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Writers Corner > Novels without a specific genre

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message 1: by Paul (new)

Paul Marriner | 6 comments Hi, When cataloguing/publishing novels a great deal (understandably) is made of the need to specify the genre or categories or tags which suit. I full appreciate the need for this and how it can help readers narrow their choices from the 000s of books now available. And I think it works well if the novel falls into a specific genre. However, many great novels would end up in 'Mainstream', 'General' or 'Literary' fiction, making them harder to find. I'm not sure the answer is to introduce even more genres or categories - probably far too many already, but I don't have any other suggestions. What do others think? Should the terms 'General' or 'Literary' fiction be sub-divided? Out of interest I looked up a few definitions of literary fiction and it seems to me a lot of non-literary stuff gets lumped in there.......

Sunrises And Other Stories by Paul Marriner

Three Weeks In The Summer by Paul Marriner

Charlotte's Cross by Paul Marriner


message 2: by Feliks (last edited Nov 04, 2014 03:19PM) (new)

Feliks (dzerzhinsky) Here is your answer. Read through this thread. All the way to the end.

https://www.goodreads.com/topic/show/...

It is the watershed for all such concerns as the one you have raised. Everybody who was anybody jumped in on this round-table.

Paul wrote: "However, many great novels would end up in 'Mainstream', 'General' or 'Literary' fiction, making them harder to find...."

--This is not really the calamity you suggest it may be. And if you try to 'correct' it, you risk other, far more assured disasters.

Paul wrote: "I'm not sure the answer is to introduce even more genres or categories - probably far too many already..."

--I agree!

Paul wrote: "but I don't have any other suggestions...."

--I do. Tighten up and bulwark existing genre boundaries. Keep genres out of lit-fic. Keep lit-fic out of genres. Classify books correctly based on their structure ...rather than 'pandering to marketing trends'.

Paul wrote: "What do others think? Should the terms 'General' or 'Literary' fiction be sub-divided?..."

--Nope. Not at all.

Paul wrote: "Out of interest I looked up a few definitions of literary fiction and it seems to me a lot of non-literary stuff gets lumped in there..."

Visit this group for more discussion:
https://www.goodreads.com/group/show/...


message 3: by Paul (new)

Paul Marriner | 6 comments Hi Feliks, thanks for the links to other threads - I will check them out.


message 4: by Andrea (new)

Andrea Lundgren | 8 comments I think dealing with genre divides is part of the reading atmosphere, as readers find certain genres suit their tastes and others fall outside their interest. But not all books need to fall into one neat category, and I think ads like those found here capitalize on this: https://ryanlanz.com/advertise-your-b...

By just featuring the cover and title, readers can judge for themselves if the book looks interesting without the genre expectations and typical "turn-off" of genres they don't read, so those who might not normally read your genre could end up picking up the story.

Personally, I've found that when authors ask me to read their story, I end up broadening my tastes and often enjoying things beyond what I'd have expected, so the genre tags can only be relied on so far.


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