I read a stat last week claiming 16% of romance readers are men. These unicorns aren’t easily found on Twitter and they sure are quiet on Goodreads and Netgalley, but they’re out there.

Several articles detail the benefits of men reading romance with far more depth and research than I’m able to put together on a Saturday afternoon. VULTURE has a great one I highly recommend, as does BuzzFeed. And both claim the same thing: men do read romance and more should.

Being married to an author, my husband reads my urban fantasy and romance books as they’re published and he commented on it as well.

“Guys should read this.”

And I feel this is a market smaller publishers should target.

After some digging online, two things stood out for male readership.

1. Dedicated readers are out there.

2. They’re hiding the covers.

How easy would it be to create a “Green Line” or “Grey line”? A monotone cover with nothing more than the title and author. No shirtless werewolves. No kilted alphas. No pastel cartoons. Just grey and white. Or red and white. Simple covers similar to those iBooks assigns my manuscripts when I send them to the app to read over for edits.

Yes, we authors love our covers and we plaster those bad boys everywhere. But society as a whole hasn’t made it easy for men to whip out a regency novel without facing side-eyes or commentary. Could we not encourage this readership by providing an option that allows them to read without judgement?

And yes, I’m claiming Tm on this idea… BROWN BAG ROMANCE 💡

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