Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Sub-Sub-Sub Genre

 
     When I walk into a bookstore (you know, those buildings that used to be on every corner?), I almost always head to the Mystery section. 
 
     I am well aware, however, that I will be stepping into territory that does not necessarily start and end with Agatha Christie-style novels. Instead, I will be investigating a huge list of sub-genres, and maybe sub-sub-sub genres, as well as crossovers and mixed breeds.

     I began to think about this obsession with classification and genre-labelling. Yes, the system certainly helps us find a book in the store or the library. But have we gone too far?

     Wikipedia says, “Literary genres are determined by literary technique, tone, content and by critics' definitions of the genres.” I think the latter is important. We should probably add to “critics” the author, the publisher and/or the agent. Has this resulted in too many classifications? Should we go back to simply “Fiction” and “Non-Fiction”?

     Wikipedia also says: “Genre works are written with the intent of fitting into a specific literary genre in order to appeal to readers and fans already familiar with that genre.” Hmmm - I'm not so sure I did that.

     But what if your book crosses lots of genres? For instance, Sweet Karoline could probably fit into romance and history as well as mystery, literary mystery and psychological suspense. Would it be better for my book if she could simply be classified under “Fiction”?  Would readers find that too difficult?
 So now I'm asking (as I write my next novel) -

     Do you look for books in certain categories? Do you care about the genre/sub-sub-sub genres? I’d love to know!! 

     Send me a message and I will gift you a free ebook copy of Sweet Karoline on October 9. 

(Of course, on October 9, 10 and 11 you can get your own free copy; I’ll just be saving you the trouble of remembering LOL.)
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