Last week I found a blog post on the subject of specific types of genre. I thought it looked so good that I decided to share it with other writers in the online community. My thoughts were right about the blog because it generated a lot of interest. People seemed very keen to discuss the issues surrounding book genre, and I must admit there is a lot more to the topic than I first thought.
I've noted down this post so I can use it in the future should I ever find myself struggling with genre issues again. After spending several months in the writing community, I have noticed a lot of confusion about the certain category authors books fall into. Some swear blind it's a romance while others will argue it is a chick lit.
But this is the beauty of self publishing. Just the other day I was reading a blog about Darcie Chan's major success at becoming a best selling author with her first book. At first she decided to try the traditional route of getting her book published but many agents and publishers turned her down because her manuscript had no specific genre. To become published the traditional way you have to have a clear idea of where your book will sit in the market place. Publishers need to know what genre the book is so they can market accordingly. In the traditional publishing world this makes a lot of sense. After all there really is only room for one specific genre for each book. But in the self publishing world, authors can market the book themselves however they want. If the book has elements of romance, chick lit, mystery and a bit of paranormal activity thrown in, they say so, and if the story sounds good people will buy it anyway. It is a proven theory this works because it's worked for so many authors like Darcie Chan. Amazon's Kindle has a section where you can list each category/sub category if you choose to self publish with them, making it easy for readers to find your book when they do a search.
The issue of not having a specific genre worried me at first with my book, and that was the main criticism of my editor. Of course I could always have re-written my book with a particular genre in mind but I wanted to be brave and see how it would sell through the kindle. And so far I have received several good reviews off people who have never met me, so my book can't be all that bad.
What do you think about genre, is it an issue you struggle with? Do you think mainstream publishers place too much importance on the subject? Or do you think genre should be scrapped altogether?
Anyway, here is the link to the blog on genre: http://bardsandsages.com/juliedawson/2011/08/09/writing-clinic-defining-genre/#comment-553
Darcie Chan: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970204770404577082303350815824.html?mod=wsj_share_tweet
I look forward to hearing your thoughts on the matter.