Saturday, December 10, 2016

Genre- How do You Decide?

I’ve got a book almost ready to publish. I’m almost ready to send it to my proof reader and get a cover.

I started to think about marketing. What genre do I put the book in?
I write romantic suspense. Some are western and other’s PI and detective. This one is a medical about cloning. It’s setting is a hospital. The cloning is designer children, and cloning for body part’s. There’s suspense, but I’m wondering if this fits into a sci-fi category. I don’t write sci-fi but this seems a little in that direction.

So when I market it – what do I say? I checked out Wikipedia and here’s some of the genres they define.
          Classic – fiction that has become part of an accepted literary canon, widely taught in schools
  • Crime/detective – fiction about a crime, how the criminal gets caught, and the repercussions of the crime
  • Fantasy – fiction with strange or otherworldly settings or characters; fiction which invites suspension of reality
  • Historical fiction – story with fictional characters and events in a historical setting
  • Horror – fiction in which events evoke a feeling of dread and sometimes fear in both the characters and the reader
  • Mystery – this is fiction dealing with the solution of a crime or the unraveling of secrets
  • Science fiction – story based on impact of actual, imagined, or potential science, usually set in the future or on other planets
  • Short story – fiction of such brevity that it supports no subplots
  • Suspense/thriller – fiction about harm about to befall a person or group and the attempts made to evade the harm
  • Western  – set in the American Old West frontier and typically set in the late eighteenth to late nineteenth century
If you write a straight romance, or western it’s easy, but what if you cross genres, how do you decide where your book works?


  1. Oh boy, do I share this conundrum with you! I also cross genres, Romantic suspense/paranormal. But Paranormal readers often expect vampires or shape shifter type stories, so to be safe I call mine Romantic Suspense with a light paranormal thread.

    For the book you describe, and based on these descriptions, I'd call it a romantic thriller because "harm about to befall a person or group and the attempts made to evade the harm."

    I wouldn't go Sci-Fi because of this portion of the description "usually set in the future or on other planets"

    good luck!

    1. Thanks Kathryn. That helps. I was afraid to use thriller because I didn't want to disappoint someone looking for thrillers, but people do die and everyone is at risk.
      I think I'll use thriller and see how it works.

  2. I also go through this when I publish. Mine have a bit of supernatural mixed in with Romantic Suspense. I find that I enjoy writing in cross genres but not when it comes to marketing.

    Best Wishes!

    1. Thanks Kate. I agree the writing part is fun but the labeling for marketing is a challenge.

  3. This is why genres are so limiting. People love stories based on the blurb and cover... it's not always about the genre!

    1. Hmm, good point, especially about genres being so limiting. I'll work on the blurb.

  4. I would definitely say that this is more of a medical thriller or a sci-fi story than anything. I cross genres a lot but most of my stories have their main origins in a specific genre. I write what I was calling Urban Fantasy but now find out it's more like supernatural because they are taking care of those type of critters. Makes me wonder if Supernatural Fantasy isn't becoming a genre.

    Genres are limiting and it's hard sometimes to get to the right one. I think that's why when you pick those categories as key terms you'll discover somewhere down the line, they don't match any more.

    I do agree with Melissa though...sometimes it isn't about the genre at all...great covers and blurbs plus word-of-mouth should be enough to get stories in front of new readers.

    1. thanks, Lynn. I think I am going to go with Medical Thriller.
      And I agree with you and a few others. The traditional genres are limiting, but from people's comments, I'm thinking maybe because of self publishing genres are changing and expanding -like Supernatural Fantasy.

  5. Sounds like science fiction, however with the way science keeps improving you could call it medical thriller. There's also speculative fiction that you could use.

  6. You've got me on that one, Janice. I don't know speculative fiction. What's the definition of that one?