Picking the Right Genre

No matter whether you choose to self-publish or go the traditional route through an agent, selecting the correct genre for your novel is important. It can be the difference between your novel selling thousands of copies or falling into obscurity.

Genre is defined as the type of story you’re writing. Examples are romance, fantasy, science fiction, mystery, thriller, etc.

Genre is important for many reasons. First, agents and editors tend to specialize in only a few genres. If your novel doesn’t fit an agent’s genre, it gets tossed. Second, genre is used to determine if you know what you’re writing. It focuses your writing for a target audience and aids in marketing your book. Third, readers use genre to find books they’d be interesting in reading. If you book is primarily a dystopian but is labeled under romance, you’re going to miss out on a lot of potential readers.

Here are some simple steps to help you choose the correct genre:

  1. Get familiar with the different genres. Go to a bookstore or Amazon’s Books page. Look at your favorite books, or if you were inspired by a certain novel or author, see where their work fits in. Another thing you can do is select a specific novel on Amazon and then look at the recommendations it has for other novels.
  2. Identify what’s most important in your novel. All novels have multiple plots, but they have one main plot. Your novel should go in the genre your main plot fits in. Also look at setting, whether or not you’ve got supernatural elements, etc.
  3. Know your target audience. Beta readers and critique groups can help you with this one. What gender are you targeting? What age group? What type of reader?

Choosing the correct genre will help will sales and give you readers who appreciate your work.

How do you choose the correct genre for your novel?

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