I have been published since 2014, but I didn’t encounter as much commercial success until I wrote in a hot-selling genre this summer: clean billionaire romance. How it started was, I attended a writer’s retreat in late June of this year. By August, I launched a clean billionaire romance series, Her Billionaire CEO.
I have been busy writing, editing and publishing, and haven’t even delved into paid advertising or promos, and yet my first book, Her Billionaire Bodyguard, has stayed in the top 100 paid in its categories and have placed as low as the hundreds in overall paid Amazon ranking (the lower the number, the better). I have spread the word solely through newsletter swaps and social media.
Here are some tips for those aspiring to write clean billionaire romances:
1.Think series. Billionaire romance readers are voracious readers. Once they discover an author they enjoy, they will most likely buy your next book. How to tie in each title? Here are some possible tie-ins: geography, setting, trope (fake marriage, etc.). In my series Her Billionaire CEO, my billionaires are all CEOs of their respective companies. Scour Amazon’s bestselling series for ideas.
2.Start the series off with a great book that meets genre expectations. Make no mistake, there is some tough competition out there, not just in this genre, but overall. Many readers can tell the difference between a well-executed versus a shoddy book. Good professional editing costs a lot, but this is not the area to skimp. $200 on the low end and $600 on the high end for a 50k word novel, but it will pay off when your reader decides to buy the next book.
3.Publish as quickly as you can to keep your readers’ interest. I used to think I couldn’t do it, too. It took me years to produce my first novel. With a hot genre like billionaire romance, however, it helps to do a rapid release. I wrote Her Billionaire Bodyguard in five days. (Which is crazy and I haven’t replicated it since, but it can be done!) That said, be realistic. Don’t try to put out a book a month during a busy time in your life. But it is doable. Set a goal and go for it.
My plan is to produce one book a month August to Christmas. So far so good. It’s scary but it’s also been a good motivator to have my deadlines. I know other authors who publish more frequently. Do what works for you. One important note: a rapid release series does cost money between covers and editing. You will want to save up and invest in it.
4.Get a professional cover. A guy on the cover or a couple? Either way, hire a cover artist so that your cover sells your book. Some cover designers charge as little as $50. I know some people use Fiverr, but unless you get a Fiverr artist highly recommended, it’s hit and miss. I’ve hired a couple and have been underwhelmed with results. If you prefer to make your cover, study bestselling books in the genre for inspiration.
5.Fulfill genre expectations. Read a lot of billionaire and regular romances. Subscribe to Kindle Unlimited and read highly rated books. Pay attention to the opening hook, kissing scenes, romantic conflict, the black moment, and the resolution. Notice what makes you swoon as a reader. After a while, you will see a pattern that can help you in your storytelling. My editor gave me this great advice: put in feels, then add more feels.
6.Dream big. Billionaires live larger-than-life and need bombastic stories. Most of them have staff like bodyguards, personal assistants, chefs, chauffeurs. Google billionaire lifestyles and be prepared to have your jaw drop. Then write the fun details into your story.
7.Get over your money hang-ups. If you’ve ever wanted to spend money you don’t have, write in this genre. You can own luxury cars, go on fantasy dates, and buy expensive dresses…without whipping out your credit card. Readers want to escape. Give them what they want, and they will love you. I think that’s one of the draws to the megahit movie Crazy Rich Asians. A helicopter trip to a tropical river? Check. Fireworks at your engagement party? Check. Lavish wedding with water flowing into the aisles? Check. Shopping spree for wedding guests? Check.
8.Keep it clean. Clean billionaire romance readers prefer no explicit sex, no sex before marriage, mild to no cursing, and no graphic violence. You have the right to include whatever you want in your book, but if you want to fit in to “clean and wholesome,” fulfilling the guidelines above will make you a reader favorite. The surest way to turn off a reader is to not fulfill a promise. If you claim that your book is clean, be sure to deliver.
9.Research, then have fun making it up. “Write what you know” is a famous saying. Well, how do you write about being a billionaire when you are in reality strapped for money? Google a setting and the lifestyle, then just use your imagination. Real billionaires are too busy making money; no one is going to call you out on the accuracy of your plot line.
10.That said, write a believable story. How do you police this? Get beta readers who read or write in the genre and listen when they say, “This isn’t believable…” Don’t panic if they do. Just figure out a way to make it believable. Sometimes it takes just a sentence or two of explanation.
11.Give your billionaire a conscience. No one likes an arrogant wealthy person. Consider giving your billionaire philanthropic tendencies. Have them start a foundation. Have them attend charity events and donate.
12.If you do start out your billionaire as a jerk, redeem them at the end of your book. They can start out a “bad boy” but if you give him a story arc where he changes for good, that will endear him (and you) to your reader.
13.Pair your billionaire romance with trope favorites such as prince or cowboy. This will make your book more appealing to a wider swath of readers. Her Billionaire Bodyguard uses the– surprise! — bodyguard trope. A reader told me they loved my book and this was the first bodyguard book they’d read. I get that. There aren’t many clean bodyguard books out there. That’s what’s fun about giving readers clean options. See what billionaire romances are selling and put a clean spin to it.
14.Network with other clean billionaire romance authors. Or other clean romance authors. Swapping newsletters has been one of the most effective ways my book has gained traction in the market. You can start with this Facebook group: Clean Romance Author Promotion and NL Swap. If you are interested in breaking into the genre, I suggest you join Clean Billionaire Romance – Authors Only. There is also a readers group, Clean Billionaire Romance.
15.Use the word billionaire in the title. Or in the series title or description. That helps with discoverability.
16.Embrace the genre wholeheartedly. You want to write a romance, so why not a billionaire one, a genre that is selling? Tweak a story idea and add a few zeroes to a character’s net worth. Write great books. Some people might never pick up a clean billionaire romance for whatever reason. And that’s fine. There’s plenty enough who do.