Multiculturalism in YA,Fantasy, Sci FI,Paranormal and fun books ;p discussion

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Genre crossing

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message 1: by [deleted user] (new)

I've been trying and fighting the main genre I classify my first novel before it's published.

I have to say that unintentionally I cross several genres. I wonder if this is a bad thing or whether established writers experience this a lot ?


message 2: by Laurel (new)

Laurel Rockefeller (laurelarockefeller) | 53 comments I'm multi-genre. Science fiction, fantasy, historical fiction, romance, murder-mystery, and of course, young adult.

It took me a year to figure out where to put them.


Take the time, experiment, and let your reviewers (I did THREE GR book giveaways this year) help you sort that out.


message 3: by [deleted user] (new)

Ok that sounds like cool advice :)

I suppose there being so many sub genres of genres, it makes it even more confusing.


message 4: by Laurel (new)

Laurel Rockefeller (laurelarockefeller) | 53 comments Guinevere wrote: "Ok that sounds like cool advice :)

I suppose there being so many sub genres of genres, it makes it even more confusing."


Yes. Correct. The trick is learning to use those to your advantage and figuring out which way to do it. For example, there is "historical fiction - romance" and "romance - historical"

If your book is detailed in its historical setting (you've done a lot of research and convey things with precise accuracy) with a romantic arc, it's the first one. But if your story is more of a romance just set in the past, you choose the second.

At least in my experience.

FYI, my first book is the first one. :) Of course, my BA is in history, so that just makes sense. :)

I cannot stress enough how important research tends to be in writing. The more solid your facts are underscoring your story telling, the more believable it shall be.


message 5: by Heather (new)

Heather Heffner | 64 comments There's a lot of emphasis on categorizing your book and figuring out which one will appeal most to the audience. I've read articles about established authors with traditional publishers who were told to exclude this/that to make the book fit solidly into one genre.

I remember visiting this cute little independent bookstore one time, and the owner was talking about how one genre made it very easy for them to figure out where to place it on the shelves.

I guess when Twilight first came out, it gave them a challenge for a little bit because they were wondering whether to put it in romance or fantasy, but then look at what we have now--a whole cross-genre dedicated to paranormal romance. So if you have cross-genre, who knows if it might eventually spawn its own space :)

From my experience with Amazon, I've tried to go for the most specific classification within a genre--"dark urban fantasy," or something to narrow it down, because then you're most likely to be featured as the "#11 selling book in dark urban fantasy" as opposed to paranormal, which has tons of entries. But then I change it up every once and a while and get new buys--my books fit into tons of different places, too! Good luck!

I agree with Laurel's advice:
"If your book is detailed in its historical setting (you've done a lot of research and convey things with precise accuracy) with a romantic arc, it's the first one. But if your story is more of a romance just set in the past, you choose the second."


message 6: by Laurel (new)

Laurel Rockefeller (laurelarockefeller) | 53 comments Heather wrote: "There's a lot of emphasis on categorizing your book and figuring out which one will appeal most to the audience. I've read articles about established authors with traditional publishers who were to..."

Remember too in your descriptions to be clear and precise so people know what to expect. This is especially important with historical fiction which has a habit of attracting history hobbyists and academics. When I write, I always assume my reader might know more than I do on the subject -- which is why I'm stressing on the chemistry in book three as I write it! :)

Your description CLARIFIES your genre assignment and REFINES IT.

Again, this takes trial and error (you don't want to know how many times I've personally re-written my book descriptions), but eventually your book will grow legs enough for you to know how to best capture its essence.


message 7: by Henry (new)

Henry Martin (henrymartin) Genre crossing only becomes an issue when you have to select categories on Kindle. They are pretty specific, and do not offer an option such as literary/romance. You are only allowed two categories, so the primary must be what your target audience is.


message 8: by Aya (new)

Aya Ling | 41 comments Heather, thanks for sharing your tips on categorization. I still dread of the day when I upload my third book--a jumbo mix of history, mystery, fantasy, action, romance--so playing around with different genres sounds like a good idea :)


message 9: by Laurel (new)

Laurel Rockefeller (laurelarockefeller) | 53 comments Henry wrote: "Genre crossing only becomes an issue when you have to select categories on Kindle. They are pretty specific, and do not offer an option such as literary/romance. You are only allowed two categories..."

I disagree. You always have to select genres when you publish. That's tricky no matter how many genre the system allows you to pick. I have so far not seen more than two genre options on CreateSpace, SmashWords, or Kindle Direct. My books hit five or six (because my world building really is that extensive). So no matter which genres I pick, I can miss people who would love my books just because of the way they self identify.

One person on fb told me she "doesn't like science fiction." Okay, but my books are not classic science fiction. It's more or less medieval historical fiction set in another galaxy so I don't have to step on toes when I talk about, for example, the ethics of using religion as an excuse for terrorism. Setting my work elsewhere means I get to make up the religions of my feudal society. If I did the same story in 1321 France and had my antagonists belong to any real religion -- you know someone would cry foul and that I was anti whatever -- missing the moral/ethical point.

I really wish these platforms would like you select "multi-genre" and then pick as many as apply.


message 10: by Henry (new)

Henry Martin (henrymartin) Laurel wrote: I disagree. You always have to select genres when you publish. That's tricky no matter how many genre the system allows you to pick. I have so far not seen more than two genre options on CreateSpace, SmashWords, or Kindle Direct. My books hit five or six (because my world building really is that extensive). So no matter which genres I pick, I can miss people who would love my books just because of the way they self identify"

That's what I meant. However, on Smashwords you can select keywords better than on Kindle. And those keywords could cover the extra genres your book crosses. For example, my primary category is Literary Fiction, but one of my titles also crosses Drama, Romance, Bisexual, Travel...I use those aas keywords, because the preset limited choices are, well, limited.


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