Monday, October 13, 2008

Writing Cross-Over Genres

So, you're sitting down at your computer and thinking of a new twist to your book. You have heard that these editors and agents are really looking for something new and unique. You've heard about cross over genres so off you go combining a couple of genres together to create this new work of art.

Your critique partners love it. Contests love it but....

You can't sell it.


The situation is relatively simple. It all comes down to marketing your book.

We have to remember that when we are pitching a book, we have to have a place to put it on the shelves. Is it going with the sci-fi or does it go with the romance. If you remember back a couple of years ago, bookstores really struggled with figuring out a place for OUTLANDER. Was it romance? Was it fiction? Was it literary fiction? What about the time travel element. Ugh! It gave the book sellers nightmares and migranes. Some went so far as to put it in several places in the bookstore and just gave up.

When you decide to do a cross over genre, you need to make sure that the genres still mix. Along the same lines, you need to make sure that one genre is a bit stronger than the other so that the agents and editors have a place to put the story.

In the end, regardless of how good the story is, we need to remember the other end of the marketing spectrum. How will the other side view your story.

1 comment:

  1. When I first heard Diana Gabaldon talk about the problems with Outlander and where it was put on the shelf, I just didn't "get it". Of course, many, many years later, I do.

    While writing my first MS, I was told that I was writing historical fiction, which is harder to market. But I argued it was a romance. Problem was, I killed off almost everybody by the end of the book, INCLUDING the male MC (I relented and didn't kill everybody off, although I so wanted to)!

    Funny how a formula can determine what genre a book is published and eventually shelved under.

    :) Terri