Christopher Paniccia
Christopher Paniccia asked D.L. Richardson:

My book, "Gridiron Conspiracy," is a science fiction novel but it has elements of suspense, of a thriller, and lots of drama. How do I label it to get it out to the most readers?

D.L. Richardson Hi Christopher
I understand the difficulty. I have books that are not slotted neatly into one single genre that is why I now slot them all under fantasy with a sub genre. Fantasy/Drama, Fantasy/Sci-fi, and Fantasy/Magic. But m=for my books, the fantasy is the main tone of the book.

You say your book is suspense, thriller, and drama. This should not sway the genre labelling since even a pure science fiction story should have suspense, thrilling moments, and drama as part of the plot as this is what keeps readers turning the page. In fact, your title already suggests the other three elements in the word "conspiracy". I don't think there's a need to make it clearer.

So to answer your question, firstly, you need to make sure your book is science fiction by checking if the contains any of the following: does it feature space ships or space travel, aliens, time travel, off world planets, a futurists Earth that is not dystopian, robots, science experiments, etc. If it does, I'd label it as science fiction.

If it doesn't, then it isn't science fiction. It's fantasy.

I've learned during my recent pitching sessions to agents and publishers, that science fiction stands alone because they want it to stand alone. Sci-fi has it's own sub genres such as apocalyptic, dystopian, space opera, hard sci-fi, soft sci-fi. It's my understanding that the market wants sci-fi to remain pure, and everything else can be branded under the fantasy umbrella.

I hope this helps. Be proud of labelling your book sci-fi if it truly is sci-fi. There are many great sites dedicated to promotion science fiction books.

Thank you for your question. It can be tough choosing a genre.

Best wishes
D L Richardson

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