event: precious hearts romances book signing

precious heart romancesyes, you read that right. after almost a week of not posting anything, i’m writing about an event hosted by precious hearts romances.

i’ve read a couple of precious hearts romance books. by “a couple,” i really do mean two. that was during the time i was in between jobs. and i was thinking of maybe turning to becoming a fiction novelist for the time being. it seemed fate didn’t think it was a good idea, because a week later i was working somewhere else.

good thing too, ‘cos now i know i have a problem with writing romance.

but that’s way off-tangent from what i wanted to write about, and the reason why i attended the book signing event of precious hearts romances.

the reason is simple: i wanted to see the reading public. you always hear things from “learned” people that filipinos don’t read filipino books. look at the inset picture. these people purchase filipino-authored books by the dozen! and not just because they’re cheap! which they are — literally speaking. from overhearing a conversation earlier between a reader and one of the staff, some of the books they are selling are already reprints!

there is a market for filipino-authored books!

now, before you tell me that this is a different genre, a different target market, etcetera. i want to say one thing: books are written to entertain the masses. if you want a certain market to buy your books, you have to give them the stories they want to read. most filipinos are romantics, they like books where the girl gets their guy in the end. now, if you want your books read by the geek market, you have to reach them–through sci-fi conventions or cosplay competitions, etcetera.

precious hearts romances has employed a wonderful marketing campaign wherein they take their writers on tour to meet with the readers. this allows the readers to get in touch with the authors, effectively building a loyal fan base who will buy anything the author churns out. on the flip side, the readers see that the authors are regular people too, and it makes the love stories the authors’ write all the more reachable for the readers.

precious hearts romancesyes, that dream of having an heir forsake his wealth for your love is attainable–because if this author can live that life, then so can you!

i admit, that’s a bit of a generalization. not all the readers think like that, but some do. some readers think that if something is written, then it must be true. just because they read doesn’t mean they think everything through. some people read to escape real life.

i do that.

of course, except for the escaping-reality part, that way of thinking doesn’t really apply to fantasy readers. unless you’re mentally unstable and believe that you can fly.

at the end of the day though, a thought keeps bugging me: are the blogging public ignoring the readers who read books from precious hearts romances? is there an elitist thing going on wherein book bloggers think what they’re reading is not literature? okay, those are two thoughts.

but think about it: these precious hearts books are not the classics we would like filipino literature to be. but they are written works that has the public reading. what should we take from this: is it because the books are cheaper? is it more readable? or is it the publishing house’s marketing strategy?

most importantly: how can we use the relative success of precious hearts romances, and apply it to marketing other filipino-authored books?


4 thoughts on “event: precious hearts romances book signing

  1. True, true. There is this sort of elitism happening among Filipino readers. They call it discrimination, but I call it ignorance, with the way people call Precious Hearts readers “jologs” and “katulongs”. My prof in the Literature department actually urged us to venture into these kinds of fiction because this is where we could actually define the real Filipino reader.

    • Hmm interesting questions. I don’t think Filipino book bloggers discriminate against people who read these kinds of books, it’s just that we have different interests. Well, that’s my case. I’ve read a couple of Precious Hearts romances because we used to give them as gifts whenever we found books that used our friends’ names for the main characters. But it’s not really my kind of thing so I didn’t continue reading them.

    • I don’t think there’s actual discrimination. It’s more of most people never seeing the precious hearts books as more than just a joke. Also, I think it has something to do with how the covers tend to feature bad-“paintings” that resemble hollywood actors.

      I do agree with your professor though that reading these books will help you define the bulk of Filipino readers.

      And when you do buy the Precious Hearts books (like I did), no one discriminates. No one looks at you funny because you’re a guy and you’re holding two PHR books. Though there is that nagging though at the back of your head saying, “be embarassed! people are looking!” when they are, in fact, not. 😉

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