Thursday, April 03, 2008

PCA 2008: Romance VIII

I will come back to Romance VII, I promise, but I've got this one ready, so I thought I'd post it. Just two more to go!

Romance Fiction VIII: Saturday 8:00-9:30am
Filling an Information Gap: Preparation & Development of the Encyclopedia of Romance Fiction – an Interactive Presentation

Doug Highsmith, California State University, East Bay
Kris Ramsdell, California State University, East Bay

This panel provided the audience with results from the Encyclopedia of Romance Fiction Survey. Romance provided over 6400 romance titles in 2006 with $1.37 billion of sales. It’s important that popular romance fiction have an encyclopedia, because Encyclopedias are at the top of the reference book food chain, proving that a topic has become important enough to attract attention of publishers because the demand is there for information about the subject. The more interest a topic generates, the more reference books it produces and the further up the food chain it goes again. Romance has a history of scholarship, and it has some reference sources, but they are mostly biographical, which is obviously different from scholarship. The survey was to figure out what scholars wanted out of an Encyclopedia of romance, to help determine what topics researchers and other users would be most interested in seeing included in the Encyclopedia. Doug comes to the Encyclopedia from comic books. The Encyclopedia is scheduled for publication in 2009.

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