen. A Lady Never Surrenders: Regency Best-Friend’s-Brother Romance. self-published. (Sisterhood of Scandal, Bk. 2). Sept. 2022. 256p. ISBN 9798352096833. pap. $13.99. HISTORICAL ROMANCE

Firethorn, Elira. Undying Resilience: A Dark Why-Choose Erotic Romance. self-published. (Ruthless Desires, Bk. 3). Aug. 2022. 237p. ISBN 9798846731950. pap. $11.99. EROTIC ROMANCE

Forrester, Nia. The Broken. self-published. (Afterwards, Bk. 8). Jul. 2022. 524p. ISBN 9798837365461. pap. $15.99. CONTEMPORARY ROMANCE

James, Kira. Embrace Me Darkly. Martini & Olive. (Dark Alliance, Bk. 1). Oct. 2022. 420p. ISBN 9781953572677. pap. $19.99. PARANORMAL ROMANCE

Lau, Jackie. Her Unexpected Roommate. self-published. (Cider Bar Sisters, Bk. 5). Aug. 2022. 232p. ebk. ISBN 9781989610275. $3.99. CONTEMPORARY ROMANCE

Lincoln, Liz. Friendsgiving Getaway. self-published. (The Rental Rendezvous, Bk. 9). Nov. 2022. 207p. ebk. ISBN 9798201570859. $3.99. EROTIC ROMANCE

Michaels, Corinne. Give Me Love. BAAE. (Rose Canyon, Bk. 2). Sept. 2022. 375p. ISBN 9781942834793. pap. $14.99. ROMANTIC SUSPENSE

Millard, Nadine. A Forgotten Fall. Dragonblade. (A Lord for All Seasons, Bk. 3). Sept. 2022. 184p. ISBN 9798353072188. pap. $8.75. HISTORICAL ROMANCE

Nichole, J. Somebody Somewhere: A Small-Town Romance. self-published. (Greetings from Tuckerville, Bk. 1). Aug. 2022. 214p. ISBN 9798845663689. pap. $11.99. CONTEMPORARY ROMANCE

Olsen, Ava. Love Like Yours. Evernight. (NY Nights: Bodyguard Edition, Bk. 2). Sept. 2022. 95p. ebk. ISBN 9780369506863. $3.99. LGBTQIA+ ROMANCE

Reus, Katie. Danger Rising. KR Pr. (Red Stone Security, Bk. 20). Sept. 2022. 234p. ISBN 9781635562064. pap. $10.99. ROMANTIC SUSPENSE

Schneider, Deborah. Confessions of a Naughty Librarian: A Steamy Romantic Comedy. Moon Valley. (Bachelor Bay, Bk. 2). Oct. 2022. 378p. ISBN 9780983910343. pap. $14. CONTEMPORARY ROMANCE

Simone, Naima. Don’t You Forget About Me. Oliver-Heber. (Love on the Radio, Bk. 2). Nov. 2022. 156p. ISBN 9781648393150. pap. $8.99. CONTEMPORARY ROMANCE

Tompsett, M.L. The Bodyguard’s Convenient Marriage. self-published. (Second Chance at Love, Bk. 2). Jul. 2022. 292p. ISBN 9780987614797. pap. $11.99. ROMANTIC SUSPENSE


Casey, KD. One True Outcome. self-published. Mar. 2022. 119p. ebk. ISBN 9780005222652. $2.99 LGBTQIA+ ROMANCE

Cole, Elizabeth. A Fearless Heart. SkySpark. (Secrets of the Zodiac, Bk. 9). Aug. 2022. 368p. ISBN 9781942316572. pap. $17.95. HISTORICAL ROMANCE

Grace, Mimi. What a Match. self-published. (Lovestruck, Bk. 2). Apr. 2022. 218p. ebk. ISBN 9781999108281. $3.99. CONTEMPORARY ROMANCE

Kelly, Anita. Wherever Is Your Heart. self-published. (Moonlighters, Bk. 3). Mar. 2022. 103p. ISBN 9781737229827. pap. $8.99. LGBTQIA+ ROMANCE

Lau, Jackie. Her Favorite Rebound. self-published. (Cider Bar Sisters, Bk. 4). Mar. 2022. 228p. ebk. ISBN 9781989610237. $3.99. CONTEMPORARY ROMANCE

Lin, Jeannie. Red Blossom in Snow. self-published. (Lotus Palace, Bk. 5). Mar. 2022. 300p. ISBN 9781957952000. pap. $14.99. HISTORICAL ROMANCE

Lin, Lisa. The Year of Cecily. Tule. (From Sunset Park, With Love, Bk. 1). Jan. 2023. 352p. ebk. ISBN 9781957748726. $4.99. CONTEMPORARY ROMANCE

Milan, Courtney. The Devil Comes Courting. self-published. (The Worth Saga, Bk. 3). Apr. 2021. 488p. ISBN 9781666276176. pap. $17.99. HISTORICAL ROMANCE

Reid, Charish. I’ll Come Back for You. self-published. Feb. 2022. 234p. ISBN 9798201929411. pap. $11.99. PARANORMAL ROMANCE

Tasia, M. Brick. Boroughs. (Fire Lake, Bk. 1). Jul. 2021. 140p. ISBN 9781953810670. pap. $9.50. ROMANTIC SUSPENSE

Robin Bradford has been buying adult fiction for libraries since 2001 and is currently a collection development librarian in Washington State. She has been named librarian of the year by two romance organizations, Romance Writers of America in 2016 and Emerald City Romance Writers Conference in 2022.

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