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Do You Know The Genre of Your Book? A Visit from The Word Queen


Keidi Keating - aka The Word Queen

Do You Know The Genre of Your Book by Keidi Keating

Researching the market for your book’s genre is essential if you want to successfully target your book and win the attention of publishers and agents.

Here are some examples of genres:

Mystery
The characters of mystery books are usually fictional but they behave in realistic ways. There is a problem that needs to be solved. A mystery may include a detective or a spy as a main character.
Biographies
A biography is a book of true stories about the life of a real person. The author is a different person than the book is written about. The person in the biography can be dead or alive. The author describes how the person affected others.
Fantasy
A fiction story where there is a struggle between good and evil. Often there is also magic. The characters or objects do things that couldn’t happen in real life.
Poetry
This usually touches your feelings. It may or may not be written with rhymes. Poetry books are often read aloud.
Realistic Fiction
The characters behave in realistic ways. There is usually a problem or conflict to be resolved. The book is set in modern times.
Historical Fiction
Some characters may be real and others are fictional. The story takes place during a period in history. Real events from history can be mixed with fictional events.
Science Fiction
These stories are written with future ideas such as space travel and new technology. The characters are fictional.
Non-fiction
These books provide true facts and information about different subjects.
Romance
A story about character’s relationships, loves, affairs or engagements.
Horror
A story designed to scare or frighten the audience, through suspense, violence or shock.
Reference
These books provide true facts and information. Some examples include: dictionaries, almanacs, atlases, thesauruses, and encyclopaedias.

Your Book’s Genre

Your job as a writer is much more than just writing. Anybody can sit down and write a story, that’s simply a matter of sitting down and typing three or four pages a day until its done. But not every book is saleable, not every saleable book will find an audience, and not every book that finds an audience will be able to bring the readers back for more of what the writer is selling.
It is essential as a writer to know everything about your book before you begin writing it. You must know the genre, other authors who write for that genre, the readers, etc.
When preparing your book for submission to an agent or publisher, it’s essential that you define your book’s genre correctly.
The reason for this is that the genre of your book will determine the agents and publishers you will eventually approach. Get it wrong and your book will be rejected time and time again.
Publishers are set up to sell one type of genre. Even large publishers are split into genre defined departments and imprints.
Selling a cook book is very different to selling a horror novel. They have different readers, but also different marketing approaches and design aspects. This means publishers have an internal team dedicated to selling one type of genre. It’s your duty as a writer to correctly define your book’s genre and then choose the right agents and publishers who can sell books of your chosen genre.
How you determine your book’s genre is not as straight forward as it may seem. The development of online bookstores such as Amazon, have created some debate over a definitive list of genre. The reality is that though all of the publishing industry agree on the broad genres, there is much debate about sub-genres.
My advice for a first time writer is to turn to Amazon to help define your book’s genre. Collect a list of five to ten titles you feel are similar to your own, then look on Amazon to see how each is categorised. This should give you a good idea about your own book’s genre.
Love & light

Keidi has been super kind enough to allow me to share her posts with you. She is brilliant with her writing, publishing and marketing advice. Please visit her online at The Word Queen for more information, her site is packed full.

Thank you so much Keidi! You ROCK!

2 Responses to "Do You Know The Genre of Your Book? A Visit from The Word Queen"

Julie Lynn Hayes said...

I agree with your genres for the most part, but what you call realistic fiction I would call contemporary; I've never seen a realistic fiction genre. Also, I disagree - not everyone can write a novel, it's not as simple as you make it sound.

You have left no room for mainstream either, which is more desirable than necessarily being pegged with a genre. Mainstream books have genres, but they aren't necessarily known by them, they possess more freedom, and reach a wider audience.

Some stories cross genres; I think that is true of many mainstream books. So an author not only needs to decide where his niche lies - whether with genre or mainstream - but also what level he or she wishes to attain. Some people will never rise past the level of their genre.

First and foremost, I think, the writer needs to tell a good story. Then worry about where it belongs.

Good blog, nice to meet you.

Writing Innovations said...

Thanks so much for stopping in Julie. I agree, being able to tell a good story is key, then worry about genre. Sometimes I think it's just so hard to decide where your book belongs, as you said there are so many cross genres. I think Keidi gives a great starting point though :).

Glad you enjoyed the blog. Hope to see you around often.

BK Walker