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How to Choose the Right Genre for Your Book

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Dandelions

Dandelions look all the same …

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It can make all the difference… how well your book sells. Readers have to FIND your book to buy it. When consulting clients and checking out their online sales pages, I often find out that they choose only one category, even so they could select two.  And sometimes they even did not bother to choose a category at all …
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Genres help to market to traditional publishers
Categorizing your book not only helps you to sharpen its position, but also to market it to publishers. Categorization enables you to send your inquiries to publishers and editors that specialize in your type of book and to mention the category in the first sentence of your query letter. As well as guiding you while writing, categorization also significantly improves your chances of acceptance by a publisher.
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Queries to publishers
Before sending out queries to publishers or agents, study carefully which genres they prefer. There is a large list of possible categories to put your book in: the categories that best match your books based on their content. Study carefully each book that is competitive to yours and see in which categories the bestsellers among them are listed. Narrow down your list as much as possible.

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Why are the proper categories so important, for example on Amazon?
Without the right categories you may never become a category bestseller and never gain the publicity needed for higher visibility, never be recognized by Amazon’s algorithms which gains you better rankings in the numerous other Amazon Top 100 lists, which in turn gains you higher visibility, higher rankings, which generates more…
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Millions of books are being published in the world today.
Categorization of books by topic and content has become an important tool for readers to enable them to choose what they like to read. Readers, booksellers, publishers, and authors alike benefit from category descriptions for books, it is important for authors to determine the best genre or category to identify their book before publishing.
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Comprehensive listing of genres can be found on the Internet:
A deep dive into sub-genres can be found at Paul Carlson’s blog post.  Another great list can be found at Wikipedia.
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List of fiction genres (but with extensive definitions):
www.manuslit.com/flash/index.html (under the “Info for Writers” section).
www.cuebon.com/ewriters/genres.html (click on definition and examples)
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Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror:
www.writing-world.com/romance/romgenres.shtml

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Sub-genres of Romance:
www.bubblecow.net/a-list-of-book-genres
http://dannyreviews.com/subjects.html
http://home.comcast.net/~dwtaylor1/

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According to Publishers Weekly, the most popular genres in e-book literature are:

  • Literary/Classic
  • Science Fiction
  • Romance
  • Mystery/Detective
  • General Fiction
  • Thriller
  • Young Adult

Yes, they are popular, but never choose the genres, always search in the sub-genres for a suitable category, in order to have less competition and to rise faster and get a better ranking on Amazon in these genres.
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Amazon takes you right to a fiction page and the top-selling e-books …
It could take readers forever to find what they are looking for – unless they click on a GENRE link, which is called “Departments” and can be found on the left hand site of the page. However, you have to go to “Books”, clicking on “Kindle” doesn’t show any genres on the first page.
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Study carefully each book that is competitive to yours and see in which categories the bestsellers among them are listed. Narrow down your list as much as possible. If your book is available both, in print and as an e-book on Amazon, you can choose four categories (two for print and two for digital) and see in which your book best fares.  Barnes&Noble does something similar, but their GENRE listings are more obvious and on the main page instead of just on a side menu.
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It can make all the difference …
On the other hand, publishers often lack to categorize their author’s books in the right sub-category.
I discovered this many times when evaluating our clients books, looking for the best category / sub-category. And it often takes a lot of time and convincing to have a publisher change the subcategory… Self-publishing authors don’t have this problem, they can change anything on their Amazon account in seconds. It can make all the difference, how well a book will sell. And how fast an author will get to the top of a certain category and becomes a bestseller in this category.
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Always search for a suitable sub-genre
The Kindle eBooks list is subdivided into numerous fiction and non-fiction lists – with an immense variety of genres and sub-genres and sometimes sub-sub-genres. Some categories, such as Literary Fiction, have no sub-genres, and you need a pretty high Sales Rank to get into the top 100 list – even when your book is free on KDP Select days. Try to avoid Literary Fiction until your book becomes a best seller.
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David Gaughran:
“Other categories, like Science Fiction, have several sub-genres. Something like Science
Fiction/Anthologies does not even have 100 books in its category, and you can place on this Bestseller List with any ranking at all (the 62nd book has a ranking of #891,386).”

