Recently, I’ve encountered some challenges with my clients regarding genre. Very often, an editor considering a manuscript will pass if they feel that it doesn’t fit neatly into a specific genre. This can be challenging for writers, but it’s something to seriously consider, as it can often make or break a deal. This piece in Writer’s Relief lays it all out very nicely.

Have you ever encountered difficulty with adhering to a genre?

6 Responses to Genres

  1. Lorelei says:

    I didn’t but my publisher did. I sold the novel as science fiction. Just before it went to the printers they decided to call it “futurist mystery,” which I pointed out I did not read and was not sure existed.

    It didn’t go well.

  2. Giora says:

    The problem with editors and publishers trying fit all novels into box, is that novels with original style and structue will not be published. At the end aspiring authors who want to get published will write novels folowing the same format. Nobody will atke rish. Authors, agenst, editors and publishers will all follow the same safe format .. untill the readers will protest when they’ll realize that all books follow the same pattern.

  3. Giora says:

    By the way, the link doesn’t work. You added an extra “http”. Imagine God meeting you many years ago, asking you to represent Him (or Her).

    Stephanie: God, do you have a published book?

    God: Nope, this is my first novel.

    S: What genre is it? I have to tell the editor.

    G: Women’s fiction, Historical novel, Mystery, Poetry and much more.

    S: Not good. The editor has to put it in box. What’s the title?

    G: The Bible

    S: Not exciting enough, but the editor will pick a better title.

    G: will you represent me?

    S: Nope. You have no publishing history. Your book is too long and there is no specific genre. Sorry.

    G: But it will be the best seller of all times.

  4. I’ve always felt my books were solidly identifiable as part of the genre in question (SF or fantasy). My real fear is that certain elements within them won’t appeal to the masses. I reassure myself by saying that somebody out there has to have similar taste.

  5. Jenni Wiltz says:

    I’ve sent out two books that fall clearly into a genre, and a third that didn’t. No luck on the two clearly defined genre books so far. But surprisingly, the one that didn’t fit (a vampire historical…not romance, not straight historical fiction, not straight horror) was the one that I got farthest with!

    I’m not sure what this means, though, since in the end the agent passed. Maybe I was on the right track?

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