St. Martin’s Press is making a huge bet we’re still hot and heavy for romance novels.

The publisher has just agreed to pay an eye-popping eight-figure advance to Sylvia Day, a romance writer, for her next two books.… a series called “Blacklist.” These titles are a follow-up to her “Crossfire” series, which sold more than 13 million copies since its 2012 release.

Erotica and romance titles, particularly EL James’ “Fifty Shades of Grey” trilogy, have lifted publishers out of the doldrums. Case in point…. Random House, who published the “Fifty Shades” trilogy, posted record profits in 2012 and awarded each of its US employees  — right down to warehouse workers — a $5,000 bonus.

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