Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Where Will Your Book Go On The Bookshelf?

In the last month, I have had a ton of authors that sent me projects with genres that seemed to be all over the place. In their heads, I believe, they were attempting to make their projects appealing to a wide number of readers. In other words, I am assuming, they believed if they could tap into a lot of different genres out there, a publsiher would likely buy the book.

The problem with this belief is that we really aren't looking for books that tap into a lot of genres. Sure we want to have a book that is appealing to a lot of people, but that doesn't have to be the marketing ploy.

Now don't get me wrong. I am not saying that cross genre books are bad. These are, in fact, great ways to find new twists in styles that might not be that hip right now. What I refer to is the over-abundance of cross genres. Let me use Twilight as an example. This book is a YA. It also happens to be a paranormal YA. Now the fact that adults like it does not suddenly move it into the adult paranormal market. Along the same lines, just because there is a romance in the story doesn't allow it to move into the paranormal romance. And finally, the fact that we are following Bella's life in this does not mean it is a women's fiction novel with paranormal elements. If that were to be the case, we would call it a Young Adult, women's fiction paranormal with romantic elements. Ugh! This is just too much.

As an agent, it is our job to market your book to specific (please note the word specific) to publishers that would be interested. This means we have a target audience and that groups is based on where your book fits on a shelf. If your book is all over the place, we have no way to pin-point our marketing strategy. Along the same lines, publishers are interested in knowing the same thing. When they talk to book buyers, they have to explain the premise of the book in such a fashion that it gets put on the right shelf.

As you think about your book, and certainly your up-coming books, consider where you would find your book. Not where you would like to see it, but where a book buyer would place it.


1 comment:

  1. I have to laugh because I feel like my Paranormal Romance; Action Adventure story that might be able to be placed under the horror genre certainly fits this blog…..

    Please don't change, you help us to learn and improve.