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M. Louisa Locke:
“Careful uses of categories and key-words and tags can also increase your chance of getting on one of the best-seller lists and showing up on one of the “Customers who bought” lists, which in turn will help boost your sales.” Read her fantastic article here.

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If you would like to get help in all things publishing, have your book heavily promoted and learn how to navigate social media sites: We offer all this and more for only a “token” of $1 / day for 3 months. Learn more about this individual book marketing help: http://www.111Publishing.com/seminar

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@111publishing

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http://bit.ly/VmtVAS 111Publishing @ Google+

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How to Find Your Best Book Category / Genre

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There is no world or national organization that determines a clear-cut genre or category for each book written. In the United States the Library of Congress assigns a combination of letters and numbers to each traditionally published book registered. This identifier determines where that book should be shelved in any library.

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For a debut author it is a recommended to write within a clearly articulated literary genre. You
will need to categorize your novel for the purpose of querying agents and publishers, and
most novels fair better on the market when they are specifically geared toward one literary
genre or another.
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See samples of genres either at Steve Thompson’s article or at PublishingQuestions. A deep dive into sub-genres can be found at Paul Carlson’s blog post . Another great list can be found at Wickipedia.
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Before sending out queries to publishers or agents, study carefully which genres they prefer.
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Finding the best genre on Amazon is another topic: 

If your book is available both, in print and as an e-book you can choose four categories (two for print and two for digital) and see in which your book best fares. 
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Readers have to FIND your book to buy it. There is a large list of possible categories to put your book in:  the categories that best match your books based on their content. Study carefully each book that is competitive to yours and see in which categories the bestsellers among them are listed. Narrow down your list as much as possible. You can email Amazon’s KDP and ask them to get your book into the proper categories, telling them the exact line, such as this:

Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Nonfiction > Reference > Writing > Writing Skills
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Lets look for sample at NEVER SAY SORRY, a thriller that runs between corporate ethics, the law, medical treatments for cancer and hedge funds.   http://bit.ly/Y6ABTa 

In the e-Book category:

Thrillers (book’s competition is 112,518, this is where it was initially posted)

Fiction > Mystery & Thrillers >Thrillers > Medical (competition is only 394)

Fiction > Mystery & Thrillers >Thrillers> Legal (competition is only 1.303)

The author can choose both categories for her e-book – medical and legal thriller. To leave the book under thriller only, compromises its ranking tremendously, almost killing the book.
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Let us know about your experience with book genres.

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If you enjoyed this blog post, please feel free to check out all previous posts of this blog

(there are almost 600 of them : ) if you haven’t already. Why not sign up to receive them

regularly by email? Just click on “Follow” in the upper line on each page – and then on

“LIKE” next to it. There is also the “SHARE” button underneath each article where you can

submit the article to Pinterest, Google+, Twitter, Chime.in, Facebook, Tumblr and

StumpleUpon.

Follow on Twitter: @111publishing

And don’t forget to spread the word on other social networking sites of your choice for other

writers who might also enjoy this blog and find it useful. Thanks, Doris

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Posted by on January 15, 2013 in Marketing

 

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Where Can You Find Influentual Book Bloggers?

 

After reading: How to Get Free Book PR, a recent blog, you might ask: How to Find influential Book Bloggers?

These bloggers receive so many books from new and self-publishing authors, they are totally overwhelmed. If your book is just another one “on the pile”, they might not ever read it. To become “friends” with a blogger before asking for a review can make a all the difference. Building a trusted relationship, and to support them first, before asking for a review is a good idea. Most book bloggers are very nice people, and worth getting to know, not only for a book review. To grow a mutually helpful, long term support group of friends for your writer career should be your goal, not only to get reviews.

Start your search with these links, or google “Book Blogger + ….. (your genre)”. You will find dozens more in your genre.

http://futurebook.net/content/book-blogger-and-reviewer-listing-0

http://bookbloggerdirectory.wordpress.com/category/uncategorized/

http://bookbloggerappreciationweek.com/about/

http://montrealbookbloggers.weebly.com/

http://www.chrisbookarama.com/2008/09/best-thrillermysterysuspense-blog.html

http://www.theindieview.com/indie-reviewers/

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Tips For Building a Relationship with Book Bloggers

  • Find book bloggers who “fit” with your genre best and who have a large readership
  • Check the popularity of their website with www.Alexa.com (should be less than 100,000)
  • Search for bloggers who have already reviewed other books in your genre
  • Check their availability, and if they actually accept books to review
  • If you are on Twitter, re-tweet the best of what they tweet and give supportive opinions on those tweets, same applies to Facebook, LinkedIn and Google+
  • Ask for their opinion on related matters – by blog comment, by email, and on Twitter.
  • Leave positive and constructive comments on their blog
  • You both have a fascination for books, which is the main point!

After at least several weeks, you will be familiar to them. When you are certain that you really have developed a great relationship, you can introduce your book for review – but be patient!
In the meantime submit your book to reader/writer forums, found in the latest listing here on this blog.
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If you enjoyed this blog post, please feel free to check out all previous posts (there are more than 500 of them : ) if you haven’t already. Why not sign up to receive them regularly by email? Just click on “Follow” in the upper line on each page – and then on “Like” next to it.

Follow on Twitter: @111publishing

And don’t forget to spread the word on Twitter, Facebook, Google+, Tumblr or StumbleUpon – or other social networking sites of your choice) – other writers might also enjoy this blog and find it useful.

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Are You Sure Your Book is in the Right Genre – or Sub Genre?


“Knowing Your Genre”, by John C. Ford Author of
The Morgue and Me

If you want to travel to a nice place, the first step is finding it on the map. And so it is with writing a novel: if you want to get a novel up on the bookstore shelves, the first step is finding the shelf that you’re aiming for.

You have got a great idea, say, for a story about a young actress in turn-of-the-century Chicago, haunted by ghosts of the characters she plays on stage. But if you start writing without a clear notion of whether your novel is a horror story, a young adult tale, or a historical romance, you are putting yourself in a hole — and probably a lot of reject piles. Why? Well, if you don’t know what shelf your book should be on, then agents, editors, and booksellers probably won’t either, and that will make them reluctant to invest in your manuscript.

If you are writing a crime story, this lesson applies to you. About thirty percent of novels purchased in the U.S. are mysteries or thrillers, and your first step as a crime writer should be knowing which of those two types of books — a mystery or a thriller — you are delivering to your readers.

And in order to take that step, you need to know what a mystery is, what a thriller is, and the differences between them. Relax… we’re here to help. Mysteries begin with a murder. The major question is whodunit, and the novel answers that question. Thrillers begin with a situation that portends a catastrophe of some sort (an assassination, a bank robbery, a nuclear explosion, etc.) The major question is whether or not our hero will be able to prevent that catastrophe from occurring. This, in a nutshell, describes the difference between a mystery and a thriller.

The two genres have a number of deeper differences — in tone, point of view, and appeal — which writers should also know in order to understand the expectations that readers bring to each type of story. Some of those differences are as follows:

  • The Identity of the Antagonist: In a mystery, readers do not know who committed the murder (until the end); they try to figure it out along the way. In a thriller, readers often knows who the bad guy is, and hope that the hero can stop him.
  • Appeal to Readers: Mysteries readers take pleasure in the intellectual exercise of puzzling out a crime. Thriller readers enjoy the emotional aspect — riding out the highs and lows of the charged story line.
  • Point of View: Mysteries tend to be written in the first person, while thrillers more often are written in the third person, and from multiple points of view.
  • Stakes: While solving a murder is by no means a “low stakes” endeavor, thrillers tend to have “higher” stakes that imperil larger numbers of people.
  • Pace: Mysteries usually have a slower pace than the fast-and-furious plotting of a thriller.
  • Action: Mysteries often have fewer action sequences than thrillers, in which the characters regularly find themselves in great danger.
  • Plot complexity: Mystery plots tend to be less complex than thrillers, which rely on a constant flow of events to provide a sense of immediacy.
  • Character depth: The slower pace of mysteries allows for greater depth of character than the thriller form.

Sub-genres:
Mysteries tend to get sub-divided based on the identity of their protagonists: “amateur sleuth” mysteries feature a main character whose main occupation is not crime-solving; “police procedures” often follow a police detective; “private investigator” novels, naturally, star private detectives. Thrillers get sub-divided based on the cultural or professional world in which the threat arises. Thus you have “medical thrillers,” “spy thrillers,” “financial/corporate thrillers,” and many others.
Based on the above, you should be able to tell whether your story, at its core, is a mystery or a thriller. Knowing the characteristics of your genre (and sub-genre) should inform the story choices you make, help you to identify authors of similar works to read for inspiration, and to know how your novel fits into the publishing picture when you address agents and editors. In short, it should help you see more clearly where your novel will end up in the bookstore — and that’s a very good thing.

To be clear, though, the qualities of mysteries and thrillers described above are by no means absolute. They should not be taken as hard-and-fast “rules” to follow, and indeed, many successful mysteries and thrillers deviate in ways large and small from the descriptions above. The thrillers of Harlan Coben, to give just one example, tend to revolve around complicated family histories — a personal type of storyline more expected in a mystery — rather than preventing a “high stakes” threat like terrorists poisoning a water system.

Writers should not fear to tread where others in the genre haven’t, either. Many of the thriller sub-genres began with authors exploring subject matter that had not been tackled yet in their genre. Scott Turow virtually invented the legal thriller with “Presumed Innocent.” Joseph Finder has set a number of thrillers in the corporate world, and with his success the sub-genre of corporate thrillers has flowered.

If you have your own story, certain aspects of it probably do not fit neatly into the generalized descriptions above. That’s okay. Better than okay — within the terrain of your genre, you want to find a fresh spot to claim as your own.

Indeed… breaking the “rules” can be great. But the first step, even in doing that, is knowing your genre well.

Read the whole post:  http://foliolit.com/resources/knowing-your-genre/

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Choosing the Right Genre:

It can make all the difference… how well your book sells.

Millions of books are being published in the world today. Categorization of books by topic and content has become an important tool for readers to enable them to choose what they like to read. Readers, booksellers, publishers, and authors alike benefit from category descriptions for books, it is important for authors to determine the best genre or category to identify their book before publishing.
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Comprehensive listing of genres can be found on the Internet:

https://www.worldswithoutend.com/resources_sub-genres.asp

Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror:

http://www.writing-world.com/romance/romgenres.shtml

Sub-genres of Romance:

http://www.bubblecow.net/a-list-of-book-genres 

http://dannyreviews.com/subjects.html

http://home.comcast.net/~dwtaylor1/
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A short list of fiction genres (but with extensive definitions):

http://www.manuslit.com/flash/index.html   (under the “Info for Writers” section).

http://www.cuebon.com/ewriters/genres.html  (click on definition and examples)

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According to Publishers Weekly, the most popular genres in e-book literature are:

  • Literary/Classic
  • Science Fiction
  • Romance
  • Mystery/Detective
  • General Fiction
  • Thriller
  • Young Adult
Amazon takes you right to a fiction page and the top-selling e-books …
It could take readers forever to find what they are looking for – unless they click on a GENRE link.
B & N does something similar, but their GENRE listings are more obvious and on the main page instead of just on a side menu.
Genres are a bit like a contract that the writer makes with the reader. For example: If I want a mystery, I’m looking for a different reading experience and have different expectations than if I pick up a romance.  Book buyers want to get something specific. Genre allows them to narrow the field down.

Categorizing your book not only helps you to sharpen its position, but also to market it to publishers. Categorization enables you to send your inquiries to publishers and editors that specialize in your type of book and to mention the category in the first sentence of your query letter. As well as guiding you while writing, categorization also significantly improves your chances of acceptance by a publisher. 

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Hyper Smash

 

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