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working writer wending her way through the labyrinth that is self-publishing

Friday, February 10, 2017

Genre? I don't need no stinkin' genre!

As a writer you've no doubt heard the word genre. And I'm sure you know about BISAC codes to identify where to place your book. But...do you understand what it all means? I'm just beginning to, as related to marketing--and it isn't pretty.

The list of problems for self-published authors boggles the mind, or at least my mind, since I struggle every day to figure it out. This is just another in a long line of unsurmountable objects put in our way--or I should say, my way, because there are a great many authors who have figured the problem out. I applaud them. I'm just not one of them. And here's why:

If you write to market you choose a genre or a sub genre, or a sub sub genre, and you stick to it. That way your readers can and will find you. No matter that every single book you write has the same themes. Apparently readers do not want to be surprised. If they pick up a cozy mystery god forbid that it has the F-word or a sex scene that isn't behind closed doors. I get it--I understand. You want to know you can trust the genre and whatever author you've grown to love. I am not trying to step on any toes here.

 The problem is, I cannot write this way. And I was surprised to find out how many genres each of my books cover. I use 'cross over' genres, which makes it difficult for me to find my audience. At least this explains it. Phew. I'm not a horrible failure after all. (that is debatable, a voice pipes up)


I found out the true meaning of the problem when doing Amazon ads. Take my coyote book, 'Just Another Desert Sunset'. It is a romance, has a murder or two, has shape shifters, Native American spirituality, and a couple of shamans. The main theme is the coyote who falls in love with a human woman, but this leads to all sorts of other themes and plot lines. To do my Amazon ads I had to search for books similar to list as keywords. The shifter books were mostly about vampires, and the themes were nothing like mine. The paranormal romance didn't cover it at all. HELP! How can I change this? The answer is, I can't. The book would be boring and flat. Is how I write a bad thing? Apparently it is, if I want to make money. Amazon ads need other books that are similar to use as keywords...I finally gave up on the similar part, and put in all the shifter books, all the paranormal romance, and so  on--you get the picture. We'll see what happens.

I do have a paranormal murder mystery series that may be easier to place. Although there's a lot of romance packed in between the murders and the ghosts...but still. And maybe I can market 'A Witch in Time saves Nine' as an historical fantasy romance--oops, there's time travel in there too! See what I mean? Anyone else having this issue?

Thanks for reading and PLEASE leave a comment! I love to know someone is reading this..and ...suggestions and/or insights are always appreciated.


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