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74.8 million people read an English-language romance novel in 2008.[19] Harlequin sells more than 4 books per second, half of them internationally. Author 74.8 million people read an English-language romance novel in 2008.[19] Harlequin sells more than 4 books per second, half of them internationally. Author Heather Graham attributes this to the fact that "emotions translate easily."[124] In the United Kingdom, over 20% of all fiction books sold each year are romance novels.[125]

Although romance novels are translated into over 90 languages,[36] most authors of women's fiction are from G

Although romance novels are translated into over 90 languages,[36] most authors of women's fiction are from Great Britain or North America.[123] In France, where over 12 million romance novels are sold each year, all are translations,[36] as are almost all Harlequin novels in Italy. Some publishing companies in Germany refuse to allow their romance authors to use their own names, fearing that readers will not buy a romance novel that does not have an American pseudonym.[123]

The Anglo-Saxon perspective in the fiction at times can be much less successful in a European market. Although Italy is the strongest foreign market for the chick lit sold by single-title imprint Red Dress Ink, in that country romance readers do not care to read books about cowboys, as this type of occupation was not common in their culture. The paranormal romance genre is not popular in countries such as Poland and Russia, although historical romance tends to be very successful.[123] Inspirational romance does not sell well in Europe, where romances that feature babies are very popular.[36] German readers enjoy reading more erotic romance novels,[123] and some German translations of English romance novels expand or insert love scenes into otherwise tame stories. The alternate scenario also occurs, as other German translators censor the love scenes.[123][126]

As of 2014, romance is the most popular literary genre in Russia (chosen 13% of respondents), especially among the younger audience.[127]

In 2004, sales of romance novels in Australia increased 28% over the year before. Between 1999 and 2004 there was an increase of 40–50% in the number of new titles released. Harlequin, which received 20,000 unsolicited manuscripts each year, found that women are 99% of romance readers.[128]

The most prestigious and notable awards for romance novels are the RITA Awards, which are presented annually by the Romance Writers of America to the best novels in romantic fiction.[129]

Another notable award is the Romantic Novel of the Year Award (RoNA) through the Romantic Novelists' Association.[130] The award is separated into categories: