WHAT’S IN A GENRE?

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WHAT’S IN A GENRE?

by Sherrie Clark

What is in a genre? To start, let’s define what a genre is. According to Wikipedia, a genre is a “‘kind’ or ‘sort’ … any category of literature …”

As a new writer, figuring out your genre may not seem to be important while you’re writing your book. But you can’t afford to ignore this type of labeling for a variety of reasons.

Knowing your genre means knowing your target audience. You’ll then know how to speak to them through your writing. You’ll know how to bond with them, and you’ll know how to market your book to them.

Each genre has its own audience, and with that said, each genre can have its unique language or words. If you’re writing a true-crime book, you’re obviously going to use different words, tones, and voices than if you’re writing a children’s book.

If you’re pursuing an agent or publisher, they will want to know your genre from the get go. Agents represent certain genres, and some publishers publish certain genres. It’s like having an ingrown toenail and going to a cardiac surgeon to treat it. So when submitting your query letter to an agent or publisher, make sure you two can be a match. Your first checkpoint will be your genre.

After your book is published, the genre of your book will tell retailers and wholesalers where to place your book and will tell readers where to find your book. If your reader wants to read a romance book, she doesn’t want to rummage through a pile of fitness books, horror books, children’s books, and recipe books to find one.

So now you know the importance of identifying your genre. Which one fits your book–Memoir? Romance? Action/Adventure? Mystery? Horror? Thriller/Suspense? Children’s books? Young Adult? Inspirational? Science Fiction? True Crime? Western? How-To? Self-Help? History? (Look for future blogs where I break down the different genres for you.)

Keep in mind that you have an audience waiting for your book; you just need to know who they are.


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