About Writing, Life and Writing About Life

I am a newcomer to writing fiction, as my first two books have been non-fiction – one about how life is affected by a friend or family member’s cancer, the other on what it might be like to Be An Author. So when I was asked to label the genre of one of my flash fiction stories I was a bit nonplussed.
Always one to rise to a challenge, I decided it was time to fill in the gaps in my knowledge and find out more.
For the purposes of this post, I will be looking at genre as it relates to fiction. Looking online results in a bewilderingly long list of potential fiction genres, but as far as I can see the main ones are:

  • Literary Fiction
  • Science Fiction
  • Fantasy
  • Horror
  • Romance
  • Historical Fiction
  • Crime, Thrillers and Mystery
  • Erotica
  • Humour

If you are looking to be traditionally published, then literary agents and publishers will want you to identify the genre of your novel, so in this case it is obvious that you need to do so. Is this also true if you are self-publishing? It might be tempting to think that if you are putting abook out yourself that you can avoid this step. Your book might not fit nicely into any of those broad categories and they may seem like a straightjacket.
It does still matter, though, and that is for the same reason it matters to agents and publishers – it tells them how they will market your book and where it fits in the world of books. Without this information, when you come to let people know about your book, you would be fumbling about at best, and it will be much harder to find the places your potential readers would come across you.
If you want more help in identifying your genre, why not pop over to Amazon, as it will be a huge resource to you in getting your book sold. Look through the categories of fiction offered and decide where your book would be most at home. By doing that you can maximise the likelihood that the readers who find you will be those most likely to resonate with what you have written and rave about it to others.

